If you’re developing using the Open Data, or “OData”, protocol then you already know that BlackBerry provides support through our WebWorks development kit. You probably don’t know that we just released an open source OData library for C++ and provided a Cascades sample app to help kick-start your project. If you already know what OData is then just skip ahead a few paragraphs for the link to this library. If you’re not familiar with OData then let me introduce you to a great new Restful data access solution. OData is a REST-based protocol, with both a server and client implementation that lets you make CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) calls for Data.
That’s great… but why do I need this?
Well if you have ever built an app that has to talk to a data source (database, file system, etc.), there are certain things you have to do each time. You typically have to build some middleware to talk to the data source, then you have to offer up that data over http (you do want this to be REST, right?), then you have to build your client, parse and use the data, and so on. Well some engineers at Microsoft got tired of repeating this over and over, and decided to make a uniform way to describe both the data and the data model. You could then apply this to any data source, and in return the client could use a standard way of interacting. OData was born. They have since put the spec under the Open Specification Promise so that anyone can build servers or client tools Royalty free.
Today, OData is supported by SAP, IBM, Microsoft, Citrix and many others. I first came across it as the default server side technology that SAP supports for their ERP system using SAP Gateway, SAP Mobility Platform, SAP HANA and others. If you look around your corporate environment, you might be surprised at how embedded it has become in such a short time.
You can now head over to GitHub to download the library in order to include in an existing project, as well as a full cascades sample. We are putting it up as open source, so you are free to use it as you wish in projects of your own.
Don’t forget to visit the Enterprise Development pods at BlackBerry Live & BlackBerry Jam from May 14-16. Also, be sure to check out session JAM59 – Integrating Enterprise Apps with the Open Data Protocol.
If you happen to be going to SAP Sapphire Now, which is also in Orlando from May 14-16, come by the BlackBerry booth and I will be available to discuss the OData library in person. See you there!