Microsoft's new cloud computing offer currently is going to attract a lot of new customers. But external data integration is not included yet. Layer2 now offers seamless integration of corporate line-of-business data with the SharePoint cloud.
Online, June 8, 2011 (Newswire.com) - Microsoft Office 365 allows companies of all sizes to leverage the combined power of productivity tools such as SharePoint, Exchange, Lync and Office with the benefits of cloud computing. Instead of installing and deploying SharePoint Server on premises, any business can now simply subscribe to this service online to provide their employees with an enterprise grade solution for creating sites to safely share documents and information with colleagues, partners and customers. Layer2, as one of the leading providers of SharePoint extensions in Europe and Gold Certified Microsoft ISV, today announced a new product to seamlessly integrate almost any corporate line-of-business data with native SharePoint lists in the Microsoft Office 365 cloud. The Cloud Connector for SharePoint 2010 and Office 365 extends the SharePoint cloud capabilities to existing data sets that will continue to reside within the corporate network, e.g. with SQL databases, files or CRM/ERP systems.
Using Office 365 requires a data integration strategy to benefit
While a cloud-based solution opens new opportunities to trim down infrastructure and the maintenance effort and costs, it doesn't eliminate the need for integration. A data-integration strategy needs to be within the foundation of every cloud computing plan - it can't be something you're reminded of at the rollout meeting...
Remote corporate data cached in native cloud-based SharePoint lists
"While the existing integration tools for SharePoint are not made for cloud-based scenarios out-of-the-box, the SharePoint Cloud Connector was especially developed based on the new Microsoft Client Side Object Model (CSOM) API to solve the specific challenges of disconnected systems in the cloud without any direct access to corporate business data and very restricted feature customization capabilities", Frank Daske, Product Manager at Layer2, accented. "From the technical point of view, users are just accessing native SharePoint lists as some kind of cache for their remote corporate data sources - a very simple but extremely powerful approach to easily provide all the common list features, e.g. views, managed metadata, attachments, RSS and email-based notifications, data aggregation from several sources, or workflows on external data change without any restrictions." The new product is based on years of experience with SharePoint data integration: The well-known Business Data List Connector, a similar Layer2 product for on-premise installations - since years has solved many issues that still exist with the Business Data Catalog and the Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint 2007 and 2010.
Almost any type of external data source supported - codeless
The Cloud Connector comes with support for almost any existing enterprise data source drivers, e.g. ODBC, OLEDB, .NET, files (Excel, XML, CSV), databases like SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, IBM DB2, IBM AS/400, IBM Informix, applications like Notes, Exchange, SharePoint, Active Directory, Navision, SAP etc. No programming is required. The connector is easily installed directly within the corporate network on any server or client with Internet connectivity. No setup or customizing is required in the SharePoint cloud. All SharePoint 2010 platforms are supported, including on-premise and hosted sandboxes.
Great business opportunities with Office 365 for Layer2 Partners
With its cost-free Partner Program Layer2 offers all partners a license discount of 30%, valid leads in their region, free NFR software versions for internal use and full support for implementing Cloud Connector based solutions with their customers. The Cloud Connector for SharePoint and Office 365 will be available after registration as a completely free Shareware version at the vendor's web site www.layer2.de/en/. Professional and Enterprise Editions are also planned to be available with the Microsoft Office 365 launch.