Currently we are using Zapier for SharePoint integration, but I would rather use the Cognito direct integration. I am doing some testing and I notice that Cognito is using the Display Name of the Cognito Form Field to connect with SharePoint instead of the actual field name.

Example. If you create a form with a field called "Your Name" in Cognito, the internal field name is "YourName" but if you create the SharePoint field as "YourName" it will not import the data. You have to call the SharePoint field "Your Name"

This is especially problematic when you have sections with the same name field repeating:

Example: Child 1 & Child 2 Sections will both have a field named "Child Name" Cognito (rightly) names those fields internally "Child1_ChildName" but since you are mapping on "Child Name" only one of my fields will go into SharePoint.

Why in the world would you want to use display names from the Cognito side when you have gone to all the trouble of creating unique internal names. Plus, as you have pointed out in other posts in this forum you are (rightfully so) only mapping to SharePoint INTERNAL field names.

If you fixed this, you could help folks with very complex forms get them into SharePoint in a matter of minutes:

1 - Create the form in Cognito 2 - Export it to the Excel Spreadsheet 3 - Use the native SharePoint feature to import that spreadsheet and create a list with all the correct column names 4 - Wire up cognito.

I followed the above steps and it worked perfectly until I tried to get data in. Then I realized that you have to use the cognito display name, which makes no sense to me because it is easy to have multiple duplicate display names in any form with sections!

This seems like a bug to me. Am I missing something?

1 Answer 1


I'm a developer with Cognito Forms. Your statement is correct that there are limitations with integrating complex forms with SharePoint today. These limitations are mostly due to the simplicity of a SharePoint list. Congito Forms data is structured, so hierarchal data can be collected using a Repeating Section field and related data can be grouped using a Section field. This structure allows for fields with the same name to coexist in separate sections or child items. The column names displayed in the export spreadsheet is not the actual internal name but a convention we use for the spreadsheet. It's the section's internal name plus the field's internal name delimited by an underscore. Repeating Section data is stored in a separate worksheet to maintain the integrity of the data captured.

We use the display name to map to SharePoint because the display name is transparent to the user and is controlled by the user. Until recently, the internal name was not made available to the user and is only made available today by enabling the developer mode. We also assume most users are already using friendly column names (i.e. “Company Name” vs. “CompanyName”) for their SharePoint list, especially if the list is visible to their users.

To address the field/column mapping issue, we will be adding support for overriding the default mapping. Along with this change, we will also be adding support for updating SharePoint when an entry is updated in Cognito Forms. You can follow our progress on this feature on our Idea Board. Please feel free to up vote this feature and provide us any feedback you may have. We use the votes and feedback to help prioritize our work.

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