Thursday, 10 January 2013

Oracle to SharePoint List without the need for Lucky Pants

Before I write about a fantastic discovery for linking any version of Oracle data into a SharePoint List I think I should apologise for the lack of recent Blogs.

Yes, it has been far too long since my last SharePoint Blog, but I aim to publish more frequently in 2013. Especially as this is my 10th Anniversary Year. I have been involved with SharePoint now since I first became a fan in 2003. Yes, like the other consultants at Office Talk we have now worked on SharePoint 2003, SharePoint 2007 (when they called it MOSS), SharePoint 2010 and now the exciting new SharePoint 2013.

So why have my SharePoint blogs disappeared over Christmas? It is not as some of you might think that I have gone into hiding as the Villa defence has gained more holes than in a lorry load of polo mints. No, lack of blogs is probably more to do with a case of Festive Man Flu and a touch of fictional book publishing. To find out what books I have been writing please visit, oh and tell all your friends.

Back to the challenge of getting Oracle information into SharePoint. Now, at first this might seem easy 'Out of the Book' using the BDC, but the more you look into it the more challenging it becomes especially if you have a version of Oracle older than 11. It really is time to get your developers hat on. Even SharePoint Designer refuses to help you. Instead you will need Visual Studio and quite a bit of knowledge. It is nearly as difficult as getting the Villa to defend a corner. So after telling your manager you can import data from Oracle straight into the new super SharePoint you are left frantically Googling to try to find help. But fear not because Office Talk have the answer.

Office Talk are resellers of the brilliant SharePointboost products and one of these is a real hidden gem. It is called simply 'SharePoint Data Connector'. It just links the tables entries in Oracle, or SQL, with the entries in a SharePoint list. So simple and can be configured in minutes. All you need is the logon details from the database. It can even go both ways. You can set 'Database to SharePoint List' or 'SharePoint List to Database'. With the Oracle though you will need to install a client copy of Oracle to the SharePoint server, but this is painless and doesn't require any downtime.

So we have solved the challenge of Oracle to a SharePoint list. Now, if only fixing the Villa defence was that easy. I am still confident that the famous Aston Villa will be at Wembley in February though.