SharePoint 2010: Business Connectivity Services

This article explains step-by-step how to make an external content type using Microsoft Business Connectivity Services (BCS).


BCS, formerly named the Business Data Catalog, enables users to read and write data from external systems using web services, databases and Microsoft .NET Framework assemblies from within Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010 applications.

Business Connectivity Services are a set of services and features that provide a way to connect SharePoint solutions to sources of external data and to define external content types based on that external data. This article contains a step-by-step guide to design an External Content Type from SQL Server.

The following is my SQL database:

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My database table in Design mode:

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Now the next task is to create an external content type.

Open SharePont Designer then open your site like the following:

SharePont Designer
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Click Open.

External Content types
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Select External Content types then click on the External Content Type option.

External Content Type option
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Now click here to discover an external data source and define the operation.

sql server
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Now click on Add Connection then select SQL Server -> OK.

Select SQL Server
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Enter your Database Server Name, Database name and Name (optional). Then click OK.

create all operations
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Here expand your data table then right-click then select Create All Operations.

operation properties
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Click Next.

parameters configuration
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Set your table column as identifier then click Finish.

column as identifier
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Now save this using the top left Save button.

site actions
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Now open your site then select Site Actions -> More options.

Select Site Actions
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Select List -> External List then provide a name and click on Create.

Give name and click on Create
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Now click on search and external content type then a pop-up window will open then search and select your External content type then click Ok.

name and description
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Now click Create.

list tools
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Your SQL Server Data.

Now select an Item -> Add.

employee extrnal data
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Check your SQL Server Data Table also.

If there is an error message while displaying data then go to Central Admin.

managr service application
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Select Manage Service Applications.

service application
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Select Business Data Connectivity Service.

Connectivity Service
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Be sure to set Object Permission and set Metadata Store Permission. They should be like the preceding.