SharePoint 2010 Data Services – Part 1

21 ביוני 2010

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This is the fist post of a series about SharePoint 2010 Data Services: Part 1 (this one), Part 2, Part 3.

odata There a lot of confusion surrounding this topic of Data Services in SharePoint 2010. I think it’s mainly because of 2 reasons:

  • SharePoint 2010 Beta 2 used the CTP version of Data Services, so there’s irrelevant documentation that don’t apply to SharePoint 2010 RTM.
  • The Data Services platform itself was changed in the past few months.

In this post I will try to make some order by clarifying  the terms, and addressing some questions I have been getting lately.
I have to thank Gil Fink for helping me catch up with the Data Services world.

What are SharePoint 2010 Data Services?

SP2010 Data Services is about accessing data in SharePoint lists via REST services. It is based on the “WCF Data Services” technology.

What Are these “WCF Data Services”?

WCF Data Services is the technology that provides the ability to expose data from your application’s data source (not just SharePoint), via REST services, supporting all CRUD operations.

What is the difference between “WCF Data Services”, “ Data Services” and “Project Astoria”?

There is no difference. The project began under the name “Project Astoria”, Later, the project changed name to “ Data Services”. Now, with the finale release of Data Services, it is called “WCF Data Services”.

Why is the latest version called “ Data Services”, and not “WCF Data Services”?

In order to keep consistency with the current naming in .NET 3.5 and in the documentation, it is called “ Data Services”, But in future releases of .NET it will be called “WCF Data Services”. The point is that both terms are referring to the same thing.

Do I still need to install it if I have the latest .NET Framework?

Yes. Although “ Data Services 1.0” is integrated into .NET 3.5 SP1 (which is already installed on your machine), SharePoint support (along with other features) requires an update to the Data Services platform. That update used to be called Data Services 1.5 which is now just called “ADO.NET Data Services Update for .NET Framework 3.5 SP1”.

I found several articles and blog posts telling me to download and install Data Services 1.5 CTP2

That’s probably because these articles are referring to SharePoint 2010 Beta 2, and not RTM. SP Beta 2 works ONLY with “ Data Services 1.5 CTP2”. SP RTM works ONLY with “ Data Services update to .NET 3.5 SP1”.

So, everything that was written for Beta 2 is not relevant for RTM?

Not necessarily. The usage is pretty much the same. What’s different are the installation guides pointing to the wrong version of Data Services.

Does these Data Services replace the services we used to know from SharePoint 2007?

Not quite. They are just another way to access data in SharePoint. You can still use Web Services, or Client Object Model to access SharePoint data. You still need those other services because Data Services are limited to SharePoint lists data only.

What is oData, And how does it relates here?

oData is a protocol developed by Microsoft for exchanging data in scenarios like this. It is being used in Data Services, and in other products as well. Sometimes you will hear people calling this “oData Services”

So how do I use this with SharePoint 2010?

The next posts in the series will guide you through installing, using and developing using SharePoint 2010 Date Services.

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  1. Danny22 ביוני 2010 ב 20:17

    In most of the cases when connecting to external data source I prefer using BCS functionality,
    and doing the needed customization with SharePoint Designer 2010.

  2. Itay Shakury23 ביוני 2010 ב 14:03

    Hi Danny,
    Perhaps you misunderstood me:
    Data Services is not for accessing external data from sharepoint, but to access sharepoint data from external place.