We have an IBM DB2 database which stores our documents as BLOBS in binary format.

I've read about Remote Blob Storage(RBS) and FILESTREAM but I'm still puzzled if its possible to hook up our IBM DB2 database to Sharepoint and be able to load documents and save documents back to the database.

Any advice is welcome on how to go about this.


Yes it is possible. (based on readings, I never done it myself)

You will need to create WCF web services and then use them as external content in your BCS to create an external list in your SharePoint environment (which I assume is SP 2010).

Or you can utilize StreamAccessor as explained in article below,

Accessing BLOB Data from External Systems Using Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint Server 2010

Here's some code samples if you want to create a .NET assembly instead of WCF web services,

SharePoint Server 2010 Sample: Access BLOB Data from External Systems Using BCS

Source for more information

A really good slide on Data sources to clear your concepts about external data sources in SP 2010

How To step by step guide for setuping external list in SP 2010: SharePoint 2010 External Content Type With CRUD Operations

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  • If there is a service bus layer involved how is best to go about connecting to the BUS? – topcat3 Apr 17 '13 at 11:45
  • what do you mean by "connecting" – Muhammad Raja Apr 17 '13 at 12:26
  • like making a connection with our java proxies to sharepoint and using our service bus to open/save documents to the DB2. thanks – topcat3 Apr 17 '13 at 13:03
  • 1
    I think you can interact to service bus using .NET & WCF services, check this post out brentdacodemonkey.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/…, you can't directly use service bus, you will need to create a WCF service which will be interacting with service bus, AFAIK – Muhammad Raja Apr 17 '13 at 13:11

step by step guide:

In this walkthrough we will demonstrate how to integrate DB2 database with Microsoft SharePoint 2010 through ODBC and display DB2 data on SharePoint 2010 page. In order to do that we will describe how to create a new external content type by means of BCS Meta Man.

1.Prerequisites: 1.Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

2.Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional or higher 

3.BCS Meta Man 

4.Download and install “IBM Data Server Runtime Client (for Windows 32-bit)”
http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=4020&uid=swg21385217 on a
machine where BCS Meta Man runs 

5.Download and install “IBM Data Server Runtime Client (Windows AMD64 and Intel EM64T)”
http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=4020&uid=swg21385217 on a
machine where SharePoint 2010 runs 

2.Open Visual Studio 2010

3.Add a New Project

4.Expand the “SharePoint” node, select “Lightning Tools (2010)” node and then the “BCS Meta Man” project type

5.Give your project a name i.e DB2BCSMetaManDemo and click “OK”

6.On the next dialog box, enter the name of where you want to deploy your model, and click “Finish” button

7.If prompted, click “Trial” on the licensing dialog

8.To show the “BCS Meta Man Data Source Explorer” we need to enable it from the Menu item, this new window can be docked so it doesn’t get in your way

9.Click the “Add Connection” button to show the “Connection Dialog”

10.Select “ODBC Server” as Data Source type, enter DB2 ODBC connection string (for example it can be “Driver={IBM DB2 ODBC DRIVER};Database=SAMPLE;Hostname=cygnus;port=50000;Protocol=TCPIP; Uid=Administrator;Pwd=12345;Trusted_Connection=false;”), enter double quotes as left and right delimiters and “?” as parameter symbol and click “Connect” button

11.The Data Source Explorer will now be populated with your DB2 data

12.We will be working with the ADMINISTRATOR.”DEPARTMENT” table, to add it to the Model , just drag it from the “Data Source Explorer” onto the “Diagram”

13.When you drop the table you will be shown the following dialog, we should choose “Database , click “OK”

14.Accept the default entity name by clicking “Next”

15.Accept the default “Identifiers” by clicking “Next”

16.Accept the default 3 methods to be created, click “Generate” (The default 3 methods are: “Finder” – Returns all items, “Specific Finder” – Returns a single item by identifier, “IdEnumerator” – Returns just the Identifiers for all of the items )

17.Press F5 to deploy, this will load up your SharePoint Page once deployed

18.Add a new External list by selection on SharePoint page “Site Action”->“More Options”->“External List”

19.Click on the icon to show the available External Content Types

20.Select our DB2BCSMetaManDemo.ADMINISTRATOR_DEPARTMENT External Content Type, click “OK”

21.Click “Create”

22.Your External System data from DB2 database is now displayed in the SharePoint External List

Yes it is possible! just a little hassle to get it setup using BCS Meta Man


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  • I've been googling for so long and haven't found this. thank you so much – topcat3 Apr 17 '13 at 11:22
  • If there is a service bus layer involved how is best to go about connecting to the BUS? – topcat3 Apr 17 '13 at 11:45

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