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Business Connectivity Services Ending for Microsoft 365

Microsoft plans to block Business Connectivity Services used by Microsoft 365 customers next year, steering them to Power Apps instead, per a Monday announcement.

In essence, organizations using Microsoft 365 services are getting a one-year advance notice that Business Connectivity Services support will end. Here's Microsoft's phase-out schedule for Business Connectivity Services:

  • Oct. 30, 2023: blocking may occur, depending on customer settings.
  • Jan. 8, 2024: blocking starts for new Microsoft 365 tenancies, as well as for "tenants who haven't used the feature since October 30, 2023."
  • Sept. 30, 2024: "Business Connectivity Services is fully retired in Microsoft 365."

What Microsoft means by "fully retired" is that it won't be possible for IT pros to enable Business Connectivity Services via settings or PowerShell. Microsoft is planning to end Business Connectivity Services for all Microsoft 365 tenancies, including government users.

The ending of Business Connectivity Services just applies to SharePoint services used by Microsoft 365 tenancies. Microsoft is continuing to support Business Connectivity Services with its legacy SharePoint Server products.

"This feature [Business Connectivity Services] will remain supported in SharePoint Server 2016 and SharePoint Server 2019 until those products reach their end of support date of July 14, 2026," the announcement indicated.

Business Connectivity Services specifically are part of SharePoint services used by Microsoft 365 tenancies. This SharePoint component centralizes external data used with "legacy business systems" and "SharePoint Add-ins." It can be used to "bridge the unstructured world of documents and people and the appropriate structured data that is locked in external systems," per this Microsoft document description of Business Connectivity Services.

Microsoft 365 users are being encouraged to switch to Power Apps as a replacement for Business Connectivity Services before its end date. Power Apps also has a data platform with connectors for applications, which is called "Microsoft Dataverse," per this Microsoft document description of Power Apps.

Microsoft made its decision to end Business Connectivity Services to simplify customer options for connecting to external data sources and "provide the best experience for these scenarios going forward," per the announcement.

Of course, Organizations facing this coming change will have to pay for it. Power Apps Premium is priced at $20 per users per month, per Microsoft's pricing page, and general purchasing options are described in this document.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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