SP2010: REST Data Sources within SharePoint Designer

With SharePoint 2010, there are multiple methods of getting data from a list. There’s the object model (client / server side), there’s webservices and there’s REST (which is kind of a webservice itself). With REST, you’re able to get data out of a list and view it on other sites. Those other sites don’t need to be in the same site collection or even farm, since it’s just XML data; you can get it from anywhere as long as you’ve got the correct credentials.

Here’s the steps to add list content to a page on another site:

1) Fire up SharePoint Designer and open up the site in which you want to add the content from another list

2) Click on “Data Sources” in the “Site Objects” menu on the left.

3) Choose new “REST Service connection”

4) Enter the URL to the list REST service. That’s always in the following format: http://web.site.com/sub/site/_vti_bin/ListData.svc/ListName. Replace web.site.com with the actual URL of your site, and ListName with the name of your list.

5) Check the Login tab and set the proper login method. I had some problems with the Windows Authentication, not quite sure why. Entering the login details and saving them with the connection fixed it, but that’s probably not best practice since your usename and password will be stored in clean text.

6) Press OK to save the new data source

7) Open up the page on which you want to view the data

8) Click the Insert tab on the ribbon, choose “Data View” and select your newly created data source.

And there it is! Your data should now display. The DataView is a powerfull webpart which i haven’t explored fully yet, but it promises to have great options for displaying data in various ways on your site. Combined with the REST services, you can now get virtually any data from any SharePoint site and display it where you like, how you like it. Enjoy!

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