Microsoft is closing down yet another older service for its Microsoft 365 business customers. Today, the company revealed that Business Connectivity Services (BCS) features, which allow companies to use data from external sources will be retired in SharePoint in Microsoft 365 in just under a year from now.
According to a blog post, BCS will be shut down on September 30, 2024., That means those users won't be able to access external lists, columns, and content types by using BCS, nor will they be able to use BCS hybrid solutions.
Microsoft says that companies who want to continue to access the features that were provided by BCS in Microsoft 365 should think about using the Power Apps platform instead. It stated:
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.
The company did add that this will not affect how BCS works with Sharepoint Server. It will continue to work with both SharePoint Server 2016 and SharePoint Server 2019 until they reach their end of life date, which won't happen until July 14, 2026. Microsoft also doesn't plan to retire BCS features in SharePoint Server Subscription Edition at this time.
Before the retirement date, Microsoft will start to block BCS features "based on the tenant property set by the customer" in just a few weeks, on October 30, 2023. On January 8, 2024, Microsoft will begin to block BCS features for new Microsoft 365 tenants by default, along with any tenets who have chosen not to use those features since October 30, 2023.