A few weeks ago Brett Lonsdale has announced on his blog the new BDC Book (The Developers Guide to the Business Data Catalog) written by him and Nick Swan to “help people understand the Business Data Catalog and to be able to use the features of the BDC such as BDC Search, Business Data Column, Business Data Web Parts, and the BDC Object Model. The book also covers subjects like OBA.”
As you probably know, the goal of the BDC (Business Data Catalog) is to provide a general way to access our several LOB (Line-of-Business) systems and integrate their data into the MOSS 2007.
In my experiences, most people are not too familiar with BDC as they don’t know its real power. Or even if they know something about the BDC they’re afraid to use it. Don’t do! This book drives us to the main ways to use our LOB systems with a BDC definition:
- BDC webparts
- Business Data column
- User Profile Import
- custom solutions
Moreover, we can also learn how to build up an Application Definition File, how to set up a secure BDC connection as well as extending the User Profiles. My favorite chapters are about displaying BDC data with the help of SharePoint Designer, and (of course :)) about Office Business Applications (OBAs).
Finally, Brett and Nick introduce us to writing back to BDC via the Application Definition File or the Object Model. – Oh yes, it’s possible even almost everybody thinks it’s a mission impossible. As the two Metaman-guys say: “The Business Data Catalog does actually support Read/Write both in the Object Model and in the Application Definition File. It is the Web Parts that simply don't support Write Back or Updates.” – Are you surprised? I told you: most people are not enough familiar with BDC…
All in all, this book covers every aspect of the Business Data Catalog, makes very deep and detailed introductions, examples and how-tos. A real must to have book if you works as a SharePoint developer!