The BDC has several moving pieces associated with it. Therefore, it's important to examine from a high level the different parts and components that make up the BDC. In order to use the BDC features within SharePoint, such as Business Data Web Parts and Business Data columns in lists, you must first define the metadata.
Following is a short description of the major components that compose the BDC, as illustrated in Figure 10-1.
An application is the integration gateway used by the Business Data Catalog. It defines the data entities exposed by a specific line-of-business application Application instance. Once registered, Applications expose the data within instances of business applications that can be surfaced on the portal site through either Web services or databases as LOB data sources and then used through the BDC.
LOB Data Source is used to connect an external line-of-business application to the BDC for use within a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server portal site. In Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, the data source can either consist of a database or a web service. When using a database-centric data source, the data provider used is ADO.NET. For a web service, the data provider is accessed through ...