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I have a set of external data that I'll be fetching through SQL Server queries. I'd like to bring it in to a MOSS 2007 site. So far so good, I've been reading about BDC, and I'm encouraged.

The problem is that I need it to display in a calendar. The data are currently entered manually into a SharePoint Calendar list and viewed in Calendar view. The goal here is to create a "live" version of that list.

Unfortunately, I don't yet see a no-code way to do this in MOSS 2007. I see that we have External Lists in SharePoint 2010, and I presume that I could display one in a Calendar view, but I'm not seeing how to do this in MOSS at this time.

Has anyone done something like this before?

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1 Answer 1

In MOSS 2007, BDC is still a very limited system. I've used it with a very big project and I ended up with creating my custom webparts for displaying the data.

If you don't want to rewrite the SharePoint calendar webpart, I recommend you to try SSIS approach.

The idea is to use SQL Server Integration Services with special SharePoint Source and Destination from OSS project Microsoft SQL Server Community Samples: Integration Services.

This way, you could connect any external data to any SharePoint list. Actually, it sometimes works even better, than BCS in SharePoint 2010, because External Lists are still very limited comparing to general SharePoint lists.

Internally, SharePoint Source and Destination is using Lists.asmx webservice to operate with SharePoint data, so this will work in both SP2010 and SP2007. A very important thing, that this solution supports SharePoint batch API and has some performance optimizations.

And, of course, another good thing here that it is an OSS project, so you could modify it if you will need to improve something.

They have a very good MSDN article, about how to create a sample SharePoint list, binded to SSIS:

I haven't had a chance to test this solution with a real project yet, but with samples it works great.

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@omlin: Pardon my ignorance: this requirement came up yesterday, and I only learned a few weeks before that we even have a MOSS site. I had previously ignored BDC on the assumption I had no access to it! Are you confirming that there is no "External List" capability in MOSS 2007? Also, are you saying that if we had 2010, we could create a Calendar view for an external list? –  John Saunders May 22 '11 at 19:28
    
BDC in MOSS 2007 provides read-only access to external data, and for displaying it, there are some minimalistic webparts included. SP2010 BCS and External Lists are much better, but still have many limitations, and you cannot use Calendar View with them :( –  Andrey Markeev May 22 '11 at 20:09
    
@omlin: wonderful! Looks like my choices for calendar functionality are "get the data into a Calendar list" (without code), and "create your own calendar page and display the data there (without code)". BTW, did I mention I've been asked for a no-code solution? –  John Saunders May 22 '11 at 20:19
    
There are also some third-party solutions, which possibly can be used here, like Layer 2 BDLC List, or BambooSolutions Calendar webpart, but I don't really have any experience working with them. You can google for details about this option. –  Andrey Markeev May 22 '11 at 20:31
    
John, that's why I recommended you to look at SSIS approach :) Here is another discussion you may find useful, from technet forums: social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/… –  Andrey Markeev May 22 '11 at 20:40

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