The fast, easy and complete integration of external LOB data, e.g. from databases, is a common requirement in the use of Microsoft SharePoint technology. Existing solutions, such as the Business Data Catalog (BDC) in SharePoint 2007 or the Business Connectivity Services (BCS) in SharePoint 2010, are often too complex at the facility, bring with them limitations or they are available for MOSS (Enterprise Edition) only.
The SharePoint Business Data List Connector on the other hand, connects custom SharePoint lists (no Web Parts) to almost any external business data, using a very simple list settings dialogue. It can be configured very easy:
1. Enter connection string
2. Enter select statement
3. Enter primary keys (if any)
Then the required list structure is created automatically and modified external data is updated very fast in background using a timer job.
The desired data can be presented without any restrictions, with the full read-only functionality of common SharePoint lists made available: views, sorting and grouping, filters, calculated fields etc. can be created as usual.
Workflows and notifications per RSS or email can be used, to take business actions directly in SharePoint, if external business data records are changed.
The SharePoint Business Data List Connector (BDLC) can be used to connect SharePoint lists to databases, such as MS SQL Server, Oracle, IBM DB2, MySQL, Sybase Advantage Database Server, Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise, Informix, Postgre SQL, IBM UniData, IBM UniVerse, AS/400 (IMB iSeries), Progress and more.
With the BDLC you can pull data to SharePoint lists directly from data files, e.g. MS Excel, MS Access, Visual Foxpro, DBF, Filemaker, Text-/HTMLfiles.
You can also link SharePoint lists directly to services like OLAP, AD, MS Project, MS SharePoint, MS Exchange, MS Index Server, IBM Lotus Notes, ODBC/DSN/UDL.
The feature is available for WSS and SharePoint (all editions).