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Business Connectivity Services Client Runtime

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010

The Business Connectivity Services Client Runtime is an important infrastructure component of Microsoft Business Connectivity Services (BCS). The Business Connectivity Services Client Runtime is present on Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus client applications and is part of the Rich Client Components for Office Applications. Its main functions are:

  • To provide a way to map the business data described by the metadata model to the different Office application UI elements.

  • Load and execute Business Connectivity Services solutions inside Office applications.

  • Show the UI elements contextually when they are required.

The BCS Client Runtime acts as a connector among Business Connectivity Services, the solutions, and Office host applications. The BCS Client Runtime loads every time a host Office application loads and it raises, listens to, and acts on specific events on the host application. The BCS Client Runtime interprets the declarative solutions on Office applications and integrates business data with Office applications. The BCS Client Runtime requires certain application artifacts that tell it how to show business data in the Office 2010 application. These artifacts are part of the Business Connectivity Services solution package. An in-memory Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition database on the client maintains the metadata and the cached entities that are of interest to the user. This architecture allows solution developers to focus on addressing business needs, instead of handling complex interactions with different Office application APIs to perform common and repetitive tasks.