Introduction to Alfresco Datalist

Alfresco has a feature called datalist which is not very well known feature but it could be of great use in certain kind of scenarios. Here I will introduced to datalist in alfresco

What are datalists?

Data list is the kind of content available in alfresco where you could store data items like list of contacts, your phone book details any similar kind of data where you do not have any actual content associated with it and you just need to store certain set of properties. It will be similar to to database tables where you will have set of similar records which you want to store.

From repository point of view whenever you create new data list it create a kind of container which could hold multiple data items of particular type. For instance if you create a new datalist for contact-list it will create new container which could hold multiple contact items. Each datalist item itself is also a content whose parent must be datalist Item. For container of datalist Item it must extend the datalist.

Datalist Model

<!-- Data List - Container. DO NOT MODIFY -->

<type name="dl:dataList">

<title>Data List container type</title>



<property name="dl:dataListItemType">

<title>List Item Type</title>

<description>Determines which Data Dictionary type will be used when create new items within the Data List.</description>





<!-- Data List - Data Item Base Type. DO NOT MODIFY -->

<type name="dl:dataListItem">

<title>Data List parent type</title>



you could see above entry of data list in datalistModel.xml under alfresco setup.This should give you clear picture on how internally alfresco store datalist items.

To check how out of box datalist forms are configured you should refer

share-datalist-form-config.xml from share.war

Internally if you look at through the node browser you will be able to see the exact structure of datalist.

Datalist NodeBrower

I hope this article will prove as good starting point for some one who wants to get quick idea on alfresco datalist feature.
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I love opensource technologies working with those technologies from the time I have stepped in to the Software Industry. Alfresco CMS is my area of expertise. I have worked on various complex implementations which involved integration of Alfresco with other technologies, extensively worked with JBPM workflows and Webscripts.

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