7

Developing and Using Connectors

WHAT’S IN THIS CHAPTER?

  • Learn to create .NET Assembly Connectors
  • Learn to create Custom Connectors

Connectors are obviously a critical part of the BCS infrastructure because they allow operations to be performed on External Systems. The two connectors that ship with BCS — SQL and WCF — have been used in samples throughout the book. There are many situations, however, in which External Systems do not support access through the SQL or WCF connectors, such as when an External System is only accessible through a proprietary API. In other scenarios, you may wish to implement stereotypes that are not supported by the SharePoint Designer, custom business rules, error handling, or transactions. In these cases a connector must be developed using Visual Studio 2010.

DEVELOPING CONNECTORS

BCS supports the creation of two different types of connectors: a Custom connector and a .NET Assembly Connector. The term Custom connector is somewhat unfortunate because it sounds like a generic term but is actually a specific term referring to a connector that targets a given type of system. The .NET Assembly Connector, on the other hand, is a connector that targets a specific instance of a system. As a concrete example, you would create a custom connector to allow BCS to access Microsoft Exchange, but you would create a .NET Assembly Connector to allow BCS to access your particular instance of Microsoft Exchange. The difference is that the custom connector works against ...

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