Monday, September 18, 2006

ODC vs. BDC

As discussed during our last meeting, SharePoint 2007 has many new features. And as with any new feature, some confusion is bound to be included. Two of those new features are ODC and BDC. To help clear some of the confusion around these 2 items, here's a brief explanation of the two.

ODC (Office Data Connection) is used to connect Excel Services to a specific database, without making the user remember userID, password, DB Name, server name, etc. Instead, all these items are stored in an XML format file with the extension name .ODC. The .ODC file can be created by using the Excel client to create the file, then upload the file to a Data Connection Library. Once uploaded, a user simply refers to the ODC file, where all connection string parameters are stored. The data connection can then be used by various Excel Web Parts to display the data and KPIs. To read more about the ODC, go to http://blogs.msdn.com/excel/archive/2006/02/16/533865.aspx

BDC (Business Data Catalog) is another method used to connect to a database. The BDC file is also in XML format. The key difference is that a BDC file also holds the query statement so it connects and retrieves the data. Once the data is retrieved, the BDC can be connected to 1 of 5 BDC web parts. To read more about the BDC, go to http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms563661.aspx

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