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Business Connectivity Services for SharePoint 2013

Any organization looking to implement SharePoint 2013 as an enterprise application for document or content management, or for reporting purposes, or even for gathering useful business intelligence, will need to use solutions and features built on the Business Data Collector (BDC) and Business Connectivity Services (BCS).

Despite two new SharePoint Server versions, 2010 and, now, 2013, BDC is still running, and provides the foundation for BCS. What’s important for SharePoint administrators, developers, systems designers and architects, is to understand the role BDC/BCS plays in the 2013 Server architecture for any of the “enterprise edition” features, including Excel Services, Reporting Services for SharePoint, etc.

So Steve Fox’s video tutorial on SharePoint 2013: Business Connectivity Services should be on a “must watch” list for technical personnel with a subscription to SharePoint-Videos.com. This video is included in a set on SharePoint 2013: Development> Steve Fox, a Director of Services for Microsoft® is the author of the complete training set of content on this topic.

Steve Fox’s video demonstrates how to use BCS, with SharePoint Server 2013, to build external content types. Any implementation of the SharePoint 2013 computing platform for gathering business intelligence (BI) must include external content types. These content types, in turn, are used to support site columns, which are tools to organize either unstructured content, or content structured in a dissimilar manner from the data produced by the components of the Microsoft Office suite of tools (and SQL Server). In order to be successful, BI systems for SharePoint 2013 must include data organized in this manner.

Line of Business (LoB) units are likely candidates for a new type of BCS systems development that includes the OData Connector. Increasingly, LoBs are granted the latitude to use systems (like Google Apps, DropBox, etc) outside of the Microsoft pantheon of tools. Without the combination of OData and BCS it is not otherwise possible to add this information, as required, into the SharePoint data stream.

Ira Michael Blonder

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