OData is the acronym for Open Data Protocol. This is a HTTP-based protocol for data access among compatible software systems.
OData completely defines the structure, communication and data exchange. It is based on the advantages and rules of REST. Although not all developers like the strict rules, they still have their advantages. Because the OData interfaces are always structured in a consistent way, it is always possible to address and use them in the same way.
The $filter query option allows clients to filter a collection of resources that are passed to the database by the URL. These will probably be already known to most people from the SQL or .NET world, namely: orderby, top, select, skip, format and filter. Comparisons such as Contains, StartsWith, EndsWith or operations such as Floor, Ceiling or Round are also supported.
The URL can be used to execute complex database queries with OData. For each URL, one of the following fixed methods is used: Get, GetAll, Add, Update or Delete.
All users: http://host/service/User
All users, sorted by name: http://host/service/User?$orderBy=Name
ID, name and date of birth of all users: http://host/service/User?$select=ID,Name,DateOfBirth
All users called Anna: http://host/service/User?$filter=contains(Name,‘Anna‘)
User with ID 27: http://host/service/User(27)?$select=Name
The Simplifier and the OData Connector
To create an OData Connector in the Simplifier, follow these three steps:
Switch from the Simplifier Dashboard to the tile “Connectors”. Click on the plus icon to add a new connector.
A new screen opens, in which you have to define the connector type. Enter a unique name and select the connector type, in this case “Connector OData”. The connector is set to “Active” by default.
Specify the time in seconds for the connector request to be executed. After this time has passed, the request is canceled.
Finally, you have to define the result type of the connector request. This can be either a “Single Result” or “Multiple Results”.
In the second step, you can either create a new login method or select an existing one. To select an existing one, click on the corresponding empty field on the left side. If you create a new login method, you can choose between User Credentials and the Single-Sign-On method.
This step can be skipped if no authentication to the backend interface is necessary.
In the third step, you need to add data to the connector. The specific data is added to the OData connector via JSON.
With a click on Review, the connector is created and you can address it via the Data Object in the Process Designer in your application. For information on how to address a data object in the Process Designer in general, see here.