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Create and configure the external content type for the Business Connectivity Services hybrid scenario

SharePoint 2013

Published: April 9, 2013

Summary: How to create an external content type for an OData source by using Visual Studio 2012 to support the Business Connectivity Services (BCS) hybrid scenario.

Applies to:  SharePoint Server 2013 

note Note:

This documentation is preliminary and subject to change.

Warning Warning:

To configure a hybrid SharePoint environment, you need a combination of expert skills and significant hands-on experience with SharePoint Server 2013, SharePoint Online, and related products and technologies. We recommend that you engage Microsoft Consulting Services to provide technical guidance and support during the design and deployment of your hybrid environment.

For more information about Microsoft Consulting Services, see Microsoft Services.

In every Business Connectivity Services (BCS) solution, the external content type defines the external data to SharePoint 2013. It includes descriptions of how the data is structured, how it is secured, the specific portions of the external data that you want to interact with, and the permitted operations. When an external list or app for SharePoint or business data Web Part makes a request for external data, the Business Data Connectivity service refers to the external content type for the list or app or Web Part to understand how to communicate with the external data source.

In the BCS hybrid scenario, only OData sources are supported and the preferred way to make an external content type for an OData source is to use Visual Studio 2012. Visual Studio 2012 simplifies the external content type creation process by directly connecting to the OData source, reading it, and building the external content type XML for you. Once created, you have to make some minor changes to the XML, such as inserting which connection settings object to use and removing some of the boilerplate code, before you can deploy it to your SharePoint Online tenancy for use in the BCS hybrid scenario.

Important Important:

This is Step 8 in the Business Connectivity Services hybrid scenario deployment procedures.

Prerequisites

Before you begin this procedure, make sure you have the following:

  • Visual Studio 2012 installed on a computer that on your corporate network.

  • The OData service endpoint URL

  • Microsoft Office Tools for Visual Studio 2012

To create an external content type for the BCS hybrid scenario

  1. Complete the steps in How to: Create an external content type from an OData source in SharePoint 2013 in the MSDN Library. When you are done creating the external content type, you will need to decide how it will be deployed, either by using Visual Studio 2012 F5 deployment, or by extracting the external content type from a .app package and importing it manually by using SharePoint Online Administration Center. Return to Deploy the Business Connectivity Services hybrid scenario as an external list if you are going to manually import the external content type into the SharePoint Online BCS Metadata Store, or return to Deploy the Business Connectivity Services hybrid scenario as an app for SharePoint if you are going to use Visual Studio 2012 automation to deploy an app for SharePoint to your site in SharePoint Online.

Important Important:

Link to Step 9.0 Deploy the Business Connectivity Services hybrid scenario as an external list of the Business Connectivity Services hybrid scenario deployment procedures.

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