6: Working with Business Data in .NET

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Figure 6-4: The Operation Designer page
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Figure 6-5: The External Data Source Type Selection dialog
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TABLE 6-2: External Data Source Types
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Data Source Type NET Type SQL Server WCF Service
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Description A custom NET assembly provides the external data A SQL Server database provides the external data A WCF Service provides the external data
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Next you will need to enter the SQL Server connection data Figure 6-6 shows the SQL Server Connection dialog It allows you to either connect with the current user account, an impersonated Windows Identity, or an impersonated Custom Identity The latter two require a Secure Store ID (See more information on how to connect using a Secure Store ID at http:// msdnmicrosoftcom/en-us/library/ee556780(office14)aspx)
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Figure 6-6: SQL Server connection dialog
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What Is the Secure Store
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The Secure Store Service in SharePoint 2010 is a single sign-on service that allows you to store and map credentials such as account names and passwords used for connecting to external systems Those credentials can be associated with identities known on the system running the BCS service and thus the BCS service is able to connect to the external systems without needing to enter the credentials for the external system
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If we had selected NET Assembly or WCF Service we would have seen a different dialog that would have allowed us to enter the information for those objects Enter the information for your SQL Server and Northwind database and click the OK button Once successfully connected to the Northwind database the tables, views, and other elements defined in the database will show up in the Data
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Source Explorer Expand the Tables node and right click on the Customers table As shown in Figure 6-7 the context menu that appears provides a list of operations you can implement for the external content type
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Figure 6-7: Data Source Explorer in the Operation Designer
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Because we want our users to be able to create, read, update, and delete Customer data select Create All Operations The Operations Wizard pops up The first page of the Operations Wizard dialog gives you a summary of the created methods Figure 6-8 shows the first page of the Operations Wizard Click the Next button to configure the parameters for all of the CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) methods in the Parameters Configuration page of the Operations Wizard as shown in Figure 6-9
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Figure 6-8: The first page of the Operations Wizard
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Figure 6-9: The Parameters Configuration page of the Operations Wizard
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6: Working with Business Data
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In the Data Source Elements list of the Parameters Configuration page you can select and unselect elements to be included The Data Source Elements correspond to the fields defined in your Customer table in the database In the Properties section you can set the properties for each element Table 6-3 lists all the properties available
TABLE 6-3: Data Source Elements Properties
Property NET Type Map to Identifier
Description NET type of the data source element Check the box if the data source element will be a unique identifier for the data This will enable the Identifier drop-down, which allows you to select an Identifier Lists of available identifiers in the ECT The actual field The display name of the data source element Indicates if the data source element is a foreign key identifier Indicates whether the data source element is required or not Indicates whether the data source element is readonly or not One of the values listed in Table 61 if the data source element will be associated with an Office Item type Specifies whether the data source element should be shown in the picker; the picker is a form in the SharePoint UI that allows the user to read, enter, and update information for an external content type Sets a field to contain the time stamp indicating when the field was last updated from external data This information is used by search to determine when to update the search index with the updated external data
Identifier Field Display Name Foreign Identifier Required Read-Only Office Property Show In Picker
Timestamp Field
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The Error and Warnings section of the Parameters Configuration page shows two warnings as shown in Figure 6-10
Figure 6-10: The Errors and Warnings section of the Parameters Configuration page
The first warning tells us that if we don t set any of the elements in the Show in Picker property to True then all the fields will show up in the picker If you only want some of the elements to show up in the picker you need to select the ones you want displayed The second warning indicates that the identifier CustomerID is required and read-only Although this is a valid setting you should consider if this is what you want Think about a table that has an identifier and that identifier is an autoincrement field Every time you create a new entry in that table the identifier is automatically created In this case the identifier would not be required for an Insert operation and would be read-only for all other operations this is called a "Write Once" scenario On the other hand you can have a table that expects you to create an identifier for an entry that is created, but the identifier is not an autoincrement field In that case the identifier would be required and could not be read-only Based on your requirements you might want to adjust those settings as described above For now, accept the default settings, ignore the warnings, and click the Next button The Filter Parameters Configuration page shown in Figure 6-11 allows you to configure filter parameters and default values This is highly recommended to restrict returning large result sets Importing models without filters, for example through Windows Power Shell comandlets or through the admin UI will succeed but with a warning that there is no limit filter applied