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Implementing Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint

In this lesson, you learn how to create a BCS list connected to a table in SQL Server, which enables the editing of data in SQL tables directly from SharePoint.

WHAT IS BCS?

BCS, short for Business Connectivity Services, is a technology built within SharePoint for the purpose of connecting to external data sources, such as SQL or other ODBC data sources, as well as web services, with the advantage that other components of SharePoint will treat these data sources as if they were SharePoint lists. This connection allows for full CRUD (Create/Read/Update/Delete) operations. BCS solutions can be designed using either SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio, with differing levels of complexity and capability. Using Visual Studio exposes a greater level of functionality, with the full flexibility of being able to write in C# (or your .NET language of choice). Of course, this full flexibility comes with the requirement that you write code — this has benefits especially when connecting to web services. This lesson covers only SharePoint Designer, because it is adequate for updating dimension tables in a data warehouse.

BUSINESS CONNECTIVITY SERVICES VS. BDC

SharePoint 2007 introduced the Business Data Catalog (BDC) as a technology to connect external data sources within SharePoint. This technology used XML documents to map an external data source, store a defined subset of that data as an index inside SharePoint, and then expose ...

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