SQL Server Codeless Data Integration Synchronization

Microsoft SQL Server database data can be integrated and synchronized codeless with 100+ external systems, on premises or in the cloud, using the Layer2 Cloud Connector, for example with Office 365, SharePoint, Dynamics, Exchange or Azure. You will find more supported systems and applications here.​​​​​

SQL Server Codeless Data Integration and Synchronization

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Benefits of Microsoft SQL Server Integration and Synchronization

​SQL Server integration via Layer2 Cloud Connector has the following features and benefits:
  • Connect and sync your local or cloud-based SQL Server data with 100+ other data sources, e.g. native SharePoint lists and libraries in Office 365 or on-premises, keeping them always up-to-date.
  • 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 the SQL Server data source and the data destination required. Just install the connector on any computer in your network, in the cloud, or even your laptop.
  • Highest Security: Connection via secure web services (SSL). Disconnected systems: A connection is only required for data exchange – not for list or library usage. Users do not have direct access to external corporate data sources. You don't have to open your network for the Internet. The application runs where your data resides today - on a server or client inside your corporate network. No data is exposed to 3rd-parties or clouds.
  • Highest performance: Can manage very large SQL databases, SharePoint lists and libraries. No 5,000 items limit. Can scale-out to multiple servers or to the Microsoft Azure Cloud, if required. No bulk-import as with SSIS, data changes are processed only.
  • Fully compatible with 3rd-party data providers: Data providers of the application vendors (e.g. Oracle, mySQL, IBM), 3rd-party data providers, or included Layer2 data providers can be used to access 100+ data sources.
  • Virtually any data sources supported: ODBC, OLEDB, OData, SOAP, Microsoft .NET based providers, Files (Excel, XML, CSV, Text), 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, REST-based 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, Amazon, BOX.NET and others are also supported.
  • Layer2 CSOM Data Provider included: You can connect and sync your SQL data with SharePoint lists and libraries on-premise or in the Office 365 / OneDrive for Business cloud.
  • Layer2 File System Data Provider included: You can sync local files or file server shares with SharePoint Online or on-premises 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. You can update file metadata based on SQL Server queries.
  • Layer2 OData Data Provider included: You can connect your SQL data to all OData sources, e.g. Microsoft CRM/ERP or SAP via NetWeaver.
  • Layer2 XML Data Provider included: You can connect your SQL data to any XML-based files and web requests, and filter results by using XPath query language.
  • Layer2 RSS Data Provider included: You can simply pull or aggregate RSS news feeds into your SQL data source or 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 SQL data like contacts, tasks, calendar events, notes, and email bi-directionally using Exchange Web Services (EWS). Exchange 2007, 2010, and 2013 are supported as well as Exchange Online. Shared & Site Mailboxes supported.
  • Layer2 SOAP Web Services Provider: Connect SQL to to SOAP-based web services codeless with flexible parameters.
  • Very flexible sync options: Uni- and bi-directional sync are supported. Execute a specific connection 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 SQL data with SharePoint links, lookups, managed metadata, and more with advanced options.
  • Process integration: Raise change notifications and start workflows in the cloud, triggered on external SQL data changes. Find your SQL data changes in Delve via Office Graph. 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.
  • Mobile and offline access: You can sync SQL Server queries with Office 365 / SharePoint Online for data access from everywhere, with any device, at any time - also offline with write-back of changes.
  • Additional unmapped "SharePoint-only" columns can be created: Ranking, rating, managed metadata, comments or file attachments.
  • Data aggregation: Multiple connections can combine several different SQL data queries 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 or Professional Edition, depending on requirements. Licensing per installation (no user CALs, not bound to any SharePoint server or site, just a one-time fee - no data volume-related costs). Easy to setup and maintain. You can save SQL Server user CAL license costs by providing the data in external systems - as a synchronized copy.

Microsoft SQL Server Specific Configuration Settings

​In the Layer2 Cloud Connector the data source or destination entity must be configured as follows to connect to Microsoft SQL Server.
 
 Fig.: SQL Server sample connection in the Layer2 Layer2 Cloud Connector
 
Please note the following about settings, features and possible issues.
  • Please select the SQLClient Data Provider from the list of installed providers. If you can't find, please install from Microsoft.
  • You can make use of any connection strings for SQL Server as usual, e.g.:
    Data Source=myServer; User Id=myUser; Password=myPassword.
    You will find more information about SQL Server connection strings here.
  • In case of integrated authentication (trusted connection) please make sure that the current user has appropriate database access rights. Also take care about access rights of the Layer2 Cloud Connector Windows Service. Best to use basic authentication with a specific user.
  • You can make use of all SQL queries your data provider supports. You can also use stored procedures that returns records, exec myStoredProcedure().
  • You can make use of aliases in query to force auto-mapping in the Cloud Connector, e.g. select customername as title, to auto-map to a SharePoint title column.
  • Primary key is normally set automatically.
  • Bi-directional sync is supported.

Step-by-Step Intros For Specific SQL Server Integration Scenarios

SQL Server Integration - Known Issues and Workarounds

  • ​Bi-directional synchronization is generally supported. You query must be updatable for this (note that most joins are not). You also need to have write access rights to SQL for two-way sync.
  • Complex SharePoint fields like lookups, user or group picker etc. are generally supported. You have to make sure providing values that fit into the fields. If not possible, you can workaround by synchronizing text fields only and add your business logic using triggers and stored procedures (in SQL) or workflows (in SharePoint).
  • You will learn more about the SQL query language here.

Next Steps with SQL Server Integration

​​You can register to download and evaluate the Layer2 Cloud Connector here.
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We are very happy with the Layer2 product. It synchronises our Microsoft Office 365 SharePoint Online data perfectly to our onsite Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 database.

 

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