I am working on a solution that will get data from a web service (third party) and create a list in SharePoint Online (Office 365 E3 subscription). Then use a column from that list as a lookup column for another list. The reason for this is to allow updates on the third party data source to update the list in Office 365.

Using SPD 2013, I created that external content type then created the list. However, due to the limitations on BCS (which I just learned after googling it) that the only thing I can use from this column is the ID column.

Has anyone found a work around on the matter? I was thinking of just creating a list app then load the BCS data to it. My problem will be how to update the list every so often.

My ECT source is a web service provided by a third party. I am able to access the external web service, get the data and load it to a list. I then created a lookup field on another list. So when I open that other list and add an item in the lookup field, I get a "No exact match was found. Click the item(s) that did not resolve for more options. You can also use Select button to choose External Data."

When I open the ECT list, I see all the values that I want to use. But when I try to edit an item, I see no value.

1 Answer 1


Lookup is not the approach to use this. If it is a matter of referencing, you do not need an external list at all. You can use the External Data column option when you are creating the list column. There you can select the external content type and figure out what are the columns need to appear there.

Refer the attached image.

enter image description here

  • Hi Malin. Thank you for the response. There was a reason for the list. I also tried doing that and still got the same result, "No exact match found". Cheers.
    – Robert
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 6:25
  • Are you sure your BCS is running and External Content Type is properly configured using SPD. Creating the list does not confirm the ECT is correct. Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 6:54
  • Yes, I am sure. I read from a blog that the only field that can be used on a bcs lookup is the id field. Anyways came across an entry in a forum (social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/…) that may be a solution to my problem. That is to create a custom code to access the bcs field. Cheers.
    – Robert
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 21:49

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