Getting all values from a lookup field in SharePoint using ECMAScript client object model

I recently had a requirement wherein I had to retrieve all the values of a lookup column of a list and bind it to a dropdown using ECMAScript client object model. The tricky part is that the lookup list and column name are not known and thus are to be retrieved dynamically.

I see that there are articles describing to do the same with a choice field but none for a lookup field. So I tried to figure out a way to it for a lookup field.

First in order to accomplish this we need to find the name or GUID of the list and the column which is being used as a lookup column. The below code is used in order to do that:

var context = SP.ClientContext.get_current();
var list = context.get_web().get_lists().getByTitle(listName);
var field = list.get_fields().getByInternalNameOrTitle(fieldName);

//Cast the above column as a lookup column
var lookUpField = context.castTo(field, SP.FieldLookup);

//Load the above castes lookup field
context.load(field);

//Call executeQueryAsync and pass in success and failure anonymous functions
context.executeQueryAsync(function () {

   //lookUpField.get_lookupList() gives the GUID of the lookedup list
   var lookUpListId = lookUpField.get_lookupList();

   //lookUpField.get_lookupField() gives the title of the lookedup field
   var lookUpFieldName = lookUpField.get_lookupField();

   //The onFieldLoaded function is called where we process the lookedup list and field to retrieve the values
   onFieldLoaded(lookUpListId, lookUpFieldName);
},
function (sender, args) {
   console.log(args);
});

Now that you have got the GUID of the lookedup list and the name of the lookedup field, we go ahead and write the code for retrieving all the values of the lookedup field in the OnFieldLoaded() function.

function onFieldLoaded(listID, FieldName) {
  var list = context.get_web().get_lists().getById(listID);
  var query = new SP.CamlQuery();
  query.set_viewXml('<View/>');

  var listItems = list.getItems(query);
  context.load(listItems,'Include('+FieldName+')');
  context.executeQueryAsync(
  function () {
    for (i = 0; i < listItems.get_count() ; i++){
    console.log(listItems.itemAt(i).get_item(FieldName));
    }
  },
  function (request, error) {
    console.log(error);
  });
}

Failed to instantiate the file. Specified list does not exist.

If you have created a module for deploying ASPX pages to the Pages library in your SharePoint site, you may get the below error while trying to manually activate the feature that contains the module.

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“Failed to instantiate file “abcd.aspx” from module “Pages”: The specified list does not exist.

This error mostly occurs in the non-English language sites. The reason could be that the URL of the “Pages” library would contain the language specific names like “Pagine”, “Paginas”, and etc. based on the respective language. This happens in spite of retrieving the URL value from the resource files in your module as shown below:

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This could be a SharePoint bug.

The solution is to deploy through VS or activate the feature through PowerShell command:

Enable-SPFeature -identity “Feature folder name” -URL SiteURL

Hope this has helped you.

Access managed properties in Control template

Those who have worked with display templates would have worked with accessing managed properties in the item template of the Content Search Web Part (CSWP). There might be a requirement when you want to access the values of the managed properties of each result item in the control template of your CSWP rather than your item template.

The below code does exactly that:

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a. $.each() is the jQuery loop function that is used to loop through each result returned

b. ctx.ListData.ResultTables[0].ResultRows retrieves the “RelevantResults” results from the 4 result tables available in the CSWP as shown below:

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c. function (key, val) is the function that is going to process each search result.

d. val.EmailDate.toString(): Here only we are accessing the managed property called “EmailDate” from the variable “val” which would hold the values of all managed properties of the result item.

Debug SharePoint display templates in Google Chrome

In spite of being a Microsoft .NET and SharePoint developer I have no regards for Internet Explorer no matter whatsoever. Google chrome is the best browser in the history of browsers.

You may also like to have a look at the below blog posts regarding Content Search Web Parts:

Let me you explain a small tip on how to debug the display templates of your Content Search Web Parts in SharePoint in Google Chrome.

There will always going to be 2 files created for your display template. One is the .HTML file in which you would be working and the other is the .JS file which gets automatically created and used by SharePoint once you upload your .HTML file.

a. Open the page in which you have your CSWP.

b. Press Ctrl+Shift+J. This will open your developer dashboard.

c. Click on “Sources” from the tabs as shown below:

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d. Expand _catalogs/masterpage and then Display Templates/Content Web Parts

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e. You should be seeing the .JS file of your display template. Click on the .JS file to open it in the workspace.

f. Put a breakpoint anywhere and refresh the page and the page load would pause when the break point is hit in the display template as shown below:

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g. From now you can debug like how you do in Visual Studio using F10 and F11.

Display default content when there are no results returned in Content Search Web Part

Content search web part in SharePoint 2013 is a new feature that can comfortably replace the development of custom web parts from Visual Studio.

You may also like to have a look at the below blog posts regarding Content Search Web Parts:

There might be a requirement when there are no results returned from your CSWP’s query, you would still need to display some default content. Follow the below steps in order to accomplish this:

a. Edit your content search web part.

b. In the tool part, uncheck the option “Don’t show anything when there are no results.”

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c. Open the control template of you content search web part, search for the below if condition:

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d. The text or the HTML content that you give inside the above if condition would appear in your web part when it has no results to display. You may use it to display any custom empty message when there are no results returned.

Hope you found this to be helpful.

Maximum before and after current page properties in SharePoint 2013 search

If you have used or worked with SharePoint search, you must have come across the pagination control that appears in the bottom of the search results web part in the search results page.

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This control came as a separate web part in SP 2010 where we had the below 2 properties in the tool pane that can be set to show the maximum no. of page links to be shown before the current page and the maximum no. of links to be shown after the current page.

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Whereas in SP 2013 the pagination has become a part of the core search results web part itself and is being created in the control template of the web part (more on that later). And the above 2 properties of the pagination are not seen in the tool pane of the search results web part which came as a surprise to me.

Later, to my surprise when I exported the search results web part I was able to see the 2 properties in the .webpart file as shown below:

PaginationProp

Setting the properties in the .webpart file and importing it back to SharePoint made the necessary changes in the pagination reflecting. Hope you find it useful.