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Here is the summary of the problem I am facing:

I created a feature, scoped to site collection. The solution installed by the feature uses data from lists created by the feature on install. This is all working fine when I deploy to one site collection.

Problem:
Turns out that the same solution needs to be deployed to a site in a different web application (aka MySite). Now if I redeploy the solution for the different application, I will end up creating duplicate lists. And, the end-user will need to update the lists twice if any changes need to be made.

In this situation, is there any better way other than creating a workflow to update the second list, or a time job to sync the lists in 'real-time'? Perhaps via better packaging?

Please help. Thank you in advance.

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In 2010 and 2013 you could use the Business Connectivity Services to instantiate multiple lists using the same database backend. If you are using 2013 you could look at using the Cross-Site Publishing features where you create a catalog list that can be consumed by other site collections.

  • Hi John, thank you for your reply. Does this work across web applications or just site collections? Could you also explain what you mean by "Business Connectivity Services to instantiate multiple lists using the same database backend." Thank you again! – Tom Nov 6 '13 at 18:33
  • Cross-Site Publishing is a feature that allows you to publish catalog lists that can be consumed by any site collection on the farm (even across web applications). The Business Connectivity Services allows you to create connections to external data sources (like SQL directly). You can create BCS "lists" in your sites that serve as conduits to that external data. This would allow you to create multiple BCS lists all using the same external data source (so the same data). – John Chapman Nov 6 '13 at 18:39

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