I have an external content type that I'm accessing through a .NET assembly. So I created a BDC model with Type="DotNetAssembly" (for now with just finder and specific finder operations).

It works, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to display some friendly column names.

For example, I have this type descriptor for the entity:

<TypeDescriptor Name="CustomerID" TypeName="System.String" />

What gets displayed in my list view is "CustomerID". I wanted to be "Customer identification" so switched to this:

<TypeDescriptor Name="CustomerID" TypeName="System.String" DefaultDisplayName="Customer identification" />

No joy!

I even created a View for the external list using the external content type and set this in it:

<FieldRef Name="CustomerID" DisplayName="Customer identification" />

Still no joy!

So my question is, how do I display a friendly name for the external columns?

  • Just ran into this too :(
    – leppie
    Jul 16, 2012 at 8:08

1 Answer 1


The solution is using BCS resources. How to create and import BCS resources: 1) create a file with .bdcr extension 2) add content there like

<Model xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/windows/2007/BusinessDataCatalog/Resources"
    <LobSystem Name="...">
        <LobSystemInstance Name="..." />
        <Entity Namespace="..." Version="" Name="...">
            <LocalizedDisplayName LCID="1033">...</LocalizedDisplayName>
            <LocalizedDisplayName LCID="1049">...</LocalizedDisplayName>
            <Identifier Name="Id" />
            <Method Name="ReadList">
                <Parameter Name="returnParameter">
                  <TypeDescriptor Name="...">
                      <LocalizedDisplayName LCID="1033">...</LocalizedDisplayName>
                      <LocalizedDisplayName LCID="1049">...</LocalizedDisplayName>
                      <TypeDescriptor Name="...">

3) the link will be useful for you to understand the schema of the resource files 4) pay attention to versions in the bcs model and the resources files 5) IMPORT the resources in the central admin 6) Newly created external lists should be localized

Note: you can set up the localization in the model itself if you do not want to create an extra file.

  • I'll give this a try next chance I have. Until then +1 to you. Thanks.
    – JohnDoDo
    Aug 22, 2012 at 9:22

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