The Layer2 Business Data List Connector for SharePoint makes it simple to connect native SharePoint lists to almost any external data source, codelessly and bi-directionally.


SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Installation & Setup


Please take a look at the documentation included for specific requirements. This product is optimized for SharePoint 2007/2010/2013/2016 on-premises. To integrate Microsoft SharePoint Online and Office 365 take a look here.


The installation is done using a SharePoint Solution Package. The included wizard distributes all files to a SharePoint farm, if required, and does all necessary configurations. Before installation, please make sure to:
  • Verify all servers are available online.
  • Backup your current installation approved software on evaluation systems before installing on a production system.
  • Use a regular service interval to install the solution. The application will not be available for a short time because the application pool will be restarted (IISreset).
For WSS 3.0 / MOSS 2007, go to the 2007 folder of the distribution. For SharePoint Server or Foundation 2010 / 2013 / 2016, go to the 2010/13/16 folder. Then start the installation process by executing the file "Install.Layer2.BusinessDataListConnector.exe" from a local directory on the server, that hosts the SharePoint Central Administration with appropriate access rights (run "As Administrator" on Windows Server 2008).

SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Installation 1
Fig. Starting the installation process.
First, a system check will run to make sure the requirements are met.
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Installation 2  
Fig. Checking requirements for the installation process.
If there are any problems with the check, please see our FAQs (General FAQ, Installation).
Next, you have to accept the EULA.
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Installation 3  
Fig. Accepting the license agreement.


Note that this installation step can take up to 15 minutes.

If the solution is already installed, you can select upgrade. All existing settings and data are maintained when you upgrade.


The feature must be activated in Site Collection Features (not Site Features), as shown in the example image below:



After a successful deployment, there is a new site collection feature available in all site collections of the selected web applications. To use it, the new feature "Business Data List Connector" has to be activated on Site Collection level by a Site Collection Administrator. That has to be done in "Site Settings > Site Collection Administration" under Site Collection Features. After activation the feature can be used.

SharePoint Business Data List Connector Feature Activation
Fig. Activation of the feature "Layer2 Business Data List Connector for SharePoint" on site collection.
After successful activation on site collection level the new feature is available in the List Settings dialog: "General Settings > Connect to external data source".
In order to connect an existing SharePoint list with external business data, you have to choose "Connect to External Data Source" in the General Settings section of the list.

Connect SharePoint list to external data source directly in the general settings dialog

Fig. Starting with V2.0 you can connect any type of SharePoint list directly to external data.
If you don't use an existing list, you have to create a new one of the appropriate type (e.g. contacts, tasks, or simply custom list) and give a name and description to the newly created list as usual (BDLC Norhwind is used in this example).
SharePoint Business Data List Connector creation and name settings  
Fig. Enter name and description of the newly created list.

To connect this list with your external business data, go to list settings and simply choose Connect to external data source to enter your connection string, select statement, and primary key(s).
In the settings dialogue, use the following steps to configure your list connection.
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Settings  
Fig. Business Data List Connector Settings dialogue.
STEP 1 - Connect the external data source using a connection provider and connection string
First choose your connection provider. If installed, choose the native .NET database provider, e.g. for SQL Server or Oracle. Choose OLEDB if no native provider is available. Choose ODBC if no OLEDB provider is available.

Enter your connection string to your external data source and validate it. Connection strings are available for virtually any external data source, e.g. databases like Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Informix, DB2; Microsoft Office data like Excel, Access, or even text data files. Connection strings are also available for external SharePoint lists.
See the FAQs for samples and descriptions.
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Connection String  
Fig. Step 1: Enter the connection string (OLEDB example used here) and validate it.
SharePoint BDLC Connections  
Fig. The BDLC connect SharePoint lists to almost any external data source.

 You will find more detailed information about supported systems and connection strings here.

STEP 2 - Select the desired data using a select statement
Enter your select statement supported by your external data source and validate it. Select statements are available for virtually any external data sources, e.g. databases like Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Informix, DB2, Microsoft Office data like Excel, Acccess, or even text data files. Select statements are also available for external SharePoint lists. For most data sources you can start with, for example, "Select * FROM Tablename" where Tablename should be a valid name of a table or view in your data source.
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Select Statement  
Fig. Step 2: Enter select statement and validate it.
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - preview function  
Fig. Preview your result set to verify your select statement. You can paste the given field names, if required, for primary keys.
STEP 3 - Optionally, enter primary key(s) to use advanced update features
In most cases, your external data would have one or more primary key(s). A primary key of a relational table uniquely identifies each record in the table. It can either be a normal attribute that is guaranteed to be unique (such as Social Security Number in a table with no more than one record per person) or it can be generated by the DBMS (such as a globally unique identifier, or GUID, in Microsoft SQL Server). Primary keys may consist of a single attribute or multiple attributes in combination.
If a primary key is available, then advanced update features can be used. For more information about possible primary keys / field names please take a look into your result set using the Preview button.
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Primary Keys  
Fig. Step 3: Optionally enter primary key(s).
The validation function only validates, whether the entered field name(s) exists in the result set or not. If invalid primary keys are given, the resulting SharePoint list data could become invalid too.
If no primary key is given, any update will cause the whole result set of the given select statement to be re-inserted again. That can cause performance problems, and change notifications per RSS or email will not work as expected.
If valid primary key(s) are given, only modified data will be updated quickly in the background. Change notifications and workflows can be used in this case, to take business actions, if external data records are changed.
STEP 4 - Create your SharePoint list structure and update the data items
To create the list structure required to display your external business data, please click "Add Columns" in the SharePoint section of the settings dialogue. The fields of the result set of the given select statement are added and mapped to common SharePoint list fields automatically. You can create, rename, modify, or delete the column fields afterwards manually. Also you can modify the field types, if required (e.g. to longer text). The mapping of external fields to SharePoint columns is done by internal column names. See the mapping dialogue for help.

Fig. You can use custom mapping to map certain data source fields to certain SharePoint columns. 

For more information about field mapping, supported field types, etc., see our FAQs.

To update the data in your SharePoint list with your external business data, please click "Update" in the SharePoint section of the settings dialogue. As mentioned above, if valid primary key(s) are given, only modified data is updated.
Warning: Updating a SharePoint list that is connected to an external data source can modify its content.

STEP 5 - Enable optional background updates or update using the Action Menu
You can optionally enable background updates. The updates are done automatically by a timer job, once per hour by default. You can modify this interval later on in the "BDLC Configuration List", a list on the root site of your site collection.
SharePoint Business Data List Connector - Background Updates  
Fig. The timer job enables fast background updates of your data items.
For more information and instructions for how to change the timer job options, please see our FAQs.
You can also update the list manually using the additional action menu or ribbon button.
Fig. Update a connected SharePoint list manually using the Action Menu.
For any type of update, you will need to verify that there are proper access rights to the external data source and to the current SharePoint list.
In the evaluation version, the number of managed entries in the BDLC list is restricted to 25 items.
To access external data you have to select a data provider that supports to your data source.
The following data providers are pre-installed with the Windows operating system:
  • ODBC (supports any ODBC data source, e.g. FileMaker, mySQL, IBM Lotus Notes)
  • OLEDB (supports any OLEDB data source, e.g. Access, Excel)
The following 3rd party data providers can be downloaded from their respective vendors, but must be installed to work with BDLC:
  • SQL Server, SQL Azure
  • Oracle
  • MySQL
  • IBM DB2
  • IBM AS/400
  • Any other 64-bit ADO.NET provider
The following data providers are included in the BDLC package. They can be installed with the BDLC installation or manually on each SharePoint server later on.
  • Layer2 Data Provider for SharePoint (CSOM) to access any local SharePoint 2010/2013, Online, OneDrive, etc. 
  • Layer2 Data Provider for SharePoint 2007 to access any SharePoint 2007 data.
  • Layer2 Data Provider for XML to access any XML file or web request via XPath query.
  • Layer2 Data Provider for OData to access any OData source (SAP, Microsoft Dynamics CRM/ERP, and others).
  • Layer2 Data Provider for RSS Feeds to access any RSS data feed (source code sample provided).
  • Layer2 Data Provider for Exchange to any Exchange data on-premises or cloud-based, e.g. contacts, calendar events, tasks, email, and notes.
  • Layer2 Data Provider for SOAP to connect to any SOAP-based web service. 

If you can't find the providers in drop-down, please install manually from the package using instructions in the Provider section of the FAQ.

Please find a selection of supported systems and applications for codeless and no-touch SharePoint data integration via the Layer2 Business Data List Connector here.

To completely uninstall the solution, deactivate the feature "Layer2 Business Data List Connector" on site collection level. Then the configuration list of the BDLC can be removed. To do that, delete the list "BDLC Configuration List" in the root site of every site collection where the feature has been activated.
Note: You can delete the "BDLC Configuration List" of a given Site Collection only if the BDLC feature is deactivated for this the Site Collection.
Finally, start the installation wizard and choose "Remove". All installed files for BDLC will be removed.
SharePoint Business Data List Connector Remove 
Fig. Remove the Business Data List Connector Feature.
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Easy to install the evaluation. Worked as advertised. Purchase was easy. Licence file arrived same day.


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How to buy this product

With the free Shareware Edition you can manage a limited amount of list items. To order a license for the full version please click the shopping cart.

Layer2 Business Data List Connector for SharePoint 2007/2010/2013/2016
License List Price
Free Shareware Edition $0.00
1 Single Server
$1,065.00 Add to Shopping Card
1 Annual Software Assurance
$225.00 Add to Shopping Card
Prepaid Remote Support
1 Hour
$176.00 Zum Warenkorb hinzufügen


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Phone from outside the U.S.:
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More about how to buy see here. For more information about licensing please check FAQs or contact [email protected] directly.

Frank Daske

Frank Daske

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Please note that the 011 exit code must be dialed first for all international calls made from the USA, Canada and Australia.

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