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Generic RESTful Interface for databases
PHP JavaScript CSS
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Dynamically generate RESTful APIs from the contents of database tables or CSV files. Provides JSON, XML, CSV, and HTML output and autogenerated documentation. Supports most popular databases.

You can see a demo running at

What Problem This Solves

Creating an API to access information within existing database tables can be time consuming when done on a case by case basis, but often little of the work needed to accomplish this is specific to the needs of the dataset. Furthermore, there is no simple application to stand up new APIs from an existing dataset. There are great robust systems like CKAN for large data catalogs, but there are no basic solutions that are as easy to install and start using in the way an application like Wordpress is.

How This Solves It

DataBeam acts as a middleware interface allowing users to interact with a database or uploaded CSV file as if it was a fully documented native API. This makes it unnecessary to create custom code for each database layer. As a simple PHP application, it's incredibly easy to install. It's designed as a multi-user platform to be shared across an organization, but it's also simple and lightweight enough that it's practical to install for the sole purpose of hosting one dataset as an API.


  • Each new CSV or database connection creates a new REST API endpoint with output as json, jsonp, xml, csv, html, etc
  • Drag and drop CSV upload for CSV-to-API generation
  • Basic SQL "SELECT" statements can be used for each endpoint. Currently only read-only queries are included
  • You can create custom SQL queries as new endpoints for more complex statements like JOINs across multiple tables.
  • You get auto-generated interactive documentation as a Swagger compliant API
  • You can auto-generate client libraries (with the Swagger schema and Swagger Codegen)
  • You get API access logs
  • You get API key management (soon)
  • Multi-user with oAuth for user authentication. Currently Github is used for all user accounts.

Standard API Path & Parameters

There are no required parameters, but a number of optional ones. Each one of your APIs will be automatically documented, but for review the optional parameters include:

Optional Parameters

  • column: the name of a column in your table
  • value: a matching value found in the specified column
  • order_by: name of column to sort by
  • direction: direction to sort, either asc or desc (default asc)
  • limit: number, maximum number of results to return
  • page: number, offset for pagination. Page size is defined by "limit"

e.g., /[database]/[table].[format]?column=[column]&value=[value]&order_by=[column]&direction=[direction]


  • PHP 5.3
  • PHP Data Objects (PDO) Extension
  • Database for storing users and connection settings (Currently supports MySQLi, MS SQL, Postgres, Oracle, SQLite, and ODBC)
  • SQLite for storing data from CSV uploads
  • Any PDO compatible database for external database connections
  • APC (optional for caching)

External Databases Supported

PDO compatible databases include:

  • 4D
  • Firebird/Interbase
  • IBM
  • Informix
  • MS SQL Server
  • MySQL
  • ODBC and DB2
  • Oracle
  • PostgreSQL
  • SQLite


This is a CodeIgniter PHP application. Installation primarily consists of editing config files in /application/config and importing the database schema.

  1. Grab the code git clone
  2. Copy /sample.htaccess to /.htaccess. You may need to adjust the configuration of your .htaccess file to match your environment.
  3. Copy /application/config/sample-env dir to /application/config/<env>, according to your environment. Edit /application/config/<env>/config.php:
    • Your OAuth Client ID and Client Secret for GitHub authentication
    • The path to where you want to store your SQLite files (give this directory adequate permissions for your server to write to)
  4. Open /application/config/<env>/upload.php and edit upload_path with the path to where you want to save uploaded CSV files (give this directory adequate permissions for your server to write to)
  5. Create a local database and import the SQL database found in /sql/restdb.sql into this local database. Two examples how to do it:
    • mysql> CREATE DATABASE restdb;
    • $> mysql -u root -p restdb < restdb.sql
  6. Open /application/config/<env>/database.php and edit with your local database settings


GPLv3 or later.


  • Provide developer documentation for installation and contributions. Provide better user documentation and feature listing
  • Better caching - it's barely implemented at all right now
  • A UI for custom SQL queries - the backend for this is already in place
  • Pagination by default and provide some configurable options per database
  • More robust CSV handling for large files and even queuing for batch uploads
  • API management features like API key provisioning. Backend for this mostly in place already
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