I have an existing SharePoint custom list with various columns. I require an additional column that is a lookup to a list in another site collection which I'm aware is not possible OOTB. How can I achieve this? After searching the web I have only seen options to get information from another site collection and put it in a web part, but I need the lookup to be a list column.

I'm aware this will likely require some form of customizations / custom code - please go easy on me with easy to follow instructions as I've never delved into customizations before.

I'm using SharePoint 2013.

2 Answers 2


Have you looked at utilizing the content type hub feature? This capability tied to the Managed Metadata service allows you to identify a site as a publishing hub that then sends its published content types and respective columns to all sites that subscribe to it. You could ultimately switch your lookup column to a simpler type (I.e. choice) or you could avoid all of this together if you chose to store your values directly in the global term store that is available to all sites. Both the content type hub and global term store are solid choices to centralize a list of options that should be consistent across all sites. Please feel free to let me know if this is of interest to you, but you're not quite sure how to tackle, as I'm happy to assist.

Cheers, Matt


I've addressed similar situations creating External Content Types that populate my external lists from another sources (another site, another application and even another databases) that means that you need to have de BCS Service running and to develop a little visual studio solution to define which columns will be synced, you will need SP Designer too.

Start Here: External content types in SharePoint 2013

  • When using SPD2013, selecting External Content Types and attempting to add a connection I haven't found a way for a .NET Type, SQL Server or WCF Service to work to connect to a SharePoint list. I have no experience with Visual Studio, I tried creating a new SharePoint project, but as I'd installed Visual Studio 2012 on my local machine I received an error message that VS couldn't find SharePoint Server (I wasn't expecting to have to install VS on the server). I also researched using Content Search Web Parts but didn't see how they could be utilised as a lookup column in a list Jun 17, 2016 at 14:33
  • 1
    Just to clarify, my situation is that I have a list at IntranetA/Services which has a column called "Service Name" and I need that column to become available as a lookup column in the following list: IntranetB/Products whereby IntranetA and IntranetB are different site collections. Jun 17, 2016 at 15:52

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