Experiments with OData

Whats OData

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. 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. The protocol allows for a consumer to query a datasource over the HTTP protocol and get the result back in formats like Atom, JSON or plain XML, including pagination, ordering or filtering of the data. OData is released under the Open Specification Promise to allow anyone to freely interoperate with OData implementations.

OData Producers & Services 

OData producers are services that expose their data using the OData protocol. You can find some of the odata producers listed at http://bit.ly/jD4YCW. Some of the interesting Live OData Services listed are:


An OData Service for consuming Facebook Insights data.



The complete netflix catalog title via OData. See the Netflix developer OData documentation for more information



The famous Northwind Database exposed as an OData Service.


PowerPivot for Excel is a data analysis tool that delivers unmatched computational power directly within the application users already know and love—Microsoft Excel. It’s the user-friendly way to perform data analysis using familiar Excel features you already know, such as the Office Fluent user interface, PivotTable and, PivotChart views, and slicers. It’s the fast way to generate rich and interactive analysis tools, easily mistaken for IT solutions after weeks of effort. It’s the right way to achieve deeper business insight and shorter decision cycles. More about PowerPivot (and download it)
Connecting to Netflix Data using Excel and PowerPivot
As an experiment, I decided to connect to the Netflix OData source to analyze the Netflix catalog in Excel. The PowerPivot Addin for Excel has OData support built in. I used the From Data Feeds Option in PowerPivot to Import data from Netflix. The data feed Url I used was http://odata.netflix.com/

It imported over 155K titles, over 190K people information into the PowerPivot tables. And there it is. I can now work with Pivottables and analyze the data. I can potentially import other data and do some correlation.


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