Chapter 11. Business Connectivity Services
WHAT'S IN THIS CHAPTER?
An overview of Business Connectivity Services
How to create simple no-code BCS solutions
How to administrate BCS
How to enhance BCS solutions using SharePoint components
How to create advanced BCS solutions in Visual Studio 2010
While Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 is an excellent platform upon which to build information solutions, it will never be the only system in an organization. The simple fact is that organizations will always have additional systems — such as customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems — that target specific data sets and business processes. Additionally, organizations may have other custom applications, databases, and web services that are not part of the SharePoint infrastructure. These external systems (external to SharePoint that is) contain significant amounts of data and represent significant financial investments. As a consequence, these systems will not be replaced by any solution created solely in SharePoint.
The challenge, however, is that SharePoint solutions are often closely related to the data and processes contained in external systems. For example, a document library containing invoices may contain metadata also found in the ERP system or be addressed to a customer whose information is also in the CRM system. Without some way of utilizing data from the external systems, the SharePoint solution would be forced to duplicate the same information. ...