I have a custom list for 'Products' in my top site collection, and I have two sub sites where I need to display the same information.

I have copied the Products list as a list template into b oth sub sites, and I can use the copy feature in Content & Structure to copy across data when an item is added or modified.

Any of the 3 lists can be modified by different users/departments I want to add an operation to the lists to automatically update when an item is modified or added. So, adding an item at top level will update the 2 sub site lists, and vice versa.

I am using SharePoint 365 Online. What's the best way to approach this?

I know I can't use an SP Designer workflow as it will not allow site to sub site copy - although I'm aware a custom workflow could be used if built in Visual Studio.

Another option is writing an event receiver in Visual Studio. I'm not sure if this can be written using the free Visual Studio application (VS Community)? And, I have not experience of writing code or using Visual Studio. Any thoughts/help would be much appreciated!

1 Answer 1


I would keep the list at the site collection root and create a site column that looks up to that list. Then the column can be used anywhere in the site collection. You give appropriate users the ability to modify the master list as necessary. One list to maintain and no custom code.

  • Thanks Eric. Yes, this is a good option. However, you lose some functionality using this method - for instance Metadata Navigation will not be available in the sub site lists.
    – Adam
    Mar 17, 2015 at 15:28

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