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If you’ve read much of my blog in the past, you know that I’m a big fan of the Data View Web Part (DVWP). It’s my tool of choice in many cases to customize display of content from lists.
Many people are more aware of the Content Query Web Part (CQWP) because it can be added and manipulated within the SharePoint UI rather than needing to use SharePoint Designer. CQWPs also offer the advantage that they can show content from across a set of sites that meet various criteria, something that DVWPs can’t do.
So, with DVWPs, you get easy manipulation of the display (using SharePoint Designer), but only from a single list (or several if you can connect them), and with CQWPs, you get the ability to show content from across the Site Collection, but you have little formatting freedom.
There’s a new article (with a video) at MSDN that explains the basics of how you can expand the CQWP functionality to get more control over the display formatting. Check it out at:
Thanks to Joel Krist at Akona Systems for a great explanation.
UPDATE 2009-05-08: Wow. Sometimes I end up back at one of my old blog posts and I have to say “Wow”. My points about DVWPs here are fundamentally wrong, as DVWPs can quite easily show items from across the Site Collection using the Crosslist DataSourceMode. Search for “Crosslist” to see my more recent posts on this.