In Sharepoint 2010 whats the best way to view a list from another site collection.

I want to be able to sort on People and I want it to look like a listview.

(Why is there no easy answer to this question?)

  • 2
    If the sitecollections are on the same domain, you could use an iFrame?
    – user2536
    Feb 23, 2012 at 14:03

9 Answers 9


We solve all cross sitecol issues with search, and since almost all out farm designs span across sitecollections er use search alot. For example for news lists, navigation, rollups ETC.

To make it look like a list view will take some tweeking in xslt but no big deal

  • 1
    Agreed, Search Results Web Part is by far the easiest method to get cross site, even cross web application aggregation. Feb 28, 2012 at 20:21
  • Search is a good answer. You even get permission trimming with it. Just remember the results are only as current as your last search crawl.
    – Tom Resing
    Feb 28, 2012 at 23:08
  • Also you can only fetch what is indexed. So for example a long news message with internal links and images might give problems Feb 29, 2012 at 8:54

The DataView Web Part can do this. Alternatively, use the search engine to roll up content across site collections.

  • How do you use a DataView web-part in Sharepoint 2010? I thought they were obsolete now. Feb 23, 2012 at 14:20
  • Yes, the new kid on the block is the XSLT Listview webpart. But it can only go across sites within the same site collection. Feb 23, 2012 at 14:47
  • @LarsFastrup the technique you are pointing to doesn't allow this. It allows to create a reusable DVWP, but the scope will remain the site collection.
    – Christophe
    Feb 23, 2012 at 15:26
  • In sharepoint 2010 the DataViewWebPart is renamed to the DataFormWebPart? Feb 23, 2012 at 15:29
  • @haymansfield SharePoint uses both names and it can be confusing. In the SharePoint Designer ribbon it is still called "Data View".
    – Christophe
    Feb 23, 2012 at 15:32

There's an easy answer. It's called the Page Viewer Web Part, and allows you to display in your page the content of any other page.

  • 5
    While possible, there are a lot of drawbacks to this approach. Things like a second set of scrollbars if there is more content than the viewer window is sized for. By default it will bring in all of the chrome from the other site, leading to a double navigation effect that will confuse users. This can be corrected somewhat by using IsDlg=1 in the querystring. If the other site has a different color scheme then it will bring that in as well, also confusing users. And then there's popups...
    – Dave Wise
    Feb 23, 2012 at 16:19
  • @DaveWise agree, IsDlg=1 works well with the Page Viewer Web Part. I also have a workaround that addresses the scrollbars and branding issues, but of course it has its own limitations: usermanagedsolutions.com/SharePoint-User-Toolkit/Pages/…
    – Christophe
    Feb 23, 2012 at 18:54

To answer your "Why isn't there an easy answer..." question... Site Collections are the top level containers for content in SharePoint and almost everything about them from settings to features to permissions to Content Types can be completely different from one to another. Because of this, no assumptions can be made when attempting to access content in another site collection as it is entirely possible that the core objects you are looking for simply do not exist. That is why accessing data in another site collection is so hard.

You can, however, use Web Services to access the data but this usually means custom code and some loss of integrity as data is serialized into more primitive forms.

  • I've tried the Lists.asmx/DataForm route, but it doesn't even seem possible to sort on a Person column. While I can see that a fully functional List view wouldn't make sense cross-site-collection, I'm just surprised that a simple read only view with similar styling (and basic stuff like sort and filter) isn't available OOTB. Feb 24, 2012 at 8:40
  • I meant it doesn't seem possible to Filter on a Person column (Not enough points to edit my comment yet). Feb 24, 2012 at 8:58

There is a mostly-easy way to do this. The other answers, especially this one are correct:

Site Collections are the top level containers for content in SharePoint and almost everything about them from settings to features to permissions to Content Types can be completely different from one to another. Because of this, no assumptions can be made when attempting to access content in another site collection

However, you can access content from other SCs semi-natively in SP2010 using Business Connectivity Services. This is one of the most powerful areas of SP2010, as it allows you to treat any data source - another Site Collection, a web service, an Oracle database, even a custom application - as a virtual list with virtual list items. That abstraction allows you to do all kinds of native SharePoint-y things just like you're using a local list. Super cool!

  • What is your approach to using Business Connectivity Services with Lists? I tried creating an external content type based on Lists.asmx: This rather brilliantly doesn't work as Lists.asmx uses non-primitive types. Mar 1, 2012 at 11:09
  • @haymansfield you can create one-off BCS model adapters which map the remote web service to a logical entity, or you can create a bootstrapper BCS model adapter that can handle any contract.
    – Rex M
    Mar 1, 2012 at 19:50

I have been looking for same answer and while there are many third-party web parts designed which can do that but what I have found the simplest one to use is OWSSVR.DLL. It can return all the list itmes in XML format. Try this -


Follow this article to get more details.

If the site collection is in same domain, this technique can be used to make an ajax call and can be used as an alternative to SP.context object approach that is limited to lists under same site collection. Though haven't tried myself, but for site collections not in same domain, same technique should be useful to develope a custom web part. Hope this is helpful.


step-1 save as list template
step-2 open in explorer
step-3 copy and paste in desired site collection list template location opening in explorer.


  • How will it solve the problem, can you please elaborate more? Jan 1, 2015 at 14:29
  • 2
    And then I make one change to the original list, and have to do this full process again? Sounds like a pretty bad solution Jan 1, 2015 at 14:42

The Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TntwRm78b_4 did answer this for me. The 8 minute video is called: Sharing Lists and Libraries across SharePoint Sites, Jeremy Morel via Ellucian. It explains how to export the list or library web part and retain the link to the original source. This is quick and easy to do. You need to use SharePoint Designer. The resulting list in the other site does not have all the issues that the List View Web Part has.


This video answered this question perfectly for me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TntwRm78b_4


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