Just Released: SharePoint Business Data List Connector V3.4 Comes With SharePoint-to-SharePoint List Connection

Layer2 today announced a new version 3.4 of Business Data List Connector for SharePoint (BDLC) that unlocks the value of external enterprise data for SharePoint based portals. BDLC directly connects native SharePoint lists to external LOB data.

Microsoft SharePoint technology is increasingly used in SMBs and larger companies as a business collaboration platform for the enterprise and the web, to connect and empower people, to cut costs with a unified infrastructure and rapidly response to business needs. The fast, easy and complete integration of external line-of-business data, e.g. from databases or Office files and applications, is a common requirement in the use of Microsoft SharePoint technology. The Business Data List Connector for SharePoint (BDLC) solves many known issues and overcome limitations that still exist with SharePoint data integration using the out-of-the-box SharePoint 2007 Business Data Catalog and the SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services.

Quickly connect business data to WSS/MOSS and SharePoint lists without any programming or tools

The Business Data List Connector for SharePoint offers a "SharePoint External List" by connecting native SharePoint lists (e.g. contacts, tasks, events - no Web Parts or BCS lists) to external business data sources, using a very simple web-based list settings dialogue. No programming or additional tools are required. The BDLC can be easily configured with a few simple list settings, such as connection provider, connection string and a SQL query statement. The new version 3.4 supports more connection providers than ever, for example SQL Server, Oracle, Informix, DB2, AS/400, OLEDB (e.g. Microsoft Office), ODBC or other custom .NET-based provider installed including the new Layer2 SharePoint List Provider. The desired data can be populated to the list and presented with the familiar UI and navigation features of native SharePoint lists made available: Views, sorting and grouping, filters, calculated fields. Lookup features can be created as usual for presentation of and interaction with external data in SharePoint lists. The Business Data List Connector extends the SharePoint collaboration, knowledge management and search capabilities as well as the Office user experience to include external business data and the processes associated.

Start workflows in SharePoint to take business actions on external data change

The list data can be updated manually or automatically in background, using a timer service. List workflows and notifications per RSS or email can be used to take business actions in SharePoint when external LOB data records are changed. For example the Business Data List Connector can be used to implement a sales dashboard application, which empowers end users to gain insight into the underlying ERP or CRM data in a reusable way, e.g. with aggregations and transformations and quickly being notified in case of changes. A write-back to data source feature can be additionally enabled, if required. Several add-ons are available on web site, e.g. to establish database-like foreign key relationships between BDLC-connected lists or to connect to the Microsoft Office 365 or Microsoft SharePoint Online cloud.

Free shareware version to download

The new BDLC V3.4 comes with a robust installer to allow it to be easily deployed within any SharePoint environment, including farms. It is available for SharePoint starting with WSS 3.0, MOSS 2007, SharePoint 2010 Foundation and Server. You can register and download directly at the vendor's product pages at www.layer2.de/en/products. All Layer2 components are completely FREE to use at registered SharePoint User Group web sites (back-link and logo required).

Cost-free partner program for implementers and affiliates

A cost-free partner program was launched to support companies that are interested to resell and implement Layer2 SharePoint products around the world. Partners receive up to 30% commission for each sale. Additionally implementers receive qualified leads, free NFR versions and priority support to make use of Layer2 solutions in their own projects.