Setting up the DataStore


The DataStore requires PostgreSQL 9.0 or later. It is possible to use the DataStore on versions prior to 9.0 (for example 8.4). However, the datastore_search_sql() will not be available and the set-up is slightly different. Make sure, you read Legacy mode: use the DataStore with old PostgreSQL versions for more details.


The DataStore does not support hiding resources in a private dataset.

1. Enable the extension

Since the DataStore is an optional extension, it has to be enabled separately. To do so, ensure that the datastore extension is enabled in your CKAN config file:

ckan.plugins = datastore

2. Set-up the database


Make sure that you follow the steps in Set Permissions below correctly. Wrong settings could lead to serious security issues.

The DataStore requires a separate PostgreSQL database to save the resources to.

List existing databases:

sudo -u postgres psql -l

Check that the encoding of databases is UTF8, if not internationalisation may be a problem. Since changing the encoding of PostgreSQL may mean deleting existing databases, it is suggested that this is fixed before continuing with the datastore setup.

Create users and databases


If your CKAN database and DataStore databases are on different servers, then you need to create a new database user on the server where the DataStore database will be created. As in Option 2: Install from Source we’ll name the database user ckan_default:

sudo -u postgres createuser -S -D -R -P -l ckan_default

Create a database_user called datastore_default. This user will be given read-only access to your DataStore database in the Set Permissions step below:

sudo -u postgres createuser -S -D -R -P -l datastore_default

Create the database (owned by ckan_default), which we’ll call datastore_default:

sudo -u postgres createdb -O ckan_default datastore_default -E utf-8

Set URLs

Now, uncomment the ckan.datastore.write_url and ckan.datastore.read_url lines in your CKAN config file and edit them if necessary.

ckan.datastore.write_url = postgresql://ckan_default:pass@localhost/datastore_default
ckan.datastore.read_url = postgresql://datastore_default:pass@localhost/datastore_default

Replace pass with the passwords you created for your ckan_default and datastore_default database users.

Set Permissions


See Legacy mode: use the DataStore with old PostgreSQL versions if these steps continue to fail or seem too complicated for your set-up. However, keep in mind that the legacy mode is limited in its capabilities.

Once the DataStore database and the users are created, the permissions on the DataStore and CKAN database have to be set. Since there are different set-ups, there are different ways of setting the permissions. Only one of the options should be used.

Option 1: Paster command

This option is preferred if CKAN and PostgreSQL are on the same server.

To set the permissions, use this paster command after you’ve set the database URLs (make sure to have your virtualenv activated):

paster datastore set-permissions postgres -c /etc/ckan/default/development.ini

The postgres in this command should be the name of a postgres user with permission to create new tables and users, grant permissions, etc. Typically this user is called “postgres”. See paster datastore set-permissions -h.

Option 2: Command line tool

This option should be used if the CKAN server is different from the database server.

Copy the content from the datastore/bin/ directory to the database server. Then run the command line tool to set the permissions on the database. To see all available options, run:

python -h

Once you are confident that you know the right names, set the permissions (assuming that the CKAN database is called ckan_default and the CKAN PostgreSQL user is called ckan_default):

python ckan_default datastore_default ckan_default ckan_default datastore_default -p postgres

Option 3: SQL script

This option is for more complex set-ups and requires understanding of SQL and PostgreSQL.

Copy the set_permissions.sql file to the server that the database runs on. Make sure you set all variables in the file correctly and comment out the parts that are not needed for you set-up. Then, run the script:

sudo -u postgres psql postgres -f set_permissions.sql

3. Test the set-up

The DataStore is now set-up. To test the set-up, (re)start CKAN and run the following command to list all resources that are in the DataStore:

curl -X GET ""

This should return a JSON page without errors.

To test the whether the set-up allows writing, you can create a new resource in the DataStore. To do so, run the following command:

curl -X POST -H "Authorization: {YOUR-API-KEY}" -d '{"resource_id": "{RESOURCE-ID}", "fields": [ {"id": "a"}, {"id": "b"} ], "records": [ { "a": 1, "b": "xyz"}, {"a": 2, "b": "zzz"} ]}'

Replace {YOUR-API-KEY} with a valid API key and {RESOURCE-ID} with a resource id of an existing CKAN resource.

A table named after the resource id should have been created on your DataStore database. Visiting this URL should return a response from the DataStore with the records inserted above:{RESOURCE_ID}

You can now delete the DataStore table with:

curl -X POST -H "Authorization: {YOUR-API-KEY}" -d '{"resource_id": "{RESOURCE-ID}"}'

To find out more about the DataStore API, go to The DataStore API.

Legacy mode: use the DataStore with old PostgreSQL versions


The legacy mode can also be used to simplify the set-up since it does not require you to set the permissions or create a separate user.

The DataStore can be used with a PostgreSQL version prior to 9.0 in legacy mode. Due to the lack of some functionality, the datastore_search_sql() and consequently the HTSQL Support cannot be used. To enable the legacy mode, remove the declaration of the ckan.datastore.read_url.

The set-up for legacy mode is analogous to the normal set-up as described above with a few changes and consists of the following steps:

  1. Enable the extension

  2. The legacy mode is enabled by not setting the ckan.datastore.read_url

  3. Set-Up the database

    1. Create a separate database
    2. Create a write user on the DataStore database (optional since the CKAN user can be used)
  4. Test the set-up

There is no need for a read-only user or special permissions. Therefore the legacy mode can be used for simple set-ups as well.