Introducing Simple.OData.Client: a portable OData client library for .NET4.x, Windows Store, Silverlight 5 and Windows Phone 8

Last week I was busy with my home project: creating an OData portable class library. This project originated from the Simple.Data OData adapter when I needed a library for Windows Store application and didn’t find any suitable one. And since Simple.Data only supports .NET 4.x platforms, I started extracting parts of the adapter to make a PCL.

As it always happens, I spent far longer time to complete this task, but it was worth it even the only outcome was code cleanup. I thought the quality of Simple.Data OData adapter code was pretty good, but when I was forced to separate non-portable portions of it, I realized that this was a separation of concerns. When you are writing code that targets multiple platforms, it’s no longer just your subjective decision of how much responsibility you can delegate to a certain class or module. If your occasionally brought stuff that does not meet portability criteria – logging, creating user credentials, external data access – you will have to remove it. Otherwise your code won’t compile.

Of course running the code through portability check won’t expose all violations of clean code principles, moreover – there may be plenty of reasons for code to not be portable. But in many cases it’s a good check, and we should probably ask yourself a question “why this code is not portable?” more often.

But enough for lessons and principles. The portable OData client library is here, and Mark Rendle was kind enough to let me keep the “Simple” prefix in the library name, although this word is kind of his trademark now. (His remark was “as far as I’m concerned it all grows the brand Smile“). And I hope that simplicity of Simple.OData.Client API is on the level of other members of the family of Simple frameworks.

Simple.OData.Client is an open source library, available at GitHub. In addition, it has a NuGet package. If you install it from NuGet, depending on your project target framework you will get a reference to one of two assemblies:

  • Simple.OData.Client.Net40.dll: for target frameworks .NET 4.0, .NET 4.0.3, .NET 4.5;
  • Simple.OData.Client.Core.dll: for portable libraries targeting .NET 4.0.3, .NET 4.5, Windows Store, Silvelight 5, Windows Phone 8 and for target frameworks Windows Store, Silverlight 5 and Windows Phone 8.

Support for Android and iOS (via Xamarin Mono) is in my plans (in fact, AFAIK the portable version may be used to target Mono for Android).

The project has Wiki pages with many examples, it has two API flavors: basic and fluent. Below is an a example of using its fluent API to retrieve data from NuGet OData feed:

var client = new ODataClient("http://packages.nuget.org/v1/FeedService.svc/");
var x = ODataFilter.Expression;
var packages = client
    .For("Packages)
    .Filter(x.Title == "Simple.OData.Client")
    .FindEntries();

foreach (var package in packages)
{
    Console.WriteLine(package["Title"]);
}

Simple.OData.Client supports all HTTP methods used by OData protocol (GET/POST/PUT/MERGE/DELETE) including support for batch requests.

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