Virtual entity walkthrough using the OData v4 Data Provider

About this virtual entity walkthrough

Imagine that you want to access ticket information from an external data source within your custom business app or the Service area of Customer Engagement. In this simple walkthrough, you'll model a virtual entity with fields mapped to the external schema that retrieves ticket data at runtime from an OData web service.

Data source details

Because the data source used for this walkthrough has an OData v4 web service, we can use the OData v4 Data Provider included with your environment.

Web service url: http://contosowebservice.azurewebsites.net/odata/

Important

The web service url used for this walkthrough isn't a functioning web service.

For this walkthrough, a single virtual entity that contains the following three fields is needed.

External field name External data type Virtual entity data type Purpose
TicketID Edm.Guid Primary key Primary key for the entity
Title Edm.String Single Line of Text Title of the ticket
Severity Edm.Int32 Whole Number Number value of 0-4 indicating the severity of the ticket

The OData metadata of the external data source Ticket entity as viewed from a web browser.

Ticket entity medadata

Create the Data Source

Create the data source for the OData v4 data provider that uses the OASIS Open Data Protocol (OData) sample web service.

Go to Settings > Administration > Virtual Entity Data Sources.

Select NEW, select OData v4 Data Provider, and then select OK.

Enter or select the following information.

Leave the other fields as-is, and select SAVE & CLOSE.

Tip

When using your own web service, verify that the URL is valid by pasting it in to your web browser.

Create the virtual entity

Go to Settings > Customizations > Customize the System.

In the left navigation pane, select Entities, and then select New from the main pane.

On the Entity: New form, select the Virtual Entity option, and then enter the following information:

  • Data Source: Contoso Sample Data Source
  • Display Name: Ticket
  • Plural Name: Tickets
  • Name: new_ticket
  • External Name: Ticket
  • External Collection Name: Tickets
  • Select to enable the following Communication & Collaboration options:
    • Notes (includes attachments)
    • Activities

Next to Areas that display this entity, select Service, and then select Save (but don’t close the entity form).

Ticket entity definition

Create the fields for the virtual entity

On the left navigation pane of the Entity: Ticket page, select Fields. As part of this walkthrough you will edit two existing fields and add a third field.

Important

External names are case sensitive. Refer to your web service metadata to make sure you use the correct name.

A Nullable value of false indicates that the attribute is required. Notice that primary key fields are always system required.

Open the new_ticketid field, and change the following attribute with the value indicated here:

External Name: TicketID

TicketID field

Select Save and Close.

Open the new_name field, and change the following attributes to have the values indicated here:

  • Display Name: Title
  • External Name: Title

Title field

Select Save and Close.

Select New, and on the Field: New for Ticket page enter the following information:

  • Display Name: Severity
  • Name: new_severity
  • External Name: Severity
  • Field Requirement: Business Required
  • Data Type: Whole Number
  • Minimum Value: 0
  • Maximum Value: 4

Severity field

Select Save and Close.

Add the fields to the Main form

On the Ticket entity window, select Forms.

Open the main form, drag and drop the Severity field from the right pane onto the form in the General section under the Title field.

Severity field added to main form

On the Ticket entity window select Save and Close.

Configure the default view

On the left pane of the Solution Explorer, under the Ticket entity, select Views.

Open the All Tickets view.

In the Common Tasks pane select Add Columns.

Add columns for view

Select Severity, and then select OK.

On the View: All Tickets window select Save and Close.

On the Solution Explorer window select Publish All Customizations.

Publish all customizations

After all customizations are published, close the Solution Explorer window.

View the virtual entity in action with Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (on-premises)

Go to Service > Extensions > Tickets.

Ticket area

The All Tickets view displays. Notice that you may need to refresh your browser to view the entity from the Service area.

All Tickets view

Open a Ticket record to view the form that includes the Title and Severity fields for the given record.

Ticket record

See also

OData v4 Data Provider configuration, requirements, and best practices

Create and edit virtual entities that contain data from an external data source