The key to using Business Connectivity Services (BCS) in Microsoft® SharePoint® is the Business Data Connectivity (BDC) model. The BDC model has three main purposes:

  • Describes how the connectivity component of BCSBDC runtime – obtains data from the external data source, that is, it describes the interface – the protocol to use, the location of the external data source and the authentication method.
  • Describes what can be done (methods) with the external data and the relationships among the different types of data (associations). For example, using BCS, you can create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) external data in SharePoint and Office client applications, if the external system supports the methods (operations) and is modelled appropriately in the BDC model.
  • Provide meaningful text in the browser to help users determine the data they require from the external system.

The BDC model is usually created by a business analyst, a developer, or a database administrator (DBA). Together, they have the knowledge of the external data sources, as well as how the business uses the data.

Once you have started BCS Meta Man, the configuration process allows you to:

  1. Select and configure your external data source.
    Which ever data source you have selected, enter the appropriate information and then click the blue arrow Next to move to the next step in the process.

  2. For each set of data – external content type – you wish to include in the BDC model
  • Select the data that you wish to model.
  • Provide a name for the external content type.
  • Select the methods you wish to generate. Using these methods and the authentication method you have chosen for the data source, users on SharePoint pages, will be able to retrieve, modify and create external data.
  • Modify the external content type you just created adding additional methods, mapping Office Item types, filters and custom actions
Define any associations between each set of data that are defined in your BDC model.

Name the BDC model, by clicking Settings on the Meta Man title bar. Click Generate.

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Once you have created a BDC model you must complete the following tasks:

  1. Deploy the BCS model
  2. Test the BCS model
  3. Modify the model either because the model did not meet your requirements or new requirements were identified.

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Select a data source →


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