Consuming Windows Azure DataMarket with SharePoint 2010 via Business Connectivity Services

Windows Azure MarketPlace DataMarket is a service that provides a single consistent marketplace and delivery channel for high quality information as cloud services. It provides high quality Statistical and Research data across many business domains from financial to Health Care.. You can read more about it here

How do we consume this content in an enterprise scenario? In this post we are going to look at how to integrate Azure Marketplace Datamarket with SharePoint 2010 via Business Connectivity Services via .NET Connector as a external list. This enable us to surface Azure DataMarket data through SharePoint 2010 lists which opens up world of possibilities including going offline with SharePoint workspace and participation with workflows, enterprise search etc..

Let’s first start with Azure Datamarket. Logon to https://datamarket.azure.com with your live id and subscribe to a dataset that that you are interested in. I selected European Greenhouse Gas Emissions DataSet. Also note down your account key in the Account Keys tab as we will need this information later on.

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The Dataset details give you the input parameters and results as follows.

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You can navigate to the Data set link with your browser and view the oData feed. We are going to consume this oData feed with WCF Data Services. This allows us to use Linq to filter the data.

LinqPad is a nifty tool to develop and test LINQ Query Expressions. It allows you to connect to Windows Azure DataMarket Datasets and develop the queries against the data as shown below.

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Now lets move on to VS2010 and create a BCS Model project as shown below.

 

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Rename the Default Entity in the BDC Model designer and set the properties that you want to expose as the external content type

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Once all properties are set DBC Explorer displays my model as shown below.

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Now our BDC model is ready. Now lets implement ReadList and ReadItem BDC operations.

First Add a Service Reference to your project. Set the Address to the location of your Azure DataMarket

Dataset and Discover the oData Feed as shown below.

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After the service reference is added , we can implement the ReadItem method as shown below.

 

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Note that Service Reference Context requires your live ID and account Id pass as credentials in to the service call.

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Once all operations are implemented Click F5 to build and Deploy your BDC model  into SharePoint. Once deployed

log on to Central Administration and go to Manage Service Applications and select Business Connectivity Services

and view the Details of EmissionStat Content Type being Deployed. You might wanted to permissions for this content

type at this point.

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Now the external content type is defined all we need is a external List based on this content type. Fire up SharePoint

Designer and Create an external list referencing the new External content type just created

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Once the list is created navigate to the list in the portal. Note that Windows Azure market place Data Market content

now surfaced through SharePoint 2010 list as shown below. The VS2010 solution associated with this post can be download here

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Viewing item details shows full item details using our ReadItem BCS operation.

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Integrating Structured data (Azure) with Unstructured content (Collaborative Data) in SharePoint allows you  to create high business valued

composites for informed decision making purposes at all levels in your organisations. Happy Cloud Collaboration!


One Comment on “Consuming Windows Azure DataMarket with SharePoint 2010 via Business Connectivity Services”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Larry King and Larry King, azuretoday. azuretoday said: #Azure Consuming Windows Azure Data Market with SharePoint 2010 via … http://bit.ly/gq5qAe [...]


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