Data Services

The Data Services provide the ability to expose data as a service using the Open Data Protocol (OData) via the semantics of representational state transfer (REST).

• The first responsibility of the data service is to provide an interface to the storage engine hosting the application’s data. This application database allows building a full end-to-end user experience without any external dependencies, running 100% on the ComUnity Platform.
• The second responsibility is to provide a description of its data model including the entities, their properties and the navigation between the entities. This description is what the Metamodel Manager uses to bootstrap the application’s UI.

For data exposed by the application Data Service, the data is automatically linked to other resources by the relationships in the data model and exposed via the Data Model Service.

If so designed, an application hosted on the ComUnity Platform can access all the data-related functionality it needs inside the platform’s Data Services. At other times, an application may need to integrate with external systems. In the case where the data services are just a façade in front of another external service layer, the service calls need to be intercepted and passed on to the external layer – the task of the Custom Integration Services.

In the current version of the ComUnity Platform, these Data Services may be created automatically using the ComUnity Platform Developer Toolkit. The resultant Data Services project may then be manually customised using Microsoft Visual Studio – using Entity Framework for the Object-Relational Mapping (ORM). The default back-end data store is Microsoft SQL Server.

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