Ever since we’ve been using Data we’ve been religious. Religious about the way we represent it and equally religious about the way we access it. Be it plain old SQL, DAO, ADO, ADO.Net and I am just referring to religions in MSFT world. A peek outside and I’d need a separate book to list out the Data faiths.
Various application areas in networked computing are converging under the HTTP umbrella with a plausible transition to purist HTTP and in turn REST fuelled by the Web2.0 storm. It was time the Data access faiths also gave up the religious silos wrapped around our long worshipped data publishing and access methods.
OData is the secular solution we have at hand today. It is an open protocol for sharing data. It can be exposed via REST. It is Open as in the Microsoft Open Specification Promise. This allows virtually everyone to build Data Services for any runtime.
OData is one of the key standards for Data publishing/subscribing on Microsoft Codename Dallas. For us .Netters OData data sources can be exposed/consumed via WCF Data Services and the process is very simple, elegant and intuitive.
Applications exposing OData Services
IBM Web Sphere
Microsoft SQL Azure
Windows Azure Table Storage
SQL Server Reporting Services
Live OData Services
Open Science Data Initiative
Open Government Data Initiatives
Northwind database exposed as OData Service
and many others
Some may prefer to call it commoditization of data, unification of data access strategies or any other sweet name. I for one will stick to my secular definition. :)
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