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

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Conclusion

After migrating SharePoint from an on-premise system to SharePoint online, all external content types and lists will not work anymore because of missing BCS definitions. If these connections are still needed, there are two possible ways to get reconnected.

  • Migrate Data to SQL Azure.
  • Publish the line of business data as WCF web service.

This enables companies to continue line of business data after moving their on-premise environments to Office 365. Because a fair amount of manual work and planning is involved, customers should include consulting work into the project budget.

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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