Lists.asmx, GetListItems and Folders

I was doing some research for someone today around the list.asmx web service provided as part of SharePoint 2010 (and earlier).  She was able to get the list items at the root folder (including the names of sub-folders), but couldn’t get items in sub-folders.  I did some looking around on the internets and it’s a surprisingly common question.  Yet, I couldn’t get a good answer to the simple question, “if I know the folder, how do I get the items in the folder?”  To be honest, I didn’t try all that hard since I’ve wanted to figure this one out on my own for a while Smile.

To set this up, I created a site named “Blogging Scenarios” and a custom list named “Custom List with Sub Folders”.  I then created folders named:

  • Year 2005
  • Year 2006
  • Year 2007

I added a few items to the folder “Year 2006”.  This is what it looks like:


My friend isn’t writing C# code but rather using Java, so the SOAP envelope was what she really needed.  To get that, I wrote a bit of jQuery and then used fiddler to get the actual HTTP conversation.

Here’s the relevant jQuery (I copied the code down below if you want to copy/paste):


They first key is to include both a <queryOptions> and <QueryOptions> node.  The second key is that the <Folder> node is a URL to which the client has access.

There may be other ways to get this, but this worked well for me when using jQuery.

Here is the SOAP envelope for the above:

<soapenv:Envelope xmlns:soapenv=’’>                
    <GetListItems xmlns=’’>
      <listName>Custom List with Sub Folders</listName>
          <FieldRef Name=’Title’ />
          <FieldRef Name=’EncodedAbsUrl’ />
http://demoserver1/Blogging Scenarios/lists/Custom List with Sub Folders/Year 2006</Folder>

A lot of examples and discussion around this led me to believe that all I need was <QueryOptions> and specify a folder name.  For me, I need to both wrap it inside <queryOptions> as well as specify a fully qualified URL for the <Folder> node.

Here’s the jQuery AJAX setup:

$(document).ready(function() {
       var soapEnv =
           "<soapenv:Envelope xmlns:soapenv=’’> \
               <soapenv:Body> \
                    <GetListItems xmlns=’’> \
                       <listName>Custom List with Sub Folders</listName> \
                       <viewFields> \
                           <ViewFields> \
                              <FieldRef Name=’Title’ /> \
                              <FieldRef Name=’EncodedAbsUrl’ /> \
                          </ViewFields> \
                       </viewFields> \
                       <queryOptions> \
                         <QueryOptions> \
                           <Folder>http://demoserver1/Blogging Scenarios/lists/Custom List with Sub Folders/Year 2006</Folder> \
                         </QueryOptions> \
                       </queryOptions> \
                   </GetListItems> \
               </soapenv:Body> \


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6 thoughts on “Lists.asmx, GetListItems and Folders

  1. Daniel


    I am trying to display the documents under a specific folder using a SPD 2010 DataSource GetListItems

    Once I connect to to my web service and enter the guid for the document library
    I can modify the QueryOptions and enter the following piece of CAML
    Compliance Training\CompanyX.

    Only this does not return any results – removing the QueryOptions parameter returns all the documents in the root document library….

    Am I looking at passing some sort of view parameter and include the view guid.

    1. Paul Galvin Post author

      This is a very old post/comment so sorry for never replying. I assume you long since figured out how to proceed.

  2. Bob Bolton

    Ok, looks like it stripped out the xml… just replace the pound signs below with chevrons.

    #ViewAttributes Scope=’RecursiveAll’/#

  3. Doug

    Thanks a bunch for this post, Paul. I’ve been trying to consume GetListItems via ColdFusion cfhttp, and couldn’t get the envelope right. Eventually came across this post, and your example worked flawlessly. Thanks again.

  4. Doug

    BTW – do you know of a resource that lists all the proper soap envelopes? The one for GetList Items published on doesn’t match your here…


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