SharePoint Integration and the BDC - Richard Harbridge and Mark Brahmhall

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  • My dedication to you before I begin. By the end of this you will have gained 3 things. It might be new knowledge, it might be a new method but you MUST gain 3 things by the end. If you don’t my first challenge to you is to stalk me, hunt me down and make sure you get 3 things from me. Because I owe you 3 things! This is meant to help you. 
  • A lot of this can seem daunting and I know one of the hardest things is figuring out how to do some of the things I have shown today. If you are interested in further training or assistance please let me know. Based on the number of people who are interested and the areas of interest we can schedule further training sessions to help everyone better use the SharePoint portal.

    It's our commitment to you that we will continue to hear your feedback and identify the issues. I encourage you to give us feedback during the coming months, and we will continue to deliver more and more functionality, more and more guidance to help you be successful with your application of SharePoint.

    Thank You for Reading/Listening
  • A lot of this can seem daunting and I know one of the hardest things is figuring out how to do some of the things I have shown today. If you are interested in further training or assistance please let me know. Based on the number of people who are interested and the areas of interest we can schedule further training sessions to help everyone better use the SharePoint portal.

    It's our commitment to you that we will continue to hear your feedback and identify the issues. I encourage you to give us feedback during the coming months, and we will continue to deliver more and more functionality, more and more guidance to help you be successful with your application of SharePoint.

    Thank You for Reading/Listening
  • SharePoint Integration and the BDC - Richard Harbridge and Mark Brahmhall

    1. 1. SharePoint 2010 Integration and Interoperability: What You Need to Know @rharbridge #BASPUG Presented By: Richard Harbridge and Mark Bramhall
    2. 2. Who are we?
    3. 3. Our Goal Today… From Here To Here
    4. 4. What we will be talking about… 1. Business Data Challenges 2. SharePoint’s Important Interoperability 3. What is the BCS? • External Content Types • External Columns • External Lists • Extensibility and Tooling 5. Limitations of BCS 4. Demonstration Bonus!
    5. 5. Business Data Challenges
    6. 6. #BASPUG Business Data in an Enterprise Customers FinancialQuality OperationsSuppliersCustomers FinancialQuality OperationsSuppliers Users IT High Overhead (Maintenance, Security)High Integration Costs (Custom) High Training CostsHigh Dissatisfaction Redundant Data and Processes!
    7. 7. #BASPUG Challenges with Business Data Challenge IT End User Higher Overhead for IT to Service User Requests   Multiple Places to Search   Multiple Places to Administer and Maintain   Multiple Places to Manage Content   Multiple Places to Secure Information   High Data Integration Costs (Often 100% Custom and One Offs)   Silos/Islands of Data Lead to Redundant Data or Processes   Multiple Interfaces; Dissatisfaction and Higher Training Costs   Higher Operational and Compliance Risk  Direct Impact Indirect Impact  
    8. 8. The Outcome There are challenges that disparate and disconnected business data systems cause.
    9. 9. What to watch out for… No system, product or application can completely solve business data challenges. People Process Technology
    10. 10. SharePoint’s Important Interoperability
    11. 11. #BASPUG “Interoperability is the ability of a system.. to work with other systems.. without special effort on the part of the customer.” What the heck is Interoperability? (IHN-tuhr-AHP-uhr-uh-BIHL-ih-tee) How?
    12. 12. #BASPUG How do we achieve Interoperability? 2. By making use of a "broker" of services that can convert one system’s interface into another system’s interface "on the fly". 1. By adhering to published interface standards. Does SharePoint do this? What about this one? SPOILER ALERT!
    13. 13. #BASPUG SharePoint Interoperability
    14. 14. #BASPUG Is it a UI Platform?
    15. 15. #BASPUG Why would we use SharePoint as a User Interface Platform?
    16. 16. Consistent User Experience Across Browsers Well.. Almost.
    17. 17. #BASPUG It’s a UI Platform 1. By adhering to published interface standards.
    18. 18. #BASPUG A UI Platform Bonus?Bonus!
    19. 19. #BASPUG Leverage Office and SharePoint Interface Familiarity
    20. 20. #BASPUG Is it an Identity Platform?
    21. 21. #BASPUG Why would we use SharePoint as an Identity Platform?
    22. 22. Because Claims is Awesome Connect with 3rd Party Authentication Providers Connecting with a Non Windows Integrated Authentication driven web site. Delegation with Back-End Systems Showing data from another server on a SharePoint web page.
    23. 23. #BASPUG Claims Uses Consistent Standards *Doesn’t actually support SAML Protocol (SAMLP) 1. By adhering to published interface standards.
    24. 24. #BASPUG It’s an Identity Platform
    25. 25. #BASPUG Is it a Search Platform?
    26. 26. #BASPUG Why would we use SharePoint as a Search Platform?
    27. 27. #BASPUG Query a 3rd Party Search Engine Using SharePoint UI Federate Queries to Multiple Search Systems…
    28. 28. #BASPUG Index Content from a Range of Content Repositories What does all of these? Indexes Databases, Web Services or Custom Repositories Provides Consistent Access to External Content Has SharePoint Designer and Visual Studio Plug-ins B C S _ _ _B C S
    29. 29. #BASPUG A Search Platform Bonus!Bonus!
    30. 30. #BASPUG Have you heard of OpenSearch? • Standard (Creative Commons) for syndication and aggregation of search results • Syntax for executing queries • Results returned in RSS/ATOM + extensions • Supported by Microsoft Search Server 2008 Clients: Windows 7, IE, FireFox, Chrome, SharePoint … Providers: Amazon, Flickr, Wikipedia, SharePoint… 1. By adhering to published interface standards.
    31. 31. #BASPUG It is a Search Platform
    32. 32. #BASPUG Is it a Data Access Platform?
    33. 33. #BASPUG SharePoint Does a Great Job of Accessing SharePoint Content!
    34. 34. #BASPUG What about External Systems and Content? _ _ _B C S
    35. 35. #BASPUG A Data Access Platform Bonus!Bonus! x 2
    36. 36. #BASPUG Content Management Interoperability Services  CMIS specification provides a Web services interface that:  Is designed to work over existing repositories enabling customers to build and leverage applications against multiple repositories—unlocking content they already have  Decouples Web services and content from the content management repository, enabling customers to manage content independently  Provides common Web services and Web 2.0 interfaces to dramatically simplify application development  Is development platform and language agnostic  Supports composite application development and mash-up by the business or IT analyst A platform that allows you to build against multiple technologies without knowing anything about how all the API’s work. (If you know CMIS.) Microsoft has been implementing this from both a client and provider perspective. Not available “in the box”. Available via SharePoint Admin Toolkit
    37. 37. #BASPUG And then there’s REST Access to SharePoint Lists and Document Libraries… • RESTful interface over HTTP • Uses the ADO.NET Data Services interface conventions • Feature rich: retrieve, update, browse data using just URLs and XML/JSON • Low barrier of entry. If you have an HTTP stack you can use it. Visual Studio Integration… • Entirely built on top of the open RESTful interface • No client is required • Visual Studio creates proxies, visualizes schemas, provides LINQ support etc.
    38. 38. #BASPUG SharePoint has Interoperability Some might even say it has storage interoperability…But the coolest part of interoperability? 2. By making use of a "broker" of services that can convert one system’s interface into another system’s interface "on the fly".
    39. 39. The Outcome SharePoint is a growing Interoperable UI, Identity, Search, and Data Access Platform.
    40. 40. What to watch out for… Remember this? “Interoperability is the ability of a system to work with other systems without special effort on the part of the customer.” without special effort
    41. 41. What is the BCS?
    42. 42. #BASPUG BCS in Office Client Persistence Store Data Cubes SAP ORACLE SiebelSQL Custom .NET assembly Identity Federation service BCS in SharePoint BCS Meta Data Store External data AS Custom Connector Client to Backend Direct Connection Client Data Cache DB Connector WCF /WS Connector .NET Assembly Connector SharePoint Client You could look at this diagram…
    43. 43. #BASPUG External Data External Content Types External Lists SharePoint Workspace w/ InfoPath Forms Outlook Forms and Task Panes Office Applications Search Results Or this simplified one…
    44. 44. #BASPUG External Data External Content Types External Lists SharePoint Workspace w/ InfoPath Forms Outlook Forms and Task Panes Office Applications Search Results External Content Types Describes: • Structure of the external system (Fields, Methods, Connection) • How this data behaves within SharePoint and Office Added to the BCS Service Through: • SharePoint Designer • Visual Studio 2010 • Via an Import into the Business Data Connectivity Service as part of a model Manage and Re-Use from a Central Location
    45. 45. #BASPUG External Data External Content Types External Lists SharePoint Workspace w/ InfoPath Forms Outlook Forms and Task Panes Office Applications Search Results External Lists The external content type is leveraged in a variety of ways… Such as for Exposing External Data as an External SharePoint List Full CRUD capability Familiar UI and Navigation Sort, Filter, Group Programmatic Access via SPList OM Profile Page for Each Item Form Auto-generated OOB Upsize to InfoPath Can be Taken “Offline”
    46. 46. #BASPUG External Data External Content Types External Lists SharePoint Workspace w/ InfoPath Forms Outlook Forms and Task Panes Office Applications Search Results Offline Lists External Lists also be leveraged as Offline “Lists” Or Connected to Outlook as Contacts, Tasks, Calendars and Posts
    47. 47. #BASPUG External Data External Content Types External Lists SharePoint Workspace w/ InfoPath Forms Outlook Forms and Task Panes Office Applications Search Results Office Applications and Search w/ Code External Content Types can also be leveraged in… Many other Office Applications (or Custom Applications) Or Leveraged to allow for External Data Searching or Filtering
    48. 48. #BASPUG External Data External Content Types External Lists SharePoint Workspace w/ InfoPath Forms Outlook Forms and Task Panes Office Applications Search Results Bonus! Integration Webparts w/ Code Bonus! Web Parts External Data List External Data Item External Data Item Builder External Data Related List External Data Connectivity Filter Chart Web Part (New) Integration Webparts
    49. 49. #BASPUG Didn’t those webparts work with the BDC?
    50. 50. #BASPUG So what’s different? (Besides the Chart Control?) Read/Write Capability Claims Aware Connect via ADO/SQL, WCF/WS, .Net Assembly and Custom Connectors Batch and Bulk Operation Support BDC is still used for search indexing connectors in 2010 they added blob, incremental crawl and item level security. They added symmetrical server and client runtimes. Allowing them to connect from client or server directly to external data. SQL CE database is used to cache external data which allows for “cached mode” behavior on external data basically creating a rich client cache.
    51. 51. #BASPUG How do I actually build it out?
    52. 52. Intermediate AdvancedSimple • Create Reusable Components (UI parts, ECTs, Actions) Out-of-box • Surface data in External Lists • Connect those lists to Outlook, SPW • External Data Columns DeveloperPower User NO CODE Advanced Developer CODE Where things fit. “NO CODE”
    53. 53. #BASPUG 1. Discover your Data Source • Database • Web services • .NET type 2. Map Operations to Data Source • Create, read, update, delete, lookup 3. Connect to SharePoint and/or Office • External List • Contact • Task • Appointment • Post SharePoint Designer Process
    54. 54. #BASPUG Visual Studio Process w/ Code
    55. 55. The Outcome The BCS has a bunch of new capabilities bundled with some old enhanced BDC ones.
    56. 56. What to watch out for… Selecting the right tool is important. Practice makes perfect.
    57. 57. #BASPUG That’s a lot of information!
    58. 58. #BASPUG
    59. 59. Demo!
    60. 60. The Outcome You saw how the BCS can be leveraged in SharePoint Designer and in the SharePoint UI.
    61. 61. What to watch out for… Don’t assume the tools will significantly reduce the time it takes to ‘integrate’. It typically reduces time to ‘interface’.
    62. 62. What are BCS Limitations?
    63. 63. #BASPUG General BCS Limitations • No Write support for BLOB • You cannot write back to BLOB fields using BCS unless you write your own method. • You can access BLOB columns by defining a StreamAccessor method and presenting the external data via the BCS Data List web part by checking the Display stream fields property.
    64. 64. #BASPUG External List Limitations • Workflows cannot be associated with external lists • Workaround: You can use the external data columns and manipulate it that way. • No RSS feed support for external lists • No REST based access for external lists • http://sharepoint/_vti_bin/ListData.svc does not support external lists • LINQ to SharePoint spmetal.exe does not support external lists • Cannot configure alerts for external lists • Cannot export external list items to Excel (using the Export to Excel feature), Create Visio Diagram, Open with Access or Open with Project • Versioning cannot be configured on external lists • Version History is not available on external lists • Datasheet view cannot be used in external lists • XSLT is Supported (So you can basically make your own.) External Lists
    65. 65. #BASPUG External List Limitations Continued… • Ratings feature is not supported for external lists • Information policies cannot be configured on external lists • Item-Level permissions are not available for external lists • No item or field level validation (without InfoPath) • Lookups don’t work on any column but ID • No attachments. External Lists
    66. 66. #BASPUG • You cannot create a site column of type ‘External Data Column’ • External data columns can be created only as list based columns and cannot be consumed in site level content types Bonus! External Column Limitations Bonus!
    67. 67. The Outcome You now know more about the limitations of BCS and will make fewer assumptions.
    68. 68. What to watch out for… Some of the many limitations mentioned make sense. Think carefully before you build a ‘workaround’.
    69. 69. 1. Business Data Challenges 2. SharePoint’s Important Interoperability 3. What is the BCS? External Content Types External Columns External Lists Extensibility and Tooling 4. Limitations of BCS 1. The Challenges Aren’t All Technology Challenges 2. Interface, Identity, Search and Data Access Platform 3. A Set of Powerful Connection Capabilities Structured Types of External Content Leveraging External Content with Internal Content Interact Like SharePoint Lists Extensibility/Tool Range from UI to SPD to VS 2010 4. Good Enough and Better than Most Options What we talked about…
    70. 70. Thank You! Thanks to Organizers, Sponsors and You for Making this Possible. Questions? Ideas? Feedback? Contact me:  Twitter: @rharbridge  Blog: www.rharbridge.com  LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/rharbridge  Email me at: RHarbridge@Allin.com  My company: www.Allin.com

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