Since SharePoint Online doesn't support custom timer jobs, what can we use in it's place?

For a previous on-prem solution, we had a timer job that ran during the night that would iterate through items in a list and perform various actions on them.

How can we achieve this with SharePoint online?

  • Port it to a console application and schedule it via task scheduler like @Evariste says, best way we've found to date. Feb 8, 2016 at 15:39

2 Answers 2


Arf, that's exactly why I 100% prefer on-prem SharePoint!
In your situation, in all cases, you'll have to setup and maintain another server. Your options are:

  • Create a Windows Service hosted on a third-part server. You can write in C# and leverage the client-side .NET API of SharePoint.
  • Create a Console application, still hosted on a third-part server. You can also use the .NET client API of SharePoint. Schedule it with the Windows Task Scheduler.

In both cases, you'll have to configure credentials used by the tool to logon SharePoint. All actions will be done as this identity (no SystemUpdate, no elevation of privileges, etc.)

  • Thanks for your reply. I was thinking I would have to go down the Windows Task Schedule / Console App route alright, but thought it was worth asking to see if there was another way around it.
    – Ray Hogan
    Feb 8, 2016 at 15:44
  • Unfortunately no, AFAIK. SharePoint Online is all about "no code on the server" when it comes to customization. So the question is actually simple: no code on the server means you have to host it elsewhere. It therefore means you 1. have to use the client API and 2. host the code on a third-party server. Up to you to choose then the (non-SharePoint) scheduling technology.
    – Evariste
    Feb 8, 2016 at 15:46
  • 2
    That third party server could be anywhere too, on prem, or in Azure (preferably in the same region as your SPO tenant). Feb 8, 2016 at 15:54

I haven't done this but based on my discussions with people I respect in the community I think Azure WebJobs are the way to go. Here are a couple resources that will help you get started.

SharePoint Timer Jobs running as Windows Azure Web Jobs

Getting Started with building Azure WebJobs ("Timer Jobs") for your Office 365 sites

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