Figure 1. It's easy to integrate IBM System i with SharePoint. Just create a list and click "Connect to external data source" in your list settings.
IBM System i Integration with SharePoint - Features & Benefits
Very easy to setup in a few
minutes: Create a new SharePoint list, click "Connect to external data
source" in the list settings, select the data provider, enter connection
settings and data query as shown below ... that's it.
No changes in the IBM System i data source required: No
programming, no additional tools.
Connected list data always up-to-date: The connected IBM
System i data query updates the SharePoint list automatically in background (via
SharePoint Timer Job), or alternatively, on-demand (Action Menu / Ribbon Button,
URL, via workflow, API).
One-way and optional two-way connection: You can write-back
the changes made in the SharePoint list to the external data source
automatically with full CRUD (Create / Update / Delete) functionality. The
SharePoint list can act as a full-featured front-end for external systems.
Well-known BCS "external list" issues and limitations are completely
solved: ALL list features are to you. Views, sorting and grouping,
filters, calculated fields, search, managed metadata. Lookups, additional
columns and attachments can be created as normal. All kind of lists can be used,
e.g. contacts, tasks, calendar, or custom lists. You can take external data
offline via Outlook.
Workflows and notifications on external data change: List
workflows and change notifications per RSS or email can be used to take business
actions in SharePoint, when external IBM System i data records are
Application logging, reporting, and notifications: A
SharePoint list is used to store settings and log information. SharePoint item
versioning and workflows can be used to manage reporting and notifications.
Direct notification per email in case of errors is supported as well.
Highest Security, best performance, easy to maintain:
SharePoint Secure Store can be used to store security relevant
configuration information safely in one central place. Users are
working with the SharePoint lists as an external data cache with highest
security and performance. Large data sources can be synchronized.
100+ more external systems supported: Layer2 Data
Providers included (e.g. for external SharePoint or Office 365, Exchange,
Dynamics ERP/CRM, OData, XML/RSS, SOAP), vendor specific data providers can be
used (e.g. SQL Server Oracle, MySQL etc.), 3rd party data providers also
supported, e.g. for custom ERP/CRM, Facebook or Twitter. See here for supported systems and
IBM System i Specific SharePoint List Configuration Settings
In the Layer2 Business Data List Connector, the data connection must be
configured as follows:
Figure 2. Example connection
configuration to connect a native SharePoint list to a IBM System i data entity via
Layer2 Business Data List Connector.
Select the OLEDB Data Provider to connect (already installed). To connect to the AS/400, you need the IBM driver installed on each machine in the farm that is running BDLC. IBMDA400 is the OLEDB Driver provided by IBM System i Access for Windows. Information about the driver can be found here, but you cannot download the driver without being a customer. Please contact IBM support if you need assistance acquiring the driver.
Use the 64-bit version of the driver.
You can use a connection string like this to
connect: Provider=IBMDA400; Data Source=xx.xxx.xx.xx; User Id=myUser; Password=myPassword;
Please adapt the IP address in the Data Source field to your own (or use a system name as given in OperationsNavigator).
There are extra options available: DataCompression=True; Default Collection=MyCollection (to be taken from iSeries Navigator). For more options, take a look into the provider documentation at IBM.
You can make use of all SQL queries that are supported by the data
provider. See the provider documentation for further information.
Alternatively you can make use of ODBC to connect. Create your connection in the Windows ODBC Manager as a System DSN with the name myDSN. Select ODBC Data Provider. Enter DSN=MyDSN; as connection string.
You can map your list columns to specific external data source fields in the
Layer2 Business Data List Connector. Please take care about data types (simple
type conversions are supported).
Primary keys should be automatically set, if they exist. However for IBM System i, it is recommended that you specify them in the data entity.
Write-back is supported with OleDb and ODBC. You can use this to write changes in SharePoint
back to IBM System i.
No programming required for setup a connection and sync.
No need to open your local network for access from outside. No 3rd party
IBM System i OleDb Connection Details
.Net Framework Data Provider for OleDb
Connection String Example:
Provider=IBMDA400; Data Source=myServerName; User Id=myUser; Password=myPassword;
Select Statement Example:
SELECT * FROM employees
SharePoint Integration with IBM System i - Known Issues and Workarounds
There are following known issues and workarounds with System i integration:
There is a Microsoft-offered OleDb data provider for AS/400, however this appears to have issues with writing to AS/400 databases. It treats all columns as read-only, even if they have been configured correctly. It is advised that you use the System i Access drivers from IBM instead.
If you have issues with the System i Access OleDb provider, then try the ODBC version as that tends to work better for many users.