Let's hope i'll be clear enough. Ok.

I have a request to create a silverlight webpart, that'll be 'fed' with data that comes from a third server. This external server can't (security issues) be accessed directly from the webpart, the silverlight should make a request through the sharepoint server, who will make the request to the external server, get the data and send to the webpart.

I've read about using BCS, but i also heard about making a web service as a service provider to make the requests to the external server.

I would like to know what is the best (most correct) approach to accomplish that.

Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


The best approach depends on the scenario or requirements.

For e.g. if the data you want to consume from external server is a database or web service, then BCS may be a good choice( BCS provides WCF and SQL connectors).You can have the data in External lists and consume it in Silverlight via Client Object Model or a service.

However, if your data source is a different system (Microsoft Exchange for e.g.), then using BCS will require to built custom connector which is not that easy. Also, if you want more flexibility then web service approach can be better.

Also, if Security and Performance aspects are concern for you, they may be deciding factor on the best approach.

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