Creating an external list is a very simple task after you create an external content type and can be done using Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 or the browser.
- Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or later installed on the server running Microsoft SharePoint Server.
- The Northwind SQL Server 2000 database installed on the server running SharePoint Server.
- The Customer external content type have been created.
Create an External List Using the Browser
- From the browser, navigate to the SDK Samples SharePoint site.
- In the Site Actions menu on the left, click View All Site Content.
- Click the Create button. Then, in the Custom Lists section, click External List.
- On the New page, type a name (for example, Northwind Customers) and a description for the new external list.
- The Data source configuration section displays a text box and an external content type picker. If you know the name of the external content type, you can enter it in the text box or you can use the picker to choose the external content type from a list. In this walkthrough, click the picker button as shown in the figure below. An External Content Type Picker dialog box lists all the external content types that are defined in that site’s service application’s Business Data Connectivity (BDC) service metadata store. Using the picker, you can discover and select the external content type that you want to use as the data source for this list. In this example, select Customer, and then click OK. Finally click Create.
This creates the external list. You can now navigate to the new list in the SharePoint site and view and edit items in the list. You can also take the list offline in Microsoft Outlook and in SharePoint Workspace. The following figure shows the new external list.