We’re very pleased to announce that Penelope Coventry, Brett Lonsdale, and Phill Duffy’s book, Microsoft SharePoint 2010: Business Connectivity Services has shipped to the printer!
Put your enterprise business data to work with Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services—and create valuable business solutions with your team. Led by SharePoint experts Penelope Coventry, Brett Lonsdale, and Phill Duffy, you’ll learn how to access external data from several sources and make informed decisions based on what you retrieve. Unlock your enterprise data and increase your productivity, using code and no-code solutions! You’ll discover how to connect to enterprise data with Microsoft SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio; access line-of-business data, data from Microsoft SQL Server®, or data from web services; create, read, update, and delete data records using Business Connectivity Services; build external data lists through your web browser; view your data lists in SharePoint, Microsoft Word, or Microsoft Outlook; search your external data lists and work with them offline; design business solutions using SharePoint Designer list composites; and enhance user profiles or social experiences with Business Connectivity Services.
The book will be available via online retailers around June 25. In the meantime, here’s more information about the book:
Contents at a Glance
Chapter 1: Making SharePoint the Central Hub for Business
Chapter 2: Introducing Business Connectivity Services
Chapter 3: Creating and Maintaining Business Connectivity Service Applications
Chapter 4: Defining External System Connections Using SharePoint Designer
Chapter 5: Creating External Lists and Using External Data in Lists and Libraries
Chapter 6: Building External Data Dashboards
Chapter 7: Using External Data with Office Client Applications
Chapter 8: Finding Information from External Systems
Chapter 9: Using External Data in User Profiles
Chapter 10: Exploring SharePoint Online and External Data
Chapter 11: Using Client-Side Code and External Data
Chapter 12: Building Server-Side BCS Solutions
Appendix A: BCS Model Infrastructure
Microsoft SharePoint 2010: Business Connectivity Services helps small and medium-sized businesses as well as bigger organizations put their business data to work with Business Connectivity Services (BCS)—and create valuable business solutions. Use Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, or Microsoft SharePoint Online (part of Microsoft Office 365 cloud services) to unlock data and increase productivity.
Who Should Read This Book
The book is aimed at business users, project managers, architects, administrators, and decision makers who want to create solutions that are required to create, use, share, and find information using Microsoft SharePoint 2010 websites, where the information is not stored in Microsoft SharePoint 2010 SQL Server content databases. Led by SharePoint experts, you’ll learn hands-on strategies for deploying business solutions that integrate data from business applications and databases using BCS.
Who Should Not Read This Book
How This Book Is Organized
This book provides a comprehensive look at the various SharePoint features you will use. It is divided into three parts.
Part 1: Planning and Maintaining Business Connectivity Services
This part provides an introduction to Business Connectivity Services (BCS) and why you might want to use it. It details BCS terminology and the tasks a SharePoint server administrator and business owner need to complete to enable users to present the external data within SharePoint websites.
Chapter 1, “Making SharePoint the Central Hub for Business,” reviews how organizations have changed over the last 20 years with regard to business data, and how these changes led to organizations having pockets of data throughout their business processes. The chapter then explains how BCS can provide a uniform method of accessing data for all stakeholders in an organization.
Chapter 2, “Introducing Business Connectivity Services,” introduces the types of solutions you can create with BCS and how you can plan and extend BCS. This chapter explores the BCS architecture and how it is divided into four layers: external system, connectivity, presentation, and tools.
Chapter 3, “Creating and Maintaining Business Data Connectivity Service Applications,” first explains the SharePoint service application architecture and its effect on the deployment of BCS. The chapter then breaks down the server administration tasks to create and configure a Business Data Connectivity (BDC) service application, explains the security options, outlines how to configure the Secure Store Service, discusses modifications to the BCS throttling settings, and details the administration of BCS in a tenant environment.
Chapter 4, “Defining External System Connections Using SharePoint Designer,” helps you hook up external data with SharePoint and Office applications with the creation of an external content type (ECT). The chapter explains that while you can use other tools to create an ECT, SharePoint Designer provides you with a wizard to easily define the BDC model, ECT, BDC objects, and operations that you are allowed to perform on the external system.
Part 2: Presenting External Data
In this part, you’ll learn how to extend the user experience to display and manipulate content from an external system in Office 2010 client applications and websites built on top of SharePoint 2010.
Chapter 5, “Creating External Lists and Using External Data in Lists and Libraries,” explains that the preferred method of displaying data from external data sources is to use external lists. The chapter helps you use both the browser and SharePoint Designer to create external lists, and finishes by showing you how to use external columns in SharePoint lists and libraries.
Chapter 6, “Building Business Data Dashboards,” explores how to build business data dashboards using Business Data Web Parts and other Web Parts, and how to configure them in an effective way.
Chapter 7, “Using External Data with Office Client Applications,” helps you use external data within Microsoft Office applications, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft SharePoint Workspace, and Microsoft Access, as well as how to modify external list forms with Microsoft InfoPath Designer 2010.
Chapter 8, “Finding Information from External Systems,” provides tools and strategies that allow organizations to provide their users with the ability to search for all relevant business data, whether it is stored within SharePoint SQL content databases or outside SharePoint. This chapter explains the search options available, depending on the version of SharePoint 2010 that you are using.
Chapter 9, “Using External Data in User Profiles,” explains how you can use BCS to populate user profile data that exists elsewhere within your organization and explores how this benefits an organization when using SharePoint 2010 features such as people search and audience targeting. This chapter also explains how you can use Duet Enterprise to connect SharePoint 2010 and SAP solutions.
Chapter 10, “Exploring SharePoint Online and Connecting to External Data,” helps you to connect SharePoint Online, which is part of Office 365, to external data. It compares the use of BCS SharePoint Online with dedicated SharePoint Online and with an on-premises installation of SharePoint 2010. The chapter finishes by describing how to build a SharePoint Online BCS solution.
Part 3: Extending the Out-of-the-Box BCS Functionality
In this part, you’ll explore the options you can use to extend BCS.
Chapter 11, “Using Client-Side Code and External Data,” introduces the SharePoint 2010 Client Object Model and how you can leverage client-side code to create solutions to greatly extend how your organization works with line-of-business (LoB) data.
Chapter 12, “Building Server-Side BCS Solutions,” introduces the use of Visual Studio to build SharePoint solutions, how to use Visual Studio to build solutions that execute code on SharePoint servers, as well as how to use Visual Studio to create and deploy BDC models.
The Appendix, “BCS Model Infrastructure,” describes the BCS metadata object hierarchy and details the relationships among commonly used metadata objects.
This book assumes that you have a working knowledge of SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010 client applications. If you need to learn how to use SharePoint 2010, we advise you to read the following two books:
· Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 Step by Step by Olga Londer and Penelope Coventry (Microsoft Press, 2011)
· Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Plain & Simple by Johnathan Lightfoot and Chris Beckett (Microsoft Press, 2010)
About the Companion Content
We have included companion content to enrich your learning experience. The companion content for this book can be downloaded from the following page:
The companion content includes the following:
· The BDC model project used in Chapter 12, “Building Server-Side BCS Solutions.”
· BDC model .bdcm file referenced in the Appendix, “BCS Model Infrastructure.”