The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 100,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.
Consistently two of my most heavily viewed/visited post based on WordPress Metrics is the one highlighted below, see the image for the top 5 all
- How To: Create, Configure, Consume SharePoint 2010 Secure Store in Business Connectivity Services
- Creating a SharePoint 2010 External Content Type with CRUD Methods using LINQ and a SQL LOB System
Since I have already done this in SharePoint 2010 using Secure Store and a SQL Server Native Line of Business (LOB) System, as well as a Visual Studio 2010 .Net Assembly, I figured I can offer value by updating this post to include the following Scenarios
- BCS Full CRUD using SharePoint Designer with a Windows Communications Foundation (WCF) Data Connection [I will actually show you how to build the WCF, otherwise why even bother :-)] using the Users Identity as the Auth (YOU ARE HERE!)
- BCS Full CRUD with Visual Studio 2012 .Net Assembly using Secure Store [I will put in Code Snippets this time rather than Images :-)]
- BCS Full CRUD with Visual Studio 2012 OData LOB System Type SharePoint App [Yes App Model] to include the External List Instantiation
There are tons of examples (the #1 viewed blog above uses that as an example) on how to use SharePoint Designer to do a SQL Native Connection, so i wont bother beating that horse to death, and I would like to also point out to this excellent post by my good friend Chris Givens on how he extended the third bullet point example above to include Notification and Subscriptions Alert, so i will not be doing that either.
As this is an update, I am specifically leaving out the precursor activities that are needed before you begin to create the External Content Type (ECT), I will just pick up at the point of Creating the ECT and as for cases where I introduce new methodologies, I will ofcourse showcase those aspects.
In this blog, specifically I will be showing the following
- Creating a WCF Source
- Basically, creating the WCF Service Library
- Moving the Service App DLL & Hosting the WCF in IIS (since automatically it is hosted in the local virtual Visual Studio IIS app)
- Using SharePoint Designer 2013 and that WCF Data Connection to do Full CRUD Operations, CRUD-Q infact
Lets Begin – Creating the WCF Service Library
My thought process for this since I am going to be exposing data in an underlying SQL Server is to use Visual Studio Entity Framework 5 to create my access to the Data Store. I will then (I don’t have to but because I want to extrapolate the Entity and manipulate it as my own object) I will create my own class(object) to represent the Northwind Employee and then create my Visual Studio Interface and then my Service Contract. If all of this sounds like gibberish to you, here is a beginners tutorial on how to create a WCF Service Library (its too involved for this post and will take away from my objective) NOW… I am not going to implement it totally the way the post describes it, as i said above, but I WILL show you the code of my
- Connecting to the Northwind Database
- My Northwind Employee Entity (Data Contract)
- Service Contract (Interface)
- Service Itself(Implementation of the Interface)
New Project & Connecting to the Database
First you will start Visual Studio as Administrator and create a new Project as such
Project > New Project > Dub CF > WCF Service Library – Then name it appropriately
Now by default you will get a Service Contract called (IService1.cs) and a Service Implementation (SErvice1.cs) – I don’t like using the OOB templates that are provided although hey say you can Rename/Refactor it; i just never trust it. So, you can go ahead and delete those, because we will create our own classes for our Data Contract, Service Contract and Service Implementation.
Once you have deleted those two files, then next we will do is add an ADO.NET Entity Data Model item to our project, name it appropriately for the Data you are modeling after and click Add.
Follow the Wizard by doing “Generate from Database”, make a new connection or select from one already there, because I am using SQL Server Authentication and I want to have this persisted in my project I also select the option for “Yes, include the sensitive data in the connection string” which is basically your Uname and PW along with Data Source and Initial Catalogue. Under Tables I am selecting my Northwind Employee Table, and following the rest of the wizard to the end. When you are done, you should have an entity as i do below as well as a “NameYouChose”.edmx file which shows you the below
Once you have done that, now I am actually going to create my own Data Contact class which abstracts from the ADO.NET Employee entity. You do that by adding a new class to your project. I am calling mine “Emp.cs” as seen below in the code snippet
You will notice that i am decorating the class with the [DataContract] attribute and also setting the fields that i want as [DataMember] then next thing I do is create my Service Contract which as I said before is a Interface; I do that by adding another class called IEmpService.cs as seen in the code snippet below
Here we decorate the interface with the attribute [ServiceContract] and this is the fist part where we have an eye towards what SharePoint BCS needs. As you can see above we have a the following
- Create Method called “CreateEmployee” which takes the data contract as a input parameter
- Read List Method called “GetAllEmp” which returns a list of all the Employees
- Read Item (Specific Finder) Method called “GetSpecificEmp” which takes the employee Id as an input parameter
- Delete Method called “RemoveEmp” which also takes employee Id as an input parameter
- Updater Method called “UpdateEmp” which takes the data contract as an input parameter
We also decorate these as Operation Contract what we MUST implement to use our Interface. Next we will create the service that will implment the Interface and this is done by creating another class called EmpService.cs
Thats a heap a code I know, and there are other ways to do this, Im sure, this is just “my way”, you will notice I am employing the Using Statement to encapsulate the Context of the Data Connection then Im either Creating, Updating, Deleting and as in the case of Reading I have one that returns everything and one that returns just one.
THATS IT for the Code part of this!!!
Once all of that is done, you will NEED, YES NEED, to modify the App.config file because it still thinks that the Service Contract is tied to IService1.cs that we deleted earlier. We can also create other endpoiints, yada yada, but thats anotehr story. So here is what you need to do for your App.Config. Right click on it, and click “Edit WCF Configuration”, when you do you will need to change the Service to your EmpService by browsing to the Bin Directory and clicking the Dll & you will also need to set the Contract to IEmpService by doing the same. You will notice I have two endpoints as well, one for the Service Contract endpoint and the other is MEX for the announcement of the Service.
This GUI is just and abstract of the .config file so here is the full code for that below
Test your Work
Now that you have done all that you can certainly test your work even before it goes into IIS to be hosted outside of Visual Studio. You can do that by using a nifty tool inside your Visual Studio Command Promt called “WCFTestClient.exe” and passing it the URI of your Service, but the easiest way is just Press F5 in Visual Studio and it will do all that for you LOL, we will use the tool later on when we move it to IIS. Just for giggles sake, I will just test the GetAllEmp for this blog. IF you want to see more come see my VS Live 360 Session that i spoke about on my blog here.
As you can see above, we have the Service exposed and all the methods, and we invoked one them and we can see the results there.
Move this to IIS – Hosting this Service in IIS
Now unless you want to have to start up Visual Studio every time you need to use this WCF, what you need to do is host this in IIS or you can do TCP or NetBinding but We are all working in SharePoint for this blog so we need IIS. Its simple, just add a new Web Site Project to this Visual Studio Solution; for this we will use the WCF Service Template. This too will add a sample implementation again in the App_Code folder which includes Service1.cs and ISerivce1.cs. Delete those again & and set a reference to the WCF Service Library DLL from the first project. If you are asking why we deleted both those files again its because we will be using the files from our first project referenced in our .svc page. Your solution may look like this now.
You will also have a file called Service.svc, that we will rename to something more descriptive of our Service we are trying to expose, I name mine NWindEmployee.svc Once you have renamed it, you will need to set the Service to the Project Namespace and remove the codebehind attribute since we wont need it.
Save your file, and now its time to modify the Web.config file this time to point to our Service Reference, this is JUST like we did for the App.config so I wont bother going into detail here, Ill just include the code snippet for the web.config
Make this available in IIS
Now you can test this guy again using the Test Client, but the hosting into IIS Is quite simple and Ill just show you that. All you have to do is either (1) Publish the site into a new Directory for PROD consumption (2) just copy and paste the folder where you want on a box running IIS and create a new Web App / Site pointing to that location and setting a FQDN and as in my case a port number where it can be consumed.
As you can see from the image above, I have a site with my FQDN port 57758 where it is located. Navigating to that site will yield
and clicking on the end point will show the WSDL
Now we will use SharePoint Designer to Create an External Content Type (ECT) that will consume this WCF.
Open up SPD2013 and create a NEW ECT, Name it apprpriately, as Ive done here calling it BlogPostWCFExample, Next click on “External SYtems” link to discover, its the last link on imabe below
Once you have done that click Add Connecation
Then Select WCF from the Drop Down…and click OK then
As a reminder we are using User Identity but i wanted to point out we just as easlily could be using Secure Store, if we were we would use the Target App ID as seen here
but for my example you will see it is more like this
When all of that is complete you will be able to see all the methods exposed, see below
Next you can right click on them individually and create the respective Methods, this has been done many times so i wont belabor it. But once you are complete you should have an ECT like so
and you should be able to create a List like so…
So, that is it for my Part 1 of 3, I will tackle the next one later tonight or tomorrow. Cheers, hope this helps, let me know your thoughts, critiques, etc.
Like any great story, I will adopt some foreshadowing, in that I will tell you from the onset that, as mindblowingly exceptional as I expected the event to be, it surpassed every expectation I had. Indeed I was advised, “…pace yourself, each day gets better than the next…” and that advice was given on Sunday before the event kick started by AC @andrewconnell and CJ @LoungeFlyZ over brunch. By EOD Wednesday, I was enthralled with how Steve @SteveSmithCK Smith, Zoe Watson, and the rest of the Combined Knowledge Team assembled a well coordinated event, AAA+ Speakers, a well versed, knowledgeable, and engaged attendee base. Topping that off, as a speaker… man, believe me when I tell you it doesn’t get better than that, and while I can tell you stories about how good the Speaker Dinner event was, how the Event Social was captivating, its the subtle details like coming back from Speaker dinner to find a shoebox in your hotel suite with gifts and memorabilia to commemorate the event.
Guys, you did a fantastic job, Aces!!!
The Sessions are Awesome
So, while i cant find any pictures of my sessions, I was so excited to present, that I didn’t ask anyone to take a picture of the room, but hopefully one of my dear speaker colleagues & attendees took one that they can send to me, but for now, Ill showcase Andrew Connell’s session to which I attended, as well as a bunch of other top notch speakers.
and this is just one section filled with speakers ready to soak up knowledge
The Social and Party Events
Well, you have to be there to experience it, many people have tried to explain it to me, and it was all mindblowing but this year (my first year you must understand) I have been told was EPIC. Ill try to share just a few things here in this post.
Event Social is below
Next Speaker Dinner which started out with a Duck Bus Tour on the River Thames by Parliament and back to our Dinner at the Tower of London.
This was all good, but because of the event of that day Members of Parliament were outside overlooking the Thames and of course, me being me, I waved to say hello, and guess what, a few waved back.. here is the video of that
After that we were scooped away to the Tower of London for Dinner where the place setting would meet Hyacinth “Bouquet” Bucket standards, the meal was excellent the company at the table superb, great place setting gang.
We were met by.. these folks
place setting below
During dinner we were captivated by real live accounts of World War II events by actual members of the armed forces who were present & had the medals to prove it, I forgot what these select few of individuals that are permitted to do this in the London Tower are called [as provided by Mark Stokes they are called Chelsea Pensioners], but as far as I know, there are only 36 of them in the world that have an award they all have, and we had 3 at our dinner. As a former armed forces member, i was so proud to take this picture below
In the last few days I got my Oyster Card, a Map, and took off to discover London, when you find me in person Ill tell you the rest, but trust me when i tell you whether you are an Attendee or Speaker, SharePoint Evolution Conference IS a MUST GO for you. My Slide Deck and Session will be made available via DVD, trust me if i gave it to you now it wont make any sense, because it was mainly DEMOS’ I love Demos as many of you already know.
Till the next time Cheers