I have an existing Asp.Net solution which stores data into SQL Server 2008 database.

I would like to reference that SQL server data in SharePoint Online list. What would be the best way to do it?

One solution I was thinking of implementing was

  • Create a SQL Azure database and make my Asp.Net application write data into the Azure database.

  • Reference that Azure database information as External content type data in SharePoint Online.

I want to find out what are the alternative solutions and their advantages.

4 Answers 4


This recommended way you can access SQL server data in Sharepoint online out-of-the-box Using BCS.

http://community.office365.com/en-us/f/148/t/178875.aspx http://technet.microsoft.com/library/jj943762.aspx

The other solution would be using 3rd party tools and connectors.


  • thank you, I am mainly looking for connecting to local sql server database and not Azure database. We dont have license for Azure cloud services
    – Daniel
    Jun 22, 2014 at 14:12
  • So the third party solution would work for you. Or you have to write your own custom solution using CSOM to syn data between these two.
    – Aanchal
    Jun 22, 2014 at 16:19
  • thank you Aanchal, Layer2 seems like a good product, I will try it out.
    – Daniel
    Jun 25, 2014 at 19:14

Another possible option is a remote event handler: Create a provider hosted app where the remote event handler is hosted on an on-prem server and the app portion is deployed to SP Online. So, if someone adds/changes a list item, the remote event handler will be called, and it could modify the list item with data from an internal database.

Though, I said "possible" because, while MS definitely states that this scenario is possible, there is no documentation that I can find that shows how to configure it, or how authentication/security would work for the remote event handler.

  • Thank you Mike, that is interesting. I think I will probably use this idea sometime in future. I am mainly looking for getting the information from local sql server(not azure ) to SharePoint Online.
    – Daniel
    Jun 22, 2014 at 14:25
  • According to MS, a provider hosted app can be hosted on your hardware. So, it could be used to work with an on-premise SQL database. But again, I said "possible", because while this seems like it would be a simple solution, MS provides no details on how to actually configure this.
    – Mike2500
    Jun 23, 2014 at 11:06

You need to configure Business Connectivity Services for your SharePoint online.

Please refer the following URL.


  • Thank you, Can you connect BCS to On premise SQL server.
    – Daniel
    Jun 22, 2014 at 14:22
  • Yes you can also configure BCS for your on premise SQL Server Jun 24, 2014 at 18:24


Writing a Rest service can do the job. Thank you all for your guidance.

  • Hi Nate, You mentioned a Rest service can do the job can you please elaborate maybe it can help me? Thanks in Advance
    – naijacoder
    Jan 12, 2015 at 6:59

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