Best way to reuse a list across multiple sites in a tenant

Steel Contributor

I want to create a list of data that will be reused in many site collections in our tenant. In this example, let's call it "Department". Traditionally, this would be done using Managed Metadata, but it seems like this feature/function has been largely ignored (along with Content Types) by Microsoft lately. They keep making it easier for end users to create new lists and columns "on the fly" - which is fantastic until a users comes to us wanting to standardize a column definition across multiple lists.


Anyway, back to the question, is Managed Metadata still the best way to do this? I've also considered/tried a Site Column in the Content Type Hub that is a lookup to a list in that site. However, Lookups have always been a little finicky, especially when custom forms (InfoPath or PowerApps) come into the picture. Is there a way to create a table in Azure and link to it in a way that it could be the data source for a Site Column (that wasn't a Lookup)?

6 Replies

OK, so MM is the best way for a single value (e.g.: "Department"). What if we expand the scope a bit to include a list with multiple columns. For example, we're a University where a lot of things occur or relate to cycles like academic years or terms. I'm working on 5 different projects now that all involve a "Term" field in a form, list or app. At the University level, a Term has a title ("Fall 2018"), code ("201815"), start date, and end date. We can create a content type in the content type hub for "Term" which has those columns, but this would still require each site to have its own "Terms" list using that content type, but with items created/managed by the site owner (or a member). This is how we did it in SP2010, but it wasn't an ideal solution. I have to imagine that there is a better way in Office 365, but not sure what it is. I don't think Managed Metadata terms can have "properties", can they?

Did you try external data column to reference data from azure table?

They can, but you need custom code to get them back out, 


Btw, most of the people in this network have shared their real name, you may get more responses if you do the same.


I have the same issue. Did you resolve it?



@danielmoral No, I gave up or found workarounds. For example, I often used those lists to feed a site column that would be used throughout a site collection. Instead, I use a "master" list in one site in multiple PowerApps or flows. It requires a bit of creativity, but it works. 


In reality, I probably should be using managed metadata, but we have too many competing agendas for any departments to agree on a taxonomy. Such is life in academia.