Good afternoon all of Business Data integrators! J

Thank you to everyone who attended my web cast on the BDC in MOSS 2007, translated that means: The Business Data Catalog in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. J

A special thanks to Chris Avis for helping out with questions you kept him busy. Before I get to the questions, here are some good resources for you:

To watch a stream of the web cast click here: Integrating the Business Data Catalog and Business Applications Using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

Fantastic SharePoint Blog: Arpan Shahs Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/arpans/

Some virtual labs on MOSS 2007: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/traincert/virtuallab/office.mspx

Without any more delay here are the questions.  Please comment or email if you need more information.

Question: How do you create the application definition file?
Answer: There are a couple of resources that you can find this information at:

The MSDN web site: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms563661.aspx has some great information. Also please check out this MVP's blog for even for more information. http://www.sharepointblogs.com/tbaginski/archive/2006/07/27/9541.aspx

For the example of the XML file I used for Adventureworks take a look here: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms497036.aspx

Question: Can You Build a Performance Dash Board without using the BSM (Bus, Score Card Sever with SharePoint with this feature today?
Answer: Through the MSDN and SharePoint sites, we expose the SharePoint development environment. You can develop your own solution using those tools if you wish.

Question: Can you create the app definiton file (xml) for a database from SSRS?
Answer: I don't believe you can directly but you could do this with a query to SQL.

Question: Can the BDC go against an Oracle Database?
Answer: In a sense we really are not going against the database but the application, although I am not sure if you could create the XML file that would work properly.

Question: Are there VPC images available for download that have a configured OFFICE 2007 server with Office SharePoint 2007 and a client with all the Office 2007 client tools installed?
Answer: No they are not, but there are some virtual labs on MOSS 2007, you can find them here: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/traincert/virtuallab/default.mspx

Question: My Site's search box only shows "This Site" as a context, not "All Sites".
Answer: That should be a default scope (presuming you have multiple sites), take a look here for more information: http://technet2.microsoft.com/Office/en-us/library/a56532d7-9814-4a0c-a308-f2369eaf30d71033.mspx?mfr=true

Question: Is Business Data Catalog a default feature of MOSS 2007, or is it an add-in?
Answer: It ships with MOSS -- http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms563661.aspx

Question: Can BDC be used to connect to SharePoint Web Services (lists.asmx) to get data from SharePoint lists to display in a BD web part on another SharePoint site? (Since SharePoint doesn't allow sharing lists across sites)
Answer: I was unable to find any information on this one, I would take a look at Arpan Shah's blog mentioned above.

Question: Does adding data to custom list also add the data back into the database it came from?
Answer: No, that is were you will set the actions up for the items and to put data back in the database you will do one of two ways, either with an action that redirects you the application or with an InfoPath form.

Question: Can an entity consist of multiple database tables or is there a one to one mapping
Answer: Yes. To make a crawled property available for the Search experience, you must map it to a managed property. Mapping the crawled properties to managed properties makes them available for Search queries and makes them appear in Advanced Search and search results. You can map multiple crawled properties to a single managed property or map a single crawled property to multiple managed properties. If a managed property has multiple crawled properties mapped to it, and a document contains values for more than one of the crawled properties, the order in which the properties are mapped and their priority determine the managed property's value... "

In search settings, click on Meta Property Mappings then, on the left hand menu you can switch between viewing managed properties and crawled properties.

So go through and create Managed Properties, and associate them to crawled properties detected when crawling your BDC. What's cool is that DataTypes are recgonised ! So if you define an integer or boolean or datetime as an attribute of a BDC entity, you create a managed property of that type. A cool feature is the ability to map more than one crawled property to a managed property.