Visualize SAP Gateway OData services

SAP NetWeaver Gateway OData services can contain a comprehensive set of entity types and associations. A visual representation can help you understand and communicate the contents of a SAP Gateway OData service.

In this post I will describe how you can explore SAP Gateway OData services, using the Open Data Protocol Visualizer, a free extension for Visual Studio 2010.

Installing the OData Protocol Visualizer in VS2010

The Open Data Protocol Visualizer is a Visual Studio 2010 extension, which you can install via the Extension manager.

Launch the “Extension Manager” from the Visual Studio “Tools” menu.

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The visualizer is available from the online gallery, in the Tools>Data section:

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Click to download and install. Restart Visual Studio and you’re done!

Configure a SAP Gateway service

Let’s use the ubiquitous Flight service on the SAP Gateway demo system as an example. You will need the demo username/password, provided on this page.

The service URL for the Flight service is:

http://gw.esworkplace.sap.com/sap/opu/odata/IWBEP/RMTSAMPLEFLIGHT_2/

To use the OData visualizer, you need to create a project in VS and include a Service Reference to an OData service:

First, create (for example) a Console project. In the Service References section, right-click and select ‘”Add Service Reference”:

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In the dialog box, enter the service Url in the Address field and provide a meaningful name in the Namespace field. Click on Go and provide the demo username and password. Visual Studio will now download the service information ($metadata). Once completed, you should now be able to expand the Service header and see the collections available through the Flight service.

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Click OK, and the Service is available for use in your project

Visualize SAP Gateway service

To start using the visualizer, right-click the Service reference and click ‘View in Diagram”

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This opens the visualizer window. In the left pane, you will find a model browser, which lists Entity types, Associations, Complex Types and their Attributes. The center pane contains a  ‘canvas’ where you select and layout the visual representation of the model.

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A detailed view of the Flight and Booking entity types:

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The OData visualizer has several useful features:

  • layout: determine how the shapes are visually arranged
  • zoom in/out: canvas can be zoomed in and out.
  • collapsed view: just shows entity types and associations, no attributes
  • select/deselect: determine which part of the ‘model’ you want to visualize
  • view in browser: automatically open the collection for a selected Entity type. E.g. View ‘Booking’ in browser will request the BookingCollection from the Flight service.
  • export to XPS: export the content to XPS file format (unfortunately no other file format is supported…).

Here’s an example of a collapsed (partial) view of the Activity Management service (based on SAP CRM):

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Finally, here’s an example of the properties pane showing the attribute properties of the Value attribute of a Sales Order Item.

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The OData visualizer can be a valuable part of your toolbox. Give it a try!

Thanks for reading.

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