How to connect Knack with SharePoint

This "how-to-connect" documentation will explain the initial configuration of an example connection from Knack to a SharePoint Online List in Office 365. We will be synchronizing data stored in Knack.


This guide presupposes that you have installed the Layer2 Cloud Connector and that you are familiar with its basic functionality. The Layer2 Cloud Connector User Documentation will provide you with all necessary information.





1. Configuring Knack

2. Configuring the Layer2 Cloud Connector

2.1 Creating a new connection

2.2 Configuring the Data Entity 1

2.3 Configuring the Data Entity 2

2.4 Running your connection

3. Hints and known issues

3.1 Connection direction

3.2 Data model

3.3 Batch operations


1. Configuring Knack

We must create an application in Knack to send and receive data. Go to your Knack Builder account and create a new app and add it.


Knack create new app 


Create a new object.


Knack add object 


Add fields to the object.


Knack some fields 


Add records to your fields.


Knack some records 


After creating your application, click on the settings symbol from your application to get the Application ID as well as the API Key. 



2. Configuring the Layer2 Cloud Connector

2.1. Creating a new connection

Create a new connection by using the Create New Connection option in the Actions pane (right-hand side). The new connection will appear at the bottom of the Connection Manager List (left-hand side). Click on your newly created connection to open the connection configuration settings.


Choose a meaningful name for your connection and replace the current "New Connection" Connection Title with it.


Connections to Knack can be bi-directional. An initial connection should always be uni-directional to assure that both data entities are identical before switching to bi-directional. Therefore, choose Left to Right as Direction. You can change this setting after your initial synchronization finished successfully.


Step 1 Knack connection setup.png



2.2. Configuring the Data Entity 1

We will now set up our Data Entities. Go to the data entity “Data Entity 1” to open the configuration settings.


Choose a Data Entity Title. It is recommended to give your entities meaningful names to maintain an overview when you decide to set up multiple connections.


Select the Data Provider for JSON from the data provider list. You can search for JSON by typing into the selection box.


Step 2 Knack integration source setup.png


For the Connection String, we need the in step 1 mentioned information. You can copy the below connection string and adjust it to match your gathered information. Use the Verify Connection String option to evaluate if the provided connection string is valid.






  • "URI=url;" this property points to the object URL we created in step 1.
  • "CustomHeaders='X-Knack-Application-Id:youridX-Knack-REST-API-Key:yourKey'" these values correspond to the id and key we got from our application in step 1. WARNING: after your id, press ENTER to separate the id from the key definition in the connection string.
  • "GenerateSchemaFiles=OnUse;" this property generates the schema files from the end point and works together with the Location property creating the file in the path set in the Location. After creating the schema file, change the value OnUse to OnStart.
  • "Location=path;" this property defines where the generated schema file will be saved.
  • "Other='BatchSize=1'" this property set the batch operations to 1 forcing the driver to make one operation after the other to avoid batch errors.



The Select Statement text box is used to define specific data queries. We will be gathering all data from our JSON object. You can copy the below select statement and adjust it to match your needs. Save your changes by using the right-hand pane option Save Changes.


SELECT * FROM records


Step 2.5 Knack integration connection string setup.png


To check if all necessary columns are received, you can use the Preview Data option on the right-hand pane which will provide you with a pop-up window showing your sample data from your Knack entity.



Preview data of Knack integration.png


2.3. Configuring the Data Entity 2

We are going to send the data to a custom SharePoint Online list. It's required that you set up this list prior to the next steps. Your list should contain matching columns according to your source entity.


Use the left-hand pane to switch to the data entity "Data Entity 2". We will be using the Layer2 SharePoint Provider for this setup. 


For more information about the SharePoint provider visit:


You can copy the below Connection String which contains the minimum of required properties to connect to your custom SharePoint Online list.




  • "URL=https://your_custom_sharepoint_url/AllItems.aspx;" this property defines the URL of your custom list that will be addressed.
  • "Authentication=Microsoft_Modern;" this property will determine the authentication method used. Microsoft_Modern is the default authentication method to access Microsoft Office 365 / SharePoint Online and should work in most cases, even if the SharePoint site is connected to an ADFS. This authentication does not need any further connection string settings, other than the URL of the connected system.
  • Optional: "User" parameter for information about the account that has been used for the authentication.


Set the primary key (i.e. to record_id) and save your changes by using the right-hand pane option Save Changes.


Step 3 Knack integration target setup.png


In the next step, we will configure our mapping settings. Click on the Mappings option on the left-hand pane. If your fields from SharePoint are named identical to the fields from your source system, the Enable Auto Mapping option will match those columns. Disabling this option allows you to match your columns as needed. We enabled auto-mapping in our setup. Save your changes by using the right-hand pane option Save Changes.


Step 4 Knack integration mapping.png


2.4. Running your connection

To run your connection switch back to the main connection configuration node and use the Run Now Button located on the bottom of the setup page. The Run Synchronization Toolbox will also display the synchronization process. 


Step 5 Knack data integration start.png


Below is a data preview of the information we have accessed in our source entity:


Knack integration ready.png


This will be the result in our SharePoint Online list after our initial successful synchronization:


Finished Knack integration.png

If you want to use a bi-directional syncronization, see section 3.1 for further information.

3. Hints and known issues


3.1. Connection direction

As far as tested, this connection supports uni-directional as well as bi-directional synchronizations. 


After adjusting the direction to bi-directional, you should check your Mappings settings again because some systems might include read-only columns that cannot be mapped directly.


We also recommend to choose a Conflict Resolution that matches your environments needs. You can find out more about the different conflict resolutions in our Layer2 Cloud Connector User Documentation.

In order to make inserts, updates and deletes in a bi-directional way, you must write these operations in your generated schema file saved at the Location parameter from your connection string.

Open the .rsd-file in your path defined at your Location parameter from the connection string and add key="true" in the attribute <attr name="id" … key="true" />.

Add this line after the line where the attr="URI" is defined after the api:info block.


<api:set attr="ContentType" value="application/json" />


For our scenario the records endpoint results in an INSERT block like this:




The  UPDATE block needs the




Also the DELETE block:




The complete example file for this endpoint can be downloaded here.


3.2. Data model


To see all the tables and views you can access with the Knack provider, use these queries in the Select Statement:



SELECT * FROM sys_tables


SELECT * FROM sys_views





If there are more tables or views available, you can load them with the option "load more" in the popup window.


3.3. Batch operations


If you try to make multiple operations at the same time, you can get an error that batch operations not allowed. Set the parameter Other=’BatchSize=1’ in your connection string to avoid this error.




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