Create associations in SharePoint

An association is a way to create a relationship between external data entities. You create an association between two external content types so that you can join the data together over foreign keys. For example, while viewing a customer profile, you might want to see the latest orders placed by that customer and the items in each order.

Basic tasks for working with associations

The following articles were written for SharePoint Server 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010. The content is still appropriate for SharePoint and SharePoint Designer 2013, although there might be some variations in the user interface.

Task Description
Adding Associations Between External Content Types
Provides overview information about associations.
Tooling Associations in SharePoint Designer (BCS Team Blog)
Explains the concepts behind associations and contains two demos.
Creating SharePoint Server External Content Type Associations with SharePoint Designer
Shows how to create associations between external content types in SharePoint Designer without using code.
Defining Associations in Business Connectivity Services Using SharePoint Designer
Shows how to create advanced associations between external content types.

Additional resources