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Deploy a Business Connectivity Services cloud-only solution in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013

Published: February 5, 2013

Summary: How to configure Business Connectivity Services (BCS) in SharePoint Online to access Windows Azure SQL Database.

Applies to:  SharePoint Server 2013 

The following scenario shows how to create a Microsoft Business Connectivity Services solution in SharePoint Online to access Windows Azure SQL Database. You will learn how to:

  • Configure the Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint Online.

  • Configure a Secure Store Service target application to map credentials between SharePoint Online and SQL Database.

  • Create an external content type by using SharePoint Designer 2010.

  • Create an external list in SharePoint Online.

  • Grant permissions to manage the external content type.

In this article:

Before you begin

note Note:

Because SharePoint 2013 runs as websites in Internet Information Services (IIS), administrators and users depend on the accessibility features that browsers provide. SharePoint 2013 supports the accessibility features of supported browsers. For more information, see the following resources:

What these procedures help you deploy

Business Connectivity Services is a shared service in SharePoint Online. In SharePoint Online you can make external data visible through external lists or through apps for SharePoint. In this example, we use external lists. The solution looks as shown in the following diagram.

Figure: Cloud-only BCS solution

The sequence of data flow for BCS All In The Cloud
  1. The user logs on to SharePoint Online and opens an external list that the user has rights to.

  2. The Business Data Connectivity service runtime queries the external content type for the list in the Business Data Connectivity service metadata store to learn how to access the external system, which operations can be performed, and which credentials to use. The external content type tells the Business Data Connectivity service runtime to retrieve the necessary credentials from the Secure Store.

  3. The Business Data Connectivity service runtime passes the request (SOAP over HTTP) to the endpoint of the SQL Azure Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) service.

  4. The SQL Azure service returns the data in a SOAP envelope.

  5. The SharePoint Online site displays the external list in the user’s browser. The user can then perform all the configured operations on the data source for which the user has permissions.

How to use these procedures

The steps to completely deploy this scenario are presented on Office.com at Make an External List from a SQL Azure table with Business Connectivity Services and Secure Store.

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