OData and Spotfire

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Spotfire can easily access OData sources using its built-in OData connector. The OData protocol is an open standard for creating and consuming REST-based web services. There is growing community that is using OData as the preferred mechanism for sharing data. There are already many state agencies, governments, and organizations that share critical information using OData on the public web. Spotfire makes it easy to connect to and work with this data.

For this example we took a look at the White House’s annual report to Congress on its staff. This is one of several OData sources available from whitehouse.gov. Many government agencies use Socrata to expose data to the public, which has an option of showing the OData URL – this same URL can be used to initiate Spotfire’s connection.

SocrataWhen initiating the OData connection, enter the OData URL of the directory service, such as “http://open.whitehouse.gov/OData.svc“.

OData connection

Spotfire will inspect the service and return the possible data sources. Search and select the source from the list and click “Add”. Spotfire will then provide a list of all of the data elements in the source, and give you the option of selectively connecting to only those of interest.

OData ServicesOData Elements

By default, Spotfire will analyze all of the data that the OData service returns. Since the OData connection behaves just like any other dynamic Spotfire data source, it’s possible to dynamically filter for just the information you want. This is done by configuring the OData source as an “on-demand” data table. It’s especially helpful for OData sources that return high volumes of data. Instead of looking at the data all at once, you can leave it up to the user to search or query the connection. More information on using “on-demand” connections can be found here in this Quick Reference Topic.

Here are a few views from the White House Staffing data. The OData services from whitehouse.gov exposes the data as indvidual services – one for each year. No problem for Spotfire to mashup the data for a seamless analysis!

White House Staff 01


White House Staff 02