Data Provider for OData: Specifications for Business Data List Connector

 

The Layer2 Business Data List Connector for SharePoint can be used to connect almost any external data sources to native SharePoint lists and libraries, even via the OData protocol as used by many applications, e.g. Microsoft CRM/ERP systems. This FAQ gives the full specifications of the Layer2 Data Provider for OData that is fully included in the product.​​​​

 

 

The Layer2 Data Provider for OData can connect data sources via the OData protocol. The Open Data Protocol (OData) is a Web protocol for querying and updating data. OData is being used to expose and access information from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, relational databases, file systems, content management systems and traditional Web sites. Normally an OData request is presented in single Url. Layer2 OData provider splits the select portion and the data collection Url portion and present them as a connection string and a separate select statement.

 

Select Statement:


A Select statement  for the Layer2 Data Provider for OData refers to the Query Options section of an OData URL which is specified to control the amount and order of the data requested. All OData services MUST follow the query string parsing and construction rules defined in OData documentation section and its subsections.

 

 
Connection String:

  • URL

    This is the Service Root URL for the OData source. The service root URL identifies the root of an OData service. The resource identified by this URL MUST be an AtomPub Service Document (as specified in [RFC5023]) and follow the OData conventions for AtomPub Service Documents (or an alternate representation of an Atom Service Document if a different format is requested).
    OData: JSON Format specifies such an alternate JSON-based representation of a service document. The service document is required to be returned from the root of an OData service to provide clients with a simple mechanism to enumerate all of the collections of resources available for the data service This information is mandatory.
  • Collection

    The resource path section of an URL identifies the resource to be interacted with (such as Customers, a single Customer, Orders related to Customers in London, etc.). The resource path enables any aspect of the data model (collections of entities, a single entity, properties, Links, service operations, etc.) exposed by an OData service to be addressed.
  • Authentication

    This setting specifies how the Cloud Connector authenticates against the OData source. It can be one of the following:

    Anonymous
    This is the default value and used to connect anonymous resources.

    IECookie
    If an authentication cookie has been created using the cookie manager, this authentication method can be configured to authenticate by using the authentication cookies. (See The Cookie Manager for more details)

    Windows
    You can use Windows AD authentication to login. Please provide user name and password as well, e.g. "username=myDomain\myUserName; password=myPassword".

    IntegratedWindows
    Implements a Windows integrated authentication. Current users account is used. Please take care about the Windows Timer Service account in case of background updates. All accounts used must have appropiate access rights to the external data source.

Layer2 Data Provider for OData: Sample Connection Strings

 

  • url=http://services.odata.org/Northwind/Northwind.svc/;Collection=Products

Layer2 Data Provider for OData: Sample Select Statements

 

Layer2 Data Provider for OData: Step-by-Step introduction

 

  • Many applications today can expose data via OData web requests. The provider can be used to connect to this type of data entity and replicate to native SharePoint lists, e.g. SharePoint 2010 / 2013 on-premise.
  • Please note that the Business Data List Connector modifies only changed data in case of modified OData results - not all items in list. Change notifications, alerts and workflows can be used as usual. The content of additional unmapped columns are kept while updating items in SharePoint.
  • Please note that this provider can work bi-directionally, if required. It can write-back changes, e.g. done in a SharePoint List (or an offline copy of that).

Layer2 Data Provider for OData: Step-by-Step introduction

 

A step-by-step introduction how to setup the Business Data List Connector for SharePoint using the Layer2 Data Provider for OData to connect to a sample OData source will be given here soon.

Layer2 Data Provider for OData: Next Steps

 

Register, download and evaluate the free shareware edition of the Business Data List Connector today here.

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