OData Protocol: The Basics and Beyond for Mobility Developers

  • by Rehan Zaidi, Senior SAP Technical Consultant
  • February 3, 2015
Rehan Zaidi explains the essential concepts for developing on the SAP Mobile Platform and, in particular, how to work with OData.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article you will learn:

  • How to access resources via Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs), with particular emphasis on the terms service root URI, resource path, and query string options
  • The structures of the OData service, the service document, and the metadata document, and how to access them via URIs
  • Details of operations used within the OData arena
  • Details and examples of OData query options, including $filter, $select, $orderby, $top, $inlinecount, and $format
Key Concept
Open Data (OData) Protocol is a protocol based on HTTP, XML, and Atom (the combination of the Atom Syndication Protocol and the Atom Publishing Protocol). OData is proprietary to Microsoft but is extensible. SAP has come up with OData for SAP that provides additional information on the exposed data.

The new release of the SAP Mobile Platform emphasizes the use of Open Data (OData) Protocol/services for exposing SAP data consumed by mobile applications. The OData approach was used for online applications. However, from SAP Mobile Platform 3.0 on, there is now support for offline applications. In addition, it can be used in the development of both hybrid as well as native applications. This makes OData an important topic for SAP mobility development.

The aim of this article is to give you an understanding of the OData Protocol and what you need to know about OData before starting mobile application development in an SAP system. I use the Firefox browser and the Representational State Transfer (REST) Client Add-on for illustrating Create, Read, Update, and Delete (CRUD) operations. Throughout the article, examples are included from the products and categories collections exposed at the sample services on the OData.org web site.

Rehan Zaidi

Rehan Zaidi is a consultant for several international SAP clients (both on-site and remotely) on a wide range of SAP technical and functional requirements, and also provides writing and documentation services for their SAP- and ABAP-related products. He started working with SAP in 1999 and writing about his experiences in 2001. Rehan has written several articles for both SAP Professional Journal and HR Expert, and also has a number of popular SAP- and ABAP-related books to his credit.

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