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Using The BDC – Battle Scars

I’ve been using the Business Data Catalog for the last few days to allow Sharepoint (SP) to crawl a SQL Database "data island".
 
Using the BDC Metaman, I created the Application Definition File (an xml description of the database tables and relationships), then imported them using SP Central Admin, this process creates an Application in SP.  From this application you can examine the entities and their data columns etc.  So far, so good.
 
I then created a Search Center site and added some custom search pages.  Wanting to to add some propertys by which the user could search I went back to the SP Central Admin and set about creating a metadata property mapping – these mappings create a SP name for a data column (or columns) in the data source.
 
The first property I wanted to create was created no bother using the New Managed Property form :
 
The second was more problematic……..
 
I clicked the New Managed Property button in SP Central Admin (http://myspserver:portnumber/ssp/admin/_layouts/schema.aspx) and was presented with the New Managed Property form.  I gave my new property a name, clicked the Add Mapping button and at the resultant dialog
 
 
 
I selected Business Data in the Select A Category and hunted for my db column – it wasn’t there.  I paged through the BDC from start to finish a numbe of times, selected other categories in the drop down, closed the dialog box and clicked the Add Mapping button and went back and forth once more – still not there.
 
I backed out of Managed Property and went back to the Application display to check that the column I wanted had in fact been imported correctly and sure enough  there it was.  Ok, "I’m doing something stupid" so went back through the create a Managed Property process – still no good.
 
"Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!", "What’s going on?". 
 
I scrolled through the Crawled Property dialog and noticed that the only data columns I was seeing were of type (Text) – "Odd?".  I checked the ADF and looked at the definition of the column I was after – (Int).  "Maybe that’s it?", SP can only handle Text fields – "No chance that would be crap".  In desperation, I closed the Cralwed Property Selection dialog and looked again at the New Managed Property form – I set the type of data to be selected and clicked Add Mapping again, the columns of type integer were there for all to see………..
 
This to my mind is a real "Gotcha!" and I was well and truly "Got!".
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