In today’s data-driven business landscape, organizations are constantly seeking efficient and streamlined approaches to manage their data and ensure seamless integration across systems…

This is where SAP OData comes in!

By providing a standardized and open protocol, SAP OData allows for secure and standardized communication between SAP systems and external applications, paving the way for seamless data sharing, enhanced productivity, and accelerated decision-making.

This blog post will discuss the key features and capabilities of SAP OData and outline the main advantages of creating OData Services within an existing SAP system, as well as where our team of SAP consultants can come in to help leverage web technologies to manage, maintain, and transfer data more efficiently.

Let’s dive in!

Understanding OData Services

OData (Open Data Protocol) is an OASIS standard that defines a set of best practices for creating, managing, and consuming RESTful application programming interfaces (REST APIs), enabling more efficient data management and transfer across applications and systems.

With OData services, resources can be identified using Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), defined in a specific data model, published by web clients, and edited using HTTP methods and messages.

In a client-server architecture, communication protocols like HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secured) help transport messages over a web network that connects the client and the server.

Representational State Transfer (REST) APIs define a specific set of rules that outline how HTTP and HTTPS should be used to exchange messages in XML or JSON format and facilitate communication between the server and the browser.

What is OData Service in SAP?

SAP OData is a standard web protocol used to help customers manage, query, and update data present in SAP. Using the ABAP structure and SEGW transaction code, companies can apply and build on web technologies to provide access to data from multiple different external systems, devices, and applications.

Built upon web technologies such as HTTP, REST, and JSON, SAP OData acts as a communication layer that enables seamless data access and integration. It follows a client-server architecture, where the client application makes HTTP requests to the server, which responds with the requested data in a structured format.

By leveraging standardized data models, metadata, and query capabilities, SAP OData simplifies the process of exposing and consuming data, making it easier for developers and business users alike to access, manipulate, and share information across diverse systems and platforms. Whether it’s retrieving data from SAP modules, updating records, or performing complex queries, SAP OData offers a flexible and scalable approach to managing data and driving business processes efficiently.

A well-defined OData service makes it easier for applications to focus on business logic, without having to worry about the individual API approaches needed to define status codes, HTTP methods, query options, and more. This way, companies can easily build and manage OData services and handle the architecture and complexity of their underlying business model.

Key Components of OData in SAP Systems

The open standard interface in SAP OData connects all software, devices, applications, and programs from non-SAP systems to solutions within the SAP landscape.

Here are the main components that make up the SAP OData architecture and help users initiate and manage data transfer between systems:

1) OData Model

This component involves the representation of the data from existing SAP systems and external applications in a single format. It uses the Entity Data Model (EDM) to consolidate and combine all the required information from each data source in a single, unified platform.

2) OData Client Library

OData Client Libraries make it easier for client applications to access data through predefined OData protocol. With the Client Library, users can create OData batch requests, access important data and client requests, and simplify the development of new SAP applications.

3) OData Protocol

SAP OData Protocol helps users create OData services, make service requests, and manage their most important SAP data more efficiently and effectively. The Open Data Protocol leverages RESTful interactions and other web services to transfer data across the SAP backend system using JSON or XML formats.

4) OData Service

OData Service provides the service layer of the OData model, exposing data endpoints and allowing access to data using both the OData Client Library and OData Protocol. This component also helps users convert data source formats into standard web protocol formats that users can easily leverage.

Main Principles to Consider When Using OData

SAP OData supports the creation and description of data models, edits and queries data according to each model, and improves semantic interoperability between existing systems. OData also provides a uniform way to describe the data and the data model, improving accuracy and efficiency across the board.

Here a few key design principles to follow when creating OData services in SAP:

  • Maintain compliance with predefined guidelines for REST services
  • Create basic OData services and add new functionality or complexity as needed
  • Address common service implementation and integration cases
  • Leverage extended functionality to support interactions between all entities and entity sets
  • Choose mechanisms that operate on multiple different data sources, not just relational data models

Connection Between OData and ODBC

Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) is a standard API used to access database management systems that operate independently of other database or operating management systems, making it easier to add connections between DBMS and application layers and translate queries into readable instructions.

ODBC is similar to OData in that OData provides middleware between producers and consumers to understand, manage, and communicate data and offers a uniform way to consume data across the board. And, because OData is based on HTTP RESTful services, it is considered the ODBC of web based services.

How Does OData Work with the SAP Gateway?

SAP Netweaver Gateway is one of the leading SAP products that relies on the OData Service in SAP to connect important data and services across the entire SAP landscape.

The SAP Gateway Client is designed to help users connect their devices, platforms, and environments to their existing SAP solutions and facilitate more seamless integrations between systems.

OData allows users to perform updates and queries on data in formats like Atom, JSON, and XML. This makes it easier for companies to ensure a uniform alternative for the structure, display, and query of the data, reducing communication barriers between SAP and non-SAP developers.

By exposing SAP Business Suite functionality as REST-based OData services, SAP Gateway Client simplifies data sharing for SAP applications, making it easier to migrate data across a range of different devices and platforms and obtain human readable results that are easy to consume and understand.

Why Use the SAP OData Service?

SAP OData simplifies the process of data access and integration, allowing businesses to unlock the true potential of their SAP systems.

From its seamless integration capabilities to its flexibility in data retrieval and manipulation, we delve into the transformative benefits that SAP OData brings to the table, ultimately empowering businesses to harness the power of their data and gain a competitive edge in the digital era.

Here are a few key advantages of leveraging OData Service in SAP:

  • Provides an easy-to-understand, extensible, and predictable interface for querying multiple data sources in the same format.
  • Offers feed customization features that allow users to map part of the structured content into standard Atom elements.
  • Allows users to leverage virtually all browsers to obtain output data and access human-readable results.
  • Leverages stateless applications to treat all requests as a new call and maintain user integrity by not saving any client data to the browser.
  • Uses typical web applications and protocols, including POST, PUT, and GET, to access important data.
  • Exposes data to users in all locations and on all devices to keep up with digital information standards and demands across the technical landscape.
  • Receives data in related patterns to facilitate more accurate and efficient data loads and ensure users can access and analyze data to reach its required information
  • Uses self-describing functions to allow developers to understand their content, even without knowing how SAP or ABAP works.

How Can We Help?

Whether you need help outlining plans to create a specific entity set or data provider class, an extra hand conducting service maintenance for important data models, or additional support updating data present in SAP using OData and ABAP structure, Surety Systems is here to help.

Our team of senior-level, US-based SAP consultants can help you create OData Service in SAP, manage your most important company data, and ensure your underlying data model is secure and protected over time. With our SAP experts, your internal teams can rest easy knowing their data is managed and shared correctly, without adding extra tasks for employees or increasing the administrative burden in the process.

Getting Started with Our Team

Interested in learning more about REST and SOAP web services and where our team of SAP consultants can fit in your organization?

Contact us today to get started!