Lohith G N (aka Kashyapa) has just published a tour of Sesame Data Browser for OData on his blog. He did an excellent job! I strongly advise you to head to his post to learn what Sesame Data Browser has to offer and how to use it.
Data, your way
During MIX11 this week, Pablo Castro, Software Architect in the Data and Modeling Group at Microsoft, gave a talk named “OData Roadmap: Services Powering Next Generation Experiences“.
Pablo gave demos of what’s cooking for OData and what to expect over the coming months.
One thing that he demonstrated was extensibility with Shared Vocabularies. This allows tools and applications to offer a richer experience through annotations on OData feeds.
Pablo used Sesame Data Browser as an example of how Shared Vocabularies can be used. With annotations on the MIX11 Speakers and Sessions feeds, Sesame is able to display visit cards (VCards) for speakers and a calendar view containing sessions.
I invite you to watch the video recording on the session’s page. The demo starts at 0:52:34.
Vocabularies for OData were introduced on the OData blog. The current stage is exploratory and implementation is open for discussion in the OData mailing list.
Note: this feature is not available in the currently public version of Sesame Data Browser (1.0.7).
Some time ago I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Microsoft and Telerik about Sesame. The results are two case studies.
I was impressed by the job done by the interviewers and the editors.
The first case study covers Sesame Data Browser‘s support for OData and Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket – No doubt… that’s a Microsoft product name. It was called Dallas previously. I just call it Azure DataMarket.
The second case study is about how the Telerik RadControls for Silverlight product was useful for creating Sesame Data Browser.
Sesame Data Browser has just been improved with new features.
Here is what you get this time:
Let’s focus on the main improvements:
You no longer have to enter the same addresses again and again. Sesame Data Browser will now remember the addresses you used and suggest them to you the next time you want to open a connection.
The authentication settings are restored for each address you reopen.
Hint: pressing the Enter key will make re-opening a connection even faster.
Until now, Sesame offered support for pictures, but not for videos. I’m pleased to announce that videos can now be displayed right inside Sesame.
You can give this a try with the INETA Live service (http://live.ineta.org/InetaLiveService.svc/), for example. If you open the LiveVideos feed and click on the “View Video” button for a video, that video will start playing.
Complex types are not displayed by default any longer. A click on a button is now required.
Displaying all complex types immediately consumed to many resources.
If you want to see this change in action, open the Netflix service and select the Titles feed. You will see a View button for the BoxArt, Instant, Dvd and BluRay columns. Clicking on this button reveals the content of the cells.
Previously, Sesame Data Browser wouldn’t work with no Internet connection because it loaded the OData support from a dedicated package from metaSapiens.com each time. This package is now embedded in the main package, so no additional loading is required when Sesame Data Browser is installed on the desktop.
Of course, this is useful only when you browse local services with no dependencies on remote services or data.
Finally, because your feedback is important for the future of Sesame, you can now use a UserVoice forum to suggest improvements and to report issues.
This feedback forum is also available from the Sesame Data Browser preview page via the orange Feedback button.
Please try the new version now and let us all know what you think.
As on the website, data published as OData is about jobs, companies, and experts.
Two feeds are available, one for each of the languages supported by Proagora at the moment:
Of course, you can use your favorite OData explorer to browse these feeds:
These OData feeds exhibit several interesting features of Sesame Data Browser, such as:
Known issue: Columns/properties selection ($select) fails with an error. I haven’t found a solution yet.
Please give this a go and send me your feedback.
Gentle reminder: have you published your profile on Proagora.com? 😉
With the release of Microsoft Codename “Dallas” CTP3 and the features announced in the previous post, it became easier to add support for Dallas to Sesame Data Browser.
The new version of Sesame published today allows you to browse Dallas datasets, as demonstrated below.
Creating a connection to a Dallas dataset in Sesame is easy. You just need a dataset URL and an account key.
In order to get an account key and URLs, you need to visit https://www.sqlazureservices.com and sign in with a Windows Live ID. You’ll then be able to subscribe to datasets, such as AP Online (Associated Press) or business information from InfoGroup:
Note: Only CTP3 services are supported in Sesame.
Once you have a subscription, you can visit its preview page. This is where you’ll find the URL you’ll use in Sesame.
Here is for example the page for AP Online:
The URL for AP Online is highlighted in blue on the above picture.
Your account key is available on the “Account keys” page:
Now that you have an account key and a URL, you can create an OData connection in Sesame:
Here is the result for AP Online if you click on GetBreakingNewsCategories:
Copy a category ID and click on GetBreakingNewsContentByCategory.
Paste the category ID in categoryId and type 5 for count:
After clicking on Open, you’ll get data in a grid, as usual:
You can also locate the news items on a map:
Please give this new version a try. As always, your feedback and suggestions are welcome!
Sesame Data Browser has just been updated to offer the following features for OData feeds:
Sesame now automatically displays items on a map if spatial information is available in data.
This works when latitude and longitude pairs are provided.
Here is for example a map of drinking fountains in Vancouver:
This comes from DrinkingFountains in http://vancouverdataservice.cloudapp.net/v1/vancouver, which provides latitude/longitude for each fountain.
Here is another example, without latitude/longitude this time:
This is a map of the customers from the Northwind database, which are located based on their country, postal code, city, and street address.
Support for service operations (aka FunctionImports) has been improved. Until now, only functions without parameters were supported.
It’s now possible to use service operations that take input parameters. Let’s take as an example the GetProductsByRating function from http://services.odata.org/OData/OData.svc.
This function is attached to Products, as you can see below:
A “rating” parameter is expected in order to open the function:
After clicking Open, you’ll get data as usual:
New authentication options have been added: HTTP Basic and Dallas (more on the latter in the next post).
HTTP Basic authentication just requires a user name and a password, and is simple to implement.
All of the above features enabled support for Microsoft Dallas. See this other post about Dallas support in Sesame.
Please give Sesame Data Browser a try. As always, your feedback and suggestions are welcome!
A new version of Sesame has been uploaded. It contains several fixes and adjustments. The fixes concern mainly the filtering row.
This new version also introduces client-side paging, signed bits, and auto-updates.
A new client-side paging feature has been activated. Sesame will now retrieve 15 items by default for each query, and 15 more each time you press “Load more”.
This will result in improved speed.
For example, now that Netflix returns 500 items by default instead of 20 previously, the new client-side paging is even more important. To give you an idea: 500 Netflix titles weight more than 3MB, while 15 titles is just about 95KB. No need to say that there’s a big difference in speed and resource consumption between the two!
15 items is enough in most cases. In the future, the size of the data pages will be customizable.
Previously, when you tried to install Sesame on your desktop, you saw a confirmation dialog that looked like the following:
Not very engaging…
Starting with this new release, Sesame binaries are signed. This results in this new dialog box:
Less frightening than the “unverified” message, isn’t it? This proves also that you’ll be using genuine software.
Another advantage of having Sesame signed is that it allows Sesame installed on the desktop to automatically update when a new version becomes available.
Note: To get the current release, however, you’ll have to use the “Remove this application” command in the context menu of the desktop app and then “Install on desktop” again in your web browser.
Next time a new version of Sesame is published, you’ll see the following dialog box appear:
That’s it for today. Next time I’ll introduce the provider model on which Sesame relies, and I’ll show you how this enables to browse more than just OData.
You’ll see that this will enable a whole new set of possibilities!
I’m just back from the OData Roadshow with Douglas Purdy and Jonathan Carter. Paris was the last location of seven cities around the world.
If there was something you wanted to know about OData, that was the place to be!
These guys gave a great tour around OData.
I learned things I didn’t know about OData and I was able to give a demo of Sesame to the audience.
More ideas and use cases popping-up!
I have deferred the post about how Sesame is built in favor of publishing a new update.
This new release offers major features such as the ability to quickly filter and sort data, select columns, and create hyperlinks to OData.
In order to filter data, you just have to use the filter row, which becomes available when you click on the funnel button:
You can then type some text and select an operator:
The data grid will be refreshed immediately after you apply a filter.
It works in the same way for sorting. Clicking on a column will immediately update the query and refresh the grid.
Note that multi-column sorting is possible by using SHIFT-click:
Viewing data is not enough. You can also view and copy the query string that returns that data:
One more thing you can to shape data is to select which columns are displayed. Simply use the Column Chooser and you’ll be done:
Again, this will update the data and query string in real time:
The other main feature of this release is the ability to create hyperlinks to Sesame. That’s right, you can ask Sesame to give you a link you can display on a webpage, send in an email, or type in a chat session.
You can get a link to a connection:
or to a query:
You’ll note that you can also decide to embed Sesame in a webpage…
Here are some sample links created via Sesame:
I’ll give more examples in a post to follow.
There are many more minor improvements in this release, but I’ll let you find out about them by yourself 🙂
Please try Sesame Data Browser now and let me know what you think!
PS: if you use Sesame from the desktop, please use the “Remove this application” command in the context menu of the destkop app and then “Install on desktop” again in your web browser. I’ll activate automatic updates with the next release.