Lately I’ve been looking at OData – the Open Data Protocol and have been wondering if this is the universal way to make Data Discoverable, Accessible, and Consumable – and as Roy pointed out “Shareable”. It seems to have many of the characteristics that are needed to expose and share science data: Simple, Lightweight, cross platform, built on Web Protocols, keeps track of Provenance, etc.
It builds off AtomPub and can be viewed in human readable form – you can test out the services – see http://services.odata.org/OData/OData.svc/ or if you want real data, you can test out services from Netflix, City of Edmonton, or even some Climate Change data sets from DOE via the Open Science Data Initiative.
The Open Data Protocol (OData) is a Web protocol for querying and updating data that provides a way to unlock your data and free it from silos that exist in applications today. OData does this by applying and building upon Web technologies such as HTTP, Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub) and JSON to provide access to information from a variety of applications, services, and stores. The protocol emerged from experiences implementing AtomPub clients and servers in a variety of products over the past several years. 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.
OData is consistent with the way the Web works - it makes a deep commitment to URIs for resource identification and commits to an HTTP-based, uniform interface for interacting with those resources (just like the Web). This commitment to core Web principles allows OData to enable a new level of data integration and interoperability across a broad range of clients, servers, services, and tools