Business Data Catalog in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007: Architecture and Schemas
As illustrated in the article, the Business Data Catalog system has many advantages. However, as with many systems, there also are drawbacks. In the case of BDC, there are two that stand out; the flow of information is only one-way (back-end system to MOSS), preventing modification of information directly from MOSS. Microsoft is working to make it a "two-lane highway" and has announced that this modification will be introduced in the next version of SharePoint. The second point of contention is that the metadata schema is difficult to implement manually, even with very simple systems such as those used in the example. Various companies are researching solutions such as the creation of wizards where an XML file can be generated WYSIWYG-style and the latest version of the MOSS SDK comes with a tool for the generation of schemas.
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server Business Data Catalog offers an elegant means of accessing information contained in external, back-end enterprise systems. After the construction of the XML definition and respective configuration, data is available for use in different forms within MOSS. The BDC represents a major improvement in how information can be employed in an effective and efficient manner to enhance business processes within an enterprise.
Download the Zoo XML file that accompanies this article here.
About the Author
Gustavo Velez is a MCSD Senior Application Developer for Winvision (http://www.winvision.nl), a Microsoft Gold Partner in the Netherlands. He has many years experience in developing Windows and Office applications, and more than five years of daily programming experience with SharePoint. The author's articles, in English, Dutch, and Spanish, can be found in many of the leading trade magazines and he's pleased to be Webmaster of http://www.gavd.net/servers, the only Spanish-language dedicated SharePoint site. Spanish-language readers may want to consult the author's new book; .Programacisn con SharePoint 2007 (http://www.dotnetmania.com/Libros/index.html).
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