Chapter 14 – Business Connectivity Service

Wrox Real World Sharepoint 2010 (p.525)

External list – is a Sharepoint list, but instead of storing the list items in Sharepoint, it is hooked up to an ETC so that the data is coming from and being written back to an external data source. To be able to use an external content type as a data source for an external list, your ETC must have Finder (ReadList) and SpecificFinder (ReadItem) methods.

If you want to be able to Insert or Update, your ETC must have Creator and Updater
methods defined.

To get your BCS data indexed by Sharepoint, you define (1) Specific Finder
and (2) IDEnumerator methods. Or, you don’t have to create IDEnumerator, simply make use of the RootFinder MethodInstance.

Using Tools to Create ETC —
Sharepoint Designer 2010 —
1. Launch SPD 2010, connect to the site collection, and click the External Content Types in the navigation pane.

2. Click External Content Type button in the ribbon, you can start configuring the content type.
3. Change the Name and Display Name to “Contacts”.
4. Associate this ETC with Outlook as a Contact Office Type.

5. Start designing your ETC.

6. Click “Add Connection” button, select “SQL Server”, and enter connection information.

7. In data source explorer, click Create All Operations.

8. In Parameter Configuration screen, select at least one field as “Show in Picker”.

9. For a Date/Time field, check the Timestamp Field to enable indexing for incremental search.

10. Then create filters.
11. Click Save icon to save the ETC in BDC metadata store.
12. Setting BCS permissions – by default you will have no permission executing method and view data from ETC. Do this —
(1) Central Admin
à Manage Service Application à BDC Service à Locate the Contacts ETC.
(2) Check the checkbox, and click Set Object Permission, then grant user access to this ETC.

(3) Then you can create a list based on this ETC. It’s an External List
now and can be browsed from the site. (P.539)

Other Datasources —
SPD 2010 can connect to these data sources: (!) SQL Server, (2) WCF Service and (3) pre-deployed .NET types. If you want to use ODBC data source, then you need to do it via WCF or .NET assembly.

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