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Data View Support Overview

Data Designer Extensibility (DDEX) provides support for custom data views using the schema defined in DataViewSupport.xsd. Use the DataViewSupport schema to create the XML file in which you define how your database object hierarchies appear in the Visual Studio Server Explorer. Each data hierarchy is a graphical extension of a data view defined for your database objects. You can define as many data views as you like.

Following are brief synopses of the key concepts of data view support:

  • Data Views

  • Resources

Data views correspond to data object hierarchy nodes beneath the Data Connections node in the Visual Studio Server Explorer. You can define each data view by using the Define element. Next, list the defined views inside the Views element. You can have any number of data views.

The following XML shows the structure of the relationships between DataViewSupport, the data views collection, and specific data views.

<DataViewSupport xmlns=http://.../DataViewSupport.xsd>
    <Define name="View" parameters="name,type">
        <View name="$(name)">
    <Define name="Classic Folders">
        <ViewRef name="View" arguments="Classic View, Classic" />
        <ViewRef name="View" arguments="By Object Type, ByObjectType" />
        <ViewRef name="View" arguments="By Schema, BySchema" />

Resources give you the ability to provide localized strings (that is, string resources) to support your data views. You would provide localized strings in all of the languages in which Visual Studio ships.

There are two ways of specifying resources. Either you specify the resource values in the XML file and return a localized file at runtime, or your XML file can point to a resource in an assembly that contains the strings, for example, a satellite DLL.