OData: Oh its Data….. 

Posted by Manish Kungwani Monday, April 05, 2010 5:12:36 AM

So what is OData? OData is the new protocol for data exchange strongly supported by Microsoft

OData is the primary reason for the success of Microsoft Dallas. If you are not aware of what Dallas is, check an earlier post : Microsoft Codename Dallas on my blog. A fundamental principle of Dallas is that all data providers will have to provide an OData endpoint for the data that they are offering. This will allow for the data to be available in 1 common format from multiple providers & can be easily consumed by developers to develop data-driven applications.

An OData service is not meant to just expose your database to the web, it means exposing specific entities with as much or as little granularity as you like. You can intercept queries, make custom behaviors (including JSONP as OData has native JSONP support), make custom Service Operations (they can include query strings, of course), and much more. OData allows complete CRUD operations on the data.

Now, the point is that if the data from different providers (maybe in different formats too) is available under 1 roof in 1 simple way, everybody should be able to use it ….. For this to happen, SDKs and toolkits for the various platforms & languages are being developed. As per OData.org, currently, you can use OData with ADO.NET Data Services, WCF Data Services, PHP, Java & SharePoint too… Also, you can use the Microsoft AJAX Library & Silverlight with ADO.NET & WCF Data Services to consume OData APIs. A list of all SDKs can be found here. An SDK for iPhones has also been developed.

A small note: The data from an Odata service can also be loaded into Excel using Power Pivot, if the need be …

In my next post I will outline the procedure to build an OData API.

OData.org gives you all the information you can use on the protocol.

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