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January 2009

Business data catalog adds functionality without coding

One of the new major features in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 is the Business Data Catalog, or BDC, which integrates business data from back-end server applications within SharePoint without the need for custom code.  Microsoft included this new functionality to enable organizations to both display and index—and, therefore, search—data contained in line-of-business applications or databases. In essence, the BDC exposes structured data from outside of SharePoint through Web parts and search results. This allows organizations to share data with portal users through a process that historically required custom development.  To understand the basic concepts behind the BDC, first and foremost you need to understand that the BDC uses something called an Application Definition, which is a complex XML file that is loaded into SharePoint. This file contains the structure and connection details of the data source and defines what data should be available and how it’s viewed.  Cool tools for creating the application ...

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