Lists And Views – Hidden And Visible
You may want to hide a list from the browser and the first thing you would do is to remove it from the quick launch. But, any one who can see All Site Content will find it easily. This is what SharePoint Designer is good at. Open the site in SPD, go to Lists and Libraries (from Site Objects), select your list and on the properties page, uncheck Show in Quick Launch and check Hide from Browsers. This way, the list will not show even if you try with All Site Content. You can still view the list if you know the url, of course, bit you can’t make it visible from the browser (trying to set it to show in Quick Launch will not stick and you need to go back to SharePoint Designer to undo the change).
For views, you can actually set the Hidden=”TRUE” property once you edit the view page in SPD (the <View Name=”" Type=”" source element). Hidden views are normally associated with web parts. If you turn a normal view (say you went to your list and created a new view) into hidden, you can’t see it even with SharePoint Designer on the properties page of the list. You can, however, ask a web service and sure, you will see hidden lists and views. In fact, SPD uses services to communicate with the SharePoint server.
In the illustration, I connected two xslt views (web parts) together. The first has all the lists in a given site and the second displays the views of the selected list.
Notice that the services retrieves many interesting properties for our lists – those funny GUIDs, item count, default view … etc. You can get some of these from the browser (all site content will give you list item count and you can spot list GUID in the URL), but this view looks handy.
Notice that this may expose some sensitive information, so you should keep the page you use to display this stuff away from public (ex. use special permissions).The services used here are the Lists.asmx and Views.asmx (the old web services). Notice that the ListData.svc does not see External lists (asmx service only sees what the browser does – it reports zero for item count). The actual setup of data sources and web part connection may be the subject of another post.