Faster data connectivity with OData

OData is a standard protocol for creating and consuming data. The purpose of OData is to provide a Representational State Transfer (REST)–based protocol for Create, Read, Update, and Delete (CRUD)–style operations. OData applies web technologies such as HTTP and JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) to provide access to information from various programs.

OData helps you focus on your business logic while building RESTful APIs without having to worry about the approaches to define request and response headers, status codes, HTTP methods, URL conventions, media types, payload formats and query options.

OData provides the following benefits:

  • One gets standard based faster data connectivity with OData.
  • It lets developers interact with data by using RESTful web services.
  • It provides a simple and uniform way to share data in a discoverable fashion.
  • It enables broad integration across products.
  • It enables integration by using the HTTP protocol stack.


Who supports OData

All the major vendors including SAAS application providers like SalesForce, SAP, IBM, NetSuite supports OData. Microsoft – As the original creator of oData, Microsoft has a large number of tools supporting oData. You can use oData datasets in Excel, automatically refresh this data, and generate graphs on the data. For example,  Dynamics AX introduces a public OData service endpoint that enable access to Dynamics AX data in a consistent way across a broad range of clients.

OData allows mixing and matching clients and data sources. This includes custom applications, cloud storage, content management. Various client applications including web and mobile applications, BI tools can act as OData clients.

How OData works

An OData service exposes data via the OData data model, which clients access with an OData client library and the OData protocol. OData data model, provides a generic way to organize and describe data and also provides faster data connectivity.

Example Data Models that can be aggregated with OData

According to OData Extension for Data Aggregation Version 4.0 , aggregation to OData without changing any of the base principles in OData has two aspects:

  1. Means for the consumer to query aggregated data on top of any given data model (for sufficiently capable data providers)
  2. Means for the provider to annotate what data can be aggregated, and in which way, allowing consumers to avoid asking questions that the provider cannot answer.

It’s important to notice that, while each of these two aspects might be valuable in its own right and can be used independently of the other, their combination provides additional value for clients.

Below is an example data model that highlights  related entity types that are groupable. For example, these can be arranged in four hierarchies: Product hierarchy , Customer hierarchy ,  Time hierarchy, SalesOrganization based on the recursive association to itself.

This supports use cases like “Which customers bought which products?” and quantitative question: “Who bought how much of what?”




Benefits of using OData as part of your Cloud integration strategy

OData service life cycle requires activation and maintenance of OData service, maintaining of models and services.

Having a hybrid integration solution like CastIron takes care of the data transformation and agrregation and security of data and exposes data in a uniform OData format.