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Professional Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint® 2010 by Brad Stevenson, Scot P. Hillier

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4

Creating BCS Solutions with the SharePoint Designer

WHAT’S IN THIS CHAPTER?

  • Learn the BDC Metadata Model schema
  • Learn to create BCS solutions with SharePoint Designer
  • Learn to write code against External Lists
  • Learn to deploy BCS solutions

SharePoint Designer 2010 (SPD) is the primary application for creating BCS solutions in SharePoint 2010. While Visual Studio 2010 offers a project type and the tooling for BCS, both of which are covered in Chapter 7, SPD is capable of creating External Content Types (ECTs) for all but the most advanced solutions. Furthermore, the SPD toolset is easier to learn than the Visual Studio toolset. As a result, SPD should be considered first for any BCS solution.

Chapter 1 presented a walkthrough of a simple no-code solution using SPD. This chapter will go further to present detailed information about data sources, ECT development, user interaction, and solution management. After completing this chapter you will have a strong understanding of the SPD toolset and be able to create a wide range of BCS solutions.

WORKING WITH THE BDC METADATA MODEL

Chapter 2 introduced the BDC Metadata Model as an XML file that completely defines the ECT, its connection to the External System, and its operations. When creating BCS solutions using the SPD tooling, you are simply building up the XML contained in the BDC Metadata Model. This model is then stored in the Metadata Store.

Although it is possible to create BCS solutions without ever looking at the XML contained ...

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