Chris Webb's BI Blog

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OData Extensions for Data Aggregation

with 3 comments

I was just reading the following blog post on the OASIS OData Technical Committee Call for Participation:
http://www.odata.org/blog/2012/6/11/oasis-odata-technical-committee-call-for-participation

…when I saw this:

In addition to the core OData version 3.0 protocol found here, the Technical Committee will be defining some key extensions in the first version of the OASIS Standard:

OData Extensions for Data Aggregation - Business Intelligence provides the ability to get the right set of aggregated results from large data warehouses. OData Extensions for Analytics enable OData to support Business Intelligence by allowing services to model data analytic "cubes" (dimensions, hierarchies, measures) and consumers to query aggregated data

Follow the link in the quoted text – it’s very interesting reading! Here’s just one juicy quote:

OData services expose a data model that describes the schema of the service in terms of
the Entity Data Model (EDM), an Entity-Relationship model that describes the data and
then allows for querying that data. The responses returned by an OData provider are
based on that exposed data model and retain the relationships between the entities in the
model. Adding the notion of  aggregation to OData, without changing any of the base
principles in OData as is, has two sides to it:
1. Means for the server to describe an “analytical shape” of the data represented by
the service
2. Means for the client to query an “analytical shape” on top of any given data
model (for sufficiently capable servers/services)
It’s important to notice that, while each of these two sides might be valuable in its own
right and can be used independently of the other, their combination provides additional
value for clients. The  descriptions  provided by the server  will help a consumer
understand more of the data structure looking at the service’s exposed data model from an
analytics perspective, whereas the  query extensions allow  the  clients to  express an
“analytical shape” for a particular query. The query extensions will also allow clients to
refer to the server-described “analytical shape” as shorthand.

One of the authors, Siva Harinath, I know from the SSAS dev team and it’s easy to see how this extension for OData would be incredibly useful for Microsoft BI. Not only could you imagine cloud-based SSAS (when it finally arrives) being queryable via OData, but it would allow an OData provider to not only of supply raw data to PowerPivot but the design of the PowerPivot model itself.

Written by Chris Webb

June 12, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Posted in Cloud, DAX, OData

3 Responses

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  1. [...] OData Extensions for Data Aggregation by Chris Webb. [...]

    • I agree that this is very interesting idea, it is not completely new though.
      Our product SSAS Entity Framework Provider allows to aggregate OData on SSAS server side implicitly using either WCF Data Services or OData WebAPI for almost 2 years already.

      But additional OData query options (API) to do such an aggregation explicitly is new, indeed, and it should be appreciated.

      Sergey

      June 25, 2013 at 4:28 pm

  2. I developed AdaptiveLINQ (www.adaptivelinq.com): a component that can help you to build aggregation query using standard OData operators.

    nlips

    May 28, 2014 at 7:57 am


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