Applies to SharePoint Filter Web Part 3.0.
The new SharePoint Filter Web Part 3.0 lets you instantly filter SharePoint document libraries and lists with hundred thousands or millions of documents or items with a great performance.
Using key word search to refine your filters in the Filter Web Part will dramatically improve your efficiency. In version 3 the web part now uses SharePoint Server Search – if exists – or Search Server Express on Foundation. If neither exists, or you don’t want SharePoint Search to be used for any reason, you can still use the key word query option without searching documents and attachments. From the first version on, the filter web part supported a kind of key word search. You could configure the list fields for key word search in the web part. From now on you can search for keywords in attachments and documents with great performance.
Picking date ranges from a menu is the most convenient way to bring your date filters alive. In version 3 the Filter Web Part presents completely new date range pickers. 100% comfort for both mouse affine and keyboard workers.
Date ranges like “Year to Date“, “Last Year“, “Tomorrow“, “This Week” … are hard to configure in SharePoint Views (it’s possible, but it’s kind of rocket science, have fun!). The Filter Web Part version 3 comes with the new UI Date Range Picker, which allows you to save filter definitions for public access and load filters on startup as defined in the url of your list view page. When you save your flexible date ranges with your filters, you can load them at startup or choose them from the predefined filters menu. The Filter Web Part interprets flexible date range titles according to their meaning and loads the corresponding date ranges. This will enable SharePoint Views like “Month to Date“, Year to Date“, “This Week” and so on.
Filtering information in large (or even huge) lists can be very efficient and save time and resources if you know how to do it properly. Especially for these scenarios the web part can be configured to start up with filter choices from definition and/or start with keyword search. The Filter Web Part is designed for best efficiency while filtering content in SharePoint large lists and document libraries, like huge records repositories with hundreds of thousands or even millions of documents.
As an Administrator you can configure performance notifications to make sure you configure the web part for the best performance.
The Filter Web Part respects your List View Threshold settings. We believe that resource throttling makes sense and we also believe that using the (low) default values preset in your web application settings must be sufficient to filter document libraries and lists with millions of items with great performance. First of all saving resources when filtering lists is a question of what the filter process looks like. The Filter Web Part incorporates different processes of filtering information in large lists, each one ideal for best efficiency and effectiveness.
Start with Filter Values from Definition or Filter Values from List Fields makes a big difference on filter performance and accuracy of preloaded filter values. The Web Part allows two different startup modes – the behavior, when you click on the link and the web part and the list view appear the first time. On the one hand the more accurate, but more time consuming, mode loads values from the list items. On lists and libraries with hundred thousands or millions of items or documents, you’ll spend a long time waiting for the Filter Web Part to appear. On the other hand the much faster, but sometimes less accurate, startup mode loads values from Definition and has to be started with a key word search, by picking date ranges or using values from the existing definitions. The web part and its list view show up immediately, no matter how many items or documents are in the list.
Values from Definition, as the term describes, are already defined in other sources. They describe the inventory of values a field or property might assume. In simple words: Choice fields have a clearly defined inventory of values. But lookups also have managed metadata and people or groups as well. You can configure each field individually to start with “values from Definition” or not. Using values from definition might dramatically improve the web part’s startup performance. It might also have a very negative impact when you decide to load definitions from big sources, like loading values for a lookup column from a list with millions of items.
It might appear pretentious to talk about a “process” when filtering list content. When you change single steps or rearrange them you’ll achieve different behavior and results. Not only in terms of result sets, but also in effectiveness and efficiency. So the first question you should ask yourself (and your users of course) is “do you know what you’re looking for or do you expect to stumble upon accurate information while you browse your lists and libraries?”
The more users become experts and know what they can expect to find, the less they want to wait for results to get inspired by filters showing what really exists in a source. Users want an efficient way to get directly to the information they are looking for.