I stumbled across a new technical syntax which is very, very interesting: OData. This video provides a good explaination of what OData is and why it exists. The synopsis is that OData is a web protocol (i.e. uses HTTP) for querying and updating data. There are two formats: JSON and ATOM. You can kind of think of it as a relational database on the web.
Here is an example of OData. If you are familiar with Microsoft Access and the Northwind sample data, here is Northwind expressed as OData using the ATOM format: (this is best viewed in Google Chrome because you can see the XML)
- Database: This link is to "the database" itself. It in essence lists the tables and queries which are contained in the database. It is a set of collections which are available.
- Customers: This is the "customers" collection or table.
- Regions: This is the "regions" collection or table.
- Products: This is the "products" collection or table.
I could do more, but you get the idea.
You can find additional information on OData on this blog.
What is the most interesting is this. Recall the "regions" collection mentioned above. Check this out.
So what is going on is this. OData is a format readable by Tableau Public. Why is this important? The primary reason is that it allows you to create a LIVE DATA FEED!
I will show you more reasons this is important. Stay tuned!