Q. What is Business Data Catalog or BDC ?
Ans. It is a shared service that enables Office SharePoint Server 2007 to surface business data from back-end server applications. Business Data Catalog or BDC provides built-in support for displaying data from databases and Web services. That is, you can use Business Data Catalog to display data from your SAP, Siebel, or other line-of-business (LOB) application via Web services or databases.
Q. Can you write back data to the BDC Source(External database).
Ans. Even though the BDC made it relatively easy to create read-only solutions that display data in the Business Data List Web Part, it was not so simple to create a solution that enabled users to make changes and write that data back to the external store.
Q. How do you create a BDC File ?
Ans. Various tools are available in the market to create application definition files which are responsible for establishing BDC connections.
Some of the Tools are :
BDC Meta Man – Its has a Intuitive drag and drop user interface, that allows the easy configuration of your data source ready for SharePoint. BDC Meta Man not only generates the application definition files to allow the viewing of your data, it also generates web parts to allow you to add and edit data back to your data source. It is used to develop a fully integrated read/write SharePoint application.
Business Data Catalog Definition Editor – This was introduced with MOSS Sdk.The tool is only used to create BDC definitions files. The only drawback is that it requires you to install SQL server 2005 on the machine and will also make some changes to your file system.
Q. What is a “Business Data profile page” ?
Ans. A profile page can display all of the information from a record in the Business Data Catalog (BDC) — for example, a profile page can display all of the fields in a record for a specific customer ( the BDC connection is pulling data from some customer table source). So just by clicking the View Profile link in a Business Data column or in a Business Data Web Part, you can quickly view the full details for an item on that item’s profile page.