External Lists in SharePoint Workspace


We can connect SharePoint 2010 external list to Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010 to work on the external data inside SharePoint Workspace 2010 just like any other list. Any changes or additions to external data made inside SharePoint Workspace are propagated to the external system, without compromising data integrity in the external system.

In this article we will be seeing how to connect external list to SharePoint 2010 workspace and how to update, add and delete the data in the external list.

SQL Database:

I have created a database named Test which contains a table named Table1.


Table1 has the following columns and data's.


External Content Type:

I have created an external content type based on the above table Table1 using SharePoint Designer 2010.


External List:

I have created an external list based on the external content type that I have created. External list has the following data


Refer http://www.c-sharpcorner.com/UploadFile/anavijai/4236/  to create an external content type and external list using SharePoint Designer 2010.

Connect an External List to SharePoint 2010 workspace:

  1. On the SharePoint Server Ribbon, in the List tab, click Sync to SharePoint Workspace as shown below.

  2. Sync to SharePoint Workspace wizard will pop up. Click the OK to button to confirm that you want to sync the external list to your computer.

  3. SharePoint Workspace 2010 will now create a local cached copy of the external list.

  4. Microsoft Office Customization Installer wizard will pop up, click the Install button.

  5. Click on Close.

  6. Once the Syncing is completed, click on Open Workspace.

  7. This will take few minutes to display the external data in the workspace.

  8. Now you could see the external data in SharePoint workspace as shown in the following


CRUD operations on External List from SharePoint 2010 workspace:

We can now read, create, update, and delete external data directly from SharePoint Workspace 2010 just as like normal SharePoint list items. The changes we make in SharePoint Workspace 2010 will automatically sync with the external list. Since the data is cached, we will be able to access it even when we are offline.

Read operation:

Just click on the external data you could able to see the item details as shown in the following


Create operation:

On the SharePoint Workspace Ribbon, in the Home tab, click New as shown below.


Enter the new data and click on Save & Close.


A new item is updated in the external list as shown in the following


The changes we made in SharePoint Workspace 2010 will automatically sync with the external list as shown in the following.


Delete operation:

Select the item to be the deleted, go to the SharePoint Workspace Ribbon, in the Home tab, click Delete as shown below.


Update operation:

Double click on the item that has to be updated, make the changes and click on Save & Close.

Sorting, grouping, or filtering items in external lists

You can click the drop-down arrows next to column headers in an external list to see the same sorting, grouping, and filtering options that are available for external lists on the SharePoint site.



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