I am creating a visual web part in Visual Studio 2010 for SharePoint 2010 Server. I would like to use a DropDownList that shows data from an external content type (that is tied to a SQL Database table). Does anyone know of a nice tutorial to point me in the right direction?

“A nice to have feature”, I would like to implement is a external content type “picker” in the properties. The functionality should be like the web parts that are found in “Business Data” under web parts.

  • If you successed, how did you do it?
    – e.ozmen
    May 21, 2013 at 20:48
  • e-ozmen, it's been quite some time and I apologize for such a late response. I took the advice from Mike T below. Oct 24, 2014 at 10:44

2 Answers 2


I would suggest that you should setup Business Connectivity Services if you can. This will allow you to connect to your external data sources in a managed way. You would then setup an External Content type and generate an external list from that. From there you would then query the list for your data and display the results with the dropdown list.

A lot of steps there, however this would be the "SharePoint" way of doing it. Giving you a direct link to a specific tutorial would not be as helpful as directing you to book on the topic called SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services (definition of book here). There are many (seemingly infinite) was of doing this. Having a proper foundation that has been vetted for mistakes will get you along the way to providing the solution your are looking for, and then some.


"Nice" is the matter of taste, i.e. subjective.

Internet search gives a plethora of online walkthroughs, step-by-step guides and tutorials on how to implement each of the mentioned aspects , including video- and audiolessons online.

And, it is much simpler to understand short, confined to an isolated topics guides and than use what you need than be buried and confused in over-complicated examples.

Why do you specifically want to show drop-down-list from external sources anв what are the problems with following zillions of tutorials?

If to speak about DDLs, how I call drop-down-lists, I would recommend to look at:.

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