Walkthrough: Creating Your Own BDC Model

Last modified: June 10, 2010

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010

A BDC model is the heart of Business Data Connectivity (BDC) service. The data structures such as Entity (external content type) and Method that abstract out complex details about an external system are collectively named MetadataObjects, and comprise the BDC model. The BDC model for an external system is essentially an XML file. It is autogenerated when you create an external content type in Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010. However, if you are working business entities that cannot be created using SharePoint Designer 2010, you can create the BDC model yourself.

Writing a BDC Model for database systems is fairly straightforward:

  1. Model the system by using database tables, whose structure is typically easy to interpret.

  2. Determine the primary keys that will be the identifiers for the external content types.

  3. Based on entity relationships, determine the associations.

However, modeling systems that use Web services or Microsoft .NET Framework connectivity assemblies, however, can be quite complex. You are dependent on methods that are provided by the service. The Sample Orders Web service walkthrough is designed to assist you, by walking you through a simple Web service system to demonstrate several concepts related to using the BDC to model systems that use complex types and complex associations which cannot be modeled by using SharePoint Designer 2010.


Before proceeding with the walkthrough steps, do the following:

  1. Download the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Software Development Kit (SDK), which includes the Sample Orders Web service.

  2. Set up the Code Sample: Sample Orders ASP.NET Web Service on a Web server by following the steps in the sample readme file.

Steps in this walkthrough: