After reading this article, I hope you will
agree that creating External list to data is just a walk in the park-like most
tasks developers do, when they get the hang of it. The following chart is a good
reference and depicts nicely that many tasks can be performed using the Business Connectivity Services architecture. In fact, almost any tasks can be performed
using simple lists exposed by Business Connectivity Services (BCS) Services.
Now, I am going to assume that you have a development environment set up-
probably on a virtual machine, and that you have an instance of SharePoint 2010
on that machine. Microsoft simplified the development process greatly, but
requires a lot of software installed as a prerequisite to getting started with
After selecting Business Data Connectivity Model from the SharePoint 2010 list
and naming the project whatever you want, you will and up with the good, start
towards creating a connector that will be exposed as a list on your SharePoint
Yes, maybe you will think this is a same like any other template. This is the
reason why I am writing this article.
So here is the first small step: Let's rebuild the solution and deploy it to
SharePoint - we will find out many things from this simple task:
- Will it deploy to SharePoint?
- Can we create an External list in SharePoint using this BCS Component?
- Can we set the appropriate security settings on our BCS Component?
- Will the project compile without error?
If all the steps go well and run without error,
then we will be able to begin creating custom BCS components. The steps are as
- Rebuild the Solution
Select build rebuild solution from the File Menu
- Deploy the Solution
Select build deploy from the File menu
- Set the permissions
Open SharePoint Central Administration (http://yoursite:8080) in most cases
Click on application management > manage service applications > Business Data Connectivity Service and find Entity1 from the list- this is the entity that we just deployed
Click on set object permissions and give the appropriate rights to those who will be viewing the list
- Create the external list
Go to the main SharePoint site (http://yoursite) and click on site actions > view all site content > create, external list > create
Click the second icon from the External Content Type and select Entity1 from the pop-up:
Select create and your list will be created
- Preview the list
Done, you have done great job. Now, you're becoming "connector guy/girl" at your company.