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Professional SharePoint 2010 Development, Second Edition by Scot Hillier, Kenneth Schaefer, Jeff Fried, Paul J. Swider, Reza Alirezaei, Tom Rizzo

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11

Introducing Business Connectivity Services

WHAT'S IN THIS CHAPTER?

  • Learning the basics of Business Connectivity Services
  • Creating no-code BCS solutions
  • Using BCS solutions with SharePoint

Although 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) — that target specific datasets 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 is forced to duplicate the same information. This duplication can then lead to data maintenance issues between the external system and the SharePoint ...

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