Export Import Content Types In SharePoint Online Using PowerShell

In this blog, we will learn how to export and import Content Type in SharePoint Online using PowerShell CSOM.

In SharePoint, we have lists and libraries for collaboration purposes. The lists and libraries contain a huge number of columns.

For better understanding and reusability, these are grouped in content types.

Content types are, hence, reusable collections of metadata which can be attached to any list or library. They help us to organize and handle the data in a better and more efficient way.

There are 2 types of content types.

  • Site Content types
    This is present in the root level of the site which can be used by subsequent subsites and lists/ libraries.

  • List Content types
    These are associated with lists and libraries and are a subset of site content types.

Let's take an example where content types are required.

Suppose, we have an Employee site which contains list like EmployeeData, HREmployeeData, FinanceEmployeeData, EmployeeDocuments, HRDocuments.

In this case, as we can see for EmployeeData and HR EmployeeData, we can have similar columns related to employees (For example, Firstname, Lastname, Ph Number, Address). So, here there are 2 possibilities.

  • We can either create a parent content type as Employee(which contains basic Employee details). Then, create HREMPContenttype and EMPContentype which will inherit from Employee.
  • Or, we can create a content type Employee and add that in the 2 lists. Then, add additional columns for the respective list.

Same goes for documents as well.

Now comes a situation where we need the same content types or a few of them in a separate site.

In on-premise, we have a content type hub for publishing the content type to be used across multiple locations. But, in SP Online we do not have the feature.

There is an option to export and import content type.

In the below PowerShell CSOM code, we can export the content type in XML file and use in the respective sites as required.

  1. //We need to refer to the DLLs first,  
  2. Add - Type - Path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll"  
  3. Add - Type - Path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll"  
  4. $URL = Read - Host - Prompt "Enter URL"– - URL of your online site.  
  5. $User = Read - Host - Prompt "Enter User"– - YOUR inline username  
  6. $siteURL = $URL  
  7. $userId = $User  
  8. $pwd = Read - Host - Prompt "Enter password" - AsSecureString--password  
  9. $creds = New - Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($userId, $pwd)  
  10. //Read the SharePoint site content  
  11. $ctx = New - Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($siteURL)  
  12. $ctx.credentials = $creds  
  13. try {  
  14.     $OutPutLocation = "C:\Powershell"–  
  15.     Give your respective file location to store xml files  
  16.     $web = $ctx.Web  
  17.     $contenttypes = $web.ContentTypes;  
  18.     --This line gives the content types presemt in the site.  
  19.     $fileName = [System.IO.Path]::Combine($OutPutLocation, "content-types.xml")  
  20.     Write - Host "Starting content type export to $fileName" - ForegroundColor Green  
  21.     $ctx.load($contenttypes)  
  22.     $ctx.executeQuery()  
  23.     $GroupName = "Discussion"  
  24.     //Here it iterates through all content types and store the data in xml file  
  25.     $contenttypes | ForEach - Object {  
  26.         #if ($_.Group - eq $GroupName) {  
  27.             Write - Host - ForegroundColor Blue $_.Name  
  28.             Add - Content $fileName $_.SchemaXml  
  29.             #  
  30.         }  
  31.     }  
  32.     Add - Content $fileName "</ContentTypes>"  
  33. catch {  
  34.     write - host "$($_.Exception.Message)" - foregroundcolor red  
  35. }  

Please store the DLLs in respective ISAPI folder before proceeding with the code.

Similarly, we can import the respective content types to a destination site collection using the below script.
  1. Add - Type - Path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll"  
  2. Add - Type - Path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll"  
  3. $xmlFilePath = "C:\powershell\content-types.xml"  
  4. $URL = Read - Host - Prompt "Enter URL"  
  5. $User = Read - Host - Prompt "Enter User"  
  6. $siteURL = $URL  
  7. $userId = $User  
  8. $pwd = Read - Host - Prompt "Enter password" - AsSecureString  
  9. $creds = New - Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($userId, $pwd)  
  10. $ctx = New - Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($siteURL)  
  11. $ctx.credentials = $creds  
  12. $destWeb = $ctx.Web  
  13. $ctx.executeQuery()  
  14. $ctsXML = [xml](Get - Content($xmlFilePath))  
  15. # get content types from xml path  
  16. $ctsXML.ContentTypes.ContentType | ForEach - Object {  
  17.     $SPContentType = New - Object Microsoft.SharePoint.SPContentType($_.ID, $destWeb.ContentTypes, $_.Name)  
  18.     $SPContentType.Group = $_.Group  
  19.     # loop through each content type and add them.  
  20.     $_.Fields.Field | ForEach - Object {  
  21.         if (!$spContentType.FieldLinks[$_.DisplayName]) {  
  22.             #Create a field link  
  23.             for the Content Type by getting an existing column  
  24.             $spFieldLink = New - Object Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFieldLink($destWeb.Fields[$_.DisplayName])  
  25.             # Check to see  
  26.             if column should be Optional, Required or Hidden  
  27.             if ($_.Required - eq "TRUE") {  
  28.                 $spFieldLink.Required = $true  
  29.             }  
  30.             if ($_.Hidden - eq "TRUE") {  
  31.                 $spFieldLink.Hidden = $true  
  32.             }  
  33.           #Add column to Content Type  
  34.             $spContentType.FieldLinks.Add($spFieldLink)  
  35.         }  
  36.     }  
  37.     #Create Content Type on the site and update Content Type object  
  38.     $ct = $destWeb.ContentTypes.Add($spContentType)  
  39.     $spContentType.Update()  
  40.     write - host "Content type"  
  41.     $ct.Name "has been created"  
  42. }  
  43. $destWeb.Dispose()