Build MVC Applications with Connectivity to SharePoint Data

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SharePoint ADO.NET Provider

Provides .NET developers with the power to easily connect their Web, Desktop, and Mobile applications to data in SharePoint Server Lists, Contacts, Calendar, Links, Tasks, and more!



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

This article shows how to use wizards in Visual Studio to drop the CData ADO.NET Provider for SharePoint 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 MvcSharePointApp.
  2. If you are using Entity Framework 6, you will need to take the preliminary step of registering the SharePoint 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 SharePointModel.
  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 SharePoint Data Source in the dialog that is displayed.
  6. Specify the required connection string properties.

    Set the URL property to the base SharePoint site or to a sub-site. This allows you to query any lists and other SharePoint entities defined for the site or sub-site.

    The User and Password properties, under the Authentication section, must be set to valid SharePoint user credentials when using SharePoint On-Premise.

    If you are connecting to SharePoint Online, set the SharePointEdition to SHAREPOINTONLINE along with the User and Password connection string properties. For more details on connecting to SharePoint Online, see the "Getting Started" chapter of the help documentation

    A typical connection string is below:

    User=myuseraccount;Password=mypassword;Auth Scheme=NTLM;URL=http://sharepointserver/mysite;SharePointEdition=SharePointOnPremise;
  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 SharePointEntities.

  8. Select the tables and views you need. In this example, MyCustomList 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, MyCustomList.
    • Data context class: Select your context class.
  3. Leave the default values for the other fields.

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