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Register business applications in the Business Data Catalog

Office 2007

Updated: March 26, 2009

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

 

Topic Last Modified: 2009-03-20

In this article:

Before you can use data from any line-of-business application in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, you must register that information in the Business Data Catalog. The Business Data Catalog is the service that manages connections among line-of-business applications and the SharePoint lists, Web Parts, and sites that use data from those applications.

To register line-of-business applications in the business data catalog, you should:

  • Create application definitions for each application or database in your organization. Application definitions contain connection settings, authentication mode, and definitions for the business data types and properties imported for a particular application.

  • Import application definitions to the Business Data Catalog.

  • Configure single sign-on (SSO) enterprise application definitions for applications that will be using SSO.

  • Configure business data types and the fields for each business data type.

After completing these steps for each line-of-business application in your organization, you can then use the data from applications in SharePoint lists, Web Parts, and business data-enabled sites such as business dashboards and the Report Center site. Data can also be imported for use in user profiles or used in enterprise search to find business data.

An application definition is a file that describes a database or Web service. An application includes the following information:

  • Connection settings

  • Authentication mode

  • Definitions of business data types

  • Other information, depending upon the application

Application definitions are XML files that are authored by Business Data Catalog administrators or Web designers who understand the business data schema established in the plan for business data. During deployment, an application definition is created for each line of business application. For each application, the business data types (also known as entities) and properties for each entity are defined within the application definition file according to the schema. The application definition files can be imported into the Business Data Catalog, and can be exported as a backup for disaster recovery scenarios.

For more information about authoring application definitions, see the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Software Development Kit (SDK).

To use application definitions in the Business Data Catalog, you must import the application definitions. During initial deployment, you can add newly created application definitions for each line-of-business application. During regular operations, you will have to export your existing application definitions before importing them to ensure that you do not overwrite a new application definition with one that is out of date. Because application definitions include security settings, it is important that you always ensure that you are updating the correct version of any application definition so that your security settings are retained.

Use the following procedure to import an application definition.

Import an application definition
  1. On the SSP home page, in the Business Data Catalog section, click Import application definition.

  2. On the Import Application Definition page, in the Application Definition section, enter the location of the application definition.

  3. In the File Type section, select the type of application definition to import.
    Note: The author of the application definition file should know the file type for the application definition. If you don't know the file type, use the default option.

  4. In the Resources to import section, select the resources to import.

    • Select Localized Names to import names for business data fields in multiple languages.

    • Select Properties to import properties from the application definition.

    • Select Permissions to import permissions from the application definition.

  5. Click Import.

If you are using SSO to access line of business applications, you must configure SSO for your line-of-business applications. For more information about configuring SSO for the Business Data Catalog, see Configure access to business data., or see Configure single sign-on (Office SharePoint Server). Server farm administrators create application definitions for line-of-business applications and other data sources.

Use the following procedure to create an application definition.

Create an application definition
  1. In Central Administration, on the top navigation bar, click Operations.

  2. On the Operations page, in the Security Configuration section, click Manage settings for single sign-on.

  3. On the Manage Settings for Single Sign-On page, click Manage settings for enterprise application definitions.

  4. On the Manage Enterprise Application Definitions page, click New Item.

  5. On the Create Enterprise Application Definition page, in the Application and Contact Information section, in the Display name box, type the name that is displayed to users.

  6. In the Application name box, type the name that Web Parts use to refer to the enterprise application definition. Single sign-on components use the application name to specify which enterprise application definition to use. This name should match the name used in the application definition in the Business Data Catalog.

  7. In the Contact e-mail address box, type the e-mail address that users can contact for the enterprise application.

  8. In the Account type section, select one of the following:

    1. Group. Select this option if users will connect to the enterprise application through a group account. If you select this option, you need to configure account information for the application definition.

    2. Individual. Select this option if each user has an account in the application definition.

    3. Group using restricted account. Select this option if users will connect to the enterprise application through a group that uses a restricted account. If you select this option, credentials are stored separately for regular credentials and a different API is used to access the credentials. Select this option only when all of the following is true:

  9. The account is a group account.

  10. An intermediary application such as Business Data Catalog imposes further security restrictions.

  11. The data is highly sensitive.

  12. In the Authentication type section, select the Windows authentication check box.

    WarningWarning:
    If Windows authentication is not used, the logon credentials are not encrypted.
  13. In the Logon Account Information section, configure each of the Field boxes for soliciting required logon information from users. Selecting Yes for Mask hides the text typed by the user. This helps to keep sensitive information such as passwords secret.

  14. Click OK.

Administrators for the Business Data Catalog should work closely with farm administrators to ensure that the necessary application definitions are created that correspond to the configuration plans for the Business Data Catalog.

The business data types (also known as entities) and the fields for each business data type are included and defined in the application definition file. Application definitions created according to the business schema will already be properly configured. However, some configurations might still be necessary if:

  • If the business data schema changes during the process of deployment, you might have to update entities and fields for existing applications. These changes are made by changing and re-importing the application definition file.

  • If you want to change the list of people with access to a particular application or entity, you can configure permissions in the business data catalog.

  • If you plan additional business data actions for one or more entities, you can configure the business data actions in the Business Data Catalog.

  • If you want to change how business data profiles appear, you can edit the profile page template.

To add or edit fields for existing business data types or to import new business data types, you must edit the application definition file.

Use the following procedure to manage permissions for an application or entity.

Manage permissions for an application or entity
  1. On the SSP home page, in the Business Data Catalog section, click View applications or View entities.

  2. On the Business Data Catalog Applications or Business Data Catalog Entities page, click the application or entity you want to manage.

  3. On the View Application or View Entity page, click Manage Permissions.

  4. On the Manage Permissions page, click Add Users/Groups to add users and groups.

  5. On the Add Users/Groups page, in the Choose Users section, enter the new users and groups that you want to add.

  6. In the Choose Permissions section, select the permissions that you want for the users and groups.

  7. Click OK.

  8. To remove users or groups, on the Manage Permissions page, select the check boxes for the users and groups that you want to remove, and then click Remove Selected Users.

  9. To modify the permissions of selected users, click Modify Permissions of Selected Users.

  10. On the Modify Permissions page, in the Choose Permissions section, select the permissions that you want for the user or group.

  11. Click OK.

  12. To copy permissions for an application to all entities for that application, or to copy permissions for an entity to all child entities, click Copy all permissions to descendants, and click OK on the dialog box that appears.

For more information about business data catalog permissions, see Configure access to business data.

Use the following procedure to add business data actions for an entity.

Add business data actions for an entity
  1. On the SSP home page, in the Business Data Catalog section, click View entities.

  2. On the Business Data Catalog Entities page, click the entity that you want to edit.

  3. On the View Entity page, in the Actions list, click Add Action.

  4. On the Add Action page, in the Name section, type a name for the action in the Action Name text box.

  5. In the URL section, type the URL that will appear in the browser when this action is selected in the Navigate to this URL text box.

  6. To assign properties and add them as parameters to the URL:

    1. In the URL Parameters section, click the Add Parameter button.

    2. Select a parameter from the dropdown list that appears.

    3. To remove a parameter, click the Remove button next to the parameter that you want to remove.

    4. Note: Properties assigned to parameters are sent to the target URL and can be processed by business data Web Parts on that page, such as filter Web Parts.

  7. In the Icon section, to use a standard icon, select Standard icon, and then click the standard icon that is relevant for this action.

  8. To use a custom icon, in the Icon section, select The image at this URL, and then type the URL of the image.

  9. Click OK.

Use the following procedure to edit the profile page template.

Edit the profile page template
  1. On the SSP home page, in the Business Data Catalog section, click Edit profile page template.

  2. On the profile template page, click Site Actions, and then click Edit Page.

  3. In Edit Mode, add and modify Web Parts according to the planned template.

    NoteNote:
    To view business data profiles in a complex business dashboard, you can replace the default profile page template with the dashboard page template, and then modify the new template. This enables you to use key performance indicators, filters, and other tools for business intelligence and analysis directly from business data profiles.

This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Office SharePoint Server technical library.

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