06 July 2010

How to easily find the internal names of the columns

In order to use some Web Services of SharePoint methods, like UpdateListItems, we usually need the columns internal names. How is the best way to find this internal names? There are some ways. I usually used the Web Service Response from the same UpdateListItems method, because it returns the internal names of the columns as attributes on the XML (with an ows_ in the beginning of the attribute).

I also found this nice post on the SharePoint Tricks and Tips Blog:

OK, but is there a simple way to do it? In my opinion, yes, there is. I do it without using an external application, just using Nintex.

How do I do it? Simple. When we export an Nintex Workflow as a file, it's an XML format, used by the Nintex Workflow Engine to Import this workflow in another site or list. All the information about the workflow is available on this file (I will go deeper on this topic in a future post), including the Item Properties variables which we can use directly in the actions.

So, if we simple export a Workflow, and open the *.nwf file in a text editor, like the Notepad for example, we have direct access to all internal names of the current list we are working on.

The important part for us on this XML file is the Fields element. Bellow there is an example of this element on the XML file:


And here is the Internal Name. I hope it's useful! :)

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