BDC Model Design Tools Overview

You can design a Business Data Connectivity (BDC) model by using the BDC Designer, the BDC Method Details window, and the BDC Explorer.

The BDC Explorer enables you to browse the model, search the model, and define type descriptors.

The BDC Designer enables you to define the entities in your model and to visually arrange their relationships with one another. Use the BDC Designer to accomplish the following tasks:

  • Add entities to the model.

  • Remove entities from the model.

  • Define relationships between entities.

To open the BDC Designer, double-click the model file in your project. Add an entity to the model by dragging an Entity from the Toolbox onto the designer. To create an association between two entities, click Association Group in the Toolbox, click the first entity, and then click the second entity.

Use the BDC Method Details window to define the parameters, instances, and filter descriptors of a method.

You can quickly generate Finder, Specific Finder, Creator, Updater, and Deleter methods in the BDC Method Details window. When you generate these methods, Visual Studio adds metadata, such as parameters, instances, and type descriptors, to the method. You can modify this metadata to satisfy your specific scenario.

To open the BDC Method Details window, click on the View menu, click Other Windows, and then click BDC Method Details.

To view methods in the BDC Method Details window, select the entity in the BDC Designer. The methods of the selected entity appear in the BDC Method Details window. If you do not select an entity in the BDC Designer, the BDC Method Details window displays no information.

Expand or collapse nodes in the BDC Method Details window to define parameters, instances, and filter descriptors. Use the BDC Explorer to define type descriptors.

The BDC Explorer displays the elements that make up the model. To open the BDC Explorer, click on the View menu, click Other Windows, and then click BDC Explorer. To browse the model, expand nodes in the BDC Explorer. Each node represents an element in the XML of the model file.

As you select nodes in the BDC Explorer, the properties of the selected node appear in the Properties window. Many of these properties correspond to attributes in the model file. You can search the model by using the search box at the top of the BDC Explorer.

NoteNote

The BDC Explorer does not display identifiers, custom properties, localized strings, association groups, actions, filter descriptors, action control lists, and the default parameter values.

Defining Type Descriptors

Use the BDC Explorer to define type descriptors. The BDC Explorer enables you to define a type descriptor one time and then reuse that type descriptor elsewhere in your model. To accomplish this, copy a type descriptor and paste it onto any other parameter or type descriptor.

NoteNote

Changes to an original type descriptor do not affect the copies of that type descriptor.

For more information, see How to: Define the Type Descriptor of a Parameter.

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