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How to: Connect to Data

You can reference data that is provided by a SQL Server database, a SharePoint list, an Open Data Protocol (OData) service, an SAP NetWeaver Gateway, or a Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Rich Internet Application (RIA) service. Then, you can then use this data to create screens and queries in LightSwitch.

This topic shows how to accomplish the following tasks:

  1. In Solution Explorer, click the Data Sources node.

  2. On the Project menu, click Add Data Source.

    The Attach Data Source Wizard appears.

  3. In the Choose a data Source Type page, click Database, and then click Next.

  4. If the Choose Data Source dialog box appears, click Microsoft SQL Server, and then click OK.

  5. In the Connection Properties dialog box, make sure that Microsoft SQL Server (SqlClient) appears as selected in the Data source box.

    Note Note

    If Microsoft SQL Server (SqlClient) does not appear in the Data source box, click the Change button to open the Change Data Source dialog box. Then, in the Change Data Source dialog box, specify Microsoft SQL Server and the .NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server. Click OK to return to the Connection Properties dialog box.

  6. In the Server name box of the Connection Properties dialog box, type the name of the SQL Server instance that you want to connect to.

    Note Note

    If SQL Server is running on the same machine as LightSwitch, you can type localhost into the Server name box.

  7. If your database is set up to use Windows authentication, click Use Windows Authentication. Otherwise, click Use SQL Server Authentication, and then provide the user name and password of a user who has access to the database.

  8. Click Select or enter a database name. Then, in the Select or enter a database name list, select or type the name of the database that you want to connect to, and then click Ok.

  9. The Choose Your Database Objects page appears.

  10. In the Choose your Database Objects page, select the tables and views that you want to use in your LightSwitch application, and then click Finish.

The database, tables, and views that you selected appear in Solution Explorer as sub nodes of the Data Sources node.

LightSwitch refers to tables and views as entities. You can edit entities in LightSwitch by using the data designer. For more information, see How to: Define Data Fields in a LightSwitch Database.

There are additional steps that you may want to take if you’ve selected SQL views. SQL views don’t have primary keys, so all required fields are marked as primary keys in the LightSwitch entity. You can review these fields and disable the Is Key property for any fields that don’t need to be part of the primary key.

SQL views can be modified only if they meet certain conditions, which are defined in the “Updatable Views” section of the article CREATE VIEW (Transact-SQL). LightSwitch entities that represent views aren’t editable by default. If you determine that a view meets the updatability conditions listed in that article, you can enable the Is Editable property for the entity.

To disable a primary key in a SQL view

  1. In the Entity Designer, on the Perspective bar, choose Server.

  2. Choose the primary key field that you want to disable.

  3. In the Properties window, clear the Is Key check box.

To make a SQL view editable

  1. In the Entity Designer, choose the title bar for the entity.

  2. In the Properties window, select the Is Editable check box.

  1. In Solution Explorer, click the Data Sources node.

  2. On the Project menu, click Add Data Source….

    The Attach Data Source Wizard appears.

  3. In the Choose a Data Source Type page, click SharePoint, and then click Next.

  4. In the SharePoint Site Address box, type the URL of the SharePoint site that contains the list that you want to connect to. For example, if the URL of your list is http://sharepoint/sites/mysite/Lists/Customers/AllItems.aspx, type http://sharepoint/sites/mysite/ into the SharePoint Site Address box.

    Note Note

    You can reference lists in a SharePoint 2010 site only.

  5. Click either Windows Credentials or Other Credentials.

    If you select Other Credentials, provide a valid user name and password in the appropriate boxes, and then click Next.

  6. In the Choose your Database Objects page, select the lists that you want to use in your LightSwitch application, and then click Finish.

The lists that you selected now appear underneath Data Sources in Solution Explorer.

The lists that you selected appear in Solution Explorer as sub nodes of the Data Sources node.

LightSwitch refers to lists as entities. You can edit entities in LightSwitch by using the data designer. For more information, see How to: Define Data Fields in a LightSwitch Database.

  1. In Solution Explorer, click the Data Sources node.

  2. On the Project menu, click Add Data Source….

    The Attach Data Source Wizard appears.

  3. On the Choose a Data Source Type page, click OData Service, and then click Next.

  4. In the OData Source Address field on the Enter Connection Information page, type the full URL address for the service (for example, http://services.odata.org/Northwind/Northwind.svc/).

    Click Next.

  5. Under Login Information, specify the type of authentication that the service uses.

    If you specify Other Credentials, enter a valid User name and Password, which are typically supplied by the owner of the service.

    Click Next.

  6. On the Choose your Entities page, specify the entities that you want to use in your LightSwitch application, and then click Finish.

    Note Note

    A Warnings dialog box may appear if the service contains relationships to entities that you did not specify. Click Continue to automatically include the related entities, or click Back to change your selection.

The entities that you specified appear in Solution Explorer as sub-nodes under the Data Sources node.

LightSwitch refers to tables and views as entities, and you can edit them in LightSwitch by using the data designer. For more information, see How to: Define Data Fields in a LightSwitch Database.

  1. In Solution Explorer, click the Data Sources node.

  2. On the Project menu, click Add Data Source….

    The Attach Data Source Wizard appears.

  3. On the Choose a Data Source Type page, click SAP, and then click Next.

  4. In the Specify the OData service endpoint field on the Enter Connection Information page, type the full URL address for the service.

  5. Under Specify the authentication type, specify the type of authentication that the service uses.

    If you specify Basic authentication, enter a valid User name and Password, which are typically supplied by the owner of the service.

    Click Next.

  6. On the Choose your Entities page, specify the entities that you want to use in your LightSwitch application, and then click Finish.

The entities that you specified appear in Solution Explorer as sub-nodes under the Data Sources node.

LightSwitch refers to tables and views as entities, and you can edit them in LightSwitch by using the data designer. For more information, see How to: Define Data Fields in a LightSwitch Database.

You can connect to a WCF RIA service that provides data from other types of data sources. For more information about creating WCF RIA services for LightSwitch, see Guidelines for Creating WCF RIA Services for LightSwitch.

  1. In Solution Explorer, click the Data Sources node.

  2. On the Project menu, click Add Data Source….

    The Attach Data Source Wizard appears.

  3. In the Choose a Data Source Type page, click WCF RIA Service, and then click Next.

  4. In the Available WCF Ria Service Classes list of the Choose a WCF Ria Service dialog box, select the desired WCF RIA Service class to import. If the class that you want to import does not appear on this page, click Add Reference, and then select the assembly or project that contains the service class.

    Click Next.

  5. Under Which data source objects do you want to import?, select the data source objects that you want to import.

  6. In the Connection String box, add the connection string to the data source used by the WCF RIA service.

    Note Note

    You only have to provide a connection string if the WCF RIA service consumes a connection string from the web.config file of the LightSwitch application. In most cases, the author of the WCF RIA service provides tip text that appears in the Connection String box. This text describes the expected format of the connection string. For more information, see Guidelines for Creating WCF RIA Services for LightSwitch.

  7. Click Finish.

The data source objects that you selected appear in Solution Explorer as sub nodes of the Data Sources node.

LightSwitch refers to the data source objects as entities. You can edit entities in LightSwitch by using the data designer. For more information, see How to: Define Data Fields in a LightSwitch Database.

If a data source has been changed (For example: a new table has been added, or fields in a SharePoint list have changed on the server), you can refresh the data source definition in LightSwitch. This enables you to model your queries and screens by using the most current version of a data source.

To refresh a data source

  1. In Solution Explorer, select a data source.

  2. On the Project menu, click Update Datasource.

    The Attach Data Source Wizard appears.

  3. Select the objects that you want to import. Click Finish to import the data.

    The data definition described by entities in your model matches the data definition of the data source.

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