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Introduction to Collaborative Application Markup Language (CAML)

Windows SharePoint Services 3

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Collaborative Application Markup Language (CAML) is an XML-based language that is used in Windows SharePoint Services to define the fields and views used sites and lists. CAML is also used to define tables in the Windows SharePoint Services database during site provisioning.


CAML is case-sensitive.

CAML can be used in various ways to customize a SharePoint site, including the following:

  • In script or code that implements members of the Windows SharePoint Services object model, where CAML strings are passed through method parameters, assigned to properties, or returned by methods and properties

  • In SOAP messaging that passes CAML strings to a Windows SharePoint Services Web service to interact remotely with a deployment

  • In front-end site definitions used to instantiate SharePoint sites

  • In Windows SharePoint Services Features to add specific functionality within a particular scope

CAML is used for two types of rendering in Windows SharePoint Services: to define the type of data that is contained within a field, and to construct HTML that is displayed in the browser. For information on the two major uses of CAML, see Data-Defining Elements and HTML-Rendering Elements.