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Working With External Content Types with SharePoint Designer 2010

In a video tutorial titled Create External Content Types using SharePoint Designer 2010, Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP and MCT demonstrates how to use SharePoint Designer 2010 to work with External Content Type Site Objects in SharePoint 2010. This video tutorial is intended for an audience of SharePoint Administrators, developers, designers and architects.

In an article published on msdn, Microsoft defines external content types as ” . . . reusable metadata descriptions of connectivity information and data definitions plus the behaviors you want to apply to a certain category of external data.” (quoted from the above referenced definition of external content types as published on the msdn website).

Our video tutorial on this topic expands on ” . . . the behaviors you want to apply to a certain category of external data” with a demonstration of how to use SharePoint Designer to create a connection to external data with a new external content type. Once the connection is established, business analysts, as Asif Rehmani remarks in this video tutorial, can build external lists in SharePoint 2010. These external lists can be used, for example, as a method of exposing database tables within a SharePoint computing environment. When this type of activity is hosted on SharePoint, business users successfully achieve the added benefit of observing specific activity within the context of the overall activity of an organization. The alternative is to have all this activity remain within the silo of the specific business unit for which the data applies.

A strategy to improve levels of SharePoint adoption across an organization should include creation and implementation of a series of external content types for each of the organization’s line of business units. Once various business units can exploit SharePoint as a better method of presenting their respective historical performance within the context of the performance of their internal peers and the overall organization they will be more likely to adopt computing on SharePoint.

If your organization would like to explore how components of SharePoint 2010 like external content types can be used to better organize information, please let us know. Our subject mater experts may be able to substantially reduce the amount of time and effort required for your organization to implement this valuable feature for your organization.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved