Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
• It’s read/write capable: You can perform CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) operations
on the external systems either using Office applications or SharePoint external lists.
• Familiar UI: In the earlier version, you had to rely on third-party tools to work with the BDC.
Now you can work in an environment you are very familiar with, such as Office (Outlook, Word,
and SharePoint Workspaces) and SharePoint (lists, Web Parts, profile pages, and so forth).
• Good tools: There has been a significant improvement in tools, as well as some new ones that
enable both no-code and code-based solutions.
• No-code connectivity to external systems: You can perform operations on external
systems without writing any code for simple requirements using SharePoint Designer
2013. SharePoint Designer 2013 can perform many more operations than its predecessor.
• Advanced and custom development: You can use Visual Studio 2012 to meet more
complex and specific custom requirements.
• Connectivity options: There are more options to connect with data. You can use WCF
services or .NET assembly connectors in addition to web services and databases. Additionally,
SharePoint 2013 introduces support for OData connections.
• Rich-client integration: You can use external lists 2 within Outlook, Word, or a SharePoint
2010 Workspace. The SharePoint Workspace feature has been discontinued in Office 2013.
However, SharePoint Workspace 2010 continues to work with SharePoint 2013.
• Offline Access: You can work with data in offline or cache mode and synchronize with
external system(s) when online.
• External data governance: Using Business Data Connectivity, you can access data securely
and audit and perform management tasks from one central location.
• Search: SharePoint enterprise search offers look up (discover) and index functionalities to the
data in your external system.
Well, that looks pretty impressive doesn’t it? But do you get all this functionality by installing any flavor of
SharePoint 2013? And what do you have to configure to get it all to work?
■ When we say “BDC,” we are referring to Business Data Connectivity in sharepoint 2013, unless otherwise
specified as Moss 2007.
Setting Up Business Data Connectivity Services
BDC is part of the Service Applications model in SharePoint. BDC arrives preactivated with installation of SharePoint,
and it creates a specific database with the name Bdc_Service_DB_<guid> on the same database server selected for
SharePoint installation. In the sections that follow, we will explore steps involved in creating and configuring a new
BDC service application. You will learn the following:
How to set up and manage a new BDC service application using SharePoint 2013
Different BCS features available across SharePoint editions
Overview of the Business Connectivity Services Layer
2 You will learn more about external lists later in this chapter.
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