How to: Expose BDC Profile Pages

After the Business Data Catalog (BDC) imports an application definition, the BDC automatically generates a profile page for each entity that has a SpecificFinder method. A profile page can display all the information from a record in the BDC. For example, a profile page can display all the fields in a record for a specific customer. The default profile page contains a BDC Item Web Part for that entity. Users can navigate to the profile page of an entity through a View Profile action. Clicking the View Profile link in a Business Data column or in a Business Data Web Part lets the user see the details of an item on that item's profile page.

By default, the profile page is hosted on the Shared Services Administration site collection where the BDC administration site is located. Developers can create their own profile pages and host them in any site that is not part of the Shared Services Provider site collection. One reason to create your own profile pages is for security. You may not want to give end users access to the Shared Services Administration site collection. You can direct users to custom profile pages by updating the View Profile action.

To update the "View Profile" action created during the BDC application definition import process

  1. Open the SharePoint Central Administration site.
  2. In the Quick Launch, click Shared Services Administration.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • If you installed the Partner Portal application by running the batch file ContosoSetup.bat, click ContosoSSP.
    • If the preceding does not apply to you, click SharedServices1.
  4. Under Business Data Catalog, click View Entities.
  5. Click the entity that you want to update. If you installed the Partner Portal application, you should see three entities: Category, Part, and Product. In this case, click Category.
  6. Click the View Profile action.
  7. Update the URL. For the Category entity, the URL is already updated by the installation process, so you do not need to update it.
  8. If your URL contains query string parameters, use the URL parameters section to specify the business entity property to pass as a value to the query string parameters. For example, if your URL is "/sites/productcatalog/Category.aspx?CategoryId={0} ", you must specify a URL parameter with the CategoryId property.

You also can create custom actions for entities in the BDC. Custom actions allow users to navigate to any custom page to display business data. To define a BDC action, follow the steps in the Step 3 (Optional): Define Actions article on MSDN.

In the Partner Portal application, the product and category profile pages are hosted in the Product Catalog site collection. For more information, see Product Catalog.


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