Silverlight 4 includes native support for accesing OData-compatible data service, but it can be hard to use the entities exposed by such services without being able to explore the data and confirm the range and semantics of the data.
Well, you can use the OData URL query syntax to dive through the XML in your browser (yum!), or you could create an application to more visually show the data.
Both of those are less than optimal for initial exploration, and why bother, when there’s a tool that lets you start exploring.
The OData Explorer sample application provides a good way to explore a specific OData-compatible service and also provides a list of some of the public compatible services.
The tool can be found here: http://www.silverlight.net/content/samples/odataexplorer/
As an example, one can use it to explore the Netflix service at http://odata.netflix.com/Catalog/ and try out a query like this:
This provides the lowest rated NetFlix titles in 2009… hmm… interesting results…
Give it a go 🙂