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List Instance

Windows SharePoint Services 3

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In Windows SharePoint Services 2.0, you could specify only one set of default data with which to provision a given list type. For example, in the announcements list definition, that data was "Welcome to SharePoint!", and it was not possible to provision two different announcement lists with different data. In Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, list instances can be provisioned independently.

Many applications rely on data storage at the site level to implement their behaviors. A list instance is a predefined list that has a well-known identifier. A list instance can be hidden or visible to end users.


If a list instance is visible, it is possible for an end user to delete the list by mistake. If you deactivate the Feature, the deactivation will succeed even though one of its elements (a list instance), is no longer available.

Possible scopes:

  • Farm: No

  • Web Application: No

  • Site Collection: Yes

  • Web Site: Yes

A list instance scoped for a site collection is provisioned on the top-level Web site. Such list instances are typically used for storing site collection-wide resources such as master pages.

For more information about the file format for list instances, see List Instances.