The Layer2 Cloud Connector for SharePoint 2010/2013 and Office 365 has the following features and benefits:
- Connect and sync your external line-of-business data with native SharePoint lists and libraries in the cloud (or on-premise) - 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, e.g. for compliance reasons.
- No programming or tools required: Setup in a few minutes guided by connection templates and wizards.
- No installation or customizing on the SharePoint side or in the cloud is required. Just install on any computer in your network or even your laptop. You don't need your IT to approve any SharePoint solution. Access rights to lists or libraries are enough.
- No changes at any data source: Data providers of the application vendors, 3rd party providers or additional Layer2 data providers are used to access your data source.
- Bi-directional connections supported: If provided by driver. Several options to solve replication conflicts.
- 100% compatible with all SharePoint 2010 / 2013 offerings: Including on-premise, remotely hosted, sandboxed, e.g. Microsoft SharePoint Online / Microsoft Office 365 (ALL plans), OneDrive for Business (1TB/User). Uses CSOM 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 any 3rd party 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, Google etc.
- Layer2 CSOM Data Provider included: You can connect to SharePoint 2010 / 2013 lists and libraries on-premise or in the Office 365 cloud.
- Layer2 File System Data Provider included: You can sync local server file shares with SharePoint libraries, e.g. for backup or mobile access. Optionally you can sync metadata only - not the file itself. You can link e.g. to your own FTP/HTTP, to Azure, BOX or SkyDrive 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, 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.
- Layer2 XML Data Provider included: You can connect to XML-based files and web requests.
- Layer2 RSS Provider included: You can simply pull or aggregate RSS newsfeeds 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 bi-directional (starting with V5).
- Very flexible sync options: Uni- and bi-directional sync 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. Source and target folders, additional no-delete, no-insert, no-update options.
- Data Type Conversion included: Sync SharePoint links, lookups, managed metadata etc. with advanced options.
- Process integration: Start workflows in the cloud - on external data change. 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 & enterprise metadata, RSS feeds, change notifications per email or workflows in the cloud on external data change.
- Additional “SharePoint-only” columns can be created: Ranking, rating, comments or file attachments.
- Data aggregation: Multiple connections can rollup several different data sources to one list.
- Free Shareware Edtion: You can test as long as you want or use in production with limited features.
- Flexible, cost-effective licensing: Personal Edition, Professional Edition and Enterprise Edition, depending on requirements. Licensing per installation (no user CALs, not bound to any SharePoint server or site). Easy to setup and maintain. You can save user CAL license costs for the connected on-premise systems, e.g. ERP/CRM using SharePoint as front-end.
The Cloud Connector is based on another very successful application, the Business Data List Connector für SharePoint (BDLC).
Fig.: The Cloud Connector supports almost any data sources via ODBC, OLEDB, MS .NET, CSOM, OData, XML etc.
Fig.: The Cloud Connector is certified as Microsoft Platform Ready for Windows Azure
The connector is installed on a client (e.g. Windows 7) 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.