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Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administration Cookbook by Peter Serzo

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Managing External Content Types

An External Content Type is SharePoint's way to access the back end data in another data source. This could be the ERP, CRM, or custom manufacturing system. The data is defined in a database and now the organization wants to consume that data through SharePoint.

In order to consume the data, we need to define the properties of that data to SharePoint. This is done by creating an External Content Type (ECT). This is an XML file that defines and identifies the object.

Typically, an administrator does not create the External Content Types. Creation is done by power users or developers through SharePoint Designer and Business Connectivity Services. However, it is important to be able to manage these entities as an administrator. ...

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