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or an external datasource? Can that be set up in SP Designer 2010

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A BCS .Net connector built in Visual Studio can connect to any data source you can read/write from code. When using file-based data sources be aware of write contention issues. No - you can't do this from SharePoint Designer.

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What about a BDC Metadata Model using ODBC as Scott Hillier suggests on MSDN Forums? I've done this in 2007 without code, but haven't tried in 2010. It could avoid VS, but I'm not sure if it is done through SPD in 2010.… – Tom Resing Jul 7 '11 at 16:50
SharePoint Designer only supports SQL Server or WCF as a data source for an external content type, but a BDC Model can certainly accomplish the data connection to an Excel file with or without code binding - good link Tom. – Chris Beckett Jul 8 '11 at 6:03
Cool. Is the process of uploading a BDC Model similar to 2007? I haven't tried it yet. – Tom Resing Jul 8 '11 at 12:47

To the best of my knowledge you cannot achieve this using the BCS. The BCS will help you to read via a DB or a WCF or a .net Shim, but won't allow you to directly read an excel file as is.

If you really want to do that via an Excel file, then you may need to read it using code and write a BCS service that updated the external lists.

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Note really, however depending on what you are trying to do why dont you use the Excel Services REST API for some operations?

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You can use BCS feature in Microsoft Excel Add-in. As i know,the Microsoft Business Connectivity Services (BCS) feature in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 provides many ways to consume data from an external system, and use it when offline or connected. You can create add-ins, task panes, and other Microsoft Office extensibility features that can help you to interact with external data by using the user-friendly Office client applications.

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