Frequently asked questions

Who develops CKAN?

CKAN development is managed by the Open Knowledge Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to finding solutions to the technical and social problems of opening up knowledge and data. The OKF has a team of full-time CKAN developers. In addition there are volunteer contributions to the code from around the world.

Who uses CKAN?

CKAN is used to power official data portals by national and local governments in the UK, Brazil, the Netherlands, Austria, the US, and elsewhere, as well as by other organisations and data communities wanting to publish or collaborate with data. The DataHub, where data can be freely registered or uploaded, is used by organisations including the British Library and the scientific journal Nature. It powers over 40 data hubs around the world.

What do users say about it?

Using Open Source was the best decision we ever made. A big thumbs up to the Open Knowledge Foundation and CKAN. —Andrew Stott, UK Government Director of Transparency & Digital Engagement, responsible for launch of

How is CKAN different from other data hub software?

CKAN is open source software, so it is free and highly flexible, letting you avoid long-term lock-in and adapt the code freely if needed. It also stands out for its rich features for publishers and data users, such as data harvesting, faceted search, and machine interfaces to data and metadata, and federation, letting you share your public data with other CKAN sites.

Can I integrate CKAN with my CMS or existing catalogue?

Yes – CKAN is ‘white-label’ software since smooth integration is important for many users. The standard recommendation is for side-by-side integration. Extensions for Drupal and WordPress integration also exist, and the API makes it straightforward to add support for other CMSs and third-party catalogues. If you need advice on this subject, see ‘Is there support available?‘ and ‘How can I get in contact?‘ below.

How much does CKAN cost?

CKAN is open source and is free to download and install for any kind of use. Paid hosting and support is also available (see below).

Is there support available?

Yes! Professional support with SLAs, as well as hosting, customisation and integration, is available from the Open Knowledge Foundation as well as other organisations around the world.

How can I get in contact?

For technical queries, the public mailing lists are a good source of advice. The development list is used by the core CKAN developers as well as the wider CKAN community, and questions are usually answered quickly. If you use IRC you can also drop into the #ckan room on the Freenode IRC channel, where there are often people who can help with technical questions. For enquiries about the Open Knowledge Foundation support, hosting and other services, please e-mail