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Professional Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint® 2010 by Brad Stevenson, Scot P. Hillier

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1

Business Connectivity Services

WHAT’S IN THIS CHAPTER?

  • Understand the challenges of integrating external systems
  • Understand the BCS architecture
  • Learn to create a simple BCS solution

In today’s diverse business environment, information workers need access to different types of data that reside in multiple locations. Structured data exists in an organization’s enterprise applications, such as customer relationship management (CRM), product life-cycle management (PLM), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, or is consumed from Web 2.0 services such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online or Salesforce.com. Unstructured data is created in productivity applications such as those in Microsoft Office, in team and collaboration applications such as Microsoft SharePoint, and in Web 2.0 services such as wikis or blogs.

Information workers spend much of their time using productivity applications, yet need to access structured data in order to make decisions and perform their jobs. This requires them to frequently switch between applications, which lowers productivity and can result in stale or incorrect information. To address these problems, many organizations have created custom applications and portals. These may solve some of the problems, but in turn can create a different set of business challenges:

  • Interoperability: A custom application will typically involve a user interface to support a single business function, such as managing customer data or editing product information. ...

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