- Microsoft plans to retire Business Connectivity Services (BCS) for Microsoft 365 customers in September 2024. IT admins will be able to block BCS features in their tenants starting from October 30, 2023.
- The end of BCS support applies only to Microsoft 365 customers, with SharePoint Server 2016 and SharePoint Server 2019 remaining unaffected until July 14, 2026.
- Microsoft recommends organizations to transition to Power Apps as an alternative, offering a modern, cloud-first external data connectivity experience.
Microsoft has announced its plans to bid farewell to Business Connectivity Services (BCS) for Microsoft 365 customers in September 2024. After that date, IT admins will no longer be able to enable BCS through Settings or PowerShell commands.
Business Connectivity Services is a feature that lets customers connect SharePoint solutions to external data sources like web services, databases, and custom applications. The service enables users to read data from external sources and integrate it into SharePoint lists, libraries, and workflows.
Microsoft plans to use a phased approach to retire Business Connectivity Services for Microsoft 365 customers. The company will let IT admins set a property to block BCS capabilities in their tenants on October 30, 2023. Moreover, the blocking will start the features for all new Microsoft 365 customers and organizations who haven’t used them in the past few months on January 8, 2024.
Microsoft will completely retire all Business Connectivity Services features in SharePoint on September 30, 2024. These include external lists, external columns, external content types, as well as Business Connectivity Services hybrid solutions.
Microsoft mentioned that the decision to end support for Business Connectivity Services has been made to improve the user experience for enterprise customers. It should also help to simplify customer options for connecting to external data sources.
Microsoft recommends organizations to switch to Power Apps instead. It has a data platform that offers connectors for several Microsoft 365 apps and services. However, organizations will need to pay $20 per user per month for Power Apps Premium.
“Although there’s no direct migration from Business Connectivity Services to Power Apps, it supports a modern, cloud-first external data connectivity experience. Power Apps can integrate with a variety of Microsoft 365 services and external data sources through its extensible connector technology, including SharePoint, Dynamics 365, SQL Server, and others. It also supports integrating with on-premises data sources through the on-premises data gateway,” Microsoft explained.
Microsoft notes that the end of Business Connectivity Services support only applies to SharePoint services used by Microsoft 365 customers. It will continue to work with SharePoint Server 2016 and SharePoint Server 2019 until July 14, 2026.