Today, one of my colleagues reported an issue with Business Connectivity Services (BCS )  in Office 365.

Microsoft support’s response has been:

  • SharePoint On-Premises environments are dedicated environments where as SharePoint Online is a shared environment, hence it would be slow as compared to SharePoint On-Premise.
  • Since the SharePoint Online List has to fetch data from the External Database, it would take some time for it to fetch the data & save the changes to the External Database.

So I added a post to the Microsoft Tech Community site and I found soon that I’m not the only person with this issue.

So where does this leave us when we want to connect to non-SharePoint databases within Office 365?

The option is (I have not found many alternatives):

  • Create an OData web service (you would likely already develop this when using BCS solution anyway)
  • Create an app or use the new SharePoint Framework to connect to the web service.

I have now create a user voice for you to vote on:

While I did some more testing, I also found that the width of the tables used by BCS is very important. It seems that when you use tables that exceed 10 columns that the performance very rapidly reduces. So if you have to use BCS then you might want to consider limiting the size of the tables used.