And when we say
Yeeow! Ayipioeeay!
We're only sayin'
You're doin' fine, Open Data!
Open Data O.K.

(With sincere apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein –
and probably everyone who chances to read this blog… )

Some great announcements out of Mix today – from the press release at:  http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2010/mar10/03-16MIX10Day2PR.mspx

Creating Compelling User Experiences, Powered by the Cloud

To enable developers to build immersive, cross-platform Web and mobile applications that use data delivered from the cloud, Microsoft also released SDKs for OData, an HTTP and Atom-based approach to data portability, for a number of languages and platforms including .NET, Java, PHP, Objective-C (iPhone and Mac) and JavaScript. In addition, Microsoft announced the second Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Microsoft code-named “Dallas,” an information marketplace powered by the Windows Azure platform, which provides developers with access to third-party datasets that can be consumed by Web and mobile applications. By making content and data available with an OData feed via “Dallas,” developers can access and monetize their data under their terms and pricing, which can be can built into applications to deliver unique user experiences.

So what is the Open Data Protocol (oData)?  From the oData FAQ:

The Open Data Protocol (OData) is an open protocol for sharing data. It provides a way to break down data silos and increase the shared value of data by creating an ecosystem in which data consumers can interoperate with data producers in a way that is far more powerful than currently possible, enabling more applications to make sense of a broader set of data. Every producer and consumer of data that participates in this ecosystem increases its overall value.

Net net: a fantastic way to share data in truly open format - insuring portability and interoperability (which is especially important in cross platform, cross cloud solutions).  Obviously, those who are interested in working with Open Government Data need to pay close attention – as oData will be a significant enabler for many Open Government solutions.

What’s even BETTER about this is that there are ALREADY several Open Government data sources that expose oData, including:

  • vanGuide: a social map of Vancouver Open Data. A collection of data services showing everything from parking lots to drinking fountains. browse...
  • Vancouver Street Parking: This feed exposes Vancouver street parking information. browse...
  • Open Government Data Initiative: Open Government Data Initiative (OGDI) is an open source data publishing solution for government agencies (plus all upcoming Open Gov data catalogs based on OGDI)  browse...
  • Open Science Data Initiative: OSDI is based on OGDI which in turn uses the Azure Services Platform to make it easier to publish and use a wide variety of scientific data from government agencies.browse...
  • The City of Edmonton Open Data Catalogue: Public data from the city of Edmonton. browse...
  • Codename Dallas: Dallas allows producers to sell premier data to consumers, using OData.  Dallas is still in beta, and requires an invite token.  Data.gov already has some datasets there – and ultimately, there will be a huge variety of data sources – government and commercial.

Everything you want to know about oData can be found here: http://www.odata.org

More to come… now I just need to get back to my show tunes.

-Dan