Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Synergy of SharePoint 2013 and Data Virtualization

It’s a powerful combination: Data Virtualization and SharePoint. SharePoint 2013, the most recent release, supports broader-than-ever opportunities for data integration and data-centric implementations. SharePoint has evolved to include its availability as a service in the cloud and a hybrid architecture, along with its fully on premise model.

The availability of these alternate architectures is a compelling argument for adopting SharePoint for many types of applications beyond the historical content management uses. The rich Business Connectivity Services (BCS) provide a range of features that are data-centric, elevating SharePoint to another level as a platform for applications, dashboards, and BI tools.

As implementations mature, though, certain requirements are coming to the forefront. In particular, the reality of most applications is that data needs are not limited to a single data source, or even a single data source type, which is a limitation of not only SharePoint, but of the third-party vendors that provide connectivity. The potential of the built-in powerful BCS is not fully leveraged, and the end result is either limited scope of applications or the need to build a staging database either on premise or in the cloud, the latter of which brings additional security concerns for many customers.

The ideal use of SharePoint leverages BCS to access data live from the original sources, validates the data, presents it to the end user, or application for action or editing, and pushes changes back to the original sources without ever saving it anywhere. End user security ensures that end users only see or edit data to which they have access.

This is what Data Virtualization (DV) brings to the table, and Stone Bond’s Enterprise Enabler is a full-scope integration platform, with data federation at its core. The single Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for development, testing, deployment and monitoring, is built on and fully extensible with Microsoft .Net. Within a few minutes, one can configure and generate data virtualization in all of the data access modes supported by SharePoint, OData,SOAP, REST, ODBC, ADO.Net, and Enterprise Enabler's Custom Connector.

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