SharePoint 2010: Storing Relational Data

SharePoint 2010: Storing Relational Data

Introduction


Is it better to keep relational data in a database or migrate it into a custom list? Do you need a hybrid solution where the data is in an external relational database, but is presented, in the form of external lists, in the SharePoint UI (User Interface)?

This article outlines some of the benefits of each different strategy.

Feature Comparison



Benefit Database SharePoint List/Library  External list
Handles complex data relationships
such as triggers, real constraints (not the approximation of that in SharePoint)
 + -
Basic support
(http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff798514.aspx)
 0
Handles large numbers of items ++ + +
 Handles transactions + -
(but can be implemented to some degree: http://www.loisandclark.eu/Pages/transactions.aspx)
0
Is easy to use - + 0
Accommodates workflows  - + 0
Basic support
(http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sharepoint2010general/thread/426a0bd7-e7cf-496c-9303-76b6f8475ed1/)
Includes a standard interface - + +
Can easily add binary data - + 0
Handle versions and show/extract history  - + -
 Modify/customize UI with standard tools (SPD 2010) - ++ +
Easier playing with files - + 0
Can easily reuse columns definitions (incl. inheritance) – Content Types - + +
Easy integration with Office client applications – Excel export and Document information panel, using standard UI - 0 +
Web Services access  - + +
Easy to integrate with legacy apps (assuming not every app knows how to deal with SharePoint) + - +
Architecture that is simple to understand + 0 -
Supported capacity  ++ + +
(http://sharepointdragons.com/2011/12/05/sharepoint-capacity-planning/)
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Comments
  • Ed Price - MSFT edited Revision 22. Comment: Title casing and tags

  • How about a key to explain +, ++, 0, etc.?

    Thanks!

  • Matthew Yarlett edited Revision 28. Comment: Set fixed width on table and add a border

  • Yeah! Got the table formatted at last!

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