Frequently Asked Questions
CKAN inclusions for version releases are coordinated, tested and deployed by the tech team. But, as an open source project CKAN is developed by a large community of incredible people. Work is contributed to the core of CKAN as well as its growing collection of extensions.
The CKAN data management platform is in use by numerous governments, organisations and communities around the world. Being open source, we don’t know of all the instances, but we do maintain a showcase of the ones we are aware of. Here are just a few examples:
- The Humanitarian Data Exchange 4,000+ Datasets
- Australian Government 35,000+ Datasets
- United States Government 180,000+ Datasets
- Open Government of Canada 120,000+ Datasets
- European Union Data Portal 600,000+ Datasets
We are proud and excited to see all the different uses being made of CKAN – if you would like to see your CKAN instance added to the showcase simply register it here.
Listen to what a few people had to say at the International Open Data Conference in 2016.
- Augusto Herrmann Batista, Government of Brazil
- Wendy Carrara, European Data Portal
- Ashley Casovan, Government of Canada
- Sebastian Moleski, Viderum.
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.
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.
CKAN is open source, free software. This means that you can use it without any license fees, but more importantly, when you choose CKAN for your catalog you are also ensuring that you retain all rights to the data and metadata you enter, giving you freedom to move it elsewhere or manipulate it with your own tools without restriction.
There are lots of different open source licenses (you can find them at http://opensource.org) – CKAN is licensed specifically under the terms of the Affero GNU GPL v3.0.
One of the strengths of the open source model is in the communities that form around free software products. The CKAN community is no different, and is arguably one of the strongest open data communities in the world. Together, the CKAN community has a wealth of knowledge and expertise that other people using the CKAN software can draw on.
Paid services for implementation support, theming, extension development, hosting and ongoing support are also available. We highly recommend professional services supplied by CKAN Association members. These are organisations who are acknowledged as strong contributors within the core project. They will not only perform valuable work, they will ensure your innovative contributions are shared with other CKAN users around the world.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Association has responsibility for items such as:
- The primary CKAN codebase
- The CKAN project roadmap including overseeing and steering technical development of CKAN
- Oversee and drive user and community engagement
- The website and any related media assets
- Managing any project finances and resources (e.g. from membership fees)
Currently the Association is managed via volunteer efforts, or as part of the in-kind contributions provided by members. The Association may appoint dedicated staff on an as needed basis and where there are resources to do so. However, at least currently, the CKAN Association does not have dedicated staff.
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