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Build MVC Applications with Connectivity to Microsoft CDS Data

This article shows how to use only the Entity Framework and the CData ADO.NET provider to access Microsoft CDS from an ASP.NET MVC application.

This article shows how to use wizards in Visual Studio to drop the CData ADO.NET Provider for Microsoft CDS into a simple MVC (model, view, controller) project.

Create the Entity Framework Model

Follow the steps below to save connection properties and map tables to entities in the data model.

  1. Create a new MVC project in Visual Studio. In this example, the project name is MvcCDSApp.
  2. If you are using Entity Framework 6, you will need to take the preliminary step of registering the Microsoft CDS Entity Framework provider for your project. See the "LINQ and Entity Framework" chapter in the help documentation for a guide.

    Note that MVC 3 scaffolding and MVC 4 scaffolding do not support Entity Framework 6. You can use your scaffolding with Entity Framework 6 by upgrading to the latest version of MVC.

  3. To add the .edmx file from the designer, right-click your Models folder and click Add New Item. Select ADO.NET Entity Data Model, name the model, and click Add. In this example, the name of the model is CDSModel.
  4. In the Entity Data Model wizard, select the option 'EF Designer from database'. The Entity Data Model wizard is displayed.
  5. Click New Connection. Select CData Microsoft CDS Data Source in the dialog that is displayed.
  6. Specify the required connection string properties.

    You can connect without setting any connection properties for your user credentials. Below are the minimum connection properties required to connect.

    • InitiateOAuth: Set this to GETANDREFRESH. You can use InitiateOAuth to avoid repeating the OAuth exchange and manually setting the OAuthAccessToken.
    • OrganizationUrl: Set this to the organization URL you are connecting to, such as https://myorganization.crm.dynamics.com.
    • Tenant (optional): Set this if you wish to authenticate to a different tenant than your default. This is required to work with an organization not on your default Tenant.

    When you connect the Common Data Service OAuth endpoint opens in your default browser. Log in and grant permissions. The OAuth process completes automatically.

    A typical connection string is below:

    OrganizationUrl=https://myaccount.crm.dynamics.com/InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH
  7. Name the connection and select whether to include sensitive information, such as connection credentials, in the connection string. For simplicity, this example saves sensitive information in Web.config. The connection settings are saved as CDSEntities.

  8. Select the tables and views you need. In this example, Accounts is imported. Also, the option to pluralize object names is deselected in this example. Click Finish to create the .edmx file.
  9. Build your project to complete this step.

Scaffold the Controller and Views

After creating the model and building the project, you can use ASP.NET Scaffolding wizards to create the controller and the views.

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click the controllers folder and click Add -> Controller. Select MVC 5 Controller with views, using Entity Framework.
  2. In the Add Controller dialog that is then displayed, select the following options:

    • Model class: Select a table you imported; for example, Accounts.
    • Data context class: Select your context class.
  3. Leave the default values for the other fields.

You can now access the list of Accounts records at http://MySite/Accounts. Next to each record are links to edit, delete, and see more information. You can also create new Accounts records. With every state change the site picks up any data changes.