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23.8.13

Scopes in a CAML Query

I have been working for quite a while now with CAML queries and the scope is always something very important to bear in mind. How many times my queries returned nothing when I was sure they should bring back something…

Basically we have two modifiers Recursive and All and nothing, could we call nothing a modifier? All will bring back folders and files. Recursive will repeat the query in all the folders under the one we are working with.

If you don’t set the scope to All it will only bring files. If you don’t set it to recursive it will only retrieve items from the folder you are at. There are not that many variants so let’s make an example of each.

Let’s imagine we have a SharePoint folder like this one and we want to query it:

CamlScopeTreeSample

I am not good at paint, I know but what I want to show here is a tree where we have a Root folder (the root of the queries) and two sub-folders with files. For each scope possible I’ll highlight what you can expect to retrieve.

Just before we start, allow me to remind you that the scope is set in the property ViewAttributes of the SPQuery item.

To add a bit more of clarity I have also painted the levels:

CamlScopeTreeSampleLevels

The green line marks what’s inside the root folder, the blue line marks the contents of SubFolder1 and the red line SubFolder2.

ViewAttributes left by default:

CamlScopeByDefault
This is just the files under the root folder.

ViewAttributes = "Scope='Recursive'"

CamlScopeRecursive

This means all the files in all the folders.

ViewAttributes = "Scope='All'"

CamlScopeAll

This scope will bring folders and files under root.

ViewAttributes = "Scope='RecursiveAll'"

CamlScopeRecursiveAll

And finally with RecursiveAll you can bring back everything under the root entity.

Good luck with your queries.