June Meeting 2014

BCS – Uncovering the Mysteries

Marat Bakirov – Readify

Business Connectivity Services is a very good idea that appeared rather simple – a transparent view of the other data that are not stored in the Sharepoint, though it looks like. First version called Business Data Catalog was rather simple and provided read-only access to data. This evolved in Sharepoint 2010 with read write support, and now has evolved even more in SharePoint 2013 with additional features.

However, people often meet some complex problems. A few examples – a limit of the number of items you could return from a single operation in a list or in an external picker. One of these limits is tweakable to some extent, and another is hard-coded. After that people often stop considering the technology, despite there is a simple redesign of your model that would solve the problems.

In this talk, we will try to make an overview of the components that are contained in the Business Connectivity Services, will try to describe key notions like filters, associations, and providers. Then we will discuss the possible implementation of the data providers that you could implement yourself.

After that, we will discuss the new functionality in SharePoint 2013, such as ODATA provider, an ability to have an app-scoped external type, events, and other enhancements.

The author has a wide experience of working with BCS, including developing custom providers, connecting to Oracle and working with BCS on the client side.


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