Best Practices For Accessing And Retrieving Data in SharePoint 2010 Part 4 List Views And Metadata

List views offer several benefits over previously discussed approaches in this series. Lists views provide a heightened experience through dynamic sorting and filtering while being simple to customize the views and to display various columns. The problem with views is they tend to be very expensive in terms of performance with the slowest result time.
Both list views and metadata navigation offer support for content retrieval when it comes to large document libraries, folders, and indexes. When you query with a list view in real time and queries with the SQL server database you can get recent results and decent performance. The throughput will decrease with large list size. List views also allow for the most recent content loaded to show up on page.

Metadata navigation and list views can be used in order to increase the ability to perform list view actions for an item. List views are the primary method for working with a list in low read scenarios. When there are many read operations in place you need to consider the other query methods and use them to help you access the list data.

There are many things to look at for the topic of view configuration. Choose carefully the columns that will be used in views. When you add more columns you have more data available. However, this makes the page load time longer so that is the trade off you have to make. Finding the balance that works well for you here is very important. Reduce the number of lookup columns in order to manage the metadata for people and groups. They can be connected with other database tables. Avoid using totals for columns. If you don’t plan to use indexed columns for filtering then you need to have the items show in folders. This ensures that the folders will never have more items in them than the list view threshold. The views need to be filtered on indexed columns to help reduce the number of items returned. This is especially true if there aren’t any sub folders to push more items into than the limit for the list view threshold. Allow the metadata navigational feature to offer the most recent results for queries. They would otherwise be subjected only to the list view threshold. This is usually going to be enabled for you on all the sites. When filtering views with metadata navigation you should consider using per location views. They create unfiltered views for metadata navigation pivots.

Views are typically used to help access list data. Views have to be selected carefully though to optimize the way in which a user is able to find content and to meet the requirements of policies for performance. With a list that is large in size, it is important to carefully decide how to configure it. The standard views should be used. Avoid Datasheet, Calendar, and Gantt views as they can cause you to exceed the list view threshold.

The views should always have the least number of columns as you can possibly arrange. Pay close attention to the number of lookup columns though. They have to be able to join other tables or your performance suffers.

With SharePoint Server 2010, as discussed in previous posts, the new list view threshold significantly changes the approach for how to use view with a large list. Users may get errors if they attempt to return more results than the list view threshold allows. The use of totals on the large list will be blocked when that occurs. The number of items have to be scanned and that is what is important versus the number of rows that are returned.

When a list is organized a folder shouldn’t contain more items than the list view threshold. When you show all items outside of folders you should avoid the mechanics being in place where they can filter the results.

The recently changed items view is used for a user to identify what has changed. It can be set at the default when a user frequently accesses various types of content from the items in the list. This view is simple enough to configure as it relies on system metadata that is set for each of the items. When you have a large list then you either need to set it for the item limit of filter the results to show less than the list view threshold. This view is created when you index the modified field. Then you sort it in descending order. The my items view can be used with repositories where users access the certain documents frequently. This is simple to configure as it uses the system metadata that is set for each time. You can filter it with the modified by or created by columns. This is a view in the filters that can be set for a multiple user columns. It won’t show all of the documents in this view but the most recent.