Microsoft, IBM and Others Move OData to OASIS

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-05-24

Microsoft, IBM and Others Move OData to OASIS

Microsoft, IBM and several other companies have joined forces to move the Open Data Protocol, also known as OData, to the OASIS standards body.

As enterprises look for greater access to data across multiple platforms and devices, and cloud computing also plays a part in driving the need for a common approach to expose and consume data, OData represents a key opportunity.

With that as a backdrop, Citrix Systems, IBM, Microsoft, Progress Software, SAP AG and WSO2 are proposing an Open Data Protocol (OData) Technical Committee (TC) in the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). Citrix, EastBanc Technologies and Viecore FSD, among many others, have recently demonstrated OData applications, and hundreds of interested parties are registered on the open community mail list.

Built on standards such as HTTP, JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) and AtomPub, OData is a Web protocol for unlocking and sharing data€”freeing it from silos that exist in some software applications today, Microsoft said in a press release. The OData protocol supports serialization in multiple popular formats, including JSON and Atom/X M L. With OData, developers are able to build cross-platform Web and mobile applications.

The OData protocol has evolved through an open process on the public OData site during the past three years. There is a strong ecosystem of OData producers, consumers and libraries€”several of them open source€”including Java, PHP, Drupal, Joomla, Node.js, Microsoft .NET, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, DB2 and Informix, iOS, Windows Phone 7 and Android. Community feedback and broad implementation experience have influenced development of the OData specifications, which will be contributed to the OASIS OData TC for standardization.

€œThe interest in OData has grown exponentially,€ said Laurent Liscia, executive director of OASIS, in a statement. €œWe€™re very pleased to see the community come together in OASIS to standardize the OData protocol using the latest Web tools€”JSON and AtomPub€”in a RESTful environment. This will facilitate interoperability across implementations.€

Moreover, since its introduction, OData has reached into all sectors€”from enterprise to consumer, from government to internal systems.

OData Reaches Into All Sectors

One example is SAP NetWeaver Gateway technology, which exposes SAP Business Suite software to clients on diverse platforms through OData. In addition, Microsoft customers can use OData to access SharePoint lists, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket, to name a few. Furthermore, IBM offerings such as WebSphere eXtreme Scale, DB2 and Informix also support OData.

OData is helping transform Open Government initiatives to publish government data for public use. For example, the cities of Regina and Medicine Hat in Canada and the National Government of Colombia have launched open-data catalogs using the OData protocol. OData is also making access to data easier for U.K. citizens following a decision by the government to release Met Office weather information to the public.

Microsoft will be contributing seven OData specification components, currently under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise, to the OASIS OData TC. IBM, Microsoft and SAP will also contribute four OData extension proposals.

€œTo accomplish the goal of open data for the open Web, we have seen a push for support to enable access to and use of data across platforms, applications and devices,€ said Jean Paoli, president, Microsoft Open Technologies, also in a statement. €œTaking steps to standardize OData through OASIS allows developers to act on the data in a more well-defined way.€

€œEliminating barriers in how data is accessed and shared is increasingly important for enterprise growth. IBM has a long history of supporting open standards and, especially, open standards for data access,€ said Angel Diaz, vice president of Software Standards at IBM. €œThe movement of the OData specification into OASIS gives the standards community the ability to partner and help deliver pragmatic improvements for today€™s enterprise data access requirements.€

€œAt WSO2, we have seen strong customer demand for OData and its lean, REST-based approach to data access, which is important to us and our customers,€ said Paul Fremantle, co-founder and CTO of WSO2. €œOData richly complements our burgeoning efforts around data services, API management, JSON and AtomPub, and the move toward standardization at OASIS will only enhance that synergy.€

OData offers a natural synergy with WSO2€™s platform for harnessing data as Web applications and services. The WSO2 platform has strong support for data services and API management, including the WSO2 Data Services Server and the WSO2 API Manager (now in beta). The WSO2 technology stack also already supports many of the core technologies in the OData approach, including AtomPub and JSON.

€œThe OData protocol provides a standard mechanism for consuming enterprise data with a wide range of end-user experiences, devices and platforms via SAP NetWeaver Gateway,€ Reiner Hammerich, senior vice president of product architecture at SAP, said in a statement. €œAs a contributor to the OData specifications, SAP will work with OASIS on further standardization and broader adoption of the protocol.€

€œOData is an excellent protocol for the Citrix system software,€ said Martin Duursma, vice president of Citrix Labs and CTO office chair, in a statement. €œOData has already been implemented in one new product, and others are in progress. The rich set of OData filters, data types and extensible functions more than meet the requirements of our products and enable us to develop services with the high levels of data integration and cross-platform interoperability that are required by our business.€

€œProgress DataDirect€™s core mission is to provide standards-based connectivity to any on-premises or cloud data source, from any application or device,€ said Michael Benedict, vice president of product management at Progress Software, in a statement. €œWe believe the OData standards will drive industrywide consensus and adoption of the next generation of data accessibility and action.€

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