Monday, August 9, 2010
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and the Microsoft Office 2010 suites include Microsoft Business Connectivity Services, which are a set of services and features that provide a way to connect SharePoint solutions to sources of external data and to define external content types that are based on that external data. External content types resemble content types and allow the presentation of and interaction with external data in SharePoint lists (known as external lists), Web Parts, Microsoft Outlook 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010, and Microsoft Word 2010 clients. External systems that Microsoft Business Connectivity Services can connect to include SQL Server databases, SAP applications, Web services (including Windows Communication Foundation Web services), custom applications, and Web sites based on SharePoint. By using Microsoft Business Connectivity Services, you can design and build solutions that extend SharePoint collaboration capabilities and the Office user experience to include external business data and the processes that are associated with that data.
Microsoft Business Connectivity Services solutions use a set of standardized interfaces to provide access to business data. As a result, developers of solutions do not have to learn programming practices that apply to a specific system or adapter for each external data source. Microsoft Business Connectivity Services also provide the run-time environment in which solutions that include external data are loaded, integrated, and executed in supported Office client applications and on the Web server.
Typical solutions based on Business Connectivity Services
Solutions that are based on Microsoft Business Connectivity Services can take advantage of the integration of client applications, servers, services, and tools in the Microsoft Office 2010 suites. Information workers typically perform much of their work outside the formal processes of a business system. For example, they collaborate by telephone or e-mail messages, use documents and spreadsheets from multiple sources, and switch between being online and offline. Solutions that are based on Microsoft Business Connectivity Services can be designed to fit within these informal processes that information workers use:
- They can be built by combining multiple services and features from external data systems and from the Office 2010 suites to deliver solutions that are targeted to specific roles.
- They support informal interactions and target activities and processes that occur mostly outside formal enterprise systems. Because they are built by using SharePoint 2010 Products, solutions that are based on Microsoft Business Connectivity Services promote collaboration.
- They help users perform tasks within the familiar user interface of Office applications and SharePoint 2010 products.