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OData Moves Forward

I like tinkering around with OData. And since a certain industry giant has been pushing open JavaScript development over its own vastly superior technologies, I've been trying to wrap my mind around that language using my old friend OData. The jQuery getJSON function helps working with OData, but it's still JavaScript.

(Don't get me started on JavaScript. Actually, I am started, so send me your reasons for hating the language and I'll put them in a future "10 Reasons to Hate JavaScript" post. Should be easy enough.)

Anyway, back to the point: OData is marching smartly forward, with version 4.0 having this week been approved by the OASIS international standards consortium. It has come a long way since being introduced by industry giant Microsoft in May 2011.

Specifically, OData 4.0 and OData 4.0 JSON Format have been approved as standards, with OData 4.0 ATOM being advanced and headed for official sanction.

"OData provides a way to break down data silos and increase the shared value of data by creating an ecosystem in which data consumers can interoperate with data producers in powerful ways, enabling more applications to make sense of a broader set of data," explained OASIS in its announcement.

To me, that reads: "OData is an easy way to access all kinds of interesting public and private data feeds and present the information in cool visualizations and such." You can get lost for hours just exploring the astounding amount of data generated by the federal government, such as, "Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey," for an example that just happened to catch my eye.

All kinds of goodies are packed into v4.0, like Entity Data Model improvements, better support for distributed services, dynamic schema and an asynchronous pattern for long-running data requests, to name just a few.

Microsoft earlier this month got a jump on v4.0 support, with core .NET libraries, an OData client and a pre-release WebAPI library.

"This is an incredibly exciting time for Open Data, as products and libraries are quickly rev'ing to support OData v4.0," said Microsoft's Michael Pizzo in his announcement that listed all of the goodness I mentioned here and more. "Support for building OData V4.0-compliant clients and servers in Java, as well as consuming OData V4.0 from JavaScript clients, is already underway in the open source Apache Olingo incubator project."

Yi Ding yesterday provided some status updates on the libraries that support v4.0. Ding noted that Java libraries will be part of the Olingo project, due to be completed in the second quarter of this year. A core JavaScript library, Data.js, will also be part of that project. And work is being done to accommodate C++ developers, with a preview client library expected to be available this month. Stay tuned.

Forget this OData stuff. Tell me why you hate JavaScript. Comment here or drop me a line.

Posted by David Ramel on 03/21/2014

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