Difference between List Definition, List Template and List Instance in SharePoint

In this article we will discuss what is List Definition, List Template and List Instance in SharePoint 2010 and What is the difference between List Definition, List Template, and List Instance.

Before check the differences, we should know what is list definition, list template and list instance in SharePoint.

Difference between List Definition, List Template and List Instance in SharePoint

Here are a few differences between list definition, list template and list instance in SharePoint 2010/2013/2016 and SharePoint Online.

List definition in SharePoint

List definition defines the schema of a Sharepoint list. It contains all the metadata information as well as what are the content types, columns used. This also contains about information what views are being used.

We can create a list definition using Visual Studio only.

List Template in SharePoint

List template is a template through which you can create a list instance. You can create a list template by using the SharePoint browser or SharePoint designer.

It contains list columns, site columns, content types, views etc.

List Instance in SharePoint

A List Instance is a single “instance” of a list created from an aforementioned list definition. A List instance can also be instantiated with data.

A list instance is an instance of a specific SharePoint list definition or list template. All of its data is stored in the relevant content database. Typically a list in SharePoint used by end users to enter and view data and it is based on either a list template or list definition.

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Bijay Kumar

I am Bijay from Odisha, India. Currently working in my own venture TSInfo Technologies in Bangalore, India. I am Microsoft Office Servers and Services (SharePoint) MVP (5 times). I works in SharePoint 2016/2013/2010, SharePoint Online Office 365 etc. Check out My MVP Profile.. I also run popular SharePoint web site SPGuides.com

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