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Viewing REST Data in RAD Studio Data Explorer

How to view REST data in RAD Studio Data Explorer using the CData FireDAC Components for REST.

Embarcadero RAD Studio provides a development environment for Delphi and C++Builder applications. With the CData FireDAC Components for REST, you gain access to live REST data within RAD Studio, abstracting the data into tables, views, and stored procedures that can be used to both retrieve and update REST data. This article will walk through connecting to REST using the Data Explorer.

Connecting to REST Data Using Data Explorer

You can create a simple application for displaying REST data by utilizing the CData FireDAC Components for REST and a new VCL Forms Application:

  1. Open the Data Explorer in RAD Studio and expand FireDAC.
  2. Right-click on CData REST Data Source and click Add New Connection.

  3. Name the connection.
  4. Fill in the necessary connection parameters and click OK.

    See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models REST APIs as bidirectional database tables and XML/JSON files as read-only views (local files, files stored on popular cloud services, and FTP servers). The major authentication schemes are supported, including HTTP Basic, Digest, NTLM, OAuth, and FTP. See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation for authentication guides.

    After setting the URI and providing any authentication values, set Format to "XML" or "JSON" and set DataModel to more closely match the data representation to the structure of your data.

    The DataModel property is the controlling property over how your data is represented into tables and toggles the following basic configurations.

    • Document (default): Model a top-level, document view of your REST data. The data provider returns nested elements as aggregates of data.
    • FlattenedDocuments: Implicitly join nested documents and their parents into a single table.
    • Relational: Return individual, related tables from hierarchical data. The tables contain a primary key and a foreign key that links to the parent document.

    See the Modeling REST Data chapter for more information on configuring the relational representation. You will also find the sample data used in the following examples. The data includes entries for people, the cars they own, and various maintenance services performed on those cars.

  5. Back in the Data Explorer, expand the tables for the connection.
  6. Create a new VCL Forms application and drag a table (for example: people) onto the form.

  7. Select the peopleTable object on the form and set the Active property to true.
  8. Right-click on the object, bind visually, and link everything (*) to a new control (TStringGrid).

  9. Arrange the TStringGrid on the form and run the application to see the people data.

 
 
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