I'm setting up SP2010 in a multi-tenant fashion (following Spencer Harbar's Rational Guide) and I've had great success setting it all up. Multiple tenants and everything. When you configure BDC to run in partitionedMode, you have to go to the tenant admin site to add an external data source. No problems there.

When I go to configure my 'crawl' feature inside the Search application (also partitioned) it can see my BDC Service Application, but it says there are no data sources inside of it.

Is there a way to, in MT mode, to use and crawl external data sources on a per-tenant basis? What am I missing?

Thanks in advance, John J.

1 Answer 1


Of course Spencer didn't created also the BCS in partitioned-mode, maybe that is why you are not having it too. Have a look on the diagram considering the services that could be cross-farm (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=167093).

I would say your would need to create BCS in multi-tenant mode too. Have a look at this article which asks the right questions applicable in your situation too @ http://blog.repsaj.nl/index.php/2012/04/sp2010-a-multi-tenant-bcs-scenario/

  • Actually his article does outline creating BCS in partition mode, which I have done. I also had read the blog post you left a link for, and while working with a developer we decided this approach does not describe exactly our situation. It is similar, but since he doesn't mention search (only lists) it doesn't really apply (althought some pieces may).
    – JohnThePro
    Aug 14, 2012 at 21:38
  • Our real focus is isolating those external data sources while also allowing them to be crawled (to keep the search results fresh and fast)
    – JohnThePro
    Aug 14, 2012 at 21:38
  • I believe you know that to be able to search them you need to create the Form for the Entity. Then, via Permissions, you should be able to restrict to different Search Crawling accounts (provided that you've used 2 different Crawl accounts while creating Search-SA) Aug 17, 2012 at 7:27
  • I actually didn't know that... can you elaborate a little bit more? The route I had taken so far was:
    – JohnThePro
    Aug 17, 2012 at 14:35
  • 1. Use Designer to add External Data, create the associations in Design, and save it. Add permissions on the BDC itself (Farm level) and (tenant level). 2. Go to content sources, choose LOB data, and the BDC service says it's empty. I had tried the above steps, and I had also tried creating a List out of the content, and then crawling the site (list included) so the list itself is crawled, but the content of the list is not crawled. Make sense?
    – JohnThePro
    Aug 17, 2012 at 14:39

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