TunnelPoint: The BDC for SharePoint in the Cloud

Written by Jaap Vossers. Posted in Deploying SharePoint

review5 (Rating: 5 out of 5)
TunnelPoint is a hosted service provided by Zevenseas. It connects external services (for example SOAP web services) to SharePoint List data in your SharePoint Site. TunnelPoint uses the built-in SharePoint SOAP web services exposed by your SharePoint environment to read and write list data. Really, all you need to do is log in to TunnelPoint using your TunnelPoint account and use the web interface provided to configure which external services should map to which lists in your SharePoint site.

Once you have completed your configuration, TunnelPoint will periodically consume the service and update field values in your list. The whole idea being that you do not touch your server and you do not write a single line of code.

tunnelpoint1

Currently, TunnelPoint offers several services to connect with, one of which is a Currency Conversion service. I decided I would try that one out. My goal was to have a list of currency conversions in my hosted WSS site, and have TunnelPoint periodically perform the conversion for me based on the latest exchange rates.

I performed the following steps to achieve my goal:

1. Registered with TunnelPoint.com to get a Beta user account

2. Setup a SharePoint site within my hosted WSS environment.

3. Created a user and added it to the owners group of my newly created site

4. Logged in TunnelPoint.com and registered my SharePoint site by supplying its url and account credentials to be used by TunnelPoint to access the web services of my SharePoint site.

5. Using the TunnelPoint web interface, I added the Currency Conversion service and configured it to point to the site I registered earlier and configured it to create the list for me.

6. Manually added list items to the newly created list in my SharePoint site. These list items can be seen as tasks to be processed by TunnelPoint.

7. Wait for TunnelPoint to operate on my list

This is what my list looked like before TunnelPoint started doing its work:

tunnelpoint2

Now, after a few minutes, TunnelPoint started to wake up and decide it should update my To Amount fields by applying the currency conversion (using the external service) for each list item.

After TunnelPoint did its job, my list looked like this:

tunnelpoint3

It all works like a charm and the fact that I got this to work on my hosted WSS environment where I have limited access to (I can’t even deploy a Feature to it) opens so many doors for so many people.

In my example I only connect to the Currency Conversion service, but Zevenseas offers several other services like, SMS, stock quote, short url and web site preview + more services to be added later.

On a final note, to make TunnelPoint even more powerful I would like to suggest to Zevenseas to provide a generic service, where you can configure a SOAP web service url and define mappings between list fields and web service parameters. That way the pool of services to connect to instantly grows from several, to… a lot more!

Thumbs up Zevenseas! 

 
Jaap Vossers
Author: Jaap VossersWebsite: http://blog.vossers.com/
Jaap is a Dutch independent SharePoint developer, currently living and working in London. He focuses on development solutions based on C#, ASP.NET, SharePoint object model, Advanced OO techniques, Workflow & Web Parts.

Comments   

 
# Prasanna 2009-11-06 10:24
Sounds like RSSBus (http://www.rssbus.com/products/sharepoint/) is another tool like this one.
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