I have a control that refrences an EDC (added to the list as a lookup) that I have added to an application page via the following markup:

<SharePoint:FormField runat="server" 

The problem is that it is outputting the this HTML (notice the value attributes):

<select name="bigLongName" id="bigLongId" title="Industry">
   <option value="0">Compact Machine Solutions</option>
   <option value="0">Earthmoving Excavating</option>
   <option value="0">Earthmoving Grading</option>
   <option value="0">Paving</option>
   <option selected="selected" value="0">Terrain</option>

What have I done wrong here?

  • Something is clearly wrong with the EDC. Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


We had crated the column as a standard lookup in the code that created the list. This caused the <select> to be displayed rather than an externam picker. I was not able to find an adequate explanation of how to create an External Data Column (BDC) in code but managed to work it out.

Here is what I did:

  1. In SharePoint Designer I browsed to the site, External Content Types and then selected the External Content Types I wished to add as an External DataColumn.
  2. I clicked Export BDC Model and saved it to an easy to find location.
  3. I opened it in NotePad++ and used the values in the XML to find the required fields to create the column.

SPBusinessDataField industryBcsField = currentList.Fields.CreateNewField("BusinessData", "Industry") as SPBusinessDataField;

industryBcsField.SystemInstanceName = "BusinessProcess"; //Corresponds to <LobSystemInstance Name="BusinessProcess"> in the BDC Model
industryBcsField.EntityNamespace = "NameSpace"; //Corresponds to <Entity Namespace="Whatever is in these quotes" in your BDC Model.
industryBcsField.EntityName = "Industry";
industryBcsField.HasActions = true;
industryBcsField.BdcFieldName = "Industry"; //The field you wish to display in the list


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