I have absolutely struggled in creating a custom control to use an external data source to populate a dropdown combo list. Does anyone have any good examples of how to implement this? Is a custom control the best way to go about this?

Note: I have created some ECT's using the .net bdc model. I just think the ECT field is a bit non-userfriendly compared to a dropdownlist.

many thanks!


Have you considered using InfoPath to customize the list form and connected to an External list as a data source to populate a drop-down list?

  • Lori, I have not heard of InfoPath? I'll do some research on this option today. Thanks! – JR_ATLDev Apr 22 '11 at 15:12

If you are comfortable creating a webpart that does this I would recommend giving this article a read. Databind from a SQLDataSource or ObjectDataSource to a DropDownList is a fairly common task and there are many resources out there that cover it. The above link is a good place to start though.

This would also give you the ability to have a custom web part property where you set the datasource for each instance of the web part.

  • Abe, I need to populate a dropdown list in the Edit form for a custom list. I don't think a web part inside of an edit form would be the best way to update a listitem. Thanks for the suggestion, though. – JR_ATLDev Apr 22 '11 at 15:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.