SData in Sage ERP Accpac 6
One of the big features in Accpac 6 is SData support. What is SData? SData is a web services protocol based on REST. What is REST? REST is a web services protocol that is very popular among Internet companies. There are basically two main competing standards for web services. One is SOAP which is promoted by Microsoft, Oracle and IBM; this is a fairly heavy duty protocol which requires a fair bit of infrastructure (which is provided by the companies promoting this protocol). The other is REST which was invented as a University Research project and basically uses existing Web Technologies such as HTTP and RSS to implement a web services protocol. The nice thing about REST is that it doesn’t require any extra middleware. You are basically doing everything via standard web URLs. The infrastructure that supports this is basically just the standard Internet. SData is just an extension to REST, similar to Google’s GData which is also based on REST. REST protocols are used by Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo and all the main Internet companies. Gartner estimates that 75% of web services in use on the Internet are REST based. REST/SData also provides a standard mechanism for performing CRUD (create, read, update, delete) on all records.
From Accpac, every Accpac View (or Business Logic Object) will be exposed via SData. This provides third party ISVs a complete, efficient Web Services interface to communicate to Accpac with. Also all Sage applications are being made SData aware, meaning that all Sage applications can manipulate SData Web Services (or feeds). For instance here is some Accpac A/R Customer and G/L Account data displayed within a Sage CRM Dashboard using SData.
From a simple wizard you can select any Accpac SData feed and once you’ve chosen a feed, you can select which columns you wish to display. Additionally Sage CRM and Accpac will be converting to use SData for our integration needs, this transition will occur over several versions of both products. In the same way you will be able to access CRM data from Accpac using SData.
All the new Sage ERP Accpac 6 screens are written entirely using SData. This means the screen can access any Accpac Views via SData, but additionally they can access any SData feeds from any product. In Accpac 5.x, the screen controls were mapped via datasource controls to views and view fields. This was great, but it limited you to only connecting our standard controls to fields in Views developed in our SDK. Now that the controls are mapped to a standards based SData fields, it means they will be able to be connected easily to much more data than just Accapc data. Look for other Sage products to start providing SData interfaces in their coming versions.
Sage is publishing SData as a publicly available standard. You can read all about it at: http://sdata.sage.com/.