All posts in Configuration

Leading Practices for Planning and Implementing a SharePoint Environment

This month I traveled to Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary to present on the Leading Practices of Planning and Implementing a SharePoint Environment.  This was not meant as a technical discussion, but instead a discussion on implementing a SharePoint environment.  There is a bit of technical topics within it, but the focus is how to plan out your entire project to get the best SharePoint implementation you can.  I had a lot of great discussions and questions from everyone that attended and really enjoyed myself.   I promised everyone I would post my slide deck so they could reference it and use it should they choose to.

I would really like to thank the Saskatchewan SharePoint User Group,  Edmonton Microsoft User Group, and the Calgary SharePoint User Group for hosting me for these presentations.  I really enjoyed myself and hope to return soon with another presentation.  I would also like to thank Solvera Solutions for making this all possible as well.

As promised… the slide deck.

Leading Practices for Planning and Implementing SharePoint

SharePoint Business Connectivity Service – Create External Content Type and External List

Previously I have discussed SharePoint’s Business Connectivity Services specifically the External Content Type (ECT) and the External List.  Basically an ECT is a mapping of all the data that you want to surface from an external source into SharePoint.  An external list is where that ECT is surfaced into once you get it into SharePoint.  An external list is very similar to a regular SharePoint List, but some features are not available.  Some features that you don’t have include the ability to add or delete columns, quick edit, and most of the social specific features.  You can find a complete list from Microsoft here.

Today I am going to illustrate to you how to create an ECT and an external list while making use of the secure store entry I showed you how to create previously.  Today’s demo is going to be a completely “no-code” solution.  My intention is to illustrate some code based example in a later blog post, but today we are strictly doing this without writing any code.

Read more

SharePoint Secure Store – How to Create an Entry

Recently I had blogged about SharePoint’s Business Connectivity Service.  Another service which goes hand-in-hand with BCS is SharePoint’s Secure Store Service.  I talk in more detail about the Secure Store within part three of my SharePoint BCS overview series.  However, Secure Store is not limited to just BCS.  It can be used for Excel Services, Access Services and even custom applications.

Today I am going to take what I have discussed already about Secure Store and show you how to create and configure a new entry that you can then consume with another system\service.  I plan to show you how to create your secure store entry.

Read more

Playing Outside your Sandbox (Part 3) – Secure Store and BCS Authentication

Welcome to the third installment of my SharePoint BCS overview series.

If you wish to see part 2 of the series please click here.

Today I would like to discuss the different methods of authentication with Business Connectivity Services (BCS).  There are actually many ways to perform the authentication.  You can use methods such as connection strings and OData Authentication Providers.  However, if you want to go with a total no-code solution (as discussed in this series) SharePoint Secure Store Service is the way to go.  You can use a non-code solution that doesn’t make use of the Secure Store as well, and I intend to discuss, but you will soon learn why you don’t want to use this in a production environment unless your system is setup a particular way.  This post will cover those different methods of authentication as well as discuss how you can use the SharePoint Secure Store Service to help you make your BCS connections.

Read more

Playing Outside your Sandbox (Part 2) – SharePoint BCS Features by Version

In this post we will discuss the different features that are available to you within your SharePoint environment.  The information I am providing will be based on SharePoint 2013, but unless I specifically state the features are new to SP2013 you can assume they exist in SP 2010 as well.

Click here for part 1 of this series

SharePoint Foundation

Although this is the free and most basic version of SharePoint you actually get some great features from BCS.  Many environments are more than capable of fully utilizing everything they could possibly need with just the foundation version of SharePoint.

External Content Types

The External Content type is the heart of BCS.  99.9% of everything you do with BCS starts with an External Content Type (ECT).  ECTs basically act as the connection between SharePoint and the external data.  An ECT maps all the data within the external source that you want to bring into SharePoint.  I say that you want because even if you hit a data source with 25+ columns and you want 3, then you only have to bring in 3.  The ECT then maps all the connections, and configuration of the data from the external data source to objects within SharePoint.  The ECT in the end is really just a content type which contains columns that just happen to get their data from a source outside of your SharePoint farm.

Read more