The cloud certainly opens up many possibilities of how your organization can store and use documents, business data and any other type information it needs to run. We’ve been looking at SharePoint Online as part of Office 365 and Windows Azure and can see some exciting possibilities. Of course not all data belongs or will be moved to the cloud, and this is where a hybrid type solution is interesting. The first scenario we looked at was having data stored on premise, while using SharePoint Online – this can be accomplished using the Service Bus component of Azure as we demonstrated with the blog post Mobile Solutions for on Premise Data with Azure Service Bus.
From working on the above blog post we saw how much code has to be written to run on both the on-premise side as well as in the Cloud. Through our code generation work with BCS Meta Man we figured we could do all of the hard work based on the database tables you wanted to work with and create External Content Types around in SharePoint. So we are really happy to announce today an initial beta of something we’ve called Cloud Meta Man. From adding a table to an ADO.NET Entity Framework you can right click and generate:
1, Listener Service that will run on premise and execute calls from the Service Bus and return data
2, Caller Service that you can use to test the Service Bus and your projects are setup correctly
3, An ASP.NET MVC web application that gets the on premise data through the service bus
4, A WCF Service that can present the on premise data to SharePoint Online and be used with an External Content Type through the service bus
5, An Azure project to deploy either/both the ASP.NET MVC application or the WCF Service.
So within 5 minutes you can get your on-premise business data presented to the outside world through Azure Service Bus and Azure Hosting.
In this initial beta of Cloud Meta Man we only support one table or view right now, but the good news is this could be a table in an on premise SQL Server, Oracle or ODBC database.
To get started you can download the Cloud Meta Man beta from here:
And check out the Getting Started Blog post written by Dmitry:
We are really keen to hear any feedback, ideas and thoughts – please send them through to firstname.lastname@example.org