In this tutorial will be show you how to create a list using SharePoint that will add automated barcodes to inventory items and an Inventory ID that is automatically generated which matches the barcode. I hope to create a followup article that will show how to create an app using Microsoft PowerApps that allows users to add new items to an inventory list and search the list by text or by barcode but for now let’s just build a list that allows us to track inventory items.

Needed to complete this task:

  • Office 365
  • Microsoft SharePoint in Office 365 (updated December 2016)
  • Microsoft PowerApps

Step 1: Build your list

It is a good idea to map out your list or think about what kind of information you want to track in your inventory. For this list we are going to create a basic inventory list with just the Local Name, A generated 10 digit Inventory ID number, Item Description, Serial Number, and Date Item Received. You can create your own list for your needs but this gives you a basic idea.

Sign into your Office 365 account. Click on the SharePoint App. If you have not created your site yet you can use the builder to start your basic site or use a tutorial to get going. Once in your site, go to Site Contents either through the menu or by clicking on the  gear in the upper right corner and then clicking Site Contents. Once you have done so click New List. This will prompt you to give your list a name and a description. I will name this list Sample Inventory.

We now have our list. We need to fill it with columns (think excel columns) that will contain our inventory information.

My columns are:

  • Local Name, Single line of Text
  • Details, Single line of Text
  • Serial Number, Single line of Text
  • Date Item Received, Date
  • Inventory ID number this is to be added later! Do not add at this time!!!

Now after you have added all your columns (as many as you need) you need to add the barcode which will eventually give us our inventory ID number.

Step 2: Add Barcodes to SharePoint list

To do this click on the settings  gear in the upper right corner >> click on Site Settings then click on >> Site content types

Now we need to create a new content type do this by clicking >> Create. Now a screen will appear that will prompt you to create your content type. Name your content something make sure you select List Content Types and Item and click >> OK.

Now that your new content type is created we need to allow it to add barcodes. Once you hit OK you will be redirected to the Site Content Types > Site Content Type screen. Click >> Information management policy settings

Scroll down and check Enable Barcodes then click >> OK

Step 3: Finalize SharePoint list settings

Now we need to get back to our list and to the list settings. For this we are going to click >>  the settings gear in the upper right corner and select >> Site Contents. This will give us a list of all our site contents. Find your list (mine is called Sample Inventory) and click on the three dots that appear when you hover. Click >> Settings. (You can also just navigate to your list from the menu and then click >>  settings in the upper right corner and select >> List Settings)

Once you are in your list settings click >> Advanced Settings >> Enable content types by clicking Allow management of content types to Yes then scroll all the way down and click >> OK 

Once you hit OK you will return to the List Settings page. Here you will now need to add the content type you just created to the list. Do this by clicking >> Add from existing site content types.

Then select Custom Content Types from the dropdown menu click on your new content type (mine is Inventory Barcodes) and click >> Add> then click >> OK 

Now we need to make is so that when you fill out your form you get the barcode item by default. So from your list settings under Content Types click >> Change new button order and default content type

Then uncheck the box next to Item and change the position to 2. Make sure the box next to your new Inventory Barcodes is checked and the position is 1 then click >> OK

You will now need to go back under the Content Types and click >> Inventory Barcodes to access the settings for that content type.

Then from the drop down select List Columns. Click on all of the column names you created back in step one for this list under Available columns: and add them using the Add button then click >> OK

Now, you will be back in your list settings and if you scroll down you will see your Columns that you created before and a section titled Views. You will need to click >> All Items and scroll down until you find Barcode and Barcode ValueCheck the box next to each. You should also have all of your other columns selected. If you want to change their order this is where you do that. I also like to move my Barcode Value to 1 which changes where it is in the view. Scroll to the bottom and click >> OK

Now we are almost set. Access your list from the site menu or from Site Contents. Click >> Quick Edit on the top and change Barcode Value to Inventory Id by hovering over Barcode Value and then clicking on the down arrow you also will want to do this for Title and then rename it to Item Name (or whatever you want to call it).

Hit Done when you are finished and then click +New to add new items to your inventory!

If you want you can stop here. If you want to use a power app to give you even better inventory management!

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