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Generate Custom OData Client Library with SAP Cloud SDK's Generator for JavaScript

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Generate Custom OData Client Library with SAP Cloud SDK's Generator for JavaScript

Generate Custom OData Client Library with SAP Cloud SDK's Generator for JavaScript

September 30, 2021
Created by
July 18, 2019
Generate a custom OData client library for the SAP SuccessFactors Candidate service of the Recruiting module.

You will learn

  • What the SAP Cloud SDK offers for easily accessing OData services via its client libraries
  • How to generate an OData client library for other services, like SuccessFactors services
  • How to use your custom OData client library


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This tutorial is not actively maintained and might be partially outdated.
Always up-to-date documentation is published on our documentation portal.
We will provide a link to the updated version of this tutorial as soon as we release it.

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The SAP Cloud SDK’s OData Virtual Data Model is a set of client code libraries that abstract the SAP S/4HANA exposed OData services. It provides a fluent, type safe and exploratory way of building requests against S/4HANA. For more details, checkout our tutorial group on how to build an address manager with the SAP Cloud SDK’s OData Virtual Data Model, where we covered this topic more extensively.

The goal of this tutorial is to generate your own client code of the same structure for a non-S/4HANA service at the example of a SuccessFactors service.

Step 1: Install the generator

The generator is part of the SAP cloud-sdk-cli. This command line interface provides everything to quickly generate a web project using the SDK. We have a getting started tutorial, where we show that. If you have not already done it install the CLI globally using npm:

npm install -g @sap-cloud-sdk/cli
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Step 2: Get familiar with non-S/4HANA OData service

Take a look at the SuccessFactors recruiting service for candidates on the SAP API Business Hub and get familiar with the entities and possible request structures. In the course of this tutorial we will generate an OData client library for this service and use it to build a query to retrieve data for the Candidate entity. Take a look at the capabilities around this entity and the service in general, so that you can compare your generated code later on.

Get familiar with the service capabilities
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Step 3: Provide service specification files

Download the service specification file from the SAP API Business Hub. In the aforementioned Candidate service navigate to Details and press Download Specification. Choose EDMX to download a file called RCMCandidate.edmx. Don’t close this page yet, because you will still need it in one of the next steps.

Download service specification file

Create a directory service-specifications in your project and move the previously downloaded specification to this directory. We will use this directory as input directory for the generation. Feel free to add other specification files, too.

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Step 4: Run generation

We will use the cloud-sdk-cli now to generate the OData client from the service specification. To find the right command, just run

sap-cloud-sdk --help

We want to generate an OData client so generate-odata-client is the right command for us. Run sap-cloud-sdk generate-odata-client --help to see how the command is used.

Only the input and output directory are mandatory:

sap-cloud-sdk generate-odata-client -i service-specification/ -o odata-client/

Note that the generator relies on the @sap-cloud-sdk/generator package. If you have not installed this, on the first run a prompt will appear asking you to install it.

After the generation is finished you should find in the odata-client folder multiple generated classes. But also in the service-specification folder a new file has been created: serviceMapping.json. The file should contain the following content:

  "RCMCandidate": {
    "directoryName": "sfo-data-service",
    "servicePath": "VALUE_IS_UNDEFINED",
    "npmPackageName": "sfo-data-service"

Some service specifications do not specify a service path. The service path is the part of the URL that points to a service. As we do not want to assume any paths, the value will therefore be set to "VALUE_IS_UNDEFINED" and has to be replaced manually. You can add a service path in the service.mapping.json that was created in your input directory.

Replace the value for servicePath with the one for your service. The SAP SuccessFactors services that are available on the SAP API Business Hub have the service path '/odata/v2'.

  "RCMCandidate": {
    "directoryName": "sfo-data-service",
    "servicePath": "/odata/v2",
    "npmPackageName": "sfo-data-service"

Now rerun the generation, but make sure to add the --forceOverwrite flag to overwrite the previously generated client.

sap-cloud-sdk generate-odata-client -i service-specification/ -o odata-client/ --forceOverwrite

Congratulations, you have generated the sfo-data-service module in your output directory!
By default, the generated module contains the following sources:

  • TypeScript code (.ts)
  • Transpiled JavaScript code (.js)
  • Type definition files (.d.ts)
  • Source map files ( and
  • .npmrc
  • package.json
  • typedoc.json
  • tsconfig.json

Depending on which of those files you need, you can skip the generation of most of those. To find out how and for further options, checkout sap-cloud-sdk generate-odata-client --help.

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Step 5: Use OData client library to build request

Time to test our custom OData client library. Let’s build a request to retrieve first names and last names of all candidates that have applied to a position. If you have already a NestJS tutorial application from a previous tutorial you can extend it or you create a fresh one as described in the getting started tutorial.

When you have your NestJS scaffold, create a source file candidates.service.ts in the src directory and import the Candidate entity from the sfo-data-service module.

import { Candidate } from 'odata-client/sfo-data-service';

Now use this entity to create a getAll request while selecting the properties FIRST_NAME and LAST_NAME and execute it against a destination. You can connect to the SAP API Business Hub SuccessFactors services by using the URL

You will also need to provide your API Key. You can find it on the top of the SAP API Business Hub page. Simply click on Show API Key and then Copy Key and Close. Add the key as a custom header, using the withCustomHeaders function.

For further information on how to configure a destination check our previous tutorials on how to create an app using SAP Cloud SDK for JavaScript and on how to build an application with the Virtual Data Model.

This is what your candidate.service.ts file should look like:

import { Injectable } from '@nestjs/common';
import { Candidate } from 'odata-client/sfo-data-service';

export class CandidateService {
  getCandidates(): Promise<Candidate[]> {
    return Candidate.requestBuilder()
      .select(Candidate.FIRST_NAME, Candidate.LAST_NAME)
        apikey: '<YOUR-API-KEY>'
        url: ''

Congratulations! You created an OData client library based on your own service specification and used it to create a getAll request!

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Step 6: Integrate with NestJS application (optional)

Now to see this in action, we need to create a controller and adjust the module to load the new functionality. In a previous tutorial we explained a bit the basics about controller, service and module of NestJS applications. For a more general overview we strongly recommend the Nest tutorials. Create a candidates.controller.ts and copy the following code there:

import { Controller, Param, Get } from '@nestjs/common';
import { CandidateService } from './candidate.service';
import { Candidate } from 'odata-client/sfo-data-service';

export class CandidateController {
  constructor(private readonly candidatesService: CandidateService) {}

  getCandidates(): Promise<Candidate[]> {
    return this.candidatesService.getCandidates();

And register the new service and controller in the app.module.ts:

import { Module } from '@nestjs/common';
import { AppController } from './app.controller';
import { AppService } from './app.service';
import { CandidateService } from './candidate.service';
import { CandidateController } from './candidate.controller';
  imports: [],
  controllers: [AppController, CandidateController],
  providers: [AppService, CandidateService]
export class AppModule {}

Run npm start and go to http://localhost:3000/candidates in your browser. You should see a list of your candidates’ first and last names.

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Step 7: Test yourself (1)
What flag do you have to pass to the `generate-odata-client` command to specify an input directory?
Step 8: Test yourself (2)
What does an EDMX file contain?
Step 9: Test yourself (3)
Where can you overwrite the service path for your service?

Next Steps

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