Custom BDC Connector for SharePoint 2010 – Part 2

In my previous post I started a simple tutorial of how to create your own custom connector for Business Data Connectivity Services for SharePoint 2010. I created my own project in CodePlex where to store the code of these posts. So in this article I will show you the basics of creating your own connector.

Custom connectors are the ultimate abstraction in BDC services. Basically you have the model definition as .NET objects and you can manipulate it as you wish. Internally you can call services, read files, access databases, etc. As a result you need to provide an object which conforms to method’s return type description in the model definition.

Here are the steps when creating a custom connector:

  1. Create your model definition
  2. Write code-behind
  3. Deploy the solution

Note, that the first two steps can be interchanged. Some people prefer to start by writing the code-behind, deploy it and then start wirting their models. However I think it’s a better approach if you start with the model. Having it done in advance you can concentrate on its interpretation. So in this post I will exaplain how to create your model definition. Continue Reading…

Custom .NET Assembly Connector for SharePoint 2010

One of the great features of SharePoint 2010 is its Business Connectivity Services support. You have an abstraction (really big one) over external data sources like WCF, SQL server and custom .NET types. Basically, you can create lists populated by external data. This is really powerful when it comes to importing results from multiple sytems into SharePoint. I will demonstrate how you can create a custom .NET type which can be used as a data source.

First, start Visual Studio 2010 and create a new SharePoint 2010 Business Data Connectivity Model project .

Continue Reading…