I have a client that wants to use their network file share as the data source for their document libraries. Is this possible? If it is, will you please explain how?

I have not been able to find a way to do this. I have ideas on how this would work with file pointers, but I foresee major issues with this strategy (management of security).

2 Answers 2


its not going to be easy but doable. You would have to use BCS .NET Connectivity Assembly. This will allow you to display the network share as an external list on sharepoint using a custom connector:


sorry no ootb method. or try third party method:


  • Do you have any experience with Bamboo solutions File Share Library? It looks like it might be worth checking out. My concerns are around security and user experience.
    – rweavere
    Aug 18, 2016 at 13:58
  • i havent used the feature specifically but do know of several companies that do use their features. You can use the trial feature and use it on your dev environment. Security wise i would suggest you contact them on your concerns on what part you might have a concern with. I think they use a mix of .net and custom API's. as for the company they are reputable. As for user experience it should be straight forward like a normal doc library with normal security that you can have on items or folders.
    – Ali Jafer
    Aug 18, 2016 at 14:18
  • My biggest security concerns apply to having multiple layers of security. If my client applies AD security on the file on the server, will it conflict with any security settings inside SharePoint? Thanks for your help.
    – rweavere
    Aug 18, 2016 at 14:29

You can't directly do it. In order for it to be a functioning document library, you have to migrate in the content.

To make the network file share appear as if it is in SharePoint, you'd need to employ a Page Viewer Web Part and point it to your file share.

This can save time in migration efforts, but you lose out on all the great functionality of a native SharePoint document library.

  • As I expected. The purpose of their SharePoint is to manage corporate documents. This pushback from infrastructure if frustrating. Thanks for your response.
    – rweavere
    Aug 18, 2016 at 13:30
  • 1
    Another option might be to configure the network share as a content source for the Sharepoint Search engine. This way the documents will not appear in document libraries, but could be found using the search functionalities and webparts.
    – artokai
    Aug 18, 2016 at 13:47
  • @artokai good point, network files shares can be included as content sources in your search application Aug 18, 2016 at 13:48
  • Using a search web part on the file share wouldn't take user security into account, right? Meaning the user may see a document that comes up in the search, but when they try to open it, it will reject them.
    – rweavere
    Aug 18, 2016 at 13:53
  • @rweavere it should pull in the ACLs of the file share, search would trim out anything they dont have access to Aug 18, 2016 at 14:45

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