Business Data Connectivity (BDC) Service

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010

Business Data Connectivity (BDC) service is the new version of the Business Data Catalog that was provided in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. It is now provided in Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010. BDC is implemented as a shared service in Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 and it still relies on the Metadata Store. The BDC Service enables you to declaratively model external systems so that you can expose external data in SharePoint Server 2010 (and, with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 with Enterprise Client Access License, in Microsoft Office 2010 applications also). BDC bridges the gap between SharePoint sites and your business applications, and enables you to bring in key data from various external systems to SharePoint lists (via the new external lists feature and external data columns), Web Parts, search, user profiles, and custom applications.

The core function of the BDC is to provide connectivity to various kinds of external systems, and it has built-in support for connecting to the following kinds of data sources:

  • Databases

  • Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Web services

  • Microsoft .NET Framework assemblies

  • Custom data sources; BDC provides a pluggable Connector Framework which developers can use to plug in connectors for new external system types to enable access to these new data source types via BDC

    The following is a high-level diagram of the BDC.

    Figure 1. High-level view of BDC

    High-level view of BDC

A major design goal for BDC is to enable you to expose business data from various external systems declaratively, with very little coding. To achieve this goal, BDC provides homogeneous access to the underlying data sources through a metadata model that provides a consistent and simplified client object model.

Explore this section to learn about the Business Data Connectivity (BDC) service.