Joining the Task List with Related Content in a DVWP

The Situation

SharePoint 2010 lets you set up approval work flows on lists, and stores the approval tasks in the out of the box Task list. But, out-of-the-box, when you view the “My Tasks” view of the Tasks list, all you can see about the content you are supposed to approve is the title, which links to the view form for the item.

Out of the Box View of My Tasks
Out of the Box View of My Tasks

To be able to display more information about the item we are approving, we’re going to create a linked datasource and a DVWP with a joined sub-view. (More information on how to do this can be found in the posts “Display item counts in a Data View Web Part” and “Joined Subviews with Linked Datasources in SharePoint 2010.”)

Unlike in the examples in those other posts, we can’t control how SharePoint manages the look ups between the related content list and the task list. Unfortunately, it seems that the only “look up” provided is an ID at the end of the string in the “Related Content” field. No problem, we can work with that!

The Solution

Go ahead and create your dataview webpart and initially, join a subview based on the ID of the related content  and the WorkflowLink of the Task List. Find the dvt_2 template in your code view. You should see a select for rows that looks something like this:

<xsl:variable name="Rows" select="../../../YourListName/Rows/Row[@ID=$dvt_ParentRow/@WorkflowLink]" />

Change it to the following (replacing “YourListName” with your joined list).

<xsl:variable name="ChildID">
<xsl:value-of select="substring-after($dvt_ParentRow/@WorkflowLink, '=')" />
<xsl:variable name="Rows" select="../../../YourListName/Rows/Row[@ID=$ChildID]" />

What does this code do? First, it creates a variable called “ChildID” and then it extracts the ID of the related content from the WorkflowLink column in the parent task list. Finally, it runs a select on your related content list matching your related content’s ID with the associated Task.

Doing so, you can output a view like so:

A View the Combines Task Information with Related Content
A View the Combines Task Information with Related Content

Voila. Easy way to connect a task list with its related content.


2 thoughts on “Joining the Task List with Related Content in a DVWP

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  2. Following these directions I am able to get the related content to show for each task item. However, the related item results are nested for each task item. How do you get the related items to show up lined up with the task items like in your final screenshot?

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