It’s that time again: yesterday we uploaded an RC for the upcoming 5.5.0 release. The 5.5.0 release will be another NuGet-only release.

What is in the release:

This release has two primary features: 1) significant enhancements to the URI parser and 2) public data source providers.

URI Parser

In the 5.2.0 release ODataLib provided a way to parse $filter and $orderby expressions into a metadata-bound abstract syntax tree (AST). In the 5.5.0 release we have updated the URI parser with support for most OData URIs. The newly introduced support for parsing $select and $expand is particularly notable. With the 5.5.0 release the URI Parser is mostly done. Future releases will focus on higher-order functions to further improve the developer experience.

Note: We are still trying to determine what the right API is for $select and $expand. While the API may change before RTM, the feature is functionally complete.

Public Data Source Providers

In this release we have made the Entity Framework and Reflection data source providers public. This gives more control to service writers. There is more work planned in the future but the work we’ve completed allows some advanced scenarios which were not possible earlier. For example, a service writer can now make use of the Entity Framework query-caching feature by intercepting the request and parameterizing the LINQ query before handing it off to Entity Framework. (Note that parameterizing a LINQ query is not the same as parameterizing a SQL query; EF always does the latter and therefore there is no security implications to failing to parameterize a LINQ to Entities query, the only impact is performance related.)

While the potential unlocked with this release is limited, this is the first move in a direction which will unlock many previously unachievable scenarios with the built in providers.