Fig.The Layer2 Cloud Connector supports many data sources and can directly connect and sync it.
The Layer2 Cloud Connector has the following features and benefits:
- Connect and sync your external line-of-business data with native SharePoint lists and libraries in the Office 365 cloud or on-premises, keeping them always up-to-date: You don't need to program a web service for this. The connector extends the SharePoint cloud capabilities to existing data sets that will continue to reside within your corporate network or in other clouds (such as for compliance reasons).
- New in 2015: You can also directly sync supported data sources (without SharePoint or Office 365).
- High speed of implementation: No programming or tools required. Predefined sample connection templates included. Setup in a few minutes guided by wizards. Remote setup support (30 minutes are free).
- Low risk in project: No installation or customizing for data source and data destination required. Just install on any computer in your network, in the cloud, or even your laptop. You don't need your IT to approve and install any specific SharePoint app. Read or write access rights to lists or libraries are enough.
- Fully compatible with 3rd-party data providers: Data providers of the application vendors (e.g. Oracle, mySQL), 3rd-party data providers, or included Layer2 data providers can be used to access your specific data source.
- One-way and two-way connections supported: If provided by driver. Several options are built in to solve possible replication conflicts.
- 100% compatible with all SharePoint 2010 / 2013 editions and plans: Including on-premises, remotely hosted, sandboxed, (e.g. Microsoft SharePoint Online / Microsoft Office 365 (ALL plans) or OneDrive for Business (1TB/User)). Uses CSOM Web Services API model.
- Highest Security: Connection via secure web services (SSL). Disconnected systems: A connection is only required for data exchange – not for list or library usage. No direct access to external company data required. You don't have to open your network for the Internet. The application runs where your data resides today - on any server or client inside your corporate network. No data is exposed to 3rd-parties or cloud.
- Highest performance: Can manage very large databases, lists and libraries. No 5,000 items limit. Can scale-out to multiple servers or to the Microsoft Azure Cloud, if required.
- Virtually any data sources supported: ODBC, OLEDB, Microsoft .NET based providers, Files (Excel, XML, CSV), RSS / XML feeds, SQL databases like MS SQL, SQL Azure, Oracle, MySQL, IBM DB2, IBM AS/400, IBM Informix; Notes, SharePoint (lists and libraries), local file system, cloud-based file stores, Exchange, Active Directory, Dynamics NAV/CRM, Navision, SAP and many more. More complex data sources, web services, custom COM, or .NET objects can be connected using 3rd-party add-ons. Cloud-to-cloud connections, e.g. to salesforce.com, Twitter, Facebook, and Google are also supported.
- Layer2 CSOM Data Provider included: You can connect and sync SharePoint 2010 / 2013 lists and libraries on-premise or in the Office 365 / OneDrive for Business cloud.
- Layer2 File System Data Provider included: You can sync local file server shares with SharePoint libraries, e.g. for backup, collaboration or mobile access. Optionally, you can sync metadata only - not the file itself. You can link to, for example, your own FTP/HTTP, to Azure, BOX, or SkyDrive / OneDrive to save space or use low-cost Office 365 plans.
- SkyDrive Pro or OneDrive for Business limitations and issues completely fixed: Unlimited amount of data and files, posiible file name and path issues are automatically fixed, flexible source and target folder options, sync based on views, metadata, field mapping, etc.
- Layer2 OData Data Provider included: You can connect to all OData sources, e.g. Microsoft CRM/ERP or SAP via NetWeaver.
- Layer2 XML Data Provider included: You can connect to XML-based files and web requests, and filter results by XPath query language.
- Layer2 RSS Data Provider included: You can simply pull or aggregate RSS news feeds into any data source including SharePoint lists, e.g. for search and workflows. Please note that this provider is also included as sample source code to build your own provider.
- Layer2 Exchange Data Provider included: You can sync contacts, tasks, calendar events, notes, and email bi-directionally using Exchange Web Services (EWS) starting with Cloud Connector V5. Exchange 2007, 2010, and 2013 are supported as well as Exchange Online. Shared & Site Mailboxes supported.
- Layer2 SOAP Web Services Provider: Connect to SOAP-based web services codeless.
- Very flexible sync options: Uni- and bi-directional sync are supported. Start a specific connection sync scheduled in background (Windows Service) or on demand (e.g. by command line). Sync all data or pre-selected subsets only. Select source and target folders, make use of additional no-delete, no-insert, no-update options.
- Data type conversion included: Sync SharePoint links, lookups, managed metadata, and more with advanced options.
- Process integration: Start workflows in the cloud, triggered on external data changes. All features of native SharePoint lists and libraries are supported, e.g. views, sorting, filtering, grouping, search, mobile and offline access, social features like tagging and enterprise metadata, RSS feeds, change notifications per email, or workflows in the cloud on external data change. You can also add your own business logic.
- Additional unmapped "SharePoint-only" columns can be created: Ranking, rating, managed metadata, comments or file attachments.
- Data aggregation: Multiple connections can combine several different data sources into one list.
- Flexible logging and alerts: You can log to files, databases, and Windows Event Log via NLOG.
- Free Shareware Edition: You can test the free Shareware Edition as long as you want or you can use in production with limited features. You can upgrade an evaluation / Shareware version to a licensed version at any time without new installation.
- Flexible, cost-effective licensing: Personal, Professional, or File Sync Edition, depending on requirements. Licensing per installation (no user CALs, not bound to any SharePoint server or site, one-time fee). Easy to setup and maintain. You can save user CAL license costs for the connected on-premises systems, e.g. ERP/CRM using SharePoint as front-end with data in sync.
The Cloud Connector is based on another very successful application, the Business Data List Connector for SharePoint (BDLC).
Fig. The Cloud Connector is certified as Microsoft Platform Ready for Windows Azure.
The connector can be installed on a client (e.g. Windows 7/8) or server (Windows Server 2003/2008/2012) directly within the corporate network, near the data source or inside DMZ with Internet connectivity required. 32-bit and 64-bit systems are both supported. There is no installation or customizing required on the SharePoint system or on the data source side.