We are creating a new SharePoint site for an existing application (.NET & SQL).

Now, we need to create few lists and use existing SQL tables as SharePoint lists. Is this possible, how to do it, any example??

Do I need import the data into SharePoint list by something like copy/paste in list worksheet mode (there are 76 tables, will take lot of time) or is there some other way in which I can link the list to the table?

2 Answers 2


The regular approach is to use External Contenttypes with BCS: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/jj163139.aspx

This enables you to use External Lists:

External lists

An external list enables access to data from external systems in the same way that SharePoint list data is accessed. External lists use external content types as their data sources. External lists enable you to use the metadata that is already defined about an external content type to create a SharePoint list that has external data that looks and performs like any other SharePoint list. You can also take external lists offline to be used in Outlook 2013. This allows you to work with external data just like native Outlook Item types, such as Contacts, Tasks, and Posts, and use the external data in Office client applications. External lists enable writing back to the external system if the external system allows it, and if it is modeled accordingly by the external content type. This implies that users can edit external data directly from within. Any changes that were made to the items in the list are synchronized automatically with the external system. Also by using the Refresh data button in the list, you can synchronize and get updated data from the external system automatically.

from above link.

This approach will keep a relationship between the SQL data and the list items.

For a full guide to create this from an SQL Source, follow this link: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/library/jj220063.aspx


You can use Business Connectivity services to get data from SQL tables into SharePoint as lists. See this for more info: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ee819133.aspx

  • OK, after implementing, say data is added or deleted from list, then, will it also get added/deleted from the SQL table as well?
    – variable
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 9:12
  • Yes, you can perform CRUD operations using External lists Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 9:16

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