I am very new to sharepoint, its about day 3 of working with it, and I am having a problem getting Connect to outlook working on external lists. The menu item is greyed out.

In my external contact type for the list in question I have Offline sync enabled, and office item type set to Contact. The data source is a sql 2005 server, and i have mapped the various columns from the table to appropriate outlook types.

I have created a new contact list (non BCS), and this shows Connect to outlook in the List tools->list menu, and it works correctly.

Is there something im missing?

====================== Further info:

I used sharepoint designer to add an external content type, selected SQL, then clicked on the appropriate table, right clicked, did generate all operations.

Offline sync is left enabled, and i configure no filters on my content type.

All the columns in the table in question are string or int, and all but the index are mapped to appropriate values in the outlook contact.

When that was done, i used the shortcut icon in the external content type to generate a list. I also tried adding the list manually.

After doing this i went to the administration page, and added permissions to BCS for all users so that the page would load. I appear to have to do this every time, as sharepoint designer resets the values.

I have tried to add the list manually via the website, and by creating the external list by hand in sharepoint designer and both produce the same result.

The lists in all cases show the correct data, and editing/creating records is working correctly.

3 Answers 3


Have you enabled the site feature: Offline Synchronization for External Lists?

  • Yes you are correct.
    – MJ X
    Sep 9, 2014 at 8:33

You will need to set up the External Content Type to the correct Office Item Type, by default it is generic list but there are other options available.

  • Appointment

  • Contact

  • Task

  • Post

There is a good blog here: http://www.chakkaradeep.com/post/SharePoint-2010-Business-Connectivity-Services-Walkthrough.aspx

If you are using a third party tool to create your ECT in Visual Studio (such as BCS Meta Man, from the company I work for) there is guidance here too:





The Outlook sync is supported in all versions of SharePoint 2010, ie also in SharePoint Foundation.

Can you elaborate on how you created and configured the External Content Type and External List ?

  • Hi, I am not at my dev pc at the moment, so i apologise if this lacks sufficient detail. I have updated the original message as im over my char count in here.
    – Anonymous
    Jun 23, 2010 at 16:10

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