Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Modifying BDC Model Entity in Business Connectivity Services

In this article I am going to customize the BDC model in a way that the entity can be used to add many properties than the 2 that comes by default. This part is a little bit tricky and confusing for a conventional C# developer. But with practice and by understanding the concepts, this can be made easier. 

1. First of all I am going to create an empty SharePoint project using Visual Studio. This example will be done using Visual Studio 2010 and SharePoint 2010, but there will be no difference for Visual Studio 2012/2013 and SharePoint 2013.

2. Then I added a new Business Data Connectivity Model to the project named 'BdcDemoModel'. The project should look like this.

3. Remove the 'Entity1' objected from the BDC Designer. Then drag and drop a new 'Entity' to the BDC Designer from Toolbox. There will be an empty entity without any identifiers or methods. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

BCS in SharePoint 2013 @ SharePoint Sri Lanka User Group, July 2014 Meetup

  • What is a Business Connectivity Service?
  • Why use business connectivity services?
  • How to deploy a Business Connectivity Service? 

These were the key questions focused for the first session for the SharePoint Sri Lanka User Group meeting for July 2014. 
Connecting data from external data sources to SharePoint is something developers may see challenging. SharePoint 2013 has a really good feature (which was in SharePoint 2010 as well) further improved with multiple data source supports as well as features such as remote event receivers.

External Content Types provide the facility to connect the data to SharePoint and a Secure Store Service application can be used for providing the better authorizations. 

Slides of the presentation can be downloaded from below.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Microsoft Azure Mobile Services @ Sri Lanka .NET Forum, July 2014 Meetup

I got the opportunity to do my fourth Sri Lanka .NET Forum presentation on 3rd July 2014. This time the topic was "Microsoft Azure Mobile Services". I had recently engaged with the Azure Mobile Services for working on the app we created for Microsoft Imagine Cup 2014 called "LiveZen". To give more details about the Azure Mobile Services, here is what Microsoft says.

Azure Mobile Services provides a scalable and secure backend that can be used to power apps on any platform–iOS, Android, Windows or Mac. It’s easy to store app data in the cloud or on-premises, authenticate users, and send push notifications, as well as add your custom backend logic in C# or Node.js.

The presentation went fine with a good crowd and had a successful Q and A session with many questions asked by people from the audience. I mainly focused on demonstrating the steps to create a backend easily within few minutes and connect to the database. 

Azure actually provide much advanced features such as Single Sign-On support, enhanced security and scaling servers and ect... Would like to cover them in a future presentation.