Microsoft, IBM, SAP and Citrix are among the vendors to have proposed an OData (Open Data Protocol) Technical Committee within OASIS, the international standards body for interoperability standards.
The committee will collaborate on the standardisation of the OData protocol, which is intended to help spread its adoption.
Once a protocol is approved as a standard by OASIS, it typically eases its adoption worldwide, especially among governmental organisations.
According to Microsoft, OData has been driven by the move to cloud computing in recent years, increasing demand for a common approach to exposing and consuming data. Other supporters of the initiative include EastBanc Technologies, Viecore FSD, Progress Software and WSO2.
Built on standards such as HTTP, JSON and AtomPub, OData is a web protocol for unlocking and sharing data – freeing it, supporters say, from silos that exist in many software applications today. The OData protocol supports serialisation in multiple popular formats, including JSON and Atom/XML. With OData, developers are able to build cross-platform web and mobile applications.
At a recent two-day event, a number of vendors and customers revealed how they had been using OData. EastBanc Technologies showed how it built a metropolitan transit visualisation tool around OData, for example, while Viecore described how it used OData to build advanced decision support and control systems for the US military.
And OData is a key element of SAP NetWeaver Gateway, which exposes SAP Business Suite software to clients on diverse platforms using the technology.
The OData protocol has evolved via development on the public OData site over the past three years. The ecosystem of OData producers, consumers and libraries – several of them open source – includes Java, PHP, Drupal, Joomla, Node.js, Microsoft .NET, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, IBM DB2 and Informix, Apple iOS, Windows Phone 7, and Google Android.
"The interest in OData has grown exponentially," said Laurent Liscia, executive director of OASIS.
"We're very pleased to see the community come together in OASIS to standardise the OData protocol using the latest web tools – JSON and AtomPub in a 'RESTful' environment. This will facilitate interoperability across implementations."