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Business Data Connectivity service administration overview (SharePoint Server 2010)

 

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2012-01-17

Summary:This article provides an overview of Microsoft Business Connectivity Services administration with emphasis on how to use the Business Data Connectivity service.

Microsoft Business Connectivity Services are administered primarily by using the Business Data Connectivity service. Some configuration of Microsoft Business Connectivity Services, such as creating new target applications and providing credentials for those applications, is also done in the Secure Store Service. For an overview of the Secure Store Service, see Plan the Secure Store Service (SharePoint Server 2010). For descriptions of Secure Store Service operations that support Microsoft Business Connectivity Services, see Configure the Secure Store Service (SharePoint Server 2010).

The Business Data Connectivity service is a shared service and takes advantage of the SharePoint 2010 Products shared services architecture. In Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, services are not contained within a Shared Services Provider (SSP) as they were in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Instead, the infrastructure for hosting services has been moved into SharePoint Foundation 2010 and is included with SharePoint Server 2010. The configuration of services is more flexible. Individual services can be configured independently by different sets of administrators. Multiple instances of the same service, such as the Business Data Connectivity service, can run on the same farm, each with a unique set of administrators.

An instance of the Business Data Connectivity service can be shared across server farms. For example, a Business Data Connectivity service can be run in a central farm and accessed from regional locations so that the same solution is available across these locales.

Within a server farm, you deploy service applications such as the Business Data Connectivity service, by one of the following methods:

  • Selecting services while running the Initial Configuration Wizard and choosing the Business Data Connectivity service.

  • Adding services one by one on the Manage Service Applications page in the Central Administration Web site.

  • Using Windows PowerShell.

Shared services such as the Business Data Connectivity service can each be administered in isolation. The administrators of a particular instance of a shared service may only have permissions to administer that service instance and are not necessarily able to administer other services or other features in the Central Administration Web site. This feature, called delegated administration, allows administration to be managed by administrators who have expertise in the particular service being administered but who are not members of the central IT organization. Thus, for example, an administrator of a Business Data Connectivity service application in an enterprise might be familiar with the following information:

  • The particular external content types being managed by that Business Data Connectivity service application

  • The solutions supported by it

  • The security implemented on the external data sources that provide the data

The administrator would have permissions to administer those objects but would not have permissions to administer other elements of the SharePoint deployment.

For more information about shared services, see the two model posters: Services in SharePoint 2010 Products (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=177411) and Cross-farm Services in SharePoint 2010 Products (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=177412).

Using the Business Data Connectivity service, administrators can manage the following types of objects:

  • External content types: An external content type is a named set of fields, such as “Customer,” “Order,” or “Contact,” that define an object in a business application along with the methods to create, read, update, or delete that object in its external data source.

    Typical tasks that administer an external content type include setting an external content type’s permissions, adding actions to an external content type to provide users with new functionality, and associating profile pages with an external content type to customize its appearance when viewed.

    For information about managing external content types, see Manage external content types (SharePoint Server 2010).

  • External systems and external system instances: An external system is a supported source of data, such as a Web service, SQL Server database, and other relational databases, that can be modeled by the Microsoft Business Connectivity Services. An instance of an external system includes connection and authentication information for a specific instance of an external data source.

    Typical tasks that administer an external system include setting permissions on the external system, viewing the external content types that are associated with it, and viewing instances of an external system. Typical tasks that administer an instance of an external system include setting the authentication mode and the type of the external system instance.

    For information about managing external systems and external system instances, see Manage external systems (SharePoint Server 2010).

  • BDC models and resource files: The Business Data Connectivity service supports two types of XML application definition files: application models and resource files. An application model contains the XML descriptions of one or more external content types.

    A resource file enables you to import or export only the localized names, properties, and permissions for one or more external content types. The types of information that can be contained in a resource file include the following:

    • Localized names for the external content types in a particular locale. Localized names that you import are merged with the existing localized names in the Business Data Connectivity service database. If a particular localized name for a locale already exists, it is overwritten with the new information.

    • Properties for external content types. Properties that you import are merged with the existing property description in the Business Data Connectivity service database. If a property already exists, its value is overwritten with the information from the imported file.

    • Permissions, which are access control lists (ACLs) for external content types. Permissions that you import are stored along with the existing permissions information in the Business Data Connectivity service database.

    Typical tasks that administer a BDC model include importing and exporting models or resource files, setting permissions on them, and viewing the external content types associated with a model.

    For information about managing BDC models, see Manage BDC models (SharePoint Server 2010).

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