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I would like to manipulate an sql table via web interface in sharepoint the same way I use datasheet view for SharePoint lists. I would be interested in any kind of a non-commercial solution. Or would the only possiblity be to open the sql table in a client (ms office) app?

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You can do it via BCS. Check this out :

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BCS seems not support datasheet view(…). What I'm after is the excel-style datasheet view where you can, for example, copy-paste cells to/from Excel multiple rows at a time. – thomius Mar 1 '12 at 12:32

Very Simple soltion connect the sql table to sharepoint using BCS you can do this easily in sharepoint designer. your interface will then be the same as a list

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BCS doesn't seem to support the datasheet view (see above). – thomius Mar 1 '12 at 12:36

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