What is OData?
OData is short for Open Data Protocol, a web system that allows for open sharing of data. With this web-based protocol, users can inquire about a particular data and make updates on it with fewer restrictions as the protocol allows for interoperability between a variety of applications and services. OData is also developed to work with existing web technologies like HTTP or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, JSON, and Atom Publishing Protocol. With a particular application, one user will have access to information on the web, while another user on another service can also make updates to the information available through OData.
The OData specifications now work under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise but may become standardized at some future time to allow for other users, especially those developing open source applications, to take advantage of OData’s protocol and features. As for Microsoft, many of its products and services already implement OData and these include Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft Excel 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2, Windows Azure Storage, Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1, and Microsoft’s .NET Framework. Developments are ongoing for other Microsoft based products and applications.
And since OData is developed in a way that is similar to how the internet works, it also features an interface based on HTTP to allow for easier identification and interfacing of resources. This also means that the protocol works across different platforms and applications resulting to a more efficient data integration and inter-operability functions between varieties of users, servers, tools, clients, file systems, relational databases, and applications. Another good thing about the OData web protocol is that the interface is uniform whether you are constructing URIs or using HTTP in service interaction. This means client libraries may be reused along with UI widgets. So if one is using .NET Framework or Silverlight for example, libraries for both may be used again and can interact with another Data Service.