I have had considerable trouble adding a WCF 4.0 application as a data source within SharePoint Designer. I am able to connect to the WCF service as a SOAP Service Connection and find the available operations. However, I am unable to add any Parameters to the method. In example, I have a simple WCF service that serves as an abstraction layer for any data connection. I am able to pass it a ConnectionString and SQL Statement and it will hit any of the hundreds of databases we have on-premises. This works ALL DAY LONG when I leverage Powershell or another Web Application utilizing the WCF service.

If I am not able to pass any parameters, then I am dead in the water . . . has anyone ran into this before?

It seems that the issue is in how Sharepoint is able to read the WCF service. It is able to parse the methods, but not retrieve the required parameters. I know I could convert this to XML Web Services, but that seems like a backwards step here.

  • What kind of parameters you want to pass? Are they custom data types? Nov 11, 2011 at 6:54
  • The WCF Service is just a wrapper for collecting data from some SQL data sources. The parameters included the connection string key and the SQL Statement. From the documentation I have seen, when I add a new Soap connection and connect it to the WCF service, it should retrieve the parameters. But a standard OOTB WCF service does not return the parameters. I think it has to do with the http bindings...thoughts?
    – websch01ar
    Nov 11, 2011 at 13:24
  • Are the parameters present in the generated WSDL? Nov 11, 2011 at 17:10
  • Yes, they are present. We have added an ASMX file to the WCF project with the same functions as in the SVC file and we are able to get data back.
    – websch01ar
    Nov 14, 2011 at 19:28

2 Answers 2


Are you trying to pass dynamic parameters to the method? I think most of the External Content type setup is based on 'preset' parameters (someone correct me if that's wrong), that are passed during the creation of the External Content type.

Check out: Creating SharePoint Server 2010 External Content Type Associations

I've barely scratched the external content type functionality, but so far that's been my finding.

What you can do though, is setup the data as a custom list and filter those results on your page, via the data view webpart.

  • I do not want to bring in the external data as a list, but would rather use the data source for a DVWP.
    – websch01ar
    Nov 7, 2011 at 16:01

The fix for this was to use a Web Service instead of WCF. So we rolled out a new service and SharePoint is happy once more.

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