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SharePoint 2010 Dev Center Ramps Up, Adds BCS Resources

Microsoft yesterday announced that the SharePoint 2010 Getting Started site is live, along with Business Connectivity Services (BCS) documentation.

The new SharePoint 2010 site features 10 instructional modules such as "Creating Silverlight User Interfaces" and "Creating Dialog Boxes and Ribbon Controls" for SharePoint 2010, which is set for public beta next month and final release sometime around the middle of next year.

Developers have long complained of poor integration between SharePoint and Visual Studio, and Microsoft earlier announced Visual Studio 2010 will include features such a SharePoint Explorer to ease using of SharePoint project templates and the ability for developers to map image URLs to SharePoint environments, among many others.

On the BCS side, program manager Lionel A. Robinson said in a blog post that Microsoft will soon post information on getting current Web services ready for BCS. He also said the BCS team is working on a series of short instructional videos.

BCS, previously the Business Data Catalog in SharePoint Server 2007, is part of SharePoint Foundation 2010, SharePoint Server 2010 and Office 2010. The features and functionality differ in each platform.

BCS lets developers create applications that integrate external data with Office and SharePoint applications, using tools such Visual Studio 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010, according to the new documentation on MSDN. The external data could come from a variety of sources, such as databases, Web services, .NET assemblies and custom applications.

This means users working in Office applications such as Word, for example, will no longer have to leave the application to work with information in customer resource management (CRM) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, Microsoft said.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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