Eight Steps to Connect Office 365/SharePoint Online with External Data

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Set Up Connection and ECT

The easiest way to create a new external content type is to use SharePoint Designer 2013, which can be used to create external content types for Microsoft SQL Azure tables, views or stored procedures. You just need to open it and connect to your site collection using credentials having site collection admin permission. On the left-hand side is a menu item, “External Content Types.” The connection and all CRUD methods such as read list, read item, create, update and delete can be created from here.

In the last couple of years, a lot of companies have started using BCS (Business Connectivity Services) to integrate data from external data sources into SharePoint. It was initially available with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and was called Business Data Catalog. Since Version 2013, it is not only possible to read information but also to create, delete or update.

According to Mario Spies, senior strategic consultant at AvePoint, a lot of companies are in the process of moving their SharePoint content from on-premise to Office 365 / SharePoint Online, using tools such as DocAve Migrator from SharePoint 2010 or DocAve Content Manager from SharePoint 2013. In most of these projects, the question arises about how to handle SharePoint external lists connected to data using BDC.

The good news is that SharePoint Online also supports Business Connectivity Services.

 

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