Connecting your Data using Sharepoint
This is another of a several part series on using Sharepoint
One of my favorite out-of-the-box features of Microsoft's Sharepoint is connections between web parts. Sharepoint web pages are designed with "web parts" - drag and drop boxes that have some purpose. A web part might be images or content or even a spreadsheet. The connections function allows you (in seconds!) to connect one web part to another based on data they contain.
This is particularly useful if you have a lot of data with a parent-child relationship. For example, if I am displaying a list of Customers, I might want to click on a customer and know things like what products they've purchased or if they have any open support calls or even contact information.
I can create a web part to display the list of companies, one to list support calls, one to list products, and one to list contact information.
I can then link them so that when I select a company, all the other web parts on the page (using a linked field like Customer ID) will automatically filter their data to only show me relevant entries. I can now select a customer and see various details that will help me do my job more efficiently - and if things change and I want to add more data or take some away, I can do that just as quickly!
Dynamic content has been around for a while, but dynamically linked dynamic content after a few steps and no programming skills? You can see why it's one of my favorite features.