# What is Lodata?
Lodata (opens new window) is an implementation of the OData v4.01 Producer protocol, designed for use with the Laravel framework.
OData (opens new window) (Open Data Protocol) is an ISO/IEC approved (opens new window), OASIS standard (opens new window) that defines a set of best practices for building and consuming RESTful APIs. OData helps you focus on your business logic while building RESTful APIs without having to worry about the various approaches to define request and response headers, status codes, HTTP methods, URL conventions, media types, payload formats, query options, etc. OData also provides guidance for tracking changes, defining functions/actions for reusable procedures, and sending asynchronous/batch requests.
OData RESTful APIs are easy to consume. The OData metadata, a machine-readable description of the data model of the APIs, enables the creation of powerful generic client proxies and tools. The metadata is available in OData-specific XML (opens new window) and JSON (opens new window) formats, as well as an OpenAPI v3 (opens new window) document.
There are many tools and techniques for exposing APIs from Laravel and there are some specific use cases where Lodata could be a great fit for your application:
- Developing single page applications and mobile applications with OData-supporting enterprise UI frameworks such as Sencha ExtJS (opens new window), DevExtreme (opens new window), Kendo UI (opens new window) and Syncfusion (opens new window)
- Making live connections to business intelligence tools such as Excel (opens new window), PowerBI (opens new window), and Tableau (opens new window), avoiding clunky CSX/XLSX exports.
- Publishing an out-of-the-box discoverable OpenAPI document for tools like Postman (opens new window) to help third parties interact with your application.
- Developing microservices in Laravel. With all OData services having the same request syntax, as your team develops many services you can guarantee API consistency.
- Create real simple integrations with enterprise applications like SAP Data Intelligence (opens new window), SalesForce (opens new window) and Microsoft PowerApps (opens new window). Present forms, tabular data and search interfaces in these applications without writing a single line of code.
You can construct OData requests using any HTTP client, but there are also many developer-friendly OData libraries (opens new window) for different programming languages.
Now go check out the five-minute getting started guide!