BDC web parts can now talk!

MOSS 2007 implementation of Business Data Catalog web parts leaves enough space for improvement. Here are the issues SharePoint developers and power users might have experienced with BDC:
  • The problem #1 - BDC data lists web parts don't communicate with each other unless there is tight assoiciation in place.
  • The problem #2 - all BDC web parts don't understand entities that come from different application definition.

Here is the simple scenario with parent BDC list, child BDC list and BDC item details web parts. Imagine your customer wants to choose a geographic place and have a list of resellers filtered by it. Then you want to see details for a selected company.
Above is not possible with OOB web parts.

That's one of the cases where BDC Wrapper web part comes very handy. You can set it up hidden on the page, connect as a consumer to Geography and as a filter provider to Resellers and Voilà!

BDC wrapper is smart enough to read existing model schema and flexible enough to adjust to desired field.
The original release provides following connection interfaces:
  • Provider: Data Row extracted from the BDC View
  • Provider: BDC filter, implemented as ITransformableFilterValues
  • Consumer: BDC Entity

With this power Business Data Catalog Wrapper can connect pretty much to any OOB BDC web part and connect most of them together. And this is a release 1.0...

Last edited Oct 30, 2008 at 12:19 AM by leonidly, version 8