Friday, May 27, 2011
Every organization seems to have more data every day. But just storing data isn't enough--there also needs to be some way for diverse software to access that data. The goal of the Open Data Protocol (OData) is to allow this, providing a consistent way for many kinds of software to access many kinds of data.
Originally part of a project code-named "Astoria", OData is now a useful protocol in its own right. And while it was originally created by Microsoft, OData is used today by others as well--it's not Microsoft-only. To help people understand this technology, I've written a Microsoft-sponsored introduction, available here
, that describes what OData is and looks at some of the most important scenarios for using it.
OData borrows from several other technologies, including REST, Atom/AtomPub, and JSON, which makes it easier to understand and use. It also adds significant value, however--it's not just a pastiche of existing work. If you care at all about how data is accessed--and you should--understanding the basics of OData is probably worth your time.