Display data in Sharepoint list from query

Posted on 2011-02-15
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have created a custom Sharepoint List that display data from a query I ran again another database, I copied the results into the list. I want to know if its possible to have this list populated somehow by executing the query in sharepoint? if so , how?
Question by:tips54
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Expert Comment

ID: 34898207
There is several ways that you can do this.  One big question though I would like to have answered.  What version of SharePoint are we refering to?  WSS 3.0, MOSS 2007, SharePoint Foundation, or SharePoint Server 2010?

Author Comment

ID: 34898631
I'm on WSS 3.0

Expert Comment

ID: 34898896
Terriffic.  As you know working with a free software, in this case WSS 3.0 the solution is rarely as easy as one would like.  Here are your options.

1. Upgrade Your Environment

One thing you can do is upgrade your WSS 3.0 Environment to SharePoint Foundation 2010 (read this as WSS 4.0).  The reason I suggest this is because you get the BCS  (Business Connectivity Service) with this version.  Shocking but so very cool, is the fact they have the BCS as this free version.  If you wish to know more, please visit:

2. Excel then Manual Process

The second is use the abilites of Excel data connectors to tie to your database then manually copy and pasted the new information into the list you created.  This way is much less ideal, but will cost you no money. (Maybe a bit of aggrivation)  At least you can keep the Excel Spreadsheet in a document library held on the same site.

3. 3rd Party Software

There are 3rd party solutions out there as well.  Stonebond is certainly the first that comes to mind in this.  Their software is embedded in SharePoint 2010 and probably the reason why it is a part of the free version. (see Step 1)

4. InfoPath is your friend

Like Microsoft Excel, InfoPath can connect to data sources as well.  How you go about drawing the data out is a different story.  Do you 1 create an InfoPath form tied to the data using a drop down box to create a individual form for each item in the view?  (This is a pretty solid say of handling it, if there is just a few items or you have a lot of patience.  Not suggestable over 1900 items unless you also put them in a folders a layer deep)  The other way of dealing with it, is with use of the repeating tables and such.  This can be another way, but it will be in one form and may not be the results you are looking for. (Definatly not a good idea if there is a lot of items due to the fact all the information is downloaded at the time the Form is opened.  You could have a Form take a good couple minutes to render because of the amount of data being pulled down.
LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 34899008
why not use Data View web part.

with DVWP, you can display (or modify) data from another source, such as sql.  it is displayed in list view, like any other sharepoint list.  but the source can be something outside of sharepoint.

so, you'd configure DVWP to run your query, and display the data in sharepoint.
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Author Comment

ID: 34899082
I used the Excel method prior to posting this question and I was hoping for something better. number 4 touch on my main issue, which is this List I'm creating right now has 6800 items listed in it,  and I'm referencing this List in another to do a Lookup type of field. I have 3 list that is like that and I want to reduce having these long list (several thousands of SKU's).  None of 1 through 4 sound solid without doing some sort of upgrade , even that's not guaranteed.   We use sharepoint heavily here, I don't want to bug down the server more than it already is. your  thoughts?

Accepted Solution

djpileggi earned 125 total points
ID: 34899278
Got to love SharePoint, it is the Swiss Army Knife of applications.

I definatly see your dilema here.  You have a lot of data you are trying to bring into your enviornment AND it is desired to use in more than one place in the SharePoint farm.  In all honesty, your best bet is #1.  With the addition of the Business Connectivity service you will be able to build it to the data source once, and turn around and use it in as many locations as you wish.  If this is an option, I highly recommend going with it.  If you cannot, this is what you need to do.  Go ahead, and put it in a single list at the root level.  Go into list administration and make sure you uncheck the option of having the list indexed for search.  This will allow you to do it.  It will render slowly, but at least it will work and not kill your indexer. This way is far from ideal, but will work somewhat effectively.
LVL 42

Assisted Solution

by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
zephyr_hex (Megan) earned 125 total points
ID: 34908084
once again...
DATA VIEW WEB PART will do what you want.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35027129
I ended copying the data in there, but I definitely try the data view soon

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