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SAP OData Services

Communication between different computer systems is an integral part of modern business applications. The OData services are SAP Netweaver Gateway’s solution to allow for seamless data exchange. Whether it is in between two SAP systems or with arbitrary external systems, like webservers or smartphones.

The OData service is an integral part of the SAP NetWeaver Gateway and is one of the building blocks of SAP Fiori. By building one’s own business applications with an OData service, the best practices for security will be enforced and the interface will be kept up-to-date.

OData is an industry standard, which itself is built upon other industry standards. The network layer uses HTTPS, which ensures the traffic is encrypted and can easily traverse the internet. The interface itself is stateless, which allows for easy caching and robustness against network disruptions. The data is transmitted in either JSON or XML data formats, which allows for straightforward decoding by the recipient.

The OData interface is not just read-only. The interface has standard methods for Creating, Updating, Reading and Deleting data records. And the data security and authorization are checked by the underlying SAP permission systems.

Another big bonus is the extensive support for metadata. By adding this supplementary data, it becomes most easier to interpret and present data. This is useful when deciding on how to present the results to the end user, but also allows for the other consuming system to make decisions about data persistence.

Netweaver Gateway allows for fully custom defined OData and REST interfaces. Most often this is not necessary though, as the services is already comprehensive. With SAP HANA and Core Data Services, exposing a fully-fledged OData service is as easy adding one line of code.

To summarize, OData services is the a straightforward way to securely and robustly exchange data with your SAP installation.