More on SData and Sage ERP Accpac 6
SData is Sage’s new Web Services standard. It is documented in full at http://sdata.sage.com/. For Sage ERP Accpac 6.x, SData is the interface used by the browser based UI pages to communicate with the Server. Like in Accpac 5.X where the Accpac COM API was the interface used for all UI to Business Logic communication, this role is taken over by SData in 6.x. This means that there is a complete robust REST based Web Services interface to the Sage ERP Accpac application. Anything that can be done from an Accpac User Interface Web Page can also be done via any other program making SData Web Services calls.
REST based Web Services are very simple in how they are constructed, they are built using current Web Standards such as HTTP and Atom. For instance the screen shot below shows typing:
into the URL field for the Chrome Browser.
This URL is an SData request, it is sent to the server bcraccdemo and the application SDataServlet running there. The rest of the URL is then processed by the Accpac SData provider to return the correct data for customer 1200 (Ronald Black) in XML Atom format, which is then displayed in the Browser window. As you can see, no special infrastructure or programming libraries were required to make this Web Service call. All that was needed was the ability to send an HTTP request and receive the response.
SData is also self describing. Below is a screen shot of asking for the schema of the XML response given above.
When doing update or insert calls you need to provide an XML payload of data similar to the response above of the data to be updated or inserted. There is also a standard interface for doing services which in Accpac includes things like reporting, day end and posting.
The example above was for customer 1200, however if the (‘1200’) part was removed, SData would have returned all the customers in A/R. In this case you can specify a filter to say return all customers greater than some point or specify which fields to sort the returned data by. SData will also page the data returned, it will return a block of records with links to the previous and next blocks.
Basically SData is a fairly simple protocol to use that should be accessible to almost any programming system. It is rich enough to support all UI operations required by Accpac. And ISV’s can be confident that it is complete enough, since all Accpac UIs rely on it. It is standards based on HTTP, Atom and other Web Standards allowing standards based tools to be used. Generally a very powerful Web Based Interface to greatly enhance Accpac’s intergratability and extensibility. Since SData is being adopted by all Sage Business Applications, learning and using SData with Accpac will teach you how to use SData for any SData equipped application, such as Sage CRM.