I know very little about Web Services except how to consume them in Visual Studio and push that consumption into a Database table. So if this question does not make sense, please help me correct it.

Basically, I am looking to be able to use a list within my SharePoint 2013 locally hosted site, and create a web-service that can be consumer from outside clients. We have a client who would like to be able to directly connect to our list on our site, and use the data within that list on their site, seamlessly.

On their site, they will have clients looking for data within my list through a proprietary tool they have built. The clients would use one prompt, like 'Member ID' to be able to identify which record they need to look at.

How can this be done. As much step by step information is needed as this is very new to me. Thank you

2 Answers 2


Main issue (and not easy) is you need to authenticate to get into you locally hosted site.

These will get you started, but be sure to Google, lots of changes/additions in the past year

For SharePoint Online it is lot easier (from a PHP or Python env.):

  • I may be responding in ignorance, but my site is locally hosted, so I don't believe we have Azure. Is there any other way to do this except through Azure? Or is there something I am missing? When I say I need as much instructions as possible, I mean EVERYTHING :) Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 4:39
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    See Vaneets answer, you need something to open the door... Maybe even a better metaphore.. you need to create a door. And just like your house, if you don't know how to do that, hire someone who can Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 7:46
  • We have in house IT. What phrase could I say to them to get them to understand what needs to be done, or on the right track? Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 8:14
  • Ah! You are not in IT !.... If they are good at Governance they won't allow it, as it is a potential security breach (because that door would be under your control now and they can't control access any longer) Think the other way around, publish your content to the web. Instead of adding a door to your company, create a (one way) window and throw content out.. Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 9:32

SharePoint provides you with List.asmx web service out of the box. The web reference URL is http:///_vti_bin/Lists.asmx. However, a better way would be to use the REST API to connect to the list and get the required data. SharePoint 2013 has enhanced REST APIs that you can leverage. Detailed explanation can be found here.

As precisely pointed out by Danny, you need to look at the authentication aspect while making REST calls to GET/POST the data to the SharePoint list.

  • When looking at the http:///_vti_bin/Lists.asmx Web Service you posted, there is a list of options. Within this list there is an option called 'GetListAndView'. Will this give me all items entered into the list I select? If not, are there any operations from this list that do this? Also, it asks for a string for both listname and viewname. Are these GUID, or a static name? Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 19:39
  • I got this response from our client when trying what I mentioned in my comment above. He is using the static names of the list and view for the GetListAndView operation: "I'm using a basic auth Header to try and authenticate my initial request, but the server rejects my request with a 401 Unauthorized status code. I have no problem logging into the service via a browser, but when I try to programmatically access (via ruby/php), I'm unable to determine the correct auth scheme" Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 4:46
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    I think you would need to get access token first before pass it as part of header while making the REST calls. msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dn198245.aspx Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 9:25

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