What's New: Business Connectivity Services
Published: May 2010
Microsoft Business Connectivity Services (BCS), formerly named the Business Data Catalog, provides read/write access to external data from line-of-business (LOB) systems, Web services, databases, and other external systems within Microsoft SharePoint 2010. SharePoint 2010 has product features that can use external data directly, both online and offline. Developers can gain access to a rich set of features and rapidly build solutions by using familiar tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010.
Business Connectivity Services enhances SharePoint application capabilities and their UI through features, services, and tools. These enhanced capabilities and UI streamline development of solutions with deep integration of external data and services. Power users, developers, and business unit IT professionals can integrate assets from external systems and enable interaction with the external data through many types of applications. The Business Connectivity Services feature set enables rapid development and deployment of scalable and security-rich solutions.
The following are some of the features of Business Connectivity Services.
Business Connectivity Services provides a set of tools to facilitate creation of models and Office 2010 application artifacts, declaratively and by writing code. You can use SharePoint Designer 2010 to rapidly create composite solutions that meet external unit needs without writing code. You can use Visual Studio to create or extend solutions with sophisticated workflows and data that spans structured LOB systems, unstructured SharePoint applications or Microsoft Office applications, and Web 2.0 services.
Developers can use the BDC Runtime object model to write generic applications by using the stereotyped APIs as building blocks. Such generic applications are then assured to work against any external system, including those that are preexisting and those that are yet to be built.
Developers can also write specific applications that make assumptions about the abstract entity model (the fields exposed by these, and the types of the fields).
And with the .NET Assembly Connector, Custom Connector and the pluggable Secure Store Provider, it provides a rich extensibility mechanism for software developers.