Karine Bosch’s Blog

On SharePoint

Creating fields using CSOM in SharePoint 2013

Recently I had a reader who asked how to to configure a calculated default value like “=YEAR([Today])”. This is not possible within one field as you cannot use [Today] or [Now] within the formula of a calculated field. The only way to solve this is to create 2 columns:

  • A DateTime field with default value Today. You can set this to hidden if you don’t want your users to see it.
  • A calculated field that outputs the year of your DateTime field.

Here is the code snippet:

private static void CreateCalculatedFieldBasedOnToday(ClientContext context)
     Web web = context.Web;
     List list = web.Lists.GetByTitle("CSOMFields");

     // Create a DateTime field that yields to Today
     string schemaTodaysDate = "<Field ID='{297B3AA2-85AD-408D-8346-0B64721C8090}' Type='DateTime' Name='TodaysDate' StaticName='TodaysDate' DisplayName='TodaysDate' Format='DateOnly' Hidden='FALSE' >"
           + "<Default>[Today]</Default></Field>";
     Field todaysDateField = list.Fields.AddFieldAsXml(schemaTodaysDate, true, AddFieldOptions.AddFieldInternalNameHint);

     // Create a Calculated field that displays the Year of the Today field
     string formula = "<Formula>=YEAR(TodaysDate)</Formula>";
     string schemaCalculatedField = "<Field ID='{446A6933-1751-474D-A407-9EE0250C708B}' Type='Calculated' Name='TodaysYear' StaticName='TodaysYear' DisplayName='Todays Year' ResultType='Number' Decimals='0' Required='TRUE' ReadOnly='TRUE'>" + formula + "</Field>";
     Field calculatedField = list.Fields.AddFieldAsXml(schemaCalculatedField, true, AddFieldOptions.AddFieldInternalNameHint);

Update: Steve Moucheron sent me his code snippet in which he solves in one go:

string fieldXml = "<Field DisplayName='Year' Type='Text'>"
   + "<DefaultFormula>=CONCATENATE(YEAR(Today))</DefaultFormula>"
   + "</Field>";
Field field = list.Fields.AddFieldAsXml(fieldXml, true, 

Read more on creating fields using CSOM.

January 13, 2017 Posted by | CSOM, SharePoint Online | Leave a comment

Creating fields using CSOM in SharePoint 2013

Recently, I was working on a project where we wanted to create SharePoint fields using the .NET client object model (CSOM). You can easily find examples on the internet on how to create a text field, but we had a lot of trouble to find out how to create a calculated field.

Calculated fields can be created in a number of flavors. The following code snippet generates a calculated field that will show employee data as follows:

Karine Bosch (id 82176)

string formula = "<Formula>=FirstName&amp; \" \" &amp;LastName&amp; \" (id: \" &amp;EmployeeID&amp; \" \"</Formula>"
      + "<FieldRefs>"
      + "<FieldRef Name='FirstName' />"
      + "<FieldRef Name='LastName' />"
      + "<FieldRef Name='EmployeeID' />"
      + "</FieldRefs>";

string schemaCalculatedField = "<Field ID='<GUID>' Type='Calculated' Name='FullName' StaticName='FullName' 
   DisplayName='Full Name' ResultType='Text' Required='TRUE' ReadOnly='TRUE'>" + formula + "</Field>";
Field fullNameField = demoList.Fields.AddFieldAsXml(schemaCalculatedField, true, AddFieldOptions.AddInternalNameHint);

You can read more on how to create other type of fields using CSOM here.


To learn how to provision a calculated field, I created this type of field in a blank site through the UI of SharePoint. Then I saved the site as template. This saves the site as a .wsp and stores it in the Solution gallery. From there you can download it and import it in Visual Studio.

Import wsp

Once the .wsp imported, you will notice that all fields, content types, list instances and other elements that make up your site are translated into CAML and features:

Import wsp 2

Click on the elements.xml in the Fields folder to see the definition of all fields.


May 14, 2015 Posted by | CSOM, SharePoint 2013 | Leave a comment