Creating a Linked Source for Your Data View Web Part (DVWP) in SharePoint Designer 2010

Matt Bramer (@IOnline247) asked me a good question today in the USPJ Academy forums which I needed to think about and do a little searching to answer. That usually makes for a good blog post.

I’ve tried to follow your aggregate data source steps in 2010 and I can’t seem to view a data source without actually inserting a DVWP. What is your approach to creating Linked Sources in 2010? I can do them within the GUI, but I’m sure you have a much better method.

Well, perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment, but I usually just build the AggregateDataSource (which is what you end up with in your DVWP if you create a Linked Source) in the code for my DVWP manually, whether in SharePoint Designer 2007 or 2010. I’ve done it so many times that it’s just faster and easier for me. That’s obviously not what Matt was looking for, nor is it what most others prefer, either.

In SharePoint Designer 2007, the Data Source Library showed up on the right side of the screen and it was easy to see how to use the different types of DataSources.


In SharePoint Designer 2010, we get more “help”. To me, that usually means that I can’t figure out how to do the same thing very easily. On the left pane when you open a site, you can see the types of objects you can interact with. (This is pretty similar to what you’ve seen in Access over the years if you’re familiar with that.) One of the options is Data Sources.


When you click on Data Sources, though, all you get to see are the site’s Lists and Document Libraries. But wait. Where are XML Web Services, Database Connections, etc? Oh yeah, now we have the ribbon. That oh-so-helpful ribbon. That’s where you’ll see the other types of Data Sources you’re used to.


BTW, note that XML Web Services (one of my favorite things) is now split out into two flavors: SOAP Service Connection and REST Service Connection.