Sunday, April 25, 2010

Business Connectivity Services – SharePoint 2010

Business Connectivity Services (BCS) is an evolution of Business Data Catalog (BDC) in MOSS 2007. BDC used to provide an access to content external to SharePoint in a read-only mode. There was no way to do bi-directional data access. BCS provides exactly the same. BCS can be used to access almost any kind of external systems like Oracle, Siebel etc. SharePoint Designer (SPD) 2010 allows to create this kind of access external content using to Web Services, WCF Services, .NET Assemblies. If external content cannot be used using any of these three methods, SPD cannot be used. BCS XML needs to modified in XML and integrate. At a very high-level BCS looks as under.


Some of the key features are as under.

  • Read-write. You can create, read, update and delete external data from SharePoint and Office applications.
  • More connectivity options. In addition to database and web services, connect to WCF services or plug your own code into a .Net assembly connector to handle transformation or aggregation of data. Full support for Claims-enabled services as well as Secure Store Service (formerly SSO) to map user credentials.
  • Design and customization tools. SharePoint Designer 2010 and Visual Studio 2010 to allow creation and customization of code-less and code-based solutions to build applications faster and easier.
  • Rich Client integration. Expose data as a native SharePoint list and then connect it to SharePoint Workspace or Outlook. Customize InfoPath forms to add business logic surfaced consistently in SharePoint and SharePoint Workspace. Customize Outlook to provide views, forms, ribbon buttons or show contextual data in a task pane – all without writing code!
  • Work online or offline. External data is cached in a SQL CE database installed with Office 2010. When connectivity is lost, the cache automatically goes into offline mode. When connectivity is restored, BCS can synchronize data changes directly to the external system.
  • Application Lifecycle. Deploy composite SharePoint solutions to Office 2010 machines, and enable users to check for updates to those solutions.


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