Using BCS and External Content Types in SharePoint 2010 To Bring Contacts In and Connect To Outlook 2010

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Using BCS and External Content Types in SharePoint 2010 To Bring Contacts In and Connect To Outlook 2010

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Added by June 15, 2012

We will use SharePoint Designer 2010 to create an external content type. This will be connected to the customers table in NorthWind and will allow for the creation of a new external list. We will add the functionality of being able to connect this list to Outlook by mapping the customers from NorthWind to the Office Content Type of Contact.

Open SharePoint Designer

 

Open-SharePoint-Designer1.png

I start with an out of the box site collection using the Team Site as the top level site Template. I Choose Site Actions>Edit in SharePoint Designer to opent SharePoint Designer 2010.

External Content Types

External-Content-Types1.png

I choose External Content Types in the Navigation Pane of SharePoint Designer 2010.

New External Content Type

New-External-Content-Type1.png

I click on the External Content Type Icon in the Ribbon which is how I will create a new External Content Type. Since this is my development Server I have several already created but I will create a new one here.

Name External Content Type

Name-External-Content-Type1.png

I click the Link in the Name area to name this external content type. I name it NorthWindCustomers, I also name the Display Name the same thing.

Office Item Type

Office-Item-Type1.png

I click the drop down menu for Office Item Type and select Contact.

Sync Enabled

Sync-Enabled1.png

I make sure that the Office Sync for external list is set to Enabled.

Discover External Data Sources

Discover-external-data-sources1.png

I click the link to discover external data sources

Add Connection

Add-Connection1.png

I click the Add Connection button.

Choose Data Source Type

Choose-Data-Source-Type1.png

I select SQL Server from the drop down list since I'm connecting to a SQL Server Database.

SQL Server Connection

SQL-Server-Connection1.png

I Fill in the SQL Server Connection Modal Window text boxes as appropriate and click OK. In this case the instance of SQL Server that I have NorthWind on is sharepoint that's why i added .\sharepoint to the Database Server text box. In other environments this would be different in most cases.

Expand NorthWind Customers

Expand-NorthWind-Customers1.png

I click the + sign next to NorthWind Customers to expand it.

Expand Tables

Expand-Tables1.png

I click the + sign next to Tables to expand it.

Create All Operations

Create-All-Operations1.png

I right click on the Customers table and choose Create All Operations.

Operation Properties Wizard

Operation-Properties-Wizard1.png

On the first page of the Operation Properties Wizard I click Next.

Map Customer ID

Map-Customer-ID1.png

With CustomerID selected in Data Source Elements I click the drop down menu for Office Property and map to the Office CustomerID property.

Map Company Name

Map-Company-Name1.png

I set the CompanyName mapping as shown.

ContactName 

 

ContactName1.png

I map the ContactName field as shown.

ContactTitle 

 

ContactTitle1.png

I map the ContactTitle Field as shown.

Address 

 

Address1.png

I map the Address as shown.

City 

 

City1.png

I map the City field as shown.

Region 

 

Region1.png

I map the Region field as shown.

PostalCode 

 

PostalCode1.png

I map the PostalCode Field as shown.

Country 

 

Country1.png

I map the Country Field as shown. (I map it to the mailing address region country)

Phone 

 

Phone1.png

I map the Phone Field as shown.

Fax 

 

Fax1.png

I map the Fax Field as shown. I then click Next.

Filter Parameters Configuration 

 

Filter-Parameters-Configuration1.png

I do not add a filter parameter but if this database table with over 2000 or so items I would add a filter parameter to avoid exceeding my list view threshold which would result in an error when the web part tried to render. So I click Finish.

Save 

 

Save1.png

It's very important to remember to hit save in the quick access toolbar (I have forgotten many times…) after I'm sure it's done saving I close SharePoint Designer.

Central Administration 

 

Central-Administration1.png

At this point a farm administrator needs to configure permissions to the external content type. This is really a separate blog so i'll just show the finished screenshot.

Create a New List 

 

Create-A-New-List1.png

There are many ways to do this but I'll click Site Actions>More Options

Choose External List 

 

Choose-External-List1.png

I filter by list and choose External List for the template. Then I click Create.

Name List Choose ECT 

 

Name-List-Choose-ECT1.png

I'll name the list NorthWindCustomers and enter NorthwindCustomers in the External Content Type Field and click CTRL + K to do a lookup and fill in the value. Then I click Create.

Connect To Outlook

Connect-To-Outlook1.png

I click the Connect to Outlook Icon in the ribbon.

Verify Results

Verify-Results1.png

I clicked o.k. to a couple of modal windows that i was too slow to capture and BAM the contacts are in outlook!!!!!
All with NO CODE by the way!!!

 

 

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