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A Hands On Example Using SharePoint Designer, SQL Server and the Secure Store for SharePoint 2013 to Work with External Data

In a video tutorial titled Using SQL Server to interact with BCS External Data, Fabian Williams, a SharePoint Server MVP demonstrates each of the steps required to create an external content type in SharePoint 2013. The steps are taken with SharePoint Designer 2013, SQL Server, and the Secure Store.

This video tutorial is included in a set of video training content titled Working with External Data in SharePoint 2013 using BCS and Workflows. The set is available for purchase for local, on premises unlimited viewing by organizations of any size. The set is also included as a course for SharePoint 2013, and is available for unlimited viewing by anyone with a valid subscription to SharePoint-Videos. The target audience for this video tutorial set are SharePoint Administrators, Developers, Designers and Architects.

As anyone watching the above mentioned video tutorial will note, Fabian actually recommends viewers consider passing over SharePoint Designer 2013, for Visual Studio for one simple reason: OData has not yet been added as a method of connecting to SQL Server in SharePoint Designer, 2013. In contrast, OData can be used with Visual Studio, with no requirement for any hard coding, to accomplish the same objective depicted in this video. Per Fabian, opting to use Visual Studio for the task will reduce the amount of time required to build the external content type depicted in this example to “a few seconds”.

This writer was impressed with the granularity of the presentation. Fabian actually builds the external content type in the video. So viewers benefit from a step-by-step depiction of each of the procedures required to accomplish the task. The steps taken, as mentioned at the top of this post are effected with SharePoint Designer 2013, SQL Server and the Secure Store. Of course, as a video tutorial, this presentation can be paused, or repeated as frequently as viewers require, which provides the best opportunity for maximum retention of the material presented.

One final note: the video is likely to be of greatest value to the intended audience. It is not likely SharePoint power users will get much out of it, unless the right permissions are in place to afford specific viewers an opportunity to practice the procedure.

Ira Michael Blonder

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