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The Business Data Catalog for Developers. Penny Coventry. Customer Needs Based on SPS 2003 feedback. Interact with business applications Allow business data to surface from backend applications Less integration code Deep integration of data into the places users work

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The business data catalog for developers l.jpg

The Business Data Catalog for Developers

Penny Coventry


Customer needs based on sps 2003 feedback l.jpg

Customer NeedsBased on SPS 2003 feedback

Interact with business applications

Allow business data to surface from backend applications

Less integration code

Deep integration of data into the places users work

New application types that blend data and collaboration

Structured data search

Bridge portal and business application UI

Centrally manage security, auditing, connections


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So how do we do this today?

  • Custom Web Parts

  • Web page clipping

  • Data View Web Part (DVWP)


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How will you do it tomorrow?

  • Same as today

  • Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007

    • Excel Calculation Server

    • Office Forms Server (OFC)

    • Business Data Catalog (BDC)


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What is the BDC?Connects Office servers to business data

  • Core service of MOSS 2007.

  • Designed for connecting, mapping and fetching data.

  • Bridges the gap between business data and SharePoint features

    • Web Pages

    • Lists

    • Search

    • User profiles


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BDC Architecture


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Business Data Catalog APITwo halves: runtime and administration

  • Runtime API

    • Browse metadata, execute methods, retrieve instances, traverse relationships

    • For custom application builders

  • Administration API

    • Create, read, update, and delete metadata and manage permissions

    • For administrators

    • For ISVs building metadata management tools

  • Our features use these public APIs


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Metadata Model OverviewDescribed by a Application Definition File

Two purposes

Describe a system’s API

Give meaning to the API; make it easily usable

Key objects

LobSystem – A data source (Siebel, SAP)

Entity – A real-world thing (Customer)

Method – An operation on an Entity (GetCustomerList)

MethodInstance – A way to use a Method

Filters

Actions - just a URL associated with an entity

Appear everywhere an entity appears

Users can take action in context

Association – A relationship between Entities (Customers have Orders)


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Properties Use the metadata how you want

  • Every MetadataObject has a Properties collection

  • Business Data Features make use of certain annotations

  • You can extend the metadata for your own applications

<Entity Name=“Customer”>

<Properties>

<Property Name=“Title”>CustomerName</Property>

</Properties>

...

</Entity>


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Finder MethodsA standard way to find entity instances

  • One method of an entity is designated the Finder, another the SpecificFinder

  • Finder returns a collection of instances given a set of filters

  • SpecificFinder returns a single instance given a key

<Entity Name=“Customer”>

<Methods>

<Method Name=“GetCustomer”>

<MethodInstance Type=“Finder” ... /> ...

</Method>

</Methods>

</Entity>


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FiltersControl the data finders return

  • Annotations on a Method’s input parameters

  • Declare which inputs users can override

  • Various types: wildcard, exact match, …

<Method Name=“GetCustomer”>

<FilterDescriptors>

<FilterDescriptor Name=“Region” Type=“ExactMatch”/>

</FilterDescriptors>

<Parameters>

<Parameter Name=“Region” Direction=“In”>

<TypeDescriptor ... AssociatedFilter=“Region”/> ...

</Method>


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AssociationsModel relationships between entities

  • Has one or more source entities and one destination entity

  • Is a method instance

  • Takes source instance(s) and returns a destination instance

<Association Name=“CustomerToOrder“

AssociationMethodName=“GetOrdersByCustomer“>

<SourceEntity Name=“Customer"/>

<DestinationEntity Name=“Order"/>

</Association>


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IDEnumerators And SearchFull-text search any application

  • BDC crawl protocol has two phases

    • ID Enumeration: Fetch all entity instance IDs

    • Detail fetch: Fetch details for each instance

  • IDEnumerator returns the IDs

  • SpecificFinder returns the details

<Method Name=“GetCustomerIDs”>

<Parameters> ... </Parameters>

<MethodInstance Type=“IDEnumerator” ... />

</Method>


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Actions And WritebackLink, don’t replicate

  • Scenarios so far are read-only

  • For writes, link to InfoPath forms, web forms, or app UI

  • Actions are links that travel everywhere with an entity

  • Users can take action in context

<Entity>

<Actions>

<Action Name=“Edit” Url=“http://customerweb/edit.aspx”/>

</Actions>

</Entity>


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Tools to simplify metadata creation with the BDC Administration API

  • SQL database metadata generator

    • http://www.codeplex.com/Wiki/View.aspx?ProjectName=DBMetadataGenerator

  • MOSS BDC MetaData Manager

    • http://www.sharepointblogs.com/tbaginski/archive/2006/07/16/9259.aspx


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What to do next!

Expose your line-of-business data via web services or databases

Strategic Microsoft Integration technology

Write BDC-friendly web services

Finders, SpecificFinders, IDEnumerators, …

Use Links – don’t replicate - Actions

Keep up-to-date

Start using Beta 2.

Microsoft will enhance the capabilities of BDC further

Line of Business Interoperability (LOBi) for Office SharePoint Server 2007 – major step in that direction

Use the business data features to create new and better applications faster

Simplify your custom integration code with the BDC Runtime API


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More information

  • MOSS 2007 SDK

  • BDC samples: Home page

    • http://www.gotdotnet.com/codegallery/CodeGallery.aspx?id=5e078686-a05c-4a44-a131-88d75e550be8

  • Office Business Application (OBA) Development Portal

    • http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/tool/OBA/default.aspx


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