I've explored lookup columns, managed meta column, and external datatypes, and I'm either not understanding them, or I haven't found what I'm looking to do, so I'm hoping I can describe my goal and someone can point me in the best direction.

I want to add a column to an existing document library with information from a separate database. That information is based on the value of the data in an existing folder name within the library.

Specifically what we have is a document library that has many folders in it, one for each of our customers. That folder's name is the customer's ID, which is generally a numeric value. We would like to add a column in that library that displays the user-friendly name of the customer. This column is informational only.

So for each row of that library we would like some mechanism that looks at the customer ID column, and uses that to look up the customer name from an external database table (sql server).

Can someone point me in the best direction to take? I can do coding as well if that's what is required. Thanks for any help.

1 Answer 1

  1. Using SharePoint Business Connectivity Services(BCS) , set up external content types from the SQL Server to create the lookup table (cust id, friendly name) . To setup bcs in your list - SettingUp BCS
  2. Now you use that list to setup a lookup column in your document library.
  • Thanks Mp Arvind, I have the 1st step down, the problem I'm experiencing now is the lookup column doesn't seem to be what I'm looking for. The lookup column seems to require user input. So the user essentially looks up the data from the other list and selects it, but I was hoping that sharepoint could somehow automatically use the ID column to lookup the name from the other list. Been Googling how I might do that but I haven't had any luck. Sorry if I'm not understanding your meaning.
    – Ken
    Mar 15, 2016 at 19:13

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