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So I have a client who has arranged for their SharePoint environment to be housed and managed to by an external entity (not my contracting group) and we have limited access to administrative configurations.

The constraint I have is this, any personally identifiable information cannot be housed on the main SharePoint environment. The client was planning on using an internal SQL server and storing all of that data on that SQL.

The issue I am having is the configuration of that, in conjunction with the designing of workflows to write to/read from that external SQL source. I have found some plugins that may enable that, but the client is insistent that we cannot use any of these plugins, and must use what they have on hand.

Is this possible? For workflows to write to/read from a SQL server, as well as call lists from that external SQL. Is this a native capability for SharePoint 2010?

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Out of the Box you can configure External SQL Server with SharePoint.

For that you can use Business Connectivity Services (Also you can use Secure Store for storing credentials required to connect to SQL)

Once this is done you can create External Lists. This will bring back data from SQL and make it available in SharePoint. You can define what all operation you need to enable like Read/Add/Update/Delete etc.

For the workflow part your requirements are not clear.

  • Workflows will need to write to the SQL, and that data will need to be called by Workflows for routing calculations. – Thomas May 4 '15 at 18:31
  • Take a look at this - msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff394479.aspx – Amal Hashim May 4 '15 at 18:33
  • Thank you. Additionally would the configuration of BCS be done at the server level. My account is strictly a design level account, and the client will not elevate it farther. – Thomas May 4 '15 at 18:34
  • Yes you need Farm Account to configure these. This is purely how it should be done in SharePoint way. Another option is you can create a .Net WebService and expose the SQL data. Then in SharePoint you can use jQuery Ajax to query the data etc. – Amal Hashim May 4 '15 at 18:36

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