Open Data Protocol

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In computing, Open Data Protocol (OData) is an open protocol which allows the creation and consumption of queryable and interoperable RESTful APIs in a simple and standard way. Microsoft initiated OData in 2007.[1] Versions 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 are released under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise. Version 4.0 was standardized at OASIS,[2] with a release in March 2014.[3] In April 2015 OASIS submitted OData v4 and OData JSON Format v4 to ISO/IEC JTC 1 for approval as an international standard.[4]

The protocol enables the creation and consumption of REST APIs, which allow Web clients to publish and edit resources, identified using URLs and defined in a data model, using simple HTTP messages. OData shares some similarities with JDBC and with ODBC; like ODBC, OData is not limited to relational databases.

The community website of OData is a Jekyll instance, open sourced at GitHub.[5]


After initial development by Microsoft, OData became a standardized protocol of the OASIS OData Technical Committee (TC).

OASIS OData Technical Committee[edit]

"The OASIS OData TC works to simplify the querying and sharing of data across disparate applications and multiple stakeholders for re-use in the enterprise, Cloud, and mobile devices. A REST-based protocol, OData builds on HTTP, AtomPub, and JSON using URIs to address and access data feed resources. It enables information to be accessed from a variety of sources including (but not limited to) relational databases, file systems, content management systems, and traditional Web sites. 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 a way that is far more powerful than currently possible, enabling more applications to make sense of a broader set of data. Every producer and consumer of data that participates in this ecosystem increases its overall value."[6]

TC participants include CA Technologies, Citrix Systems, IBM, Microsoft, Progress Software, Red Hat, SAP SE and SDL.


OData is a protocol for the creation and consumption of RESTful APIs. Thus, as common practices of REST, OData builds on HTTP, AtomPub, and JSON using URIs to address and access data feed resources.

Resource identification[edit]

OData uses URIs to identify resources. For every OData service whose service root is abbreviated as http://host/service/, the following fixed resources can be found:

The service document[edit]

The service document lists entity sets, functions, and singletons that can be retrieved. Clients can use the service document to navigate the model in a hypermedia-driven fashion.

The service document is available at http://host/service/.

The metadata document[edit]

The metadata document describes the types, sets, functions and actions understood by the OData service. Clients can use the metadata document to understand how to query and interact with entities in the service.

The metadata document is available at http://host/service/$metadata.

Dynamic resources[edit]

The URIs for the dynamic resources may be computed from the hypermedia information in the service document and metadata document.

Resource operation[edit]

OData leverages the HTTP verbs to indicate the operations on the resources.

  • GET: Get the resource (a collection of entities, a single entity, a structural property, a navigation property, a stream, etc.).
  • POST: Create a new resource.
  • PUT: Update an existing resource by replacing it with a complete instance.
  • PATCH: Update an existing resource by replacing part of its properties with a partial instance.
  • DELETE: Remove the resource.

Resource representation[edit]

OData uses different formats for representing data and the data model. In OData protocol version 4.0, JSON format is the standard for representing data, with the Atom format still being in committee specification stage. For representing the data model, the Common Schema Definition Language (CSDL) which defines an XML representation of the entity data model exposed by OData services is used.

A sample OData JSON data payload[edit]

A collection of products:

 1 {
 2   "@odata.context": "$metadata#Products",
 3   "value": [
 4     {
 5       "ID": 0,
 6       "Name": "Bread",
 7       "Description": "Whole grain bread",
 8       "ReleaseDate": "1992-01-01T00:00:00Z",
 9       "DiscontinuedDate": null,
10       "Rating": 4,
11       "Price": 2.5
12     },
13     {
14       "ID": 1,
15       "Name": "Milk",
16       "Description": "Low fat milk",
17       "ReleaseDate": "1995-10-01T00:00:00Z",
18       "DiscontinuedDate": null,
19       "Rating": 3,
20       "Price": 3.5
21     },
22     ...
23   ]
24 }

A sample OData Atom data payload[edit]

A collection of products:

 1 <feed xml:base="" m:context="$metadata#Products" xmlns="" xmlns:d="" xmlns:m="" xmlns:georss="" xmlns:gml="">
 2   <id></id>
 3   <title type="text">Products</title>
 4   <updated>2015-05-19T03:38:50Z</updated>
 5   <link rel="self" title="Products" href="Products"/>
 6   <entry>
 7     <id></id>
 8     <category term="#ODataDemo.Product" scheme=""/>
 9     <link rel="edit" title="Product" href="Products(0)"/>
10     <link rel="" type="application/xml" title="Categories" href="Products(0)/Categories/$ref"/>
11     <link rel="" type="application/atom+xml;type=feed" title="Categories" href="Products(0)/Categories"/>
12     <link rel="" type="application/xml" title="Supplier" href="Products(0)/Supplier/$ref"/>
13     <link rel="" type="application/atom+xml;type=entry" title="Supplier" href="Products(0)/Supplier"/>
14     <link rel="" type="application/xml" title="ProductDetail" href="Products(0)/ProductDetail/$ref"/>
15     <link rel="" type="application/atom+xml;type=entry" title="ProductDetail" href="Products(0)/ProductDetail"/>
16     <title/>
17     <updated>2015-05-19T03:38:50Z</updated>
18     <author>
19       <name/>
20     </author>
21     <content type="application/xml">
22       <m:properties>
23         <d:ID m:type="Int32">0</d:ID>
24         <d:Name>Bread</d:Name>
25         <d:Description>Whole grain bread</d:Description>
26         <d:ReleaseDate m:type="DateTimeOffset">1992-01-01T00:00:00Z</d:ReleaseDate>
27         <d:DiscontinuedDate m:null="true"/>
28         <d:Rating m:type="Int16">4</d:Rating>
29         <d:Price m:type="Double">2.5</d:Price>
30       </m:properties>
31     </content>
32   </entry>
33   <entry>
34     <id></id>
35     <category term="#ODataDemo.Product" scheme=""/>
36     <link rel="edit" title="Product" href="Products(1)"/>
37     <link rel="" type="application/xml" title="Categories" href="Products(1)/Categories/$ref"/>
38     <link rel="" type="application/atom+xml;type=feed" title="Categories" href="Products(1)/Categories"/>
39     <link rel="" type="application/xml" title="Supplier" href="Products(1)/Supplier/$ref"/>
40     <link rel="" type="application/atom+xml;type=entry" title="Supplier" href="Products(1)/Supplier"/>
41     <link rel="" type="application/xml" title="ProductDetail" href="Products(1)/ProductDetail/$ref"/>
42     <link rel="" type="application/atom+xml;type=entry" title="ProductDetail" href="Products(1)/ProductDetail"/>
43     <title/>
44     <updated>2015-05-19T03:38:50Z</updated>
45     <author>
46       <name/>
47     </author>
48     <content type="application/xml">
49       <m:properties>
50         <d:ID m:type="Int32">1</d:ID>
51         <d:Name>Milk</d:Name>
52         <d:Description>Low fat milk</d:Description>
53         <d:ReleaseDate m:type="DateTimeOffset">1995-10-01T00:00:00Z</d:ReleaseDate>
54         <d:DiscontinuedDate m:null="true"/>
55         <d:Rating m:type="Int16">3</d:Rating>
56         <d:Price m:type="Double">3.5</d:Price>
57       </m:properties>
58     </content>
59   </entry>
60   ...
61 </feed>

A sample OData metadata document[edit]

 1 <edmx:Edmx Version="4.0" xmlns:edmx="">
 2   <edmx:DataServices>
 3     <Schema Namespace="ODataDemo" xmlns="">
 4       <EntityType Name="Product">
 5         <Key>
 6           <PropertyRef Name="ID"/>
 7         </Key>
 8         <Property Name="ID" Type="Edm.Int32" Nullable="false"/>
 9         <Property Name="Name" Type="Edm.String"/>
10         <Property Name="Description" Type="Edm.String"/>
11         <Property Name="ReleaseDate" Type="Edm.DateTimeOffset" Nullable="false"/>
12         <Property Name="DiscontinuedDate" Type="Edm.DateTimeOffset"/>
13         <Property Name="Rating" Type="Edm.Int16" Nullable="false"/>
14         <Property Name="Price" Type="Edm.Double" Nullable="false"/>
15       </EntityType>
17       <ComplexType Name="Address">
18         <Property Name="Street" Type="Edm.String"/>
19         <Property Name="City" Type="Edm.String"/>
20         <Property Name="State" Type="Edm.String"/>
21         <Property Name="ZipCode" Type="Edm.String"/>
22         <Property Name="Country" Type="Edm.String"/>
23       </ComplexType>
25       <EntityContainer Name="DemoService">
26         <EntitySet Name="Products" EntityType="ODataDemo.Product"></EntitySet>
27       </EntityContainer>
28     </Schema>
29   </edmx:DataServices>
30 </edmx:Edmx>


The ecosystem of OData consists of the client/server libraries that implements the protocol, and applications that is based on the protocol.


There are a number of OData libraries available to access/produce OData APIs:




  • Client: Apache Olingo
  • Client: data.js
  • Client: JayData for higher level of abstraction (LINQ-like syntax, support for OData geo features, IndexedDB, WebSQL, integration for Kendo UI, Angular.js, Knockout.js and Sencha).
  • Client: OpenUI5 library maintained by SAP
  • Client (Node.js): JayData for node
  • Client: Breeze


Other languages implemented include:[7]

  • PHP: odataphp provides OData support for PHP clients.
  • AJAX: the ASP.NET Ajax Library for getting to OData.
  • Windward provides OData connection via Microsoft Office templates in either Java or .NET
  • Reporting tool List & Label has a specialized data provider for OData.
  • Blackberry (C++): OData-BB10 Open Data Protocol (OData) library for BlackBerry 10 (BB10) Cascades apps
  • Ruby: ruby_odata library


Applications include:[8]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

OData OASIS Standards[edit]

Committee Specifications[edit]

Committee Notes[edit]