Easy-to-use Business Data Connector
Very nice tool, just connected data from sql server, various xml files (static on some fileserver) and an excel sheet, now I'm writing on a webpart to display the data from these (now 4) Lists in one place (lookups on the xml data lists, linking excel data with sql data, awesome...)
Installation was simple, just rollout the setup, no deployment with stsadm needed.
Now create your list you wish to fill with the external data. A standard generic list will be created, in its listsettings you can find the bdlc settings. Fill in connection strings (for sql server i use net-string first, but errors occured, so i take oledb string which worked), select command, create the liststructure an update the content, with these 4 steps your new list is ready configured an filled with data. Each step will be validated in background, so you usually dont create crap lists ;)
There's a list named "BDLC configurationlist", there you can change the update interval for the timerjob. Thats it, ready to use just like an ordinary SPList (so, it IS an ordinary SPList ;))
* site admin can configure connection to database via settings list
* allows various kinds of connections (sql server, excel, files, sap...)
* uncountable possibilities to work with these lists further on
* connection settings stored encrypted in a config list.