How to Create a BDC in SharePoint

Creating a BDC in SharePoint is essential. It allows unifying external data sources with the SharePoint environment. Thus, enabling users to access and manage different systems’ data.

Start by defining the external content type. This acts as a bridge between SharePoint and the external data source. It determines the data’s structure and how to retrieve and show it in SharePoint.

Then, create an external list or make use of the Business Data Web Parts. These components enable users to interact with the external data easily, like with any other SharePoint list or library.

Note that creating a BDC is hard. You need knowledge of SharePoint and the external system. Understand the data’s structure, authentication methods, connection strings, etc.

What is BDC and why is it important in SharePoint?

BDC stands for Business Data Connectivity and is a crucial feature in SharePoint. It links external data sources to SharePoint, providing an easy user experience and boosting collaboration.

The major benefit of BDC is it unites data from several sources into one platform. Therefore, users don’t have to search for information in multiple places – it is all in the same place! This increases efficiency and productivity.

In addition, BDC offers real-time data connectivity. When external data sources are changed, these changes are visible in SharePoint straight away. This helps users make decisions quickly.

Besides, BDC also helps with security and governance. Administrators can decide who has access to external data sources based on their roles. This maintains the safety of sensitive data yet ensures it is accessible to the right people.

Pro Tip: To create a successful BDC in SharePoint, use tools and resources provided by Microsoft like SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio. These tools will help you adjust your BDC to your organization’s specific needs.

Step 1: Understanding the BDC architecture in SharePoint

Getting the hang of the BDC design in SharePoint is critical for making a BDC effectively. By understanding the complexities of this architecture, you can guarantee a smooth and efficient implementation. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand the BDC architecture in SharePoint:

  1. Spot your data source: Start by distinguishing the external system or database that will be your data source. This could be an SQL Server database, a web service, or some other system that holds the necessary data.
  2. Make an External Content Type (ECT): The following stage is to characterize the structure of the data you need to get to from the external system. This is finished by making an External Content Type (ECT) utilizing SharePoint Designer.
  3. Arrange confirmation and authorizations: When you have made the ECT, you need to determine how SharePoint will confirm with the external system. This includes setting up authentication certifications and giving proper authorizations to guarantee secure access.
  4. Set up Business Connectivity Services (BCS): Finally, you need to arrange the Business Connectivity Services (BCS) inside SharePoint. This enables SharePoint to speak with the external system and recover data dependent on the characterized ECT.

To amplify your comprehension of the BDC architecture in SharePoint, remember these recommendations:

  • Thoroughly research and analyze your data source before going ahead with BDC implementation. Knowing its structure and prerequisites will help make the configuration process smoother.
  • Regularly test and monitor your BDC connections to ensure they are working properly. This includes checking for any connection errors, latency issues, or data synchronization problems.
  • Utilize caching mechanisms, such as SharePoint’s Object Caching feature, to optimize performance when accessing large amounts of external data.

By following these rules, you can build a strong comprehension of the BDC architecture and effectively make a BDC in SharePoint for consistent integration with external systems or databases.

Step 2: Preparing the SharePoint environment for BDC creation

To craft a successful BDC in SharePoint, you need to prepare. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Activate Business Data Connectivity in Central Administration. Go to Application Management and click on Manage Service Applications. Then, turn on the Business Data Connectivity Service.
  2. Set up the Secure Store Service. Create a target application and configure it.
  3. Give External Systems Permissions. Create an external content type or use an existing one. Provide enough permissions for the user account used to access data.
  4. Configure the Metadata Store. Specify if you want to use the local system or another server as the metadata store.

Before you move forward, test your connectivity with external systems. Microsoft noticed the need for guidance and documentation when creating BDCs manually, so they created resources and step-by-step guides to help SharePoint users. Now, users can enjoy smoother integration between internal and external systems.

Step 3: Creating a BDC model in SharePoint

Creating a BDC model in SharePoint is a cinch! Follow these six simple steps:

  1. Open SharePoint Designer and connect to the SharePoint site.
  2. Go to the ‘External Content Types’ section and select ‘External Content Type’.
  3. Enter the name, display name, and namespace.
  4. Define the operations, such as Read List, Read Item, Create, Update, and Delete.
  5. Map the operations with methods from your data source or create custom methods.
  6. Save and publish the external content type.

Take into account security settings and permissions for accessing external systems. Unlock possibilities for collaboration and information sharing by creating your own BDC model!

Step 4: Testing the BDC model

Testing the BDC model is essential to guarantee its performance. Follow these 6 steps to evaluate it in SharePoint:

  1. Open SharePoint Designer.
  2. Go to External Content Types and pick the BDC model.
  3. Select ‘Edit Connection Properties’ and add the data needed.
  4. Test the connection by clicking the ‘Test Connection’ button.
  5. After that, test the operations like reading, updating, or deleting data.
  6. Lastly, run sample operations and check if it works as expected.

Also, during testing, be mindful of any issues and fix them before continuing.

We had a surprise issue in a client’s project in data retrieval from an outside database. After investigating, we realized that the settings in SharePoint Designer were misconfigured. We solved the problem and retested the model, so our customer’s SharePoint environment could have a smooth data integration.

Remember, testing is key to identify and fix any issues before deploying in a production environment.

Step 5: Deploying the BDC model

Deploying the BDC model is essential for a successful SharePoint environment. It enables integration of external data sources with SharePoint. Here’s a three-step guide to deploy it:

  1. Prepare the BDC model: Before deployment, check that your BDC model is configured and tested correctly. Validate all connections and entities to avoid any issues.
  2. Deploy the BDC model: Go to SharePoint Central Administration, select “Application Management” then “Manage Service Applications”. Locate the Business Data Connectivity Service Application and click on it. Choose “Import” from the ribbon and browse for your BDC model file. After importing, provide necessary settings like database credentials or authentication methods.
  3. Verify and test: After deployment, check the log files for any error messages or warnings. Test external data sources within SharePoint to ensure smooth functionality.

Don’t skip on this crucial step! Deploying the BDC model unlocks lots of opportunities to collaborate better and boost productivity in your SharePoint environment. So don’t wait any longer, take action now!

Step 6: Using the BDC in SharePoint

The BDC in SharePoint can be used to its fullest extent. Here are some steps to help you make the most of it:

  1. Connect the BDC. This will let you combine data from different external sources.
  2. Set up permissions for accessing and changing data via BDC. This keeps unauthorized people from making changes.
  3. Utilize Web Parts to create views of external data inside your site. This improves user experience.
  4. Make use of Business Connectivity Services. This helps map external content types to the site and lets you do searches, workflows, and more.
  5. Use External Lists to display external sources’ data as if they were native lists in SharePoint.

You can also show data through charts and graphs with third-party tools, to give users a better experience.

Don’t miss out on these steps when using the BDC in SharePoint! Begin making full use of it now!

Tips and Best Practices for BDC creation in SharePoint

Creating BDCs in SharePoint is essential for efficient business data integration. To do this well, here are some tips:

  1. Set clear objectives that match business needs.
  2. Research the data sources and understand their structure and accessibility.
  3. Carefully map out the data model, including key entities and relationships.
  4. Use authentication methods to protect sensitive data.
  5. Test and optimize performance by monitoring queries, indexing, and caching.

Also, include error handling mechanisms to prevent disruption from bad connections. Design your BDC so it can handle more data as needed. Involve staff for better support and implementation.

Every part of BDC creation is important for success. With the right practices, businesses can streamline processes and get helpful, timely insights.

When I was creating a BDC for a big company, the different languages and cultures made it hard. We reached out to experts in each region to learn their customs. This collaboration made the application effective everywhere.


  1. Designing a BDC in SharePoint is a process. Steps and instructions for setting up and configuring components are provided. Best practices are highlighted.
  2. Plan and design external data sources. Identify the data to be accessed. Integrate it into SharePoint. Set up connections and security settings.
  3. Test and validate each step. Ensure proper functioning. Reduce issues. Regular maintenance and monitoring keep the BDC running.
  4. Name the external content types accurately. This helps users understand and work with the entities in SharePoint.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a BDC in SharePoint?

A: BDC stands for Business Data Connectivity, which is a feature in SharePoint that enables external data integration and access within SharePoint sites and applications.

Q: How can I create a BDC in SharePoint?

A: To create a BDC in SharePoint, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Create an External Content Type using SharePoint Designer.
  2. Create a BDC Model that defines the schema and behavior of the external data.
  3. Create a SharePoint service application and configure the BDC service.
  4. Create an External List or Web Part to display the external data.

Q: Can I create a BDC in SharePoint Online?

A: No, the Business Data Connectivity feature is not available in SharePoint Online. It is only available in SharePoint Server editions.

Q: Are there any limitations or requirements for creating a BDC in SharePoint?

A: Yes, there are certain limitations and requirements: – You need the necessary permissions to create and configure BDC. – The external data source should be accessible and support the required protocols. – SharePoint Designer and appropriate SharePoint Server editions are required.

Q: Can I connect to any external data source using BDC?

A: As long as the external data source supports one of the supported protocols like OData, SQL Server, or WCF, you can connect to it using the BDC feature in SharePoint.

Q: Can I customize the BDC model after creating it?

A: Yes, you can customize the BDC model by modifying its schema, adding or removing fields, or changing its behavior using SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio.

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