In this article we can explore another feature of SharePoint 2010 – Business Connectivity Services. This service allows data reading and writing from external data sources.
Using BCS we can access and modify data from:
· WCF Service
· Business Applications
· .Net Assembly connecting to Business Data
· Custom Connectors
The BDC Runtime is responsible for connecting to the external data sources. External data sources connections are stored in BCS Metadata inside SharePoint. The BCS Metadata allows connecting to the data sources in offline mode too. SharePoint acts as a Presentation layer in this scenario.
The previous version of BCS was BDC (Business Data Catalog)
Following are the components of BCS.
BDC Metadata Store
This component provides storage for metadata consisting of external data sources and content types and it will be part of the BCS layer.
BDC Server Runtime
This runtime component is responsible for connecting to the BDC Metadata Store and processing the requests.
BDC Client Runtime
Client runtime providing offline storage, synchronizing data back to server etc.
We can use SharePoint Designer provided tools for creating BCS Solutions.
In this article we have explored the BCS feature of SharePoint 2010. In the next article we can experiment with creating a BCS external content type inside SharePoint.