qr code generator library for c# Introducing the application definition file in Visual C#

Generate QR-Code in Visual C# Introducing the application definition file

Introducing the application definition file
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Entities
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Now we need to describe the data from your LOB system in SharePoint. We do this via entities. An entity should be thought of as a real-world object for example, a customer, product, or order. To programmers who are familiar with object-oriented programming, this concept is the same as describing objects as classes. A LOB system can contain many entities, so we need to be able to define many entities within our application definition file. We also want to be able to give entities useful names, such as Customer or Product. Because the user will be selecting from a list of entities within SharePoint, a meaningful name makes it a lot easier for people to select the right entity. Listing 2.3 shows an outline of how three entities can be described within our LOBSystem element.
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Listing 2.3 How to create an entity within your application definition file
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<Entities> <Entity EstimatedInstanceCount="10000" Name="Product"> </Entity> <Entity EstimatedInstanceCount="10000" Name="Customer"> </Entity> <Entity EstimatedInstanceCount="10000" Name="Order"> </Entity> </Entities>
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Giving our entity a nice name will help our users select the correct data in SharePoint. Each entity also has an EstimatedInstanceCount. This property can be used by client-based applications to change how it displays or pages through your entity data. You don t actually get any problems with your entities if you supply an estimated count of 0, although it s a required field and therefore must exist and contain some number. Within each entity, you need to define a number of properties and settings for various bits of BDC functionality to work correctly. First, your entity can have a Title property, as we see in listing 2.4.
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Listing 2.4 Property descriptors in the application definition file
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<Properties> <Property Name="Title" Type="System.String">Name</Property> </Properties>
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This Title property is the column that will have the drop-down actions menu set against it. This column must be returned by our finder method and, when set in our application definition file, must also be of type System.String. You can
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Understanding the application definition file
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change this to a field of any type through editing the BDC Data List Web Part once it is displayed on your SharePoint page. Your entity can have many identifiers, as shown in listing 2.5.
Listing 2.5 How to create an identifier in your application definition file
<Identifiers> <Identifier Name="ProductID" TypeName="System.Int32" /> </Identifiers>
As with SQL Server database tables, you should think of an identifier as being the primary key field. The field that s marked as an identifier can be used to uniquely identify each row of data. Note that, in the Identifiers element, all we do is define the name of our identifier and its type. The name doesn t relate to a column; we need to explicitly tie an identifier to a column later in our XML. Now we need each entity to be able to pull some data back. We do this by defining methods within our entity. Which method types we create in our entity will have an impact on how our business data can be used within SharePoint. Table 2.1 breaks this down into a simple table.
Method type Where used BDC Data List Web Part Business Data column BDC Profile page Business Data column Search Search Table 2.1 The application definition file method types
Finder SpecificFinder
IdEnumerator
The Finder method is the one to return your general BDC data. In terms of databases, it ll do a select within your database and return the information to either the BDC Data List Web Part or the Business Data column entity picker. The finder method can have SQL where clauses to allow users to filter what data is bought back. The SpecificFinder method returns just a single row of data. This means you must pass in the necessary parameters to uniquely identify a row of data from your chosen table or stored procedure. If your SpecificFinder method is configured incorrectly and returns multiple rows of data for a given parameter, you ll get errors when you try to crawl your line-of-business system with MOSS Search.
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