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Difference between a list vs a document library

Lists:

  •  SharePoint lists are web based editable tables.It gives us the ability to work with structured data.
  • List is going to store the same sorts of data that you would normally place into a spreadsheet
  • A list contains items that are collections of fields/properties/columns.optionally can have one or more attachment
  • When the user searches for a keyword in a document , if the document is in a list then search returns the list item as the result
  • Can have attachments
  • List attachments are not indexed. This has a lot of implications. When searching, you cannot use the refiners to narrow down the doc type
  • Have major versions only
  • Do not have Check-in/Check-out features
  • No Open with explorer (which is obvious)

Libraries:

  • Library is used to store documents
  • A library is a list ,but have one and exactly one file associated with each item .A library item also has fields/properties/columns
  • When the user searches for a keyword in a document , if the document is in a library then they find the document listed in the search results
  • Cannot have attachments (files are directly in the library)
  • Have both minor (draft) and major (published) versioning
  • Have Check-in/Check-Out
  • Publishing Libraries can use Page Layouts
  • Have Unique Document Ids out of the box
  • Examples of Document Libraries are pdfs, word, powerpoint files physical files
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