The fast, easy and complete integration of external LOB data is a common requirement in the use of Microsoft SharePoint technology. Existing solutions, such as the Business Data Catalog (BDC) in SharePoint 2007 or the Business Connectivity Services (BCS) in SharePoint 2010, are often too complex at the facility, require additional tools, bring with them limitations or they are available for certain SharePoint editions only.
The Business Data List Connector for SharePoint 2007 and 2010 offers a SharePoint “External List” by connecting a native SharePoint list (no Web Part) to almost any external business data in just minutes, using a very simple browser-based list settings dialogue. No additional tools are required. It can be configured easily with 3 simple settings only. Every SharePoint admin can do this. The desired data can be populated to the list and presented without any restrictions, with the full functionality of common SharePoint lists made available: views, sorting and grouping, filters, calculated fields, search, lookups can be created as usual. You can add additional internal content columns or attachments to the external data, e.g. documents, comments, ratings, tagging or other Web 2.0 content. You can take the data offline via Outlook and/or Workspace. All list types are supported, e.g. contacts, tasks, events with optional write-back (CRUD). 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. The BDLC additionally makes available any external data source to tag and use with the SharePoint 2010 Knowledge Management and Social Networking features without any restrictions.
You don’t have any limitations, that still exists with out-of-the-box BCS external lists in SharePoint 2010. While BDC-based solutions are often difficult to migrate from WSS3.0 / SharePoint 2007 to 2010, BDLC works in the same way with both SharePoint versions. It’s very simple to migrate, all connections and settings are kept working. There is a free upgrade available for BDLC from MOSS/WSS to SharePoint 2010 for all customers with Software Assurance (SA).
Existing ODBC, OLEDB, and .NET based drivers supported. You can connect to SQL Server, MySQL, Exchange, Active Directory, SharePoint, MS Office Excel, Access or text files, XML, EDI, Oracle, IBM DB2, Informix, AS400, Cache, ERP/CRM systems e.g. MS Dynamics CRM / NAV / AX, SAP, Salesforce.com, QuickBooks, Peachtree, HL7, Virtual Store, general Web Services, .NET or COM+ objects and many others.
The SharePoint Business Data List Connector is available for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS, all editions) and also for the free Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS). Software versions for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Windows SharePoint Servicves 4.0 / Microsoft SharePoint Foundation are also currently available.