Content type - Edit property fields and manage inheritance




This feature is related to content type management, Click here for more information on content types and their role in the contribution experience. 



Previously, when you created a content type based on a standard or cloned an existing content type, administrators could not change the inherited properties. We have improved the use of content types. It will now be possible to edit standard and Powell content types, while managing their heritage.


We will present in a first part some technical explanations about this update, then we will see in a second part some practical use cases of how this evolution can improve the Powell experience for everyone. 





Part 1 – Technical explanations

Who's concerned?

Every administrator that created their own content type or re-used Powell content types. 

What does it change? 

Administrators are no longer limited to managing their content types and can add and modify all property fields, even standard ones, or properties coming from a cloned content type. It gives more freedom to manage contributions.



First, let's have a view on how you can edit property fields of content types inside Powell Manager. 

Open Manager / Design / Content types 



Here you can, as usual, create and modify your own content type or reuse one based on Powell's.
In both cases, these content types will be based on a standard Sharepoint content type (to be remembered for the following).


( Example of a content type management table )



Let's explore the two possibilities to manage a content type from a user-created one from the beginning and from a heritage of a Powell content type.


Modify the property fields of a new content type

Let's create a new content type named: “Software documentation” based on Site Page standard content type.

( Content type creation form  )



  • Edit the newly created " Software documentation " content type and click on the Fields section

  • As you can see, our new Software Documentation content type already has some fields saved based on the standard site page.

  • Before the update, you could not edit these property fields because they were based on standard fields.

  • With the update, you can now edit even these property fields.


  • As you can see, these required fields cannot be removed, but you can edit them to manage some additional options, like hiding them in the contribution form, changing their display names, or changing their default values.

  • As usual, you can add and edit any custom field to be displayed in the contribution form.


Modify the property fields of an existing content type

Let's duplicate a Powell content type: Application



As you will see, the clone form as being updated with a new feature: Keep inheritance from content type 



Let's check the information about this feature : 

"If you keep inheritance, we will create a content type based on cloned content type id. If you don't, the content type will be created with a new content type id and you will be able to delete some fields from the cloned content type." 

It means 2 things : 

  • If you keep the inheritance, the Guid of your new content type will start with the cloned one. That means all the search queries don't need to be updated to work.
  • If you don't keep the inheritance, the Guid of your new content type won't start with the cloned one.

You can now freely create your content type based on Powell's and decide whether to keep the heredity or not. 


Deploying content types and properties in Sharepoint 

Once your content types are created and defined inside a site template, when you deploy a site collection based on that site template, all of its content types will be deployed inside Sharepoint.

When deployed, some properties are relatives to the field and others to the content type. This leads to some different behaviours: 

Properties relative to the field instance:

  • The value of the field will be the same if the field is used in many contents in the same list. It is always the last defined and deployed value that will be used everywhere.

Properties relative to the content type:

  • the value of the field can be different, even if it is used in many content types in the same list.

Part 2 – Functional uses-cases 

Edit content types on a Powell site template

Before the evolution :

When reusing Powell templates, we previously had issues with users not being able to edit content types inherited from Powell templates.

  • When users wanted to change a property field, they had to disable it and create a new one manually with the custom fields. 

  • When users wanted to customize a specific content type inherited from Powell's, they had to duplicate them and then modify the search query anywhere on the site template.


After the evolution : 

With this update, it is now possible for administrators to manage each content type within site templates without having to duplicate content types and redo every search query inside the site template

It allows more advanced and easy customization and manipulation of Powell templates for Powell Manager users.





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