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Parsing people picker names into first name, last name fields with calculated column and/or SharePoint Designer RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello!

    The only tool I have other than a browser is SHarePoint Designer. However, I need to get hundreds of users from a single group and parse out their names into first name/ last name columns. Id' rather not do this by hand.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

    THT

    • Moved by Mike Walsh FIN Friday, April 29, 2011 6:40 AM No mention of workflow in the text. General (unsure what) or custmization (SPD questions) (From:SharePoint - Workflow (pre-SharePoint 2010))
    Monday, March 21, 2011 7:35 PM

Answers

  • What kind of group?  SPD has no methods for doing this - it has no way to retrieve data from within a SharePoint group nor an AD group.  Why do you want to copy true source data (profile database) into a static list?  What is the actual business requirement so that maybe we can suggest a much better option (hopefully)?

    Btw, to do it by hand, I would just use datasheet view (if available) or Export to Spreadsheet to get the data into a tabular format that you can copy/paste into the new list using datasheet view.


    SharePoint Architect || Microsoft MVP || My Blog
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    • Marked as answer by THTolleson Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:42 PM
    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:50 AM

All replies

  • What kind of group?  SPD has no methods for doing this - it has no way to retrieve data from within a SharePoint group nor an AD group.  Why do you want to copy true source data (profile database) into a static list?  What is the actual business requirement so that maybe we can suggest a much better option (hopefully)?

    Btw, to do it by hand, I would just use datasheet view (if available) or Export to Spreadsheet to get the data into a tabular format that you can copy/paste into the new list using datasheet view.


    SharePoint Architect || Microsoft MVP || My Blog
    Planet Technologies || SharePoint Task Force
    • Marked as answer by THTolleson Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:42 PM
    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:50 AM
  • Thanks Rusty. Basically, the need is to have all the employees listed in a list with a column for first name and a column for last name (for loggin hours). The requirement calls for separate fields. I can request a spreadsheet to be compiled with all of the employees listed. It would be easier however, for me to pull all of the user accounts from the group Employees.

    Looks like I'll have to go the spreadsheet route. Thanks for the information!

    T

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:42 PM
  • But why do the employees have to be in a list.  You said "the need," but you didn't explain the source of that need.  If this ifnormation is in the User Information List, then it also exists in your identity provider, which I assume is Active Directory.  ARe you using MOSS?  If so, then you have the User Profile Service, which populates the User Profile Database with all this information for each user in your identity provider and keeps it UP TO DATE dynamically and on a schedule, which a static list would not do.  Also, this list would ONLY be available on the site where it resides for most purposes, which again makes it far inferior to utilizing the built-in enterprise features that come out of the box with MOSS.

    What exactly do you have to do that requires a first name and last name column in a list with all your people statically copied?  It's hard to imagine someone actually demanding you do this unless they don't understand SharePoint's capabilities.  I was hoping to help you use the technology properly instead of relying on a spreadsheet or any hand-jammed, manual copy methods.


    SharePoint Architect || Microsoft MVP || My Blog
    Planet Technologies || SharePoint Task Force
    Wednesday, March 23, 2011 12:31 AM
  • Clayton - I've been working with SharePoint 2007 (with MOSS) for just under a year now, but after reading your response, I'm beginning to wonder if *I* don't understand SharePoint's capabilities.

    I found this discussion as I was looking for a similar answer in how to break down a "Person or Group" field into first and last names. I have built many lists on our site involving user columns. This is because we have the need to associate hundreds of various attributes to a user that are not part of the Active Directory field list. I'm in the medical profession, so an example would be a list of physicians and at what locations they are allowed to work. I also need to give users the ability to change these attributes without giving them access to AD.

    It's really bothered me that I don't have a way to auto-populate a list with a particular group of people. I did create a company directory in SharePoint using an external product called the Business Data List Connector. I pointed that to our AD and created a very nice directory...the users don't like to do a search...apparently. But the BDLC won't work for lists that combine AD data with data entered in SharePoint because that requires a primary key, which AD regrettably lacks.

    Let's use employee onboarding as a further example. When a new employee is hired, there are many steps necessary to ensure that employee has everything they need to start working: workstation, office phone, cell phone, etc. Let's say I built a list with simple Yes/No columns for workstation, office phone, cell phone; and the Title field would be the user name. It would be nice if a new employee was entered in AD, and the list item was automatically created with the new employee's name in the Title column, and defaults for the other three. As it is, that employee has to be entered manually.

    So am I missing a fundamental piece of the SharePoint puzzle that until now, I've been implementing kludge-like work-arounds to address?


    Monday, April 25, 2011 3:09 PM
  • I'm a bit surprised that in the vast (and I mean seriously vast, thousands of questions along these lines) blog literature on these People Picker issues that no one, but no one seems to have gone back to basics (you know "Surely Microsoft was not so silly as to overlook something as basic as this") ... but the many blogs would lead one to think they did - well folks, they didn't :).

    When you create your "Person or Group" column if you go to the very last property setting option (called "Show field") which normally defaults to "Name (with presence)" you will find a drop down list of all the core properties for the person (Name, Account, Work email, etc.). This list includes "Title", "First name", "Last name" as well as "User name" - which is often the one that people want.

    While it seems perfectly obvious it clearly isn't as there are numerous instances of people (including our team!) trying to "solve" this problem. I think the explanation lies in three factors:

    a) lots of (smart!) people are used to thinking "code" solutions rather than checking out all the built in SP functions and functionality

    b) the "Show field" property is last on the page and either overlooked or

    c) provides what most people use as their default (as it is very useful - "Name (with presence)" and fail to explore what other options are there to be chosen.

    Hopefully this spares others a lot of needless searching. We certainly wasted a lot of time and effort (blush).

    SharePoint - smarter than you think!


    Russell

    PS: You can use multiple PeoplePicker columns and get any number of the available values; only tedious bit is that if you want multiple values then you need to enter the name more than once using the addtional columns.

    Moderator Note: NEVER propose your own posts as answers. The "Propose as Answer" function is provided so that people can propose the good answers of other people. It is not for self-proposing.

    • Edited by Russell Darroch Friday, April 29, 2011 4:25 AM extra info
    • Proposed as answer by Russell Darroch Friday, April 29, 2011 4:25 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by Mike Walsh FIN Friday, April 29, 2011 6:41 AM
    • Edited by Mike Walsh FIN Friday, April 29, 2011 6:42 AM Moderator Note added about not proposing own answers
    Friday, April 29, 2011 4:22 AM