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The Business Data List Connector for SharePoint 2007 and 2010 offers a SharePoint "External List" by connecting 100% NATIVE SharePoint lists (no SharePoint Web Parts, no BCS) to almost any external business data source in just minutes directly in the list settings, using a very simple browser-based dialogue. The desired data can be populated to the list and presented without any restrictions, with the full functionality of common native SharePoint lists made available:
• No additional tools or programming required. The connection can be configured easily directly in list configuration with a few settings only (see screens below). Every SharePoint admin can do this in minutes. • Data updates automatically in background (timer job) or on-demand (Action Menu / Ribbon Button). • Changed data transferred only. Optional bi-directional connection: Write-back changes made in SharePoint to external data sources automatically with full CRUD (Create / Update / Delete). • All existing ODBC, OLEDB, and .NET based ADO.NET drivers are supported: You can connect to SQL Server, SQL Azure, MySQL, Exchange, Active Directory, SharePoint, MS Office Excel, Access or CSV text files, XML, EDI, Oracle, IBM DB2, Informix, AS400, Cache, ERP/CRM systems e.g. MS Dynamics CRM / NAV / AX, SAP, Salesforce.com, Twitter, Google, Facebook, QuickBooks, Peachtree, HL7, Virtual Store, general Web Services, .NET or COM+ objects and many others. • Known BCS issues and limitations are completely solved - all list features available now: Views, sorting and grouping, filters, calculated fields, search, enterprise metadata, lookups can be created as usual. • All list types are supported: Contacts, tasks, events, custom lists etc. You can take the external data offline via Outlook and / or Workspace. • You can add additional SharePoint-only columns or attachments to the the external data: Documents, comments, ratings, tagging or other Web 2.0 content. • List workflows (SPD-, VS- and Nintex-based) and notifications per RSS or email can be used to take business actions in SharePoint, if external business data records are changed. • Easy SharePoint migration from 2007 to 2010: All settings are kept working. Free upgrade for all customers with Software Assurance (SA). • The BDLC additionally makes available any external data source for enterprise metadata tagging to use with the new SharePoint 2010 Knowledge Management and Social Networking features without any restrictions. • Add-ons available: Use the “Key Value Lookup Column” to keep the foreign key relationships between SQL data source tables for SharePoint list lookups.
Features and Benefits - Create a native list of any type to host the data and simply click "Connect to external data source" in the list settings dialog. - In the BDLC settings dialog choose from the installed connection providers and enter the appropriate connection string (e.g. OLEDB, ODBC or custom) and validate it. - To select the desired data, please enter a select statement as supported by your external data source and validate it. Check the result in preview mode and select primary key(s), to make use of advanced features. So you can enable list workflow or change notifications per RSS or email to take business actions, if your external LOB data records are changed. - Create the SharePoint list structure by adding additional columns, check the field / column mapping and update the data using the command buttons with one click. If a primary key is available, only modified data is updated in the list with high performance (background batch update via timer job). - You can optionally activate write-back to data source (CRUD: Create, Update, Delete features), if supported by the used driver. - You can additionally use Enterprise Enabler for SharePoint Business Data List Connector to connect SharePoint lists to complex bi-directional aggregations, transformations and manipulatiosn of entities among multiple Line Of Business applications, e.g. Web Services, .NET and COM objects, SAP etc.
Business requirements solved with this product - You want to access any external data source automatically up-to-date without any programming as native SharePoint list of any type. - You want to have the full functionality and features of a usual native SharePoint list, e.g. personal views, filter, grouping, calculated columns, custom columns, etc. for external data as well. - You have to pull contacts from your CRM system to a native SharePoint contact list, e.g. for offline synchronization to Outlook – possibly with write-back. - You have to pull tasks from your Help Desk, Action Request System or Exchange Server to a native SharePoint tasks list, possibly bidirectional. - You have to expose date- or time-based information from external systems in a native SharePoint calendar with different views. - You want to provide typical master data of your company (e.g. countries, cities, departments) centrally for consistent use in portal-wide SharePoint lookups without any manual duplication. You can establish native SharePoint lookups to these lists or you can use our Key Value Lookup Column Add-On to manage native foreign key relationships with lookup columns as usual with databases for SharePoint 2010. - You want to save license costs for external systems while exposing the data within the well-known SharePoint list user interface so that everybody that has access rights could easily work with it. - You want to subscribe to native SharePoint RSS newsfeeds or email-based notifications to get a message, in case of external data records are changed. - You want to start business workflows (based on SharePoint Designer, Visio, Visual Studio or Nintex) in SharePoint in case of external data changes without any restrictions. - You have to add additional information like comment columns or attachments to external LOB data in SharePoint. - You want to take any LOB data offline - display only or with with full replication unsing BDLC connected lists with SharePoint 2010 (Outlook and/or Workspace). - You want to make use of the new SharePoint 2010 Knowledge Management to tag external data completely automatically in background with managed metadata or enterprise keywords for improved navigation and findability. - You want to comprise external data seamlessly into the SharePoint 2010 Social Networking, e.g. for ranking, rating, comments or activity feeds on mySite. - You want to make external data available for any kind of SharePoint search, including WSS. - You want to use charts and diagrams based on external data, but won’t directly access the data sources in real-time. - You want to use Key Performance Indicators (KPI) lists with external data pulled from lists. - You won’t use Web Parts to display external data, because there are restrictions in functionality, security and performance compared to lists - You want to import Excel data on a daily base. - You want to present data aggregations or pivot queries in a Business Intelligence (BI) scenario with full list features. - You want to join data from different tables or data sources and provide as native SharePoint list. - You want to display data from Microsoft Project. - You have to pull data from Active Directory, e.g. persons or devices. - You want to fully integrate Microsoft Exchange or Outlook data, e.g. contacts, email messages or public folders. - You have to connect two SharePoint lists, e.g. between site collections or installations. - You want to pull data from the file system via Index Server into SharePoint lists. - You have Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, but no Enterprise Version. No Business Data Catalog (BDC) is available. - You have to use the free Windows SharePoint Services (WSS 3.0) and no Business Data Catalog (BDC) is available. - The Business Data Catalog is too complex for a given requirement and you won’t use additional configuration tools. - You have to automate regular imports of external data. - You have to connect complex or not connected external systems, e.g. with export to CSV or fixed length text files on one side and automatic update of SharePoint lists on the other side. - You have to provide data integration solutions that work in the same way for SharePoint 2007 and 2010 and are easy to migrate. - You want to write-back changes made in SharePoint lists to external data sources with full Create, Update and Delete (CRUD) codeless. - You want to configure lots connections to external data sources programmatically per API.