“Cannot get the list schema column property from the SharePoint list” — description/work-arounds

This week, we finally reproduced a problem that had been reported by a remote user: When she tried to export the contents of a list to excel, things would seem to start working, but then Excel would pop up an error: "Cannot get the list schema column property from the SharePoint list".  She was running office 2003, windows XP and connecting to MOSS. 

I searched the Internets and saw some speculation but nothing 100% definitive.  Hence, this post.

The problem: Exporting a view to excel that contains a date (date = the data type of the column).

What worked for us: Convert the date to a "single line of text".  Then, convert it back to a date.

That solved it.  It was nice to see that the conversion worked, actually.  It was quite nervous that converting things this way would fail, but it did not. 

This bug has thrown a huge shadow over the date data type in the client’s mind, so we’re going to be seeking out a definitive answer from Microsoft and hopefully I’ll post and update here in the next short period of time with their official answer and hotfix information.

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4 thoughts on ““Cannot get the list schema column property from the SharePoint list” — description/work-arounds

  1. CJ Singh

    Thanks. This worked for me as well. However, I had to switch between date/time and single line text multiple times.

  2. David Alexander
    Thanks, its great to find out you are not alone in such matters. I am using a hosted Windows Sharepoint Service 3.0 with Excel 2003 and have exactly the same issue.  My service provider also thought it was something to do with changing a column name as well. What ever the cause this calls into question the integrity of the microsoft platform management features that are meant to make it user friendly e.g. being able to change column names and all views and calculations are adjusted behind the scenes to the new name, it seems there is a bug in the system that does not correctly update schemas where Excel download is concerned.
    The fix you describe about converting it too text is just not practical for an end user system each time someone wants to download, the dates drive many of the views and calculation the users use in the systems we work with.
    I will ask the service provider to try the hotfix
    Thanks again for flagging it
  3. (no name) wrote:
    See KB 941422, Description of the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 post-Service Pack 1 hotfix package: January 31, 2008. It appears to have a fix for this issue, but I have not had a chance to verify.
    From the KB:
    This hotfix package also fixes the following issues that were not previously documented in a Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

    Error message when you try to export a custom list: "Cannot get the list schema column property from the SharePoint list"

    The DATE field requirement is changed in a custom list on a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Web site. If you try to export the custom list to a spreadsheet, Microsoft Excel starts, and a workbook that contains the data does not appear. Additionally, you receive the following error message:

    Cannot get the list schema column property from the SharePoint list.
  4. Corey
    We’ve also seen this issue, and it appears that it’s not just a date column and Office 2k3.  It looks like it’s a date column that’s been renamed.  What we’ve done here is to create a view that doesn’t include the renamed date column and use that to export to Excel 2k3.

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