With the introduction of data and metadata annotations to OData version 3.0, developers can now define common vocabularies for things like Sales (with Customers, SalesOrder, Product, etc.), Movies (with Title, Actor, Director, ....), Calendars (with Event, Venue, …), etc. Of course, such vocabularies are only useful to the extent that they are shared across a broad range of clients and services.

Over the past  year, schema.org has been defining common schemas to make it easier for search engines to find and understand data on the web. Whenever we talk about shared Vocabularies in OData we inevitably get asked about the relationship of common ontologies expressed through OData Vocabularies to the work going on in schema.org.

I am happy to share that, through ongoing discussions with the members of schema.org, we have agreed that defining common OData Vocabulary encodings of the schema.org schemas is a benefit to both technologies. Sharing a common vocabulary even across different encodings like OData, RDFa 1.1, and Microdata, facilitates a common understanding and even possible transformation of data across those encodings. Toward that end we have jointly posted a discussion paper on the Web Schemas wiki on the use of schema.org schemas within OData.

From Dan Brickley's blog post on new developments around schema.org:

"We are also pleased to announce today a discussion paper on the use of OData and Schema.org, posted in the Web Schemas wiki. OData defines a RESTful interface for working with data on the Web. The newest version of OData allows service developers and third parties to annotate data or metadata exposed by an OData Service. Defining common OData Vocabulary encodings of the schema.org schemas facilitates the understanding and even transformation of data across these different encodings."

Feel free to add comments to Dan's post, or send us feedback on the odata.org mailing list.

Exciting times for OData!