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Understanding the Value of Business Connectivity Services – BCS

Business Connectivity Services (BCS) for Microsoft® SharePoint® Server 2010 should be a feature of substantial interest for enterprises composed of several Line of Business (LoB) units. It’s worth spending time thinking about how to implement BCS if an enterprise objective is to regularly collect and analyze LoB performance data. BCS has all of the features required for enterprise users to craft a highly effective tool to successfully deliver on this type of Business Intelligence (BI) objective.

In a video tutorial series titled Get access to Line of Business Application Data using Business Connectivity Services, Raymond Mitchell, and acknowledged subject matter expert on this topic presents the fundamental technical procedures required to implement BCS within a SharePoint Server 2010 computing environment.

But for BI purposes, the key points to understand about BCS are as follows:

  • SharePoint Server 2010 supports the use of a set of tools (including Metadata tagging, the Term Store, and Taxonomy) capable of rapid identification of specific data within a large data repository (whether libraries or lists are used to collect information is not important)
  • External Content Types, Lists, Libraries and even Site and Farm-Wide Columns are all valuable components of BCS. These components can be used to pull LoB data into SharePoint Server 2010. Management is thereby empowered with a much wider view of enterprise business performance

For businesses in heavily regulated industries, ensuring rapid access, as required, to enterprise wide data is especially important. SharePoint should be of particularly strong interest to these businesses for BCS and other features. The task of complying with reporting requirements becomes much easier, and, in turn, less costly when a decision is made to implement BCS with SharePoint Server 2010.

The cost savings grow even more when standard operating procedures for LoBs and the enterprise, itself, are converted over to no-code workflows in SharePoint Server 2010. We have written extensively on this topic in past posts to this blog. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about how features like BCS can support your efforts to gather truly useful enterprise BI from the data stored in your LoBs.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved