Extending SharePoint Lists Without InfoPath, Part 2: Bamboo Column Level Security

This is a continuation of the Bamboo Custom Column blog series. Today we will discuss how to protect data stored in lists and libraries utilizing Bamboo Column Level Security. This Custom Column encrypts text, numbers, and currency, allowing only users designated the list owner to see and/or modify the content of the column.

To begin, we will create a new column. Within the List Ribbon, select Create Column within the Manage Views grouping.  You can also create columns going to List Settings and selecting Add a column in the Columns section of the settings window.


In the Create Column configuration pane, provide a column name (in this example, I created a column called BambooSecurityText) and select the data type Bamboo Column Level Security:


Notice that a new set of options will appear in the Additional Column Settings section of the screen. The first setting is used to define the type of column you want users to work with. You can select from:

  • Text – Allows any character to be inputted.
  • Number – Only allows numerical value.
  • Currency – Only allows numerical value.

Since you are creating this column and not modifying an existing column, you have the additional option to copy content from an existing column. This is very beneficial if you want existing data to now be protected. Upon selecting a column and saving the settings, the data is immediately copied from the selected column to the new Bamboo Column Level Security column. NOTE: You can only copy values of the same type. This means you can only copy columns of type Single Line of Text if the Type is set to Text, Number for Number, and Currency for Currency.


The next group of settings define who can View and Edit the content of the column. Before we talk about these settings, let’s talk about what Read and Edit access actually means.  

Read access: Specify which users can read. This option defines which users can view the contents of the column in the item’s display form.

Edit access: Specify which users can edit. This option is used to specify users who can edit the contents of the column. Users selected in this setting automatically have the rights to view the column contents as well.

In both settings, you can either enter an individual user name or a SharePoint Group. Also, if you want to grant everyone rights to, for example, view the contents, you can simply select the option All Users:


After successfully configuring the column, the user experience will be as follows.

New and Edit Form, if the user has been granted the rights to edit the contents of the column, this field will display the content and the user can enter or modify the content:


If the user was not granted the rights to Edit the content, this field is disabled. If they have Read access, the content is displayed:


But if they do not have Write or Read access, they will only see asterisks:


Display Form, the last form is the display form. If a user has either Write or Read access, they will see the content of the field:


But if a user does not have either, they will just see asterisks:


Note on List Views: There is a current limitation where no matter what permission you have (Write or Read), you will see just asterisks instead of the column value.


Read our entire series dedicated to Bamboo Custom Columns:

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