Retrieving Property Bags
This article shows you how to retrieve SharePoint Property Bags values using the xmlQuery
- Min Version:
Enesys RS Data Extension starting from version 3.1 (Standard and Enterprise editions
- Last Updated: 08/18/2009
The xmlQuery statement allows you to retrieve data from an XML file, enhancing the
possibilities to retrieve data from almost any source, including SharePoint data that
can’t be retrieved using Web Services. Therefore, all you need is an ASPX page that will
retrieve those properties and serialize them in XML.
Property Bags are metadata kept in several kind of elements in a SharePoint environment,
you can have Property Bags in Farms, Servers, Web Applications, Site Collections, Sites
Here are some usage examples of these properties:
- You may want to tag all your sites with a Boolean indicating whether to display this
site in a report. Therefore, you would create a Site Template that has a property set to
true by default, and changing its value for a specific site whenever you want to hide it
from the results.
- You may have a generic report that displays data for a site using a parameter and each
site has a default value for a property. This default value can be kept in Property Bags
and used in your report.
- You may want to tag an element with an extern ID that would allow you to join
SharePoint data with your extern data.
SharePoint Property Bag
Settings is a tool available in CodePlex that allows you to easily manage Property
Bags in your SharePoint environment.
We have developed a solution that will deploy an ASPX pages in the LAYOUTS folder of your
SharePoint server. The solution is available for download on the Download page of our web
To deploy the solution on your server, you can execute the following script (you may need
to replace “http://localhost” by your web application URL):
@set PATH=%commonprogramfiles%\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\BIN
stsadm.exe -o addsolution -filename ERSDETools.wsp
stsadm.exe -o deploysolution -name ERSDETools.wsp -immediate -allowGacDeployment -url http://localhost
The ASPX page is available through the “_layouts/Enesys” URL for any site, example:
Using the PropertyBag.aspx page
The page allows you to retrieve Property Bag from a Farm, a Server, a Web Application, a
Site Collection, a Site or a List. Depending on the element you want to retrieve, you must
provide some parameters to the page.
Farm Property Bags
To query the Farm properties, the scope parameter must be set to “Farm”,
or must be null (its default value is Farm). The page will retrieve the metadata for the
Here are some examples that you can use to retrieve Farm properties of
the current farm:
Server Property Bags
To query the Server properties, the scope parameter must be set to
“Server”, and the server parameter must be set to the server name
(default value is the current server).
Here are some examples of URLs to retrieve
Server properties. All these pages retrieve Property Bag for the spsdemo server:
Web Application Property Bags
Web Application properties are retrieved when the scope parameter is set
to “WebApplication”, and the webApp parameter is set to the web
application URL (default value is the current web application).
Here are some
examples of queries to retrieve Web Application properties. All these pages retrieve
Property Bag for the http://spsdemo web application:
Site Collection Property Bags
Site Collection properties are retrieved when the scope parameter is set
to “SiteCollection” and the site parameter is set to the site collection
URL, its default value is the current site collection.
Here are some examples of
URLs to retrieve Site Collection properties for the “/sites/ersdedemo/” site
Site Property Bags
Site properties are retrieved when the scope parameter is set to “Site”,
the site parameter is set to the site collection URL and the
web parameter is set to the site URL, their default values are the
current site collection and the current site.
The following links are some examples
of how to retrieve Site properties for the “/sites/ersdedemo/demosubsite01” site:
List Property Bags
There is no real “List” Property Bags, they are linked to a specific Folder. However, we
can use these Folder properties to keep List properties. To retrieve these properties, the
scope parameter must be set to “List”, the site parameter must be set to
the site collection URL (default value is the current site collection), the
web parameter must be set to the site URL (default value is the current
site) and the list parameter have to be set to the folder architecture to
access the list.
Employees' folder name
The following links retrieve List properties for the “Employees” list (“Lists/Employees”
folder) in the “/sites/ersdedemo/” site:
Querying the XML file
Once you have the correct link, you can retrieve the metadata using the xmlQuery
- Launch Enesys SharePoint Query Builder
- Connect to your SharePoint server
- Add a xmlQuery statement
- Change its “type” property to “Url”
- Enter the URL to the file in the “URL to XML file” property
- Test the query by clicking on the “Execute” button.
The following query will return all the metadata available in the Property Bags of the
“List/Employees” folder located in "http://spsdemo/sites/ersdedemo/" site.
The metadata stored in the Property Bags of the