Tallan's Technology Blog

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Posts Tagged "Business Connectivity Services (BCS)"

Creating a SharePoint BCS .NET Connectivity Assembly to Crawl RSS Data in Visual Studio 2010

Overview
In this post, I’ll walk you though how to create a SharePoint 2010  BCS .NET Connectivity Assembly in Visual Studio 2010.
We’re going to create an assembly that will allow us to Crawl RSS Feeds using BCS.
Creating a BCS .NET Connectivity Assembly project in Visual Studio 2010
First, create a new project selecting the Sharepoint –> 2010 –>Business Data Connectivity Model.  I’ll call this project RSSModel.

At the SharePoint Customization Wizard screen, select Deploy as a Farm Solution.  Be sure to put in the address of your base web application.

Click Finish.  Visual Studio will create the new project.  Once complete you should be presented with the model designer surface as below:

Updating the Default Project for Our Custom BCS Model
Setting the Model Name
The model is created using default model and entity names.  Lets change those first.  In solution explorer, change the name of the…

Fixing ‘The default web application could not be determined…’ when deploying a .NET BCS Connectivity Assembly in SharePoint 2010

Overview
The following error was received when attempting to deploy a .NET BCS Connectivity Assembly to our SharePoint 2010 Farm:
Error occurred in deployment step ‘Add Solution': The default web application could not be determined. Set the SiteUrl property in feature *Model Name*_Feature1 to the URL of the desired site and retry activation.
Parameter name: properties
 
 
Solution
While the Site URL property is automatically set in the Project properties by the SharePoint Configuration Wizard when creating the project, for some reason it doesn’t set a BCS Custom Property necessary for successful deployment.
To add this property, do the following:
Select the model object in the solution explorer.  This is generally beneath the Package node.  In the properties window, click (Collection) next to Feature Properties and click the elipsis (…) button.

In the Feature Properties window, click the Add button.  Set the Key property to SiteUrl and the…

SharePoint BCS Links

Overview
While investigating how to create and deploy custom .NET BCS Connectivity Assemblies, I came across a ton of good links that helped out with some specific issues, and I wanted to share them.
Clearing BCS Service Application Database
The following link describes a method of clearing out the BCS database in order to redeploy BCS custom assemblies that have changed models.  This is useful if you start getting errors about your BCD model not being compliant with previous versions.  It keeps you from having to delete/recreate the BCS Service Application:
http://tomvangaever.be/blog/index.php?entry=entry100422-165749
Making BCS Model in .NET Connectivity Assembly Searchable
The next link describes the changes to your .NET Connectivity Assembly that are necessary to make your BCS model show up in Content Sources under Line of Business in the SharePoint Search and/or FAST Content SSA’s.
http://tomvangaever.be/blogv2/2010/05/bcs-search-there-are-no-external-data-sources-to-choose-from/
BCS Custom Properties List
Finally, the last link is a list of…

MSDN Articles on configuring SharePoint search for External Content Types (BCS)

We’ve been doing some work for multiple clients using FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 and indexing content surfaced using SharePoint’s Business Connectivity Services (BCS) and External Content Types (ECTs).
I recently was looking for how to do incremental searches on External data and found these 2 MSDN articles that are extremely detailed and informative on the subject.
They Cover:

Configuring BCS ECTs for Search
Customizing Search Results
Using Associatiosn for Master/Detail Relationships
BDC Model XML
Modifying ECTs to support Incremental crawls ( 2 different methods with pros and conts

I highly recommend reading them:
Links
Configuring SharePoint Server 2010 Search for External Content Types (Part 1 of 2)
Configuring SharePoint Server 2010 Search for External Content Types (Part 2 of 2)

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