Take the 2-minute tour ×
SharePoint Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for SharePoint enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.


I'm developing a workflow solution for my customer. They have an existing SharePoint 2010 farm, with three custom lists. The lists contain about two dozen fields and allow files to be attached to the list items. The data in the lists is not properly normalized. However, I need the data from all three lists to support the workflow and it associated forms. The workflow will be placed in a different SharePoint 2010 farm. The customer could migrate their existing site collection to the new farm (and probably will, if the final product is good enough).


To ease workflow and form development, I need to normalize the data in the three lists. At a minimum, I need the three lists UNION'ed into one list. The list definitions differ only due to minor typos during creation and subsequent maintenance. The data really belongs in a single list with a column to encode the information currently implicit with separate lists.

I would like to normalize the existing data, provide a utility to migrate the existing data into the normalized data store, and then ensure the customer can maintain the data going forward. But my most important mission is to provide data for the workflow and its forms.


Though the quantity of fields and records should not cause any problems, two of the three lists are too large to export as list templates with data (I receive errors when trying to save the lists as templates). The site is also too large to export as a site template (again, I receive an error that it is too large). I'm pretty sure the size is due to most list items having one or more attached files (some have no attachments, most have one, a few have two or more).


Though I have site collection administrator permissions on the existing site, I do not have, nor do I expect to receive access to Central Admin or any greater rights. With the large size and limited access rights, how can I export the existing list definitions for use in Visual Studio?

Follow on question:

Any suggestions for migrating the existing data into a properly normalized list or set of lists? I was hoping to place the data in MS Access and use it's tools to help analyze it for better normalization, but Access is unable to load the largest list (and thus the most useful chunk of data) for such analysis.

share|improve this question
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.