Creating an External Content Type with SharePoint Designer

Contact Us or call 1-877-932-8228
Creating an External Content Type with SharePoint Designer

Creating an External Content Type with SharePoint Designer

SharePoint Designer 2013 is a great tool for defining External Content Types. Its graphical driven no-code approach makes if fairly easy to expose external data. Visual Studio is another tool that can be used to define External Content Types and has an advantage with more complex data configurations but it requires developer skills to create.

The following walk-through will show you how to use SharePoint Designer 2013 to create an External Content Type mapped to the Employees table from the Northwind SQL database.

  1. Open your site in SharePoint Designer.
  2. Create a new External Content Type mapped to the Northwind database Employees table.

    You will need access to the Northwind database stored on a Microsoft SQL server for this walk-through. Additionally, you will need metadata store permissions to the Business Connectivity service in your farm.

    1. Click the External Content Types link in the Navigation pane of SharePoint Designer. External Content Types
    2. Click the External Content Type button in the External Content Types tab toolbar inside the New group. External Content Types
    3. Click the New external content type link next to the Name label in the External Content Type Information area of the New External Content Type tab editor.
    4. Type "<<your name goes here>>-EmployeesECT" in the Name field, your name is to make sure the External Content Type is unique within your farm. External Content Types
    5. Click the Click here to discover external data sources and define operations link next to the External System label.
    6. Click the Add Connection button on the Operation Designer editor.
    7. Select SQL Server in the Data Source Type and click the OK button on the External Data Source Type Selection dialog. External Content Types
    8. Type the name of a SQL server that has a copy of the Northwind database in the Database Server field, "northwind" in the Database Name field, "<<your name goes here>>-Northwind" in the Name (optional) field and click the OK button to save and close the SQL Server Connection dialog. External Content Types
    9. Expand the northwind database by clicking the "+" icon in the Data Source Explorer tab. External Content Types
    10. Click the "+" icon next to the Tables item in the Data Source Explorer tab to expand the tables list.
    11. Right-click the Employees table and choose the Create All Operations option. External Content Types
    12. Click the Next button on the first page of the All Operations dialog. External Content Types
    13. Uncheck the check box next to the Photo field in the list of the Employees table fields. External Content Types
    14. Click the Next button on the second page of the All operations dialog.
    15. Click the Finish button on the last page of the All operations dialog. External Content Types
    16. Click the Save icon in the upper-left corner of SharePoint Designer's window to save the External Content Type to the Business Connectivity Service of the SharePoint farm. External Content Types
Next