In this two part video series, we will cover Business Connectivity Services (BCS) in SharePoint 2010. SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services is an evolution of SharePoint 2007 Business Data Catalogue (BDC). BDC was capable of reading data from other systems and making it available in a SharePoint environment. To have bi-directional (read/write) access to the external data required custom code development - which is time consuming and costly. SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services now offers a bi-directional communication path between the other systems and SharePoint.
Bi-directional data access comes with its own set of issues such as governance, security and control. We recommend that you resolve these issues before beginning the implementation process.
BCS comes with new tools to empower users to effectively access the data from the other systems. SharePoint Designer is a solution that takes an object from data sources and surfaces it to the SharePoint environment in a read/write format. For example, an employee data from the HR department can be accessed from the intranet site. BCS also offers a central administration functionality to manage the permission and policies centrally.
Other tools that are available are SharePoint Workspace and Outlook. Using the Outlook bi-directional read/write allows users to have the customer data in a CRM show up as a contact in Outlook. The users can also update the CRM data if they have the read/write permissions to do so.
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