Are there tools available for importing an Excel file to a SharePoint list so that the importing data would be synchronized based on specified field(s)? I would mostly be interested in a non-commercial solution.

EDIT: Ended up writing a custom solution:

  1. Read rows from Excel via OpenXML
  2. Match an id column to similar SharePoint field

Web UI has a couple of steps:

  1. Browse for Excel
  2. Preview changes
  3. Synchronize

Excel parsing was pretty simple. Synchronizing to SharePoint also would be pretty straightforward (if not aiming for a lot of generalization).

3 Answers 3


Option 1: A free solution that requires that you create the SharePoint list in Excel, requires an Excel plug-in (released by Microsoft) and requires that you save in the 2003 xls format to retain the sync.

Option 2: A very inexpensive solution similar to the first but does not require you to create the SharePoint list in Excel first. Has an API.

Option 3: A wildly effective solution with nearly no limitations. Unfortunately, it is comparatively very expensive. Has an API.

  • 1
    We ended up doing a custom import/export/synchronize solution.
    – thomius
    Jul 30, 2012 at 19:35

There isn't an option to do this out of the box. Check out using the BDC?

  • Datasheet view should be supported, and the data is not linked to a specific table: users should also be able to import other files (or excels) to the list.
    – thomius
    Feb 13, 2012 at 8:11
  • you can copy and paste rows from an excel file into a datasheet view. You were asking for a synchronized solution, datasheet view isn't it. Feb 13, 2012 at 13:29

Have you looked at this option: (Requires an Excel plugin)

Publishing and Synchronizing Excel 2007 Tables to SharePoint Lists

It supports having Date and Text columns as per my memory. More column types may be supported, but I am not sure.

  • Thanks but this Excel 2003 related solution was not an option for us..
    – thomius
    Jul 30, 2012 at 19:35

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