Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
the client stack also consists of an additional component called Dispatcher, which will be aware of offline and
online modes. Dispatcher is responsible for switching the connection to the external system for synchronization.
Tools Decision Tree
Based on the type of use and implementation, users can be categorized into two groups:
Power users or RAD
6 developers who work with out-of-the-box functionalities on both thin
and thick clients. These are essentially simple solutions.
Advanced developers who work with custom functionalities and design and develop complex
applications with both thick and thin clients.
BCS tools are laid out so that each of these groups can take advantage of specific tools to accomplish their
missions. For instance, as you can see in Figure 4-9 , advanced solutions on the server side can be designed and
developed using a custom .NET assembly connector to allow the use of external system data. At the same time, for a
basic client solution, you can use Outlook, SharePoint Workspace, or Word.
Figure 4-9. Tools decision tree
Now that I’ve introduced the concepts, let’s roll with some examples. But wait; there is one last important
concept you need to thoroughly understand in order to proceed.
External Content Types
You learned about ECTs at a very high level earlier. Now, let’s take a deep dive. Anything and everything that is
accomplished using BDC services is with the help of external content types. You can consider ECTs to be the
backbone for the entire BCS system. They are the content types that bring the external data sources—along with their
schema, access capabilities, and behavior—into thin and thick clients, as shown in Figure 4-10 . External content types
contain business objects and can be created using either SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio 2012.
6 RAD – Rapid Application Development
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