I'm new to SharePoint and trying to get BCS working with external content. I need to "replicate" native list to an external SQL DB for my project. So I use the crated/changed workflow start options to propagate insert/update to external data store, however this didn't work when deleting items in SharePoint list as I see no delete activities on the external data source to "sync" with SharePoint native list. We would like to use SharePoint native list for workflow/task features while "replicate" the transactions to an external SQL DB for data manipulation.

Does anyone know a better (efficient) way to push out and synchronize external data? Is it possible to use the built-in delete (icon within list item ribbon) and trigger external delete as well? I have SharePoint 2013 site (on-premise) and designer as my resource.

1 Answer 1


I would suggest this sort of logic would be implemented with an Event Receiver than with a workflow.

You could have the event receiver mirror the entries in the "native" list to either a BCS external list tied to your SQL DB (I am assuming SQL Server here), or just skip the middle man and have the event receiver write the information directly to the database.

There is an event for when an item is deleted that you can use, so that helps that particular part of your solutions as well.

  • I see, so the event receiver approach is considered SharePoint solution project that requires coding in Visual Studio? Do you know any tutorial or resources that can help other newbies like myself learning more about the subject matter quickly/effectively. Appreciate your help =)
    – user24453
    Mar 19, 2014 at 18:34
  • Hard to go wrong with the developer training at pluralsight.com/training/Courses#sharepoint There are MSDN/Technet resources too: google.com/…
    – lwbecker2
    Mar 19, 2014 at 18:55
  • According to this article: msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/… - remote event receivers and app event receivers work only with cloud apps for SharePoint (that is, autohosted and provider-hosted apps). I tried SP projects in VS2013 but not able to find Remote Event Receiver template. Am I missing something? Perhaps I should be more precise with my requirment - We are planning an on-premise SharePoint-hosted site that would communicate/replicate to external SQL DB.
    – user24453
    Mar 20, 2014 at 19:06
  • You don't need to use a Remote Event Receiver or App Event Receiver. Just use a "regular" event receiver on your list on your on-premise sharepoint farm.
    – lwbecker2
    Mar 20, 2014 at 19:16
  • I was able to step through my event receiver code and confirmed ItemAdding event got triggered but received System.IO.FileNotFoundException regarding EntityFramework assembly not found in my update code block. I have both EntityFramework and EntityFramework.SqlServer in my project references. I am developing on SharePoint 2013 server that has VS2013 installed and has the latest EF 6. Any idea?
    – user24453
    Mar 25, 2014 at 23:48

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