|Business Connectivity Services is the set of services and components that enables the connectivity between heterogeneous business systems. SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services can be used to connect any data source to present the business data as SharePoint content. Now it is easy to create business applications which involves read, write operations using a single data access platform. This post discusses about key components and terms involved in Business Connectivity Services.||
External Content Types
Content Type is key term used in SharePoint Data Structure. External Content type is a SharePoint Content type which you use to connect other systems. Important differences between Standard Content type and External Content type are
External content types are created and managed by BCS, You cannot change or add columns in external content type without redefining the BCS model
External content types cannot be used in or attached to ordinary lists.
As external content types cannot be used in regular lists, SharePoint 2010 uses a new type of list named External List which provides read, write functionality for external data. You can do the read\write operations in same way as you do in external system. If the underlying model doesn’t support any operation then it would not available in the external list.
External Data Column
It is basically a lookup column which can be included in any SharePoint list, which allows you to select the values from external data source. For example a list which contains a product review information, if you link the product catalogue using BCS then external column can be added to the list containing product reviews which helps in reviewing the data.
Business Data Connectivity Service
Business Data Connectivity Service is the successor to Business Data Catalog service in MOSS 2007. Using BCS you can get full read/write capability with various data source systems. By Default BCS provides connectivity to a number of different systems.
• Databases Business Data Connectivity Service provides access to any database where ADO.NET drivers exist.
• Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) endpoints Using WCF endpoints, BDC can communicate with external data systems via web services.
• .NET Connectivity – You can write .NET connectivity assemblies to access other source systems.
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