For those of you who will be attending SharePoint Conference 2014 (www.sharepointconference.com), I’m going to be teaching a half-day course after the three main days with Bill Baer and some other folks on SharePoint Hybrid features. This is firming up to be a pretty good session from a presenter standpoint, because we’ll have folks from SharePoint Marketing (Bill), other members of the SharePoint Product Group (Luca, Steve W. and Neil), the Microsoft Technology Center in Irvine (Ali), and our lead / best escalation engineer for SharePoint hybrid (Manas). That’s a whole lot of hybrid expertise in one location so if you have a chance to attend check out the “SharePoint Server 2013 and Office 365 Hybrid” session in the listings at http://www.sharepointconference.com/content/pre-post-days.
One of the things that I’ll be covering in that session is getting the BCS hybrid features to work. At a high level, the goal of the BCS hybrid features are to allow you to access your on-premises line of business data from within your Office 365 tenant. As I’ve started scraping together some content for this topic, I realized that I did not see a really comprehensive “end-to-end” walk through of how to make this work; it’s really a series of documents and blog posts. So…while getting a sample up and running in the lab I made a list of all the different resources I pulled info from to get things going. In this post I’m just going to do an outline of what those steps and resources are; if there is need / demand still, then once we’ve delivered on the SharePoint Conference I may try and flesh this out with pictures, examples and more detailed instructions. For now I’m hoping you can just follow the steps in order, track down the links I provide to pull together the data you need, and use that to build your BCS hybrid applications.
1. Find / Create an OData data source: See 2nd half of http://blogs.technet.com/b/speschka/archive/2012/12/06/using-odata-and-ects-in-sharepoint-2013.aspx
2. Publish your OData endpoint (https): you need to have an HTTP/HTTPS endpoint from which your OData content is accessible
3. Create an External Content Type based on your OData data source: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/office/jj163967.aspx
4. Make your ECT file “tenant ready”: See 1st half of http://blogs.technet.com/b/speschka/archive/2012/12/06/using-odata-and-ects-in-sharepoint-2013.aspx
5. Create a connection to your on premises services: Follow the tips described here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/speschka/archive/2013/04/01/troubleshooting-tips-for-hybrid-bcs-connections-between-office-365-and-sharepoint-2013-on-premises.aspx
6. Upload your model (.ECT) file to o365 BCS: Follow the rest of the tips here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/speschka/archive/2013/04/01/troubleshooting-tips-for-hybrid-bcs-connections-between-office-365-and-sharepoint-2013-on-premises.aspx
7. Create a new External List and use the BCS model you uploaded: once your model is uploaded successfully you can create a new External List in o365 and use that to work with your on-premises LOB data.
Let me know how far this gets you, or the trouble spots you might run up against and we’ll see what we can do to address them as time permits. If you’re coming to the SharePoint Conference hopefully I’ll get a chance to meet up and talk with you there.