Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Figure 4-10. External content types bring external data sources to clients
Once you have ECTs, you can use them in many ways:
Use ECTs as data sources to drive an external list. External lists use metadata defined with the
ECT and perform like any other SharePoint list.
Add data from the ECT modeled in BDC to an External Data Column, and use the column in
any standard SharePoint list.
External lists created using ECTs enable Read/Write operations on external system data,
as long as the external system allows this.
Display external system data using ECTs using BDC Web Parts—External Data List, External Data
Item, External Data Item Builder, External Data Related List, and External Data Connectivity Filter.
However, BDC Web Parts are read-only and can’t be used to write data back into external systems.
ECTs supplement profile pages that display ECT item data.
View or edit external system data using view and edit operations through the ECB menu
on the external lists.
Use parameterized query and filter capabilities on external lists using ECTs to prefilter the results.
Now you are ready to do a simple exercise. We will do the example first the no-code way, and then achieve the
same result by writing code.
■ in this chapter, all the examples will use employee table data from the adventureWorks database. this way,
you’ll see how different mechanisms can be used with one data source.
Creating Your First ECT Using SharePoint Designer
SharePoint Designer is the no-code mechanism by which you can design a simple ECT to bring external system data
into SharePoint for read and write actions. This mechanism is primarily used by power users or RAD developers.
By completing this exercise, you’ll see how simple it is to build an ECT and how powerful SharePoint Designer is.
7 ECB stands for Edit Control Button, which is available for items on a SharePoint list or a document library. The ECB menu is often
called a context menu , which you can use to perform various operations, such as Edit, View, and Delete.
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