SharePoint features Business Connectivity Services (BCS) capabilities. What those big words really mean is that SharePoint allows you to connect to external data services — those include, but not limited to, .NET services, web services and old regular databases. So, if you wanted to connect to databases, you need to use this feature. Here’s an excerpt from MSDN:
one of the key components of SharePoint 2010, helps you to access external line-of-business (LOB) data.
I ran into a problem when I tried deploying the BDC on my SharePoint Foundation. I found the solution here, Deploy a BDC Model project to SharePoint Foundation 2010 using Visual Studio 2010.
I ran into another problem when trying to view the new list.
Access denied by Business Data Connectivity.
So I followed this link, SharePoint 2010: Howto configure Business Data Connectivity access rights, and it was all set. You can also follow this link for more detailed (with screenshots) version of the tutorial here: Access denied by Business Data Connectivity.
SharePoint is beginning to be a bit more clearer to me and I’m enjoying the ride so far. It’s obvious that SharePoint is a vast sea of possibilities that I’m beginning to scratch the surface of.