In Web API, Routing is how it matches a request URI to an action in a controller. The Routing of Web API OData is derived from Web API Routing and do more extensions. In Web API OData, an OData controller (not API controller) is severed as the request handler to handle HTTP requests, while the public methods (called action methods) in the controller are invoked to execute the business logic. So, when the client issues a request to OData service, the Web API OData framework will map the request to an action in the OData controller. Such mapping is based on pre-registered Routes in global configuration.

Register the Web API OData Routes

In Web API, developer can use the following codes to register a Web API route into routing table:

    name: "myRoute",
    routeTemplate: "api/{controller}/{id}",
    defaults: new { id = ... }

While, Web API OData re-uses the Web API routing table to register the Web OData Routes. However it provides its own extension method called MapODataServiceRoute to register the OData route. MapODataServiceRoute has many versions, here’s the basic usage:

HttpConfiguration configuration = new HttpConfiguration();
configuration.MapODataServiceRoute(routeName:"myRoute", routePrefix:"odata", model: GetEdmModel()));

With these codes, we register an OData route named “myRoute”, uses “odata” as prefix and by calling GetEdmModel() to set up the Edm model.

After registering the Web OData routes, we define an OData route template in the routing table. The route template has the following syntax:


Now, the Web API OData framework can handle the HTTP request. It tries to match the request Uri against one of the route templates in the routing table. Basically, the following URIs match the odata route:


Where, Customers is the entity set names.

However, the following URI does not match the odata route, because it doesn’t match “odata” prefix segment:


Routing Convention

Once the odata route is found, Web API OData will parse the request Uri to get the path segments. Web API OData first uses the ODatalib to parse the request Uri to get the ODL path segments, then convert the ODL path segments to Web API OData path segments. Once the Uri Parse is finished, Web API OData will try to find the corresponding OData controller and action. The process to find controller and action are the main part of Routing Convention. Basically, there are two parts of Routing Convention:

  1. Convention Routing

    It is also called built-in routing conventions. It uses a set of pre-defined rules to find controller and action.

  2. Attribute Routing

    It uses two Attributes to find controller and action. One is ODataRoutePrefixAttribute, the other is ODataRouteAttribute.