So what datasources do we support? First the easy part - SQL (via ADO.NET & JDBC), JSON, XML, OData, & Salesforce. All of this works as you expect. And ADO.NET includes ODBC & Ole-DB as it can use either of those.
We take maximum advantage of each. For SQL we read the FK:PK (foreign key - primary key) relationships (if they’re specified) and from this we can generally calculate the joins for you between tables. That’s really cool and very valuable for those that don’t know SQL.
For XML, if you give us the schema, we use it every way we can, both for typing and for descriptions of elements and attributes. For XML (and SQL & OData), the tooltip in the metadata tree for each datasource is the description of that element.
But what about other datasources?
This is where we get to claim the support for over 150 datasources. Thanks to Skyvia and CData. Each supports around 150 vendors (98% the same vendors). Skyvia provides an OData connection to each while CData provides an ADO.NET & JDBC connection to each.
In each case, this gives Windward a way to provide first-class support for these datasources. Both vendors are superb on returning all the desired metadata and so we can provide full support hitting either.
So which is best? I like the OData approach which natively returns the structure of the underlying data. But you can make that work with FK:PK relationships and so if you love SQL then that’s better. So I’ll leave that trade-off to you and your preferences.
With Skyvia every request goes through their server. First off you’re paying for bandwidth. Second, your data is on their server. Supposedly just to be passed back, but it does go through their server. On the plus side, the cost is low for low bandwidth. And you’re paying for usage, not for number of systems using it.
With CData you’re purchasing a connector. This is on your computer and therefore your data never goes outside your system. But you need to purchase a connector for each system making the calls. On the plus side, there’s no bandwidth charge.
So there you go - first class support from Windward for over 150 vendors.