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BCS read only external lists on Foundation RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    What I'm trying to do is represent a set of read only views from enterprise data sources and have them become external lists at the root of the site collections.

    I managed to get one external list working from SPD but it was a very confusing experience. Does anyone have a link to a tutorial to show how to generate an BCS External List of a read only view? The one I have found so far described the full BCS CRUD connectivity of a whole table. It was also short on descriptions of the security involved. Definitely something I don't want to start with, using SPD.  I have successfully customized my own functionality in Visual Studio for web parts and workflows and Event recievers that read or make changes to external persistence layers, on three version of Sharepoint. Using SPD the "lingo" is a confusing and I don't yet understand the reliance on a preexisting external content type.

    Thanks.

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011 2:16 PM

Answers

  • I can't point you at a web tutorial, because I'm not sure there is one.  But if you happen to be in San Francisco for SPTechCon in early February I'm doing a talk on accessing CRM data as an external list that will demonstrate exactly the items you are asking about.

    In the meantime.  My best suggestion is to NOT create all the CRUD operations.  Create only the READ operations and you will be fine.  If the CUD operations don't exist then the external list will be ReadOnly.


    Paul Stork SharePoint Server MVP
    • Proposed as answer by AnalbenMehta Tuesday, January 18, 2011 4:40 PM
    • Marked as answer by Toomanyhats Wednesday, January 19, 2011 8:13 PM
    Tuesday, January 18, 2011 2:53 PM

All replies

  • I can't point you at a web tutorial, because I'm not sure there is one.  But if you happen to be in San Francisco for SPTechCon in early February I'm doing a talk on accessing CRM data as an external list that will demonstrate exactly the items you are asking about.

    In the meantime.  My best suggestion is to NOT create all the CRUD operations.  Create only the READ operations and you will be fine.  If the CUD operations don't exist then the external list will be ReadOnly.


    Paul Stork SharePoint Server MVP
    • Proposed as answer by AnalbenMehta Tuesday, January 18, 2011 4:40 PM
    • Marked as answer by Toomanyhats Wednesday, January 19, 2011 8:13 PM
    Tuesday, January 18, 2011 2:53 PM
  • Thanks,

    I took a tutorial for full CRUD BCS External List and chose just the option Read List and Read Item. It did work. You confirmed that is a valid approach, very grateful. SPD complained of the need for filters and Parameters and IDs. Once it was done it warned me that CUD would not be available.
    I set the View it derived from as a specific securable GRANT SELECT with a unique SQL authentication for Sharepoint readonly login. Seems a typical config but rarely explained.

    Here is why I suggest typical...

    The concept of using a SP site to create/update/add an External List; for example a Customers Table which would exist as master data in the CRM module of an ERP system would just not be something that happens.

    The CRM would have an API that would handle CRUD, or a very tight relational definition which should disallow the CRUD operation from single table manipulation, or a set of stored procedures to perform the operations to maintain the neccessary data integrity. Delete Customer X, not likely, becasue it would not be sufficient in describing what to do with all the related Sales Orders, Invoices, RMA's, Check/Cash Numbers, PO's that exist in the system that the rest of the Enterprise Information store requires, those that have foreign key relationships with Customers. 

    So the example I found worked but it was a little far fetched and SPD complained at every turn. My imagination last night wasn't up to the task recognizing the pattern it represented.

    I'll mark your response as an answer shortly.

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011 5:55 PM