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Why OData?

Hi community,

this may sound like a very dumb question, and I am sorry for that, but I have failed to find a satisfying answer to why is SAP so adamant on using OData?

I understand what OData is and what features are defined with it.

What I do not understand is why it's adoption is basically limited to SAP and they seem to keep sticking to it no matter how API implementations of other IT companies look like ( I am not talking about providing it as an optional rendering, like Sharepoint, but OData being the only available choice )

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Active Contributor

Hi Sebastian

That's not a dumb question at all - far from it.

First off, I think some of it has to do with OData being very query-centric and the database being at the heart of the on-premise SAP system. Accessing the database is also at the core of the ABAP language, contrary to many other languages out there.

Second, OData has been in use at SAP for a long time. Alternatives like GraphQL and OpenAPI just weren't around at the time. And there is already one legacy web service technology still in use in the SAP world (SOAP), so I can understand any reluctance to introducing a new technology.

Third, using a protocol/language with programmatically accessible metadata is essential for e.g. tool support.

Just my two euro cents 🙂



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