OData v4.0 and OData JSON Format v4.0 approved as OASIS Standards

Ram Jeyaraman, co-Chair of the OASIS OData Technical Committee, and Senior Standards Professional, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

Brian Benz, Senior Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

I am excited and proud to share the news that Open Data Protocol (OData) version 4.0 and OData JSON Format version 4.0 have been approved as OASIS Standards by OASIS (an open standards consortium). Congratulations to the OASIS OData Technical Committee for achieving this important milestone. Here’s the official announcement from OASIS.

This is the result of the collective handiwork of many talented people across many organizations (Axway Software, Blackberry, CA Technologies, Citrix Systems, IBM, Microsoft, Progress Software, Red Hat, SAP AG, SDL, and many others) who cooperated in a truly remarkable fashion to accomplish the common goal of creating a standard open data protocol to create and consume data services on the Web.

Here are some recent Blog posts from SAPodata.org, and John Willson who are sharing what they have to say about this achievement.

Also, Socrata (which specializes in making public data available on the cloud), who just recently released the Socrata Open Data Connector for Microsoft Office 365™, had this to say:

“Socrata is thrilled to congratulate the OASIS OData Technical Committee on approving OData version 4.0 as an OASIS standard. OData continues to play an important role in accelerating the release and re-use of public data, which provides the fuel for more responsive government service, revitalized economic activity, and more active citizen participation in community life."
- Safouen Rabah, VP Product, Socrata

There are a growing number of applications of OData around the world. See the comment from the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute and the comment from CESI (China Electronics Standardization Institute) about the relevance of OData v4.0 as an OASIS Standard for Big Data and Smart City applications.

What is OData

OData is a Web protocol for querying and updating data that provides a uniform way to unlock your data and free it from silos that exist in applications today. OData is the equivalent of ODBC for the Web. It allows creation of data services on the Web and consuming from them using REST principles and URL conventions. OData represents an important step in the direction towards a more open, programmable web, and is especially important in our rapidly growing cloud-computing marketplace.

Support for OData

Since its inception, support for OData has been growing. There are many existing implementations of earlier versions of OData. For example, SAP supports OData in a number of their products and services. Microsoft supports OData in several products and services as well, for example, Windows Azure, Power BI for Office 365, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft SharePoint, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, to name a few.

Support for OData v4.0 is emerging. Microsoft has recently released versions of core OData v4.0 libraries for .NET, an OData Client for consuming OData v4.0 services, and support for building OData v4.0 services using a prelease library in the Web API, and there are more on the way.

Support for building OData v4.0 compliant clients and servers in Java and JavaScript is also underway in the open source Apache Olingo incubator project at the Apache Software Foundation, with committers from several companies including SAP, Tirasa, and Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. All going well an official release is planned later this year, in the meantime, have a look at the JavaDoc, Tutorial, or the Release Documentation to get started.

Technically Speaking

OData v4.0 uses REST-based data services to access and manipulate resources defined according to an Entity Data Model (EDM). OData v4.0 OASIS Standard consists of three parts:

1. Part 1: Protocol defines the core semantics and facilities of the protocol.

2. Part 2: URL Conventions defines a set of rules for constructing URLs to identify the data and metadata exposed by an OData service as well as a set of reserved URL query string operators.

3. Part 3: Common Schema Definition Language (CSDL) defines an XML representation of the entity data model exposed by an OData service.

OData v4.0 defines two formats for interaction:

1. The OData JSON Format 4.0 , now an approved OASIS Standard, which uses the JavaScript Object Notation media type, including serialization of spatial data according to the GeoJSON format.

2. The OASIS OData Atom Format 4.0 , an approved OASIS Committee Specification, is based on the Atom Syndication Format.

The OData v4.0 OASIS Standard also includes schemas, ABNF components, vocabulary components, and the OData Metadata Service Entity Model.

Interested in Joining the OData Community?

Here are some resources to get you started in using or implementing the OData protocol or contributing to the OData standard:

All of us at MS Open Tech are looking forward to continued collaboration with the OData community. Every producer and consumer of data that participates in the OData ecosystem increases its overall value. I’m grateful for the unique opportunity to serve as a co-Chair of the OASIS OData Technical Committee and help lead this dynamic group to drive OData to where it is today as an open data interoperability protocol. We look forward to more independent implementations of OData v4.0 in the future and expect the adoption to grow as the OData v4.0 OASIS Standard is adopted by organizations