Friday, September 11, 2009

Sharepoint Lists vs. Database Tables

Many times I had mediations about what type of data structures to use in Sharepoint related projects – Sharepoint Lists or Database Tables. And the answer is - “Depends”! There are a lot of pros and cons about one or another approach and when I saw the “Using SharePoint Lists vs. Database Tables” article in Sharepoint Guidance (August, 2009) I decided to extend the content with my considerations. The first seven benefits are taken from the article above.

Benefit Database Sharepoint List / Library

Handles complex data relationships

Yes No

Handles large numbers of items

Yes No

Handles transactions

Yes No

Is easy to use

No Yes

Accommodates workflows

No Yes

Includes a standard interface

No Yes

Can easily add binary data

No Yes
Handle versions and show/extract history No Yes
Modify/customize UI with standard tools (SPD 2007) Yes Yes
Easier playing with files No Yes
Can easy reuse columns definitions (incl. inheritance) – Content Types No Yes
Easy integration with Office client applications – Excel export and Document information panel, using standard UI No Yes
Web Services access No Yes

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