The Data View Web Part is sort of the Swiss-army knife of displaying data in SharePoint. It’s an Out-of-Box web part, and while it is typically focussed on showing items from a single list, it is capable of showing data from merged lists.
Here’s an example of a Data View Web Part showing the same data as our examples from the Content Query Web Part
It’s advantages are:
- Can show a view with user defined filtering, grouping and sorting.
- Has pagination of results
- Showing extra columns of data is easy to add
- Can filter the results by Content Type, or Metadata field values
- Cheap (Out-of-box)
- Designing the view is easy
It’s disadvantages are:
- Requires SharePoint Designer – and therefore a suitably technical user
- Can only query and merge results from a fixed set of sites – there is no ‘All Site collection’ or ‘This site and subsites option’
- Limited by site collection boundary
In Short: Flexible in the views it presents, but it’s actual ability to roll up data is limited and could require constant maintenance. Requires someone fairly technical with SharePoint Designer to set view up.