Mapping the Office Item Type for External Content Types in SharePoint 2013 using Meta Man

In this walkthrough we will show how to sync our Employees information from our External System and a Contacts list within Outlook 2013 via an External List. We will consider an example for MS SQL but the same way you may work with any other data source supported by Meta Man.


  1. Prerequisites:
    • SharePoint Server 2013
    • Meta Man (it doesn’t necessarily need to be installed on the SharePoint server but it requires .net Framework 4.5 installed on the machine where you are going to run Meta Man from)
    • MS SQL server with any sample database (for this walk through we are going to use the NorthWind sample database )
    • A table with contact information that will be synced with Outlook
  2. Open Meta Man and choose to connect to a SQL Server data source. Select or enter the database name you wish to work with and press arrow in order to connect to selected database.Connect to MS SQL server
  3. Upon successfully connecting to SQL Server you’ll see another window. In order to get a list of tables click “Tables” item in the list on the left pane. Now we can see listed all the tables for this particular database.List of tables
  4. We create an external content type by dragging and dropping a table onto our design surface which is the large area on the right side. We will be working with the “Employees” table, to add it to the model , just drag it onto the “Diagram”.Drag a table on the design surface
  5. When you drop the table you will be shown the following dialog, which allows to configure the external content type before creation. You may modify the external content type name, change identifier and add the methods to the external content type. In this example we’ll accept all default values and click “Create” button.Configure the external content type
  6. You should have the following External Content Type on your Diagram Created External Content Type
  7. To edit the created External Content Type right-click on it on the design surface and choose “Configure Entity” menu item. Manage External Content Type
  8. Change the “Office Item Type” from “Generic List” to “Contact”Change Office Item Type
  9. Change to the “Methods” TabSelect Methods tab
  10. Click on the “Specific Finder Method” and on any field, you will see we have a warning telling us that we need to map some required fieldsRequired fields
  11. Click on the “Title” field, and then set it’s Office Item Type Mapping to “Title”, click “Save”Map the fields for the Office Item Type
  12. Repeat this process for the “Full Name” , “Last Name”, “Home Address” and “Home Telephone Number” office properties, mapping appropriate fields to them.
  13. When you have finished, click “Update” buttonClick Update
  14. Now we need to deploy our BDC model. First we need to set URL of where you want to deploy your model. We set this URL by going “Settings” from the title bar.Meta Man settings  
  15. In the model deployment URL textbox you should manually type URL of SharePoint 2013 Central Administration . Click “Save” button.Set BDC model deployment URL
  16. Once you have saved the URL to deploy your BDC model file to simply click “Deploy” button and your BDC model file will get deployed.Deploy BDC model file
  17. SharePoint 2013 will now go through and validate your BDC model file is correct, once it is done you will get a success dialog BDC Model was imported
  18. Browse to the site where you want to add the External List. Click “Site Contents”->”add an app”.Add an app to SharePoint site
  19. Select “External List”Select “External List”
  20. Enter a name for External list and click on the icon to show the available External Content Types External list name
  21. Select our generated Northwind_MetaMan.Employees External Content Type, click “OK” Select External Content Type
  22. Click “Create”Create External List
  23. We should now have an External List showing our Employees data from MS SQL database.External data from MS SQL database is displayed on SharePoint 2013 page
  24. Make sure that you have enabled “Offline Synchronization for External Lists” feature in SharePoint 2013 before you can do a Sync with Outlook 2013. Go to Site Features and enable this feature if it’s deactivated.Offline Synchronization for External Lists
  25. Click on “List” on the Ribbon and then click on the “Connect to Outlook” buttonClick the Connect to Outlook button
  26. After a short while a dialog box will pop-up asking you to install, Click “Install”Install the Click Once package
  27. Once the installation has been completed you can click “Close”Click Close once the instalation is complete
  28. Open Outlook, you will have a section called “SharePoint External Lists”, within this section you will have our “Employees” contactsSharePoint External Lists in Outlook
  29. When you click on this list you will see all of our Employees contacts are synced with OutlookItems from External List look like normal Outlook contacts

We hope this walkthrough will be useful for you. If you have any questions feel free to email them to

<Dmitry Kaloshin/>