Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
External System Layer
This layer basically consists of the real meat—your data. The external system comprises the LOB system, database,
and web service, WCF service, or .NET component. Data from this system is extracted using one of the mechanisms
we will discuss later in this chapter, but ultimately is channeled into the SharePoint site or Office client application
using an ECT. As mentioned earlier, the BCS service and BCS Client Cache bridge the gap between the SharePoint site
and the Office client.
Office Client Layer
The thick Office client application layer contains the client applications, such as Office, SharePoint Workspace,
and Word. As discussed earlier, data from the external system is propagated to the client applications using the
BCS client cache for automatic or manual sync and data refresh. This automatic cache refresh and synchronization
is performed on the client machine by the BDC Client Runtime. The request for external data access is passed
from the Office application to the BDC Client Runtime, which in turn queries the BDC model, stored in the BDC
client-side cache (Microsoft SQL Server Compact 4.0 database). The BDC client-side cache provides BDC runtime
connection information related to the external source. The user credentials provided are stored in the Windows
Credential Manager for later use. Based on information returned by the BDC client-side cache, the BDC Runtime
passes the request to the appropriate external data source connector. This process is illustrated in Figure 4-8 .
Figure 4-8. BCS client-side components
So far, we have discussed a little about terminology, fundamentals, and the core components of BCS. It’s also
important to see what tools should be used to work with BCS.
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