ARTICLE

Optimizing Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint 2010

Posted by Christopher Edward Articles | SharePoint 2010 November 03, 2011
This article shows that working with BCS is really usefull and you can be the "connector" at your company.
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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.

Connectivity Services in SharePoint 2010

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 SharePoint development.

Connectivity Services

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 site:

 SharePoint 2010 Connectivity Services

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:

  1. Will it deploy to SharePoint?
  2. Can we create an External list in SharePoint using this BCS Component?
  3. Can we set the appropriate security settings on our BCS Component?
  4. 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 follows

  1. Rebuild the Solution

    Select build rebuild solution from the File Menu
     
  2. Deploy the Solution

    Select build deploy from the File menu
     
  3. 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

    Bussines Connectivity Services

    Click on set object permissions and give the appropriate rights to those who will be viewing the list
     
  4. 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

    Connectivity Services

    Click the second icon from the External Content Type and select Entity1 from the pop-up:

    Bussines Connectivity Services  in sharepoint

    Select create and your list will be created
     
  5. Preview the list

    Connectivity Services

    Done, you have done great job. Now, you're becoming "connector guy/girl" at your company.

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