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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Creating an external list in SharePoint Server 2010

In this article we are going to see how we can create an external list in a SharePoint Server site. An external list is the possibility to have a content type binding to a data source (Database in SQL Server). In other article we discussed how we could create a connection to database with BCS (Business Connectivity Services); now we are going to show how to use this connection as a SharePoint list.

The first thing we need to do is to enter the SharePoint site where we want to create the external list, as we can see in Image 1.

[Image 1]


There are many ways to create a list in SharePoint. We are going to access through “View All Site Content”, as we can see in Image 1. When the link is selected, SharePoint will load a new page where we have a link named “Create”, as we can see in Image 2 and that we have to select.

[Image 2]


In the next page we are going to select the type of list that we want to create, as we can see in Image 3.


[Image 3]


SharePoint loads a new page to configure the new list where we have to fill the name of the list, a description, the navigation type and the most important thing, a section to configure the entity that we want use. This section has 2 icons, the first is to validate the name of the entity and the second is to open a search window, as we can see in Image 4.

[Image 4]


In the search window we can type an expression to find the entities or select the button “Find” to show all the created entities. Once we selected the entity that we want use in the list, we must press the button “Ok” to save the selection in the list configuration, as we can see in Image 5.

[Image 5]


When the configuration is completed we must select the button “Create” to create the list in SharePoint, as we can see in Image 6.

[Image 6]


As we can see the list was created and the default view shows all columns (columns from the data base) and all rows from the products table.

Fabián Imaz

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