FAQs in category "Technical"

Technical questions that are specific to the deployment and using of CKAN

  • 1. What technologies does CKAN utilise?

    CKAN is built using widely used, industry standard technologies, all of them Open Source, just as CKAN itself:

    • The majority of the CKAN code is written in Python, using popular libraries such as Flask, SQLAlchemy and Jinja2. It also includes JavaScript for the User Interface and client-side functionality
    • PostgreSQL is used as a database management system, and Redis as a key-value store to support background jobs, sessions, caching, etc.
    • To power the search, CKAN uses Solr as the search engine.

  • 2. Does CKAN have an API?

    Yes, all the functionality available on the web User Interface and more is exposed via the Action API, a powerful RPC-style API that allows to closely integrate with CKAN and use it as a data platform.

    In addition, CKAN also offers the DataStore API, which allows programmatic access to the actual data stored in the catalogue to third party apps and external pipelines.

    API guide from CKAN Documentation: https://docs.ckan.org/en/2.9/api/

  • 3. Does CKAN support RDF, DCAT and other semantic technologies?

    The DCAT extension (ckanext-dcat) allows to expose and consume metadata using RDF documents serialised using the DCAT specification. It supports DCAT-AP 2.1 and also allows sites to define their own custom profiles.

  • 4. What database does CKAN use?

    CKAN uses a PostgreSQL database to store its data. PostgreSQL is a powerful, open-source object-relational database management system (ORDBMS) that is known for its stability, reliability, and robustness. CKAN uses PostgreSQL to store information about datasets, organisations, users, and other data.

    CKAN also uses Solr, a search engine, to perform full-text search on data. This allows CKAN to support advanced search functionality, such as faceted search, on the data it holds.

  • 5. What data formats CKAN supports?

    CKAN does not mind what format the data is in. A resource can be a CSV or Excel spreadsheet, XML file, PDF document, image file, Linked Data in RDF format, etc. CKAN can store the resource internally, or store it simply as a link, the resource itself being hosted elsewhere on the web.

    Through extensions, CKAN also supports the visualisation of various spatial data formats such as WMS, WFS and GeoTIFF, and can be integrated with other spatial data management tools like PostGIS, GeoServer and others.

    Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and CKAN can be extended to support other data formats via custom extensions and converters.

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