Problems connecting to external data using the BDC

Not everyone is ready to delve into the BDC. Let's face it. It is not going anywhere in it's current state/version. What do we do now? Since I am not a developer, I look for ways to produce SharePoint applications with as much Out-of-box functionality as possible. I have found two tools to connect to SQL databases and use data in SharePoint. These also have tools to create presentable applications, dashboards, and data mining.

HandShake Software- this is best if you know SQL scripting. It's virtually worthless if you are not strong in SQL commands. I'm not strong there, so I struggle with it. Still, an hour or so of struggling with some SQL is still much faster than having a developer write code. Any data mining of SQL databases can be done with this tool. You need to have data, schema, and SQL knowledge.

Quest Software Development Studio for SharePoint. This is a great all around tool that does nearly everything that I need it to. I have been quite happy with it. Licensing is about $15,000.00 USD per front end server. I'm sure you can negotiate that down.

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