Failed to do column assignments for list

Posted: 24th March 2011 in Deployment, Exceptions, Sharepoint 2010
Short one:  A bit of a vague error, “Failed to do column assignments for list”, found in the SharePoint logs after trying to deploy as solution. The solution contained many list definitions, instances and content types and when deployed it was notice that one of the list was missing. I’m sure there could be many reasons for this error as it does seem a bit generic, but in this instance it was caused by either a wrong or a duplicate value being specified in the ColName attribute of a field in the list definition.
ColName Attribute
  1. ColName=nvarchar21 RowOrdinal=0>
This is not an attribute I would add manually, but some of the solution had been reverse engineered from a list. Removing this attribute resolved the problem. SharePoint will assign a value to this itself and is not needed in the XML
  1. Matthew Lamb says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    My list definition had suddenly stopped working even though nothing had changed. I guess behind the scenes SharePoint had reorganised the database or something, and these ColName attributes were a ticking time bomb which promptly went off.
    Removing all the ColName attributes from my list definition got things moving again.

    This cost me most of a day’s work until I picked out the “Failed to do column assignments for list” in the error log and found your blog posting.

  2. […] type of problem have a conflicting value in either the ColName, ID or Name fields. (For instance: failed-to-do-column-assignments-for-list). I have looked through the schema and I have no such conflicting values – all those fields […]

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