The Layer2 Business Data List Connector for SharePoint makes it simple to connect native SharePoint lists to almost any external data source, codelessly and bi-directionally.

SharePoint-Data-Integration-Layer2-Connector.png
 

SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Installation & Setup

INSTALLATION
The installation is done using a SharePoint Solution Package. The included wizard distributes all files to a SharePoint farm, if required, and does all necessary configurations. Before installation, please make sure to:
  • Verify all servers are available online.
  • Backup your current installation approved software on evaluation systems before installing on a production system.
  • Use a regular service interval to install the solution. The application will not be available for a short time because the application pool will be restarted (IISreset).
For WSS 3.0 / MOSS 2007, go to the 2007 folder of the distribution. For SharePoint Server or Foundation 2010 / 2013, go to the 2010 or 2013 folder. Then start the installation process by executing the file "Install.Layer2.BusinessDataListConnector.exe" from a local directory on the server, that hosts the SharePoint Central Administration with appropriate access rights (run "As Administrator" on Windows Server 2008).

SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Installation 1
Fig. Starting the installation process.
 
First, a system check will run to make sure the requirements are met.
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Installation 2  
Fig. Checking requirements for the installation process.
 
If there are any problems with the check, please see our FAQs (General FAQ, Installation).
Next, you have to accept the EULA.
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Installation 3  
Fig. Accepting the license agreement.
 
After successful installation, please select the desired web applications for deployment of the new feature.
SharePoint List Item Sort Feature - Installation  
Fig. Deployment of the new feature to the selected web applications.
 
Note that this installation step can take up to 15 minutes.


If the solution is already installed, you can select upgrade. All existing settings and data are maintained when you upgrade.

FEATURE ACTIVATION

The feature must be activated in Site Collection Features (not Site Features), as shown in the example image below:

SharePoint-Site-Collection-Features.PNG

 

 

 

 

 

After a successful deployment, there is a new site collection feature available in all site collections of the selected web applications. To use it, the new feature "Business Data List Connector" has to be activated on Site Collection level by a Site Collection Administrator. That has to be done in "Web Site Settings > Site Collection Administration" under Site Collection Features. After activation the feature can be used.

SharePoint Business Data List Connector Feature Activation
Fig. Activation of the feature "Layer2 - Business data List Connector" on site collection.
 
After successful activation on site collection level the new feature is available in the List Settings dialog: "General Settings > Connect to external data source".
 
USAGE OF THE BUSINESS DATA LIST CONNECTOR
In order to connect an existing SharePoint list with external business data, you have to choose "Connect to External Data Source" in the General Settings section of the list.

Connect SharePoint list to external data source directly in the general settings dialog

Fig. Starting with V2.0 you can connect any type of SharePoint list directly to external data.
If you don't use an existing list, you have to create a new one of the appropriate type (e.g. contacts, tasks, or simply custom list) and give a name and description to the newly created list as usual (MyBDLC is used in this example).
SharePoint Business Data List Connector creation and name settings  
Fig. Enter name and description of the newly created list.

To connect this list with your external business data, go to list settings and simply choose Connect to external data source to enter your connection string, select statement, and primary key(s).
 
BUSINESS DATA LIST CONNECTOR SETTINGS
 
In the settings dialogue, use the following steps to configure your list connection.
 
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Settings  
 
Fig. Business Data List Connector Settings dialogue.
 
STEP 1 - Connect the external data source using a connection provider and connection string

First choose your connection provider. If installed, choose the native .NET database provider, e.g. for SQL Server or Oracle. Choose OLEDB if no native provider is available. Choose ODBC if no OLEDB provider is available.

Enter your connection string to your external data source and validate it. Connection strings are available for virtually any external data source, e.g. databases like Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Informix, DB2; Microsoft Office data like Excel, Access, or even text data files. Connection strings are also available for external SharePoint lists.
See the FAQs for samples and descriptions.
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Connection String  
 
Fig. Step 1: Enter the connection string (OLEDB example used here) and validate it.
SharePoint BDLC Connections  
Fig. The BDLC connect SharePoint lists to almost any external data source.
 
STEP 2 - Select the desired data using a select statement
 
Enter your select statement supported by your external data source and validate it. Select statements are available for virtually any external data sources, e.g. databases like Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Informix, DB2, Microsoft Office data like Excel, Acccess, or even text data files. Select statements are also available for external SharePoint lists. For most data sources you can start with, for example, "Select * FROM Tablename" where Tablename should be a valid name of a table or view in your data source.
 
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Select Statement  
 
Fig. Step 2: Enter select statement and validate it.
 
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - preview function  
 
Fig. Preview your result set to verify your select statement. You can paste the given field names, if required, for primary keys.
 
 
 
STEP 3 - Optionally, enter primary key(s) to use advanced update features
 
In most cases, your external data would have one or more primary key(s). A primary key of a relational table uniquely identifies each record in the table. It can either be a normal attribute that is guaranteed to be unique (such as Social Security Number in a table with no more than one record per person) or it can be generated by the DBMS (such as a globally unique identifier, or GUID, in Microsoft SQL Server). Primary keys may consist of a single attribute or multiple attributes in combination.
If a primary key is available, then advanced update features can be used. For more information about possible primary keys / field names please take a look into your result set using the Preview button.
 
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Primary Keys  
 
Fig. Step 3: Optionally enter primary key(s).
 
 
Remarks:
 
The validation function only validates, whether the entered field name(s) exists in the result set or not. If invalid primary keys are given, the resulting SharePoint list data could become invalid too.
 
If no primary key is given, any update will cause the whole result set of the given select statement to be re-inserted again. That can cause performance problems, and change notifications per RSS or email will not work as expected.
 
If valid primary key(s) are given, only modified data will be updated quickly in the background. Change notifications and workflows can be used in this case, to take business actions, if external data records are changed.
 
STEP 4 - Create your SharePoint list structure and update the data items
 
To create the list structure required to display your external business data, please click "Add Columns" in the SharePoint section of the settings dialogue. The fields of the result set of the given select statement are added and mapped to common SharePoint list fields automatically. You can create, rename, modify, or delete the column fields afterwards manually. Also you can modify the field types, if required (e.g. to longer text). The mapping of external fields to SharePoint columns is done by internal column names. See the mapping dialogue for help.
 
 

Fig. You can use custom mapping to map certain data source fields to certain SharePoint columns. 

For more information about field mapping, supported field types, etc., see our FAQs.

 
To update the data in your SharePoint list with your external business data, please click "Update" in the SharePoint section of the settings dialogue. As mentioned above, if valid primary key(s) are given, only modified data is updated.
Warning: Updating a SharePoint list that is connected to an external data source can modify its content.

 
STEP 5 - Enable optional background updates or update using the Action Menu
 
You can optionally enable background updates. The updates are done automatically by a timer job, once per hour by default. You can modify this interval later on in the "BDLC Configuration List", a list on the root site of your site collection.
 
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Background Updates  
 
Fig. The timer job enables fast background updates of your data items.
 
For more information and instructions for how to change the timer job options, please see our FAQs.

You can also update the list manually using the additional action menu or ribbon button.

SharePoint-Update-List-Items-With-External-Data-Source

Fig. Update a connected SharePoint list manually using the Action Menu.

For any type of update, you will need to verify that there are proper access rights to the external data source and to the current SharePoint list.
 
RESTRICTIONS OF THE DEMO VERSION
 
In the evaluation version, the number of BDLC lists allowed per site collection is limited to 3 and the number of managed entries in the BDLC list is restricted to 25 items.
 
LANGUAGES
 
The feature is currently available in the German and English languages. If used in other language context, the English language is applied by default. Requests for other languages can be sent to sales@layer2.de.
 
DATA PROVIDERS
 
To access external data you have to select a data provider that supports to your data source.
 
The following data providers are pre-installed with the Windows operating system:
  • ODBC (supports any ODBC data source, e.g. FileMaker, mySQL, IBM Lotus Notes)
  • OLEDB (supports any OLEDB data source, e.g. Access, Excel)
 
The following 3rd party data providers can be downloaded from their respective vendors, but must be installed to work with BDLC:
  • SQL Server, SQL Azure
  • Oracle
  • MySQL
  • IBM DB2
  • IBM AS/400
  • Any other 64-bit ADO.NET provider
 
The following data providers are included in the BDLC package. They can be installed with the BDLC installation or manually on each SharePoint server later on.
 
  • Layer2 Data Provider for SharePoint (CSOM) to access any local SharePoint 2010/2013, Online, OneDrive, etc. 
  • Layer2 Data Provider for SharePoint 2007 to access any SharePoint 2007 data.
  • Layer2 Data Provider for XML to access any XML file or web request via XPath query.
  • Layer2 Data Provider for OData to access any OData source (SAP, Microsoft Dynamics CRM/ERP, and others).
  • Layer2 Data Provider for RSS Feeds to access any RSS data feed (source code sample provided).
  • Layer2 Data Provider for Exchange to any Exchange data on-premises or cloud-based, e.g. contacts, calendar events, tasks, email, and notes. 

If you can't find the providers in drop-down, please install manually from package.

 
UNINSTALL
 
To completely uninstall the solution, deactivate the feature "Layer2 Business Data List Connector" on site collection level. Then the configuration list of the BDLC can be removed. To do that, delete the list "BDLC Configuration List" in the root site of every site collection where the feature has been activated.
 
Note: You can delete the "BDLC Configuration List" of a given Site Collection only if the BDLC feature is deactivated for this the Site Collection.
 
Finally, start the installation wizard and choose "Remove". All installed files for BDLC will be removed.
 
SharePoint Business Data List Connector Remove 
Fig. Remove the Business Data List Connector Feature.
Share this site on Xing
Share this site on Google+
Share this site on LinkedIn

Easy to install the evaluation. Worked as advertised. Purchase was easy. Licence file arrived same day.

 

 Download & Evaluation

 
Please register now to receive your free personal download link via email to your valid company email address.
Name: 
Company: 
Country: 
Phone: 
E-mail: 
Yes, I accept the licensing terms and conditions
How to buy this product

With the free Shareware Edition you can manage a limited amount of list items. To order a license for the full version please click the shopping cart.

Business Data List Connector for
SharePoint 2007/2010/2013
License List Price
Free Shareware Edition $0.00
1 Single Server
License
#300332176
$1,065.00 Add to Shopping Card
1 Annual Software Assurance
#300421884
$225.00 Add to Shopping Card
Prepaid Remote Support
1 Hour
#300363235
$176.00 Zum Warenkorb hinzufügen

 

You can also order by phone or fax:

Order Service USA
(Language: English)

Share-it c/o Digital River, Inc.
10380 Bren Road West
Minnetonka, MN 55343, USA

Phone from outside the U.S.:
+1 952 646-5747
Phone from within the U.S.:
+1 800 903-4152

Fax: +1 952 646-4552
support@us.shareit.com

 

Order Service Europe
(Languages: German, English,
French, Italian, Spanish,
Portuguese)

Share-it - Digital River GmbH
c/o Digital River Ireland Ltd.
Unit 153
Shannon Free Zone West
Shannon Co. Clare
Ireland

Phone: +49 221 31088-20
Fax: +49 221 31088-29


More about how to buy see here. For more information about licensing please check FAQs or contact sales@layer2.de directly.

Related Contacts
Frank Daske

Frank Daske

Business Development Manager
+49 (0) 40 28 41 12 - 30
sales@layer2.de

Please note that the 011 exit code must be dialed first for all international calls made from the USA , Canada and Australia.

Related News

Layer2 Business Data List Connector for SharePoint V6 released with new Exchange Data Provider

Layer2 has announced a new version 6 of the Business Data List Connector (BDLC) that easily integrates external data with SharePoint. The connector comes with additional data providers and a new custom field mapping feature.

Layer2 Business Data List Connector for SharePoint V5 Released To Close Gaps With External Data Integration

Layer2 has announced V5 of the SharePoint Business Data List Connector that connects almost any external corporate data source with native SharePoint lists and closes many gaps that still exist with SharePoint data integration.
Related Downloads
NoDoc Image

Business Data List Connector PAD File

This XML-based PAD file offers a product description for resellers to download and publish.
PDF Image

Customer Solution Case Study: WealthVest Marketing Benefits From SharePoint Data Integration Using Layer2 Business Data List Connector

"By using the Layer2 Business Data List Connector for SharePoint app we can provide native SharePoint lists as a simple, easy-to-use, and familiar interface to manage mission critical business data."
PDF Image

Flyer: Layer2 Partner Program

Partner with us as a software distributer, reseller or SharePoint, Office 365 or Azure service provider. We are offering a free Partner Program with up to 30% Discount, free NFR licenses etc. Please download for more.
PDF Image

How to connect ANY external data source directly to native SharePoint lists?

Download this step-by-step introduction to the Layer2 Business Data List Connector (BDLC) for SharePoint.
PDF Image

How to integrate SAP data with SharePoint via NetWeaver & OData

You simply have to enter an URL to the data collection to integrate and sync SAP data with native SharePoint lists.
PDF Image

Produktflyer: Business Data List Connector for SharePoint

Productflyer (PDF) in English for download.
PDF Image

Testimonial: How the US Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) integrates SharePoint with Oracle using BDLC

"Layer2 Business Data List Connector (BDLC) software provides a powerful mechanism for surfacing external data through lists, and drastically improves platform stability and development cycles."
Related Links

Are you looking for partners in your region?

Please find a local partner here.

BDLC works with NINTEX Workflow 2010 for SharePoint

Start NINTEX Workflows while external data changes.

Layer2 BDLC for SharePoint Community Group @ LinkedIn

​Are you already @ LinkedIn? Please join our group to share your experience.

Sign Up for Layer2 Product Newsletter

We keep you up-to-date about new Layer2 product releases, added features and fixed issues.