Business Data Connectivity Models

Business Data Connectivity Models can be created in Visual Studio 2010 for integrating complex systems into the BCS.

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1. Entity Class

The entity class (MountainBikeEntity in the above example) is the data object which SharePoint actually displays. It’s worth noting that SharePoint doesn’t like nullable types and it doesn’t like things like byte array time-stamps but Bdc Model Builder takes care of these issues.

2. BDCM file

The BDCM file (WCFComplexDemo1 in the above example) is an XML document which defines the behaviour of the model. The file outlines which methods are to be implemented and their input and output requirements. This file is particularly complex and can be quite time consuming to successfully create manually. The following method types are supported:

3. Read List

This method reads a collection of entities and should return all entities from the source. This method is called when an external list loads and when a refresh is triggered by another action.

4. Read Item

This method reads a single entity from an identifier variable passed from a selected item in an external list. This method is triggered when a user instigates a View or Update action.

5. Update

This method updates a single entity passed from the Update Form and sourced by the ‘Read Item’ method. The method is triggered when the users confirms the update action from the ‘Edit Item Form’.

6. Create

This method creates a single entity passed from the ‘New Item Form’. The method is triggered when the users confirms the create action from the ‘New Item Form’.

7. Delete

This method deletes a single entity from an identifier variable passed from a selected item in an external list. This method is triggered when a user instigates a Delete action.

8. Service Class

The service class (MountainBikeEntityService in the above example) is the service object used for connecting to the external system. A matching method will be provided for every method defined in the BDCM document.

9. Filtering

Although it is possible to create filterable methods which pass parameters to a service method, they aren’t particularly useful because they can’t be used with External Lists which implement full CRUD interfaces and can only be used with Business Data Lists which are read-only.

Last edited Apr 5, 2011 at 7:49 PM by geoff_cross, version 2

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