BDC Meta Man connecting to multiple external data sources
The Business Data Catalog (BDC) empowers users of SharePoint 2007 Enterprise to connect to external data systems such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Access, and SAP. Once connected, data can be displayed in SharePoint through the Business Data Web Parts, Searched through the Enterprise Search, and used within SharePoint Lists and Libraries.
To connect to the external data you must author an Application Definition File (ADF) using an XML editor such as Microsoft Visual Studio.
bdc meta man is a windows application that authors the Application Definition File for you for data sources such as Microsoft SQL, Oracle, DB2 ,MySQL, Informix and more.
To build a connection to the external data source, you simply drag and drop the Tables, Views or Stored Procedures that you wish to connect to. You can create an association with BDC Meta Man between the two Entites to provide one to many relationships allowing you to display related data between web parts in SharePoint.
Finder, Specific Finder, and IDEnumerator methods can be created simply using the Entity properties. These are required methods allowing data to be displayed, searched and opened by each record. Without BDC Meta Man, the methods would need to be authored using XML.
The Business Data Catalog in SharePoint 2007 Enterprise is read only. However, this is mainly a restriction on the Business Data Web Parts. Using BDC Meta Man, you can use the product to build two Write Back Web Parts. An Insert and an Update Web Part can be placed on SharePoint Pages allowing you to build a solution providing Read, Insert and Update functionality.