Sorting attachments on the form

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Applies to version 2016.1; Author: Paweł Snoch

In this article, I will discuss the rules that govern the arrangement of attachments appear on the SharePoint form – what is the default order and how to change it.

Default sorting

1. Attachments tab:

1.1 Attachment categories are displayed alphabetically (Attachments without any category are found at the top).

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Fig. 1. In order to assign categories (e.g.  ‘Groups’) to attachments, create an additional ‘Attachment detail’ in the process tree.

1.1.1 Attachments are arranged chronologically within their category, with the most recent attachment located at the top.

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Fig. 2. Default sorting for the Attachments tab

 

2. Email Conversations tab:

2.1 Conversations are arranged chronologically, the conversation within which the most recent email was sent will be at the top of the list.

2.1.1 Within a conversation, emails are arranged according to their send date. The most recently sent email will be at the top of the conversation.

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Fig. 3. Sample sorting in the ‘Email Conversations’ tab.

 

3. All Attachments tab:

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Fig. 4. Example of sorting in the ‘All attachments’ tab.

3.1 Current

3.1.1 Attachment categories are displayed alphabetically  (Attachments without any category are found at the top).

3.1.1.1 Attachments are found at the lowest catalog level – sorted alphabetically within their category.

3.1.2 Email conversations folder, conversation groups sorted identically as in the ‘Email conversations’ tab (2.1)

3.1.2.1 Email messages, sorted identically as in the ‘Email conversations’ tab (2.1.1)

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Fig. 5.  Example of sorting in the ‘All attachments tab’ – ‘Current’ folder

3.2 Additional views of related attachments (maximum of three catalogs) – Displayed in the same order in which they appear in Designer Studio.

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Fig. 6.  Related attachments view configuration. 1 – Select the attachments panel, 2 – click the configuration button.

3.2.1 Instance numbers are ordered alphabetically.

3.2.1.1 Next, beneath instance numbers, categories are sorted identically to those under the ‘Current’ branch (3.1)

3.2.1.1.1 Attachments themselves are sorted according to the SQL query defined in Designer Studio (Fig. 6).

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Fig. 7.  Example of sorting in an additional ‘Related attachments’ view.

3.3 Parent workflow instances

3.3.1 Instance numbers are ordered alphabetically.

3.3.1.1 Next, beneath instance numbers, categories are sorted identically to those under the ‘Current’ branch (3.1)

3.3.1.1.1 Attachments are found at the lowest catalog level – sorted alphabetically within their category (Same as ‘Current’ branch, see 3.1).

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Fig. 8.  Example of sorting inside the ‘Parent workflow instances’ branch of the ‘All attachments’ tab.

3.4 Child workflow instances

3.4.1 The entire branch is structured identically to ‘Parent workflow instances’ (3.3)

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Fig. 9. Example of sorting inside the ‘Child workflow instances’ branch of the ‘All attachments’ tab.

 

Custom sorting settings

In Designer Studio, in the configuration of each process, you can customize the attachment display settings. From the process tree, select a workflow and then click on the “Standard form”, this will open the Global form template configuration panel. This panel used for designing the layout of the standard form template used by this workflow – the placement of the various components will correspond to their location on the SharePoint form. Click on the “Attachments” panel. Once it is selected, additional options will become available for it in the left-hand column, one of those options is “Attachments sorting order”:

  • Default
  • By name
    • If identical names exist, order will be determined by the date the attachments were added.
  • By description
    • If identical descriptions exist, order will be determined by the date the attachments were added.
  • By insert date ascending
  • By insert date descending

Exceptions: Regardless of what option is selected, catalogs and attachments in the ‘Email conversations’ tab will be displayed according to their own rules, described above (2.1).

This also applies to additional related attachment views, that are visible in the ‘All attachments’ tab (3.2).

In all other cases (entire ‘Attachments’ tab, and the remaining catalogs of the ‘All attachments’ tab that were not mentioned as exceptions above) the selected option will determine the order in which attachments are displayed within their category (the order of categories/folders is unaffected).

Below you will find an example of multiple attachments sorted by description:

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Fig. 10. Example of sorting in the ‘Attachments’ tab using the sorting order ‘by description’.

Note:

  • In the All attachments tab, attachments from multiple workflows can be displayed. The order in which they are displayed depends on the configuration of the workflow, in the context of which we are currently located.
  • Each tab of the Attachments panel displays the following dates:
    1. Attachments – date attachment was added
    2. Email conversations – date message was received
    3. All attachments – date the attachment was modified

It is important to remember, that when sorting by date, the date the attachment was added is taken into account.

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