Please unzip the distribution and use the installer provided to setup the solution on any client (Windows 7 or 8) or server (Windows Server 2008 / 2012) in your corporate network with Internet connection (via HTTP) enabled and connectivity to your data source (e.g. to a database server) and data destination (e.g. to a SharePoint server). 32-bit systems are supported as well as 64-bit systems. Please select the distribution folder required (you can install 32-bit on 64-bit systems, if required). Please note that your drivers must be 32-bit / 64-bit respectively.
Fig.: Please select carefully the release to be installed, x64 (64-Bit) or x86 (32-Bit). In case you have to connect to 32-Bit drivers or 32-Bit ODBC, please select x86. This can be used on 64-Bit systems as well.
There is no installation or customizing required at the data sources or SharePoint servers connected.
Run the installer
As a next step please run the installer as administrator, accept the license agreement and select the setup type.
Fig.: Layer2 Cloud Connector installer
The following components are available for installation:
- Base Components: Includes the Connection Service - A windows service that operates in background to push / pull data as scheduled. Required.
- Connection Manager: Manage your connections here to setup, stop/start, display current status etc. This also includes a Connection Wizard.
- Layer2 Data Provider for SharePoint (CSOM): Required to connect to SharePoint on-premise or Online wie web services..
- Layer2 Data Provider for OData: Required to connect to OData sources, e.g. Microsoft Dynamics or other.
- Layer2 Data Provider for RSS Feeds: Required to connect to RSS. Can be used to aggregate RSS Feeds in native SharePoint lists. Source code provided as a sample for developers.
- Layer2 Data Provider for File System: Required to connect to local file system or file shares. You can sync your files server to server or with SharePoint libraries. Works similar to Skydrive, but without the known limitations.
- Layer2 Data Provider for XML: Required to connect to XML via file or http. Often used to export information from legacy systems as XML and connect the file to SharePoint.
- Cookie Manager: Required in case cookies used for authentication (not recommended).
- Sample Connections: Required to have a good starting point for setup. Just copy an appropiate sample and modify for your requirements.
- Startmenu Shortcuts: Required to find and start your programs. Works for Windows 8 as well.
- Documentation: Helpful, goes to the documentation folder of the installation.
- Developer Sources: Helpful in case any development is required. Normally no development needed to connect.
Please select complete install if unsure.
Fig.: You can create and manage your connections with the Connection Manager, a Microsoft Windows Management Console application. But XML-based configuration files still exist, so you can manage your connections manually as well.
To setup a connection please follow the documentation. See FAQs for examples:
- Select a connection provider: The connection provider is the driver layer to use, e.g. ODBC, OLEDB, OData or any other .NET based driver. The connector comes out-of-the-box with a Layer2 CSOM Driver (for SharePoint 2010 / 2013 lists and libraries), a Layer2 OData Driver (for any OData protocol compatible sources) and a Layer2 XML provider to connect XML files and web requests. If no driver present, ask your admin to install, e.g. for Oracle. Client drivers mostly come with the database or other data source software. Please ask firstname.lastname@example.org for drivers available. Export data to Excel/CSV or XML and use ODBC in case no driver is available for your specific system.
- Enter the connection string: The connection string contains the information required to connect to the data source. See www.connectionstrings.com for more information. You will find many samples for connection strings in the Intenet, at your database vendor's web pages or in our FAQs.
- Enter the data query: The data query contains the information required to reference your data selection, e.g. "Select * from myTable" for databases. You can give aliases for field names here, call views or stored procedures and use any functions that are supported by your data source and the provider / driver layer.
- Field Assignment: Any field in your data source can be associated with a column in the SharePoint list or library. Please think about different field types used on both sides (e.g. String, Integer). Name-based auto-mapping can be used to establish an appropiate mapping automatically.
- Primary Key(s): To update items (rather then delete and re-insert) one or more primary key(s) (PK) is / are required, that means fields / columns that have uniue values, e.g. a customer # or a counter / GUID field. For many providers PKs are automatically set.
- Scheduling: Updates are pushed at specific dates / times or intervals, e.g. 4:00 am daily or every 15 minutes. Updates are processed in background using the Windows service of the connector via web services.