RSS Feeds: How to integrate with Office 365 and SharePoint
are integrated with SharePoint via the Layer2 Cloud Connector for Microsoft Office 365 and
SharePoint. It connects almost any on-premises or cloud-based data
source, e.g. ODBC, OLEDB, Microsoft .NET based providers, Files (Excel, XML/RSS,
CSV, Access, FoxPro, DBase), SQL databases like SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, IBM
DB2, IBM AS/400, IBM Informix, Notes, SharePoint, Exchange, Active Directory,
Navision, SAP and many more directly to native SharePoint lists in the Microsoft
Cloud - or any other Microsoft SharePoint on-premise installation - in just
minutes without any programming. For any questions please use the FAQ Web Form or contact firstname.lastname@example.org directly.
You can connect, synchronize and aggregate RSS Feeds with native SharePoint lists in the Office 365 cloud or on-premise using the Layer2 Cloud Connector. The Layer2 Data Provider for RSS is already included in the distribution package.First find out the URL of your RSS Feed, best copied from browser as shown below.
Fig.: Yahoo Internet News Headlines as a sample RSS News Feed data source.
As a next step let's create a connection to uni-directional sync the RSS
Feed with SharePoint or Office 365 in the Layer2 Cloud Connector Connection
Fig.: RSS Feed to SharePoint list
sample connection description in the Layer2 Cloud Connector
Please be sure to enable scheduling not before all connection settings are
verified. As a next step you have to define the data source entity, the RSS News
Feed. Please select the Layer2 Data Provider for RSS Feeds. Then enter the
connection string. In most cases the URL Parameter is enough.
Fig.: RSS News Feed data source
defined in the Layer2 Cloud Connector.
- You can aggregate several feeds. Please use comma as delimter, e.g.
- Verify the connection string.
- Find a unique column to use as primary key. The link to the news is used in
this sample. Often an ID or GUID is also available in data set (see data
preview). Verify the primary key.
- Make use of the data preview (in action menu) to find out the fields
available and the content types required.
The data preview could look like this:
Fig.: RSS News View data preview in
the Layer2 Cloud Connector
Often topics are given in RSS Feeds,
best to include in SharePoint. Also note the data types. HTML formatted content
requires certain column settings of multiline text fields in SharePoint.
As a next step lets create a data destination list in the cloud. You have to
create the list and appropiate columns manually. You can use any list type you
want, e.g.news or custom. In this case a custom list type is selected.
Next we have to connect the Cloud Connector to the newly created list as a
data destination. We select the Layer2 Data Provider for SharePoint (CSOM) that is
included in the package and automatically licensed and installed with the
connector. The connection string should be as shown below with data source, list
name, authentication method and user data. See provider documentation for more options.
Fig.: Configuration of the data
destination for the RSS News Feed data in SharePoint Online.
Please note the disable operation
settings. For example you can use disable delete to aggregate feed entries
without removal of outdated items.
As a next step we have to map the RSS News Feed data source fields to the
SharePoint data destination columns.
Fig.: Column / field mapping of the
RSS News Feed data source and Office 365 destination in the Layer2 Cloud
Please note that the news title is
mapped to the SharePoint title column to be fully SharePoint compatible. The
target of a link should be a link column in SharePoint. The desciption column
can be HTML formatted. Good idea to include a publish date, topic or source
information, if provided. Data conversion between different data types is
managed by the Cloud Connector as good as possible.
Now you are ready to run the connection first time - manually in the
Connection Manager (for testing) or in background (later on) using the Windows
scheduling service. After synchronization your SharePoint list should look like
Fig.: External RSS News Feed data
provided in a native SharePoint list in the cloud - always up to date and ready
for filter, search, notifications and workflows.
- It's a native list, you can use SharePoint Designer to present in any other
- Many systems can expose RSS (including SharePoint itself). All fields in the
feed are managed by the Cloud Connector, not restricted to certain feed types or
fields (like Atoms specification).
- Please note that this sample is not about bulk import. Only new source data
items are added in the data destination. That opens a lot of opportunities, e.g.
change notifications by RSS or email, or workflows in SharePoint in some
relevant business cases (e.g. by topic).
- You can add "SharePoint-only" columns to the list (e.g. for rating,
attachments, enterprise metadata) - the content is kept when updating.
- The feeds are fully available for search and filters as usual with
SharePoint, also for mobile devices or offline access (via Outlook).
- Data source and data destination are connected only while syncing (just for
seconds). Your SharePoint users do access native SharePoint lists with highest
performance and availability and all list features (e.g. mobile and offline
- The "no delete" option opens up the way to RSS data aggregation. You can
easily build your own powerful RSS Feed Aggregator, e.g. with SharePoint
- You can aggregate multiple RSS News Feed sources to one list (e.g. in one
connection string as shown above: Please use comma as delimter, e.g.
Url=url1,url2,url3.) or with different connections.
- The Cloud Connector is a no-code solution, but you can write your own data
provider if required. The Layer2 Data Provider for RSS is included with source
code (!) as a good starting point.
- A more general Layer2 Data Provider for XML is also included, e.g. to query
per XPath via XML file or URL.
- The integration is shown vor Office 365 / SharePoint Online above. It also
works for Microsoft OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Server 2010 / 2013 /
- The Cloud Connector can sync almost any any type of data
source, RSS is just one sample...