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How can I use SharePoint to talk to a MS SQL Server?

Posted on 2010-11-12
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
Hi,

I want to use my SharePoint site to talk to a MS SQL Server to do some customized forms.  My users are going to use those forms to view data in the database or submit new entries.

I'm new to the SharePoint, but I don't think this could be very difficult.  Any resource would be appreciated.  Thanks.

Tom
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Question by:pisceswzh2010
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6 Comments
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:quihong
ID: 34122516
There are many ways for SharePoint to "talk" to SQL, but it all depends on what you are trying to do exactly.

What version of SharePoint are you using? WSS 3.0, MOSS 2007, SP Foundation or SP 2010? Do you have Enterprise Features (eCALs)?
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Author Comment

by:pisceswzh2010
ID: 34122557
I'm using SP2010.  

I'm not sure what is Enterprise Features (eCALs).

What I want to do is to design a table view of the data in the MS SQL Server and my users are going to be able to read/add/update/delete records in the database using the SharePoint interface.

Thanks.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:quihong
ID: 34122801
Here is more info on the different version of SharePoint - http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/en-us/buy/Pages/Editions-Comparison.aspx

Any reason why you need to use SQL? Is this an existing database that you're trying to tap into from SharePoint?

SharePoint is very good at displaying data from external datasources such as your line of business application, but once you start talking about update/delete it can get complex and will quickly get into custom development.

A few options:

1) Custom Web Parts as a interface to the data
2) Custom Application Pages (basically .NET webapp built on top of SP)
3) Business Connectivity Services
4) If you are license for SharePoint 2010 Enterprise, Access Service.

My recommendation would be to look into BCS (part of SharePoint Foundation). It now has read/write capabilities. If you are licensed for SP Enterprise and the data doesn't need to reside in SQL (and you have Access experience), consider Access Services. If the data doesn't need to be in SQL (not existing database) consider storing the data directly in SharePoint List and using SP natively to edit/update.





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Author Comment

by:pisceswzh2010
ID: 34122893
My SharePoint version is SP2010.

The reason why I want to use SQL server is that SharePoint is really not a good place for data storage.  If we just store data in the SharePoint lists, it might cause us some long term problem as we are experiencing now.  MS SQL Server would provide us with better data import/export features.

For now, I don't think we have the manpower to really do custom development.

Can you provide me with more information about BCS?  Where can I get started?  Thanks.
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LVL 16

Accepted Solution

by:
quihong earned 1500 total points
ID: 34123084
Its always a balance...

If you don't want to do custom development, then you're pretty much stuck with native SP List as the "database" and the native SP GUI (or InfoPath) as the front end interface and maybe some workflows/event handlers for business logic.

BCS is going to requirement development work also. Don't want to imply that its not needed.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ee819133.aspx


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Author Closing Comment

by:pisceswzh2010
ID: 34406768
OK
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