Creating a Business Connectivity Service
The Business Connectivity Service (BCS) is one of the features in SharePoint that can take business-centric data out of the hands of the IT professional and put it into the hands of the user. BCS enables you to connect to business data stores, for example SQL Server and Oracle databases, in a secure manner. For the first time, SharePoint 2010 puts features in the reach of non-IT users through the external content type.
BCS is a server-level service that needs to be made available on your SharePoint farm by being enabled and configured by your SharePoint Administrators. It is normally set up and configured by a server administrator and it provides all the services required to connect with and use line-of-business data. A similar service was available with SharePoint 2007 but was complex and confusing to use and normally required a programmer to make any sense of it at all. Several third-party tools became available to simplify its use but with SharePoint 2010, these are no longer needed. If you find you are unable to use external content types, notify your SharePoint administrator to ensure that BCS has been enabled on the farm.
External Content Types
External content types (ECTs) are used to work with and expose data held outside the SharePoint system, such as SQL Server or Microsoft Access 2010 data stores. An external list enables you to expose that data within SharePoint. For this lesson, you work with both SharePoint Designer ...