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JSLink Custom User Field Schema

August 28, 2015

JSLink Custom User Field Schema

I had the requirement of setting the default value of a person field to the current user.  After looking around in the great wide internet I found a very helpful article by Glenn Reian which got me started.

Where I ran into a problem was that my user field had customized settings that weren't being pulled through into the custom implementation of my people picker.  As it turns out the issue was with the schema that is passed to the SPClientPeoplePicker_InitStandaloneControlWrapper function.  In Glenn's example (and every other example I found out there) this schema is hard coded, which is perfectly acceptable in most cases.  However, I needed some values to be slightly different to adhere to my column settings.  

As it turns out there are two solutions.  The first, obvious one, is to adjust the schema manually in the code.  And again this may be a fine solution.  But as Glenn did, I had separated my concerns and created what I hoped to be a fairly reusable version of initializePeoplePicker.  So now I needed to enhance that function to pass through adendums to the schema or maybe it's own schema.

What I found was something i wasn't quite expecting.  The schema I needed was actually right there in the context variable in JSLink.  So, using Glenn's implementation and extending it slightly I just modified initialzePeoplePicker to the following: 

var initUserDefaultPeoplePicker = function (ctx, peoplePickerElementId, ppSchema) {
    if (ppSchema === null) {
        ppSchema = {};
        ppSchema['PrincipalAccountType'] = 'User';
        ppSchema['ShowUserPresence'] = true;
        ppSchema['SearchPrincipalSource'] = 15;
        ppSchema['ResolvePrincipalSource'] = 15;
        ppSchema['AllowMultipleValues'] = false;
        ppSchema['MaximumEntitySuggestions'] = 50;
        ppSchema['Width'] = '280px';
    var uri = _spPageContextInfo.webAbsoluteUrl + "/_api/SP.UserProfiles.PeopleManager/GetMyProperties";
    getAjax(uri).done(function(user) {         
        // Set the default user by building an array with one user object
        var users = new Array(1);
        var currentUser = new Object();
        currentUser.AutoFillDisplayText = user.DisplayName;
        currentUser.AutoFillKey = user.AccountName;
        currentUser.Description = user.Email;
        currentUser.DisplayText = user.DisplayName;
        currentUser.EntityType = "User";
        currentUser.IsResolved = true;
        currentUser.Key = user.AccountName;
        currentUser.Resolved = true;
        users[0] = currentUser;         // Render and initialize the picker
        SPClientPeoplePicker_InitStandaloneControlWrapper(peoplePickerElementId, users, ppSchema);
and then from the custom rendering function for the user field I passed the schema associated with the field through:
function efTaskOwner(ctx) {
    var retVal = '<div id="TaskOwnerDiv">';
    retVal += initDefaultPeoplePicker(ctx.CurrentItem["TaskOwner"], 'TaskOwnerDiv', tx.CurrentFieldSchema)
    retVal += '</div><span class="etmRequiredField"></span>';     
    return retVal;

    Julie has been building software on primarily the Microsoft platform for over 20 years. With a degree in Electrical Engineering specializing in microprocessor system design from Worcester Polytechnic Institute she came at software initially from a very low level but quickly realized a love and aptitude for developing rich user experiences and solutions. She worked her way up through internal IT ranks reaching a Director of IT position before realizing more impact could be made in consulting and really focused in on the SharePoint platform in 2007. Since then her focus has been on the SharePoint platform, Office 365, Azure, and client side development. She's the co-author of the Widget Wrangler JavaScript library and continues to try and help innovate SharePoint and Office 365 solutions for her clients. She is a 2017 recipient of the Microsoft MVP award for Office Servers and Services.

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