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Working with the OData Protocol, Web Parameters and URIs to Expose External Data in SharePoint

Expressions of the OData protocol are usually incorporated within Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs). These expressions add parameters to Internet locations, at the application layer (hypertext). Once the syntax of a URI has been successfully completed, a web browser can be used as a “universal client” to parse data repositories for targeted segments of data, which users can consume as web pages.

In two video tutorials included in a new set of video training content led by Fabian Williams, SharePoint Server MVP, we demonstrate not only the importance of a thorough grounding in web application development to a successful effort to build Apps to expose external data, with the BCS, in either SharePoint 2013, or SharePoint Online, Office 365 via Visual Studio and OData sources, but, further, the value of knowing how to leverage debugging skills to correct errors and to keep a development project on track.

These videos are titled, respectively:

  • BCS External Data, Visual Studio, REST and OData – Part 2, and
  • BCS External Data, Visual Studio, REST and OData – Part 3

They are both included in a set titled SharePoint 2013: Working with External Data in SharePoint 2013 Using BCS and Workflows On Premises and Online.

The first of these videos presents viewers with a problem: Fabian attempts to add data from an OData repository to resources for a project in Visual Studio, and, subsequently as new content for SharePoint Online, Office 365. Both attempts fail. Fabian demonstrates how to debug the failures with an emphasis on the web application nature of the task. Accordingly, he spends a considerable amount of time looking at how the data has been encoded for browser display, and makes several adjustments to it. Later, he also investigates viewing permissions, and makes additions to the Metadata Term Store to ensure the proper privileges are in place to 1) add the content to SharePoint Online, and, later, 2) to work with it.

The second of these videos amounts to a demonstration of how to construct a working URI, complete with a series of parameters. The objective of the series is to populate a web page with specific sections of data parsed from an external data set via the OData protocol.

Ira Michael Blonder

©Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder 2014 All Rights Reserved

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