ODBC was originally developed by Microsoft during the early 1990s and became a
de facto standard to connect to almost any database. Most database vendors are
offering ODBC-compliant data providers (drivers) to access there data. ODBC can
especially used in case there is no OLEDB or ADO.NET based or other (newer) data
Very easy to setup in a few
minutes: Create a 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 ODBC data source required: No
programming, no additional tools.
Connected list data always up-to-date: The connected ODBC
data query updates 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 ODBC data source
automatically with full CRUD (Create / Update / Delete) functionality (if
supported by the ODBC source driver). 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 ODBC data records are changed.
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 applications.
ODBC Specific SharePoint List Configuration Settings
In the SharePoint General List Settings click "Connect to external data source".
In the BDLC form the data source must be configured as follows to connect
Figure 1: Sample connection
configuration to connect a native SharePoint list to an ODBC data source via
Layer2 Business Data List Connector.
Please note the following specific settings.
Select the ODBC Data Provider in the
drop-down to connect. The provider is part of the Windows Operating System and
should be already installed.
Install the 64-bit version of the source-specific ODBC driver, e.g.
for MySQL or FileMaker. If you can't find any 64-bit compatible driver, see
below under Issues and workarounds.
Use a System DSN (not User or File DSN) to setup your connection and to
refer to in the connection string. Verify your setup directly in the 64-Bit ODBC
Connection Manager, if supported. Don't use the 32-Bit ODBC Connection Manager
You can use a connection string like this to connect: DSN=myDSN;
UID=myUser; PWD=myPassword Please find more details about ODBC options at www.connectionstrings.com.
You can make use of ODBC to query your data as supported by the data
provider and source system. For any specification of query
language supported see specific vendor documentation.
You can map your data fields to specific external source fields in the
Layer2 Business Data List Connector. Please take care about data types (simple
type conversions are supported).
Please enter an appropriate primary key (column with unique values),
depending on query (see data preview for this).
You can use the connection for uni- or bi-directional synchronization.
No installation or changes are required at the ODBC data source or data
No programming required for setup a connection and sync.
ODBC Connection Details
.Net Framework Data Provider for OData
Connection string sample:
DSN=myDSN; UID=myUser; PWD=myPassword
Select Statement sample: select * from yourTable
SharePoint Integration via ODBC - Examples, Known Issues and Workarounds
The integration of ODBC-related data sources in SharePoint has the following
known issues and workarounds:
In case of inserts (full CRUD) via
external systems please take care of the primary key. Database-side IDs will not
work in his case.
Please make use of the bdlcGUID column that will have a unique GUID assigned
automatically, if required.