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CascadingDropdowns..not able to set relationships

Sep 17, 2010 at 3:47 PM
Edited Sep 17, 2010 at 4:11 PM


I think i know the answer to this one.  I was hoping to use your library to set cascading dropdowns, but I am not sure I can.

My situation is, that having given up on the OOTB staff Search I am writing my own, using SPD and limited skills, taking the data direct from the SQL tables, into MS Access, building a staff list and a 3 tier structure (CEO>Directors>>Plebs) (and doing lots of cleaning as our AD data comes from our HR system, which has certain limitations.  Then i am pushing these data into a SharePoint List.

Therefore I don't believe I can set any columns in the lists to be lookups to a parent, and still be able to append the data from my Access area.

<edit>Ah I have been able to set the LookUp Columns in my child lists via Access, I needed to use the ID of the  Parent rather than the content, so let's see If I can get this to work</edit>


I know this sounds convoluted, but given a) the data I have to work with and b) my limited skills it seems to work.  I can get a basic department>>Staff lookup working, but I need those other levels in cascadeing boxes.

Sorry if none of this makes sense.

Any ideas if I can do this?

<edit2>Not sure this is for me - I simply want one cascading dropdown on a custom page (so not a list view page) that then can be used to query a third list - I think I may well end up doing it in vbscript - which I am happy with) and embedd the page into my SP pages</edit2>




Sep 17, 2010 at 4:41 PM

What version of SharePoint are you using, and is it an Enterprise license? The reason I ask is that you may be able to map that external source as a SharePoint list (if you have an appropriate version), which would avoid your whole Access mess.

SPServices cascade dropdowns work on the premise that the columns are lookups. As long as you have the right lookup fields and the relationships defined within the SharePoint list you should be able to make cascade dropdowns work.

Sep 18, 2010 at 1:48 AM
Edited Sep 20, 2010 at 12:55 PM


SPCascadeDropdowns is intended for use in forms. It doesn't sound like what you want is forms, though, since all if your data coming from elsewhere. If what you want to do is to display different subsets of people based on their characteristics, you probably want a DVWP instead.


Sep 20, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Many thanks - I think sympmarc is right there will be better ways of doing this - sorry for the confusing Friday afternnon post - a fresh week now, so I'll see what I can do

Webdes03 - We only have the standard, but even if we had Enterprise, alas I'd be stuck with the "Access mess" due to our data.  We import the data from our HR to AD, where of course SharePoint picks it up.  OUr users have been used to a department search which works for team and parent section.  So for example I am in "ICT Business Solutions" team, in the 'ICT' Section.  So I need to offer both choices to the users to search for.  Alas, it isn't as simple as building a SQL that has mine and my mangers team in, as he is also 'ICT Business Solutions'.  I need to walk the tree up to his boss to get both.  The situation gets even more confused when a section head leaves, as our HR system has a override table to ensure that expenses get paid, but it means entire services can drop out of the raw data.  Plus some of the data are poor to being with (some free text have been added rather than picking from an option group - not sure where in our HR system this has crept in but it means more poor data).

My Access mess (BTW a good description), that queries the raw SQL tables has its own overide tables which correct all these oddities and gives me a clean SharePoint list of staff with their team and parent section.  It ain'y pretty to look at how it works, but the data at the end are much cleaner.

Thanks for the help


Sep 20, 2010 at 1:00 PM


Good luck with all that! Let us know if you have other questions we can help with.


Sep 20, 2010 at 1:28 PM

M. many thanks - I gave up have two dropDowns today.  going back to how we had hand coded it in the old site, but doing it a bt more dynamically this time.  A single Drop Down with the structure sort of embedded, So I am going to have Options like:

  • ICT
  • ---Business Solutions
  • ---Support

etc, obviously witht he values just as the names and the dataset being queried on the two fields (dept and section).  A few more Union queries on my dataset and I'll have a table that matches that, which I can then use - I think I was falling into the trap of trying to be too clever - the old style was liked by the users (hated by us as we had to change the options with ever re-organization)

Many thanks