CSM can connect to an External Database so that data can be imported or linked with CSM or viewed/updated in the External Database. An External Database is a third-party database that integrates with CSM by importing or linking data. When connecting to an External Database, decide:
Imported data and linked data are both accessed using a created External Connection; however:
Note: Typically, import data that should be maintained in CSM, and link to transient or reference data that can be maintained outside CSM. However, there are pros and cons of both imported and linked data.
The figure shows a high-level diagram of how CSM shares data with an External Database.
The integration between CSM and the external system is done at the database level. To qualify for integration, the database must be a SQL Server or have an OLE DB driver. Most of the major databases (Oracle, DB2, Access, etc.) have OLE DB drivers.
Note: Consult a database vendor to acquire an OLE DB driver. First determine if the server is 32-bit or 64-bit because different drivers are required.
To help share/manage data in an External Database, CSM provides the External Connection Manager and several Wizards (External Connection Wizard, External Data Wizard, and Import External Data Wizard).
Note: CSM can also import Comma Separated Values (csv) data. There are some limitations to importing .csv data. Data cannot be updated, it can only be deleted and new data imported, or import the new data on top of the existing data.