The Open Data Protocol (OData) is a web protocol for querying and updating data. Odata provides developers with a way to unlock data and free it from silos that exist in applications today.
OData is consistent with the way the web works, including URIs for resource identification and an HTTP-based REST-ful interface for interacting with those resources (just like the world wide web). Because of this commitment to core web principles, OData enables a new level of data integration and interoperability across a broad range of clients, servers, services, and tools. OData uses standards such as HTTP, AtomPub, and JSON, and supports standard HTTP verbs as well as REST-based querying and URIs for resource identifiers.
Based on overwhelming feedback from the community, Microsoft announced in May 2012 that they, along with SAP AG, IBM, Citrix, Progress Software and WSO2, would propose an OData TC (Technical Committee) in OASIS. The OASIS OData Technical Committee had its first face-to-face meeting in July 2012, and is now working toward publication of an OASIS OData standard, which will further accelerate industry adoption.
OData is being used to expose and access information from a variety of sources, including but not limited to relational databases, file systems, content management systems, and traditional web sites.
Windows Azure offers a growing number of OData-based APIs that enable data portability, functional interoperability, and management interoperability. Examples include:
The OData ecosystem is rapidly growing, with new data source (producers) and tools (consumers) appearing regularly. A good summary of the state of the OData ecosystem in May 2012 can be found in Chris Woodruff’s post “The Great Ecosystem of the Open Data Protocol (OData).”
In addition to Windows Azure’s support for OData, many other Microsoft products support OData, including consumers such as Microsoft Excel (via the free PowerPivot add-in) as well as OData producers such as Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
For additional services that expose their data and applications that consume data exposed using the OData protocol, see the following list of adopters: