Data access has always been the number one feature that distinguished Delphi from another development environments. Still, in recent years there has been some criticism that Delphi has not kept up. Since the integration of AnyDAC as FireDAC a few years ago, the situation has changed again.
FireDAC is one of the best data-access frameworks and it has become part of Delphi. Even better, the framework design is open, and developers can add their own data providers. Thus, the idea of CData Data Providers was born. These components allow to access many APIs from Delphi as if it were a database with tables using database queries. There are some very APIs for DropBox, OneDrive etc. that feel odd being used with database tools. However, the Exchange data provider is a different beast.
The Exchange Data Provider gives us access to all data in a Microsoft Exchange server. As Microsoft Exchange is basically a database with very good-looking views and a well-designed client called Outlook, it fits the FirDAC approach just fine.
My last blog post introduced the usage of the provider to access the address book and use the component inside a VCL Forms Application. The next video gives users access through a web service to certain parts of the server using an API that you can design.
We will use TMS XData as the web service backend, but we will not use any XData-specific components on the client side. You will see that XData web services are no different from any other web service if you want them to be. You are the developer and can design the response of the web service to your needs.
Enjoy the video, which is a bit longer than 5 minutes, but it’s (hopefully) worth it!