​The Layer2 Business Data List Connector for SharePoint solves many issues that still exist with SharePoint out-of-the-box external data integration. It makes it as easy as possible to connect native SharePoint lists to almost any external data source, codeless and bi-directional. All native SharePoint list features are available for the connected list.

How to create a valid OLEDB connection string in SharePoint to connect my custom list to my external data source?

The SharePoint Business Data List Connector (BDLC) uses connection strings to connect a custom SharePoint list to external LOB data directly in the list settings dialog.

SharePoint BDLC Connections 

Fig.: Sample data sources that connects to a SharePoint list with the BDLC

Connection strings are not related to BDLC, it's a more general way to connect to data sources in Microsoft Windows operating systems. For more information, how to build your connection string, please select your data source from the list below:

You can use connection strings, to connect SharePoint lists to databases, such as

You can pull data to SharePoint lists directly from data files, e.g.

You can also use connection strings to link SharePoint lists directly to server and services, e.g.

  • OLAP, Analysis Services -  to provide Business Intelligence data in a real SharePoint list for further processing, views and workflows (e.g. if some values are critical) 
  • Microsoft SharePoint - to pull list data from another SharePoint / WSS site collection or installation
  • Microsoft Project - to access project management data via a custom SharePoint list
  • Active Directory - to provide user or device data in a custom SharePoint list
  • Microsoft Exchange - to access contacts, events, tasks or other Exchange data in mailboxes or public folders
  • Microsoft Index Server / File System - to access Index Server queries for search in several data sources including the operating systems file system via a custom SharePoint list and start workflows, if content changes
  • IBM Lotus Notes - to connect a custom SharePoint list to Lotus Notes data 
  • Intuit Quickbase - to access online application data in SharePoint lists
  • Composit Information Server - a Java-based application and data integration server
  • ODBC DSN - to connect further data sources via ODBC Data Source Names with SharePoint lists
  • UDL - to connect SharePoint lists via the Universal Data Link protocol with external data sources

You can use Enterprise Enabler for SharePoint BDLC to additionally connect SharePoint lists directly to

  • Web Services
  • XML
  • EDI
  • HL7
  • Virtual Store
  • Microsoft .Net Objects
  • COM+ Objects
  • MS Dynamics CRM
  • MS Dynamics AX
  • SAP
  • Salesforce
  • Journyx
  • Quickbooks
  • PeachTree
  • and other

Enterprise Enabler for SharePoint BDLC additionally automates complex bi-directional aggregation, transformation and manipulation of entities among multiple Line Of Business applications.

The BDLC connection can used for one-time imports in case of data migration or on a  regulary base including updates and write-back with full CRUD support - on demand or using a timer job.

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I like the ease of use, very quick deployment and configuration, incredible flexibility in terms of data sources of the Layer2 Business Data List Connector for SharePoint.

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Frank Daske

Frank Daske

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