Provide RESTful access to SKOS vocabularies
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1 Install the OpenSKOS code

Copy the code to a location of your choice.

Make sure all files are readable by your webserver. Make sure the directories data/uploads, cache, public/data/icons/assigned and public/data/icons/uploads are writable for the webserver.

For security reasons you can place the data directory outside your webserver's document root.

1.1 Composer

Run composer install to install some dependencies like zend framework 1.12

1.2 Configuration

To configure OpenSKOS you have to rename:




Now you can edit the APPROOT/application/configs/application.ini.

You can have separate config settings for specific deployments. The configuration section marked by the Environment Variable APPLICATION_ENV (see 2.1 Setting Up Your VHOST). Most settings are self explanatory.

If you experience any problems you may want to modify settings in the config, to show you more verbose error messages:

phpSettings.display_errors = 1

1.2.1 OAI-PMH setup

OpenSKOS includes a OAI harvester. To configure OAI Service providers, use the "instances" part of the configuration. Two types of instances are supported:

  • openskos (instances of OpenSKOS)
  • external (any OAI-PMH provider that provides SKOS/XML-RDF data)

The setup for "openskos" types is easy:

instances.openskos.label=YOUR LABEL

For "external" types use this syntax:

instances.example1.label=EXAMPLE LABEL
#optional, default=oai_rdf

You can define multiple instances by using a different key (in the above example the key example1 is used).

1.2.2 ConceptScheme ordering

The application.ini allows you to change the order in which concept schemes are listed everywhere. The scheme order is made in this sequence:

  • group the schemes according to their collection
  • order the groups by the desired collection order
  • sort the schemes inside each group alphabetically

The collection order can be set in the ini by setting the editor.schemeOrder.collections[]="" All unlisted collections will be ordered after the listed ones. All listed collections that re not present in the DB will be skipped. In this way the ini supports collection ordering for more than 1 instances.

2. Webserver with PHP support

You can install your favourite webserver with PHP support. All development and testing was done using Apache/2.2.15 with PHP 5.3.8 Make sure your PHP installation supports at least one supported Database adapters (see or otherwise: )

2.1 Setting Up Your VHOST

The following is a sample VHOST you might want to consider for your project.

<VirtualHost *:80>
   DocumentRoot "/PATH/TO/CODE/public"

   # This should be omitted in the production environment
   SetEnv APPLICATION_ENV development

   <Directory "/PATH/TO/CODE/public">
       Options Indexes MultiViews FollowSymLinks
       AllowOverride All
       Order allow,deny
       Allow from all


3. Database setup

Install your choice of Zend Framework supported Database engine (see The credentials to access your database can be configured in the application's configuration.

Once you have created an empty database, you have to run the SQL script APPROOT/data/openskos-create.sql to create the db-tables.

You also have to run the php-script to create a tenant:

php APPROOT/tools/tenant.php --code INST_CODE --name INST_NAME --email EMAIL --password PWD create

With this account created you can login into the dashboard, where you can manage all the other entities of the application.

4. Apache Jena Fuseki setup

Openskos uses Fuseki 2 for storage. At the time of writing this doc latest stable version is 2.3.0

Installing Fuseki 2 for development purposes:

  1. Download Fuseki 2 from here download
  2. Install stand alone fuseki server. The instructions are the same as on getting started page
  3. Unpack the downloaded file with unzip or tar zxfv to a <fuseki folder> of your choice
  4. chmod +x fuseki-server
  5. Symlink or copy the content of: <openskos folder>/data/fuseki/configuration/ to <fuseki folder>/run/configuration/
  6. Go to <fuseki folder> and run the server with ./fuseki-server --update
  7. The docs say that Fuseki requires Java 7, but if you have the error Unsupported major.minor version 52.0 try updating your Java, or go for Java 8 directly.
  8. Now you will have the fuseki server up and running on http://localhost:3030/ with "openskos" dataset defined. This is also the default config in openskos' application.ini.dist - item sparql

5. Apache Solr Setup

You have to have a java VM installed prior to installing Solr! Download a 3.4 release of Apache Solr and extract it somewhere on your server:

  • go to the example directory and create a directory named openskos
  • copy the data/solr/conf directory of the OpenSKOS checkout to the SOLR-INSTALL_DIR/example/openskos directory

You can now start Solr (in this example with 1,024 MB memory assigned):

java -Dsolr.solr.home="./openskos" -Xms1024m -Xmx1024m -jar start.jar

6. Data Ingest

Once you have the application running you can start adding data, managed in collections.

You can create a collection in the dashboard.

There are three ways to populate a collection:

6.1 REST-interface

Send data via the REST-API, e.g. like this:

curl -H "Accept: text/xml" -X POST -T sample-concept.rdf http://localhost/OpenSKOS/public/api/concept

You find the required format of the input data described in the API-docs under:

You may send only one concept per call. Also, you have to identify the tenant and provide the API key, which you assign to the user in the dashboard.

6.2 Uploader

Upload a dataset (a SKOS/RDF file) via a form in the dashboard:Manage collections. Here you can provide many concepts within one file (XPath: /rdf:RDF/rdf:Description)

Once you successfully upload the file, it is scheduled for import, as seen in dashboard:Manage jobs.

The import job can be started with ./tools/jobs.php, a CLI script intended to be run with a Cron like task runner.

6.3 OAI ???

Third possiblity is to replicate an existing dataset via OAI-PMH, either from other OpenSKOS-instances or from an external source providing SKOS-data.

??? For this, you set the [OAI baseURL]-field of a collection to the OAI-PMH endpoint of an external provider and let the source be harvested.

The harvest job can be started with ./tools/harvest.php, another CLI script meant to be run as a cron-task. ???

6.4 Migrate from OpenSKOS v1

It is possible to migrate the data from the SOLR core used by a OpenSKOS v1 instance directly into a v2 instance

tools/migrate.php --endpoint http://<solr server>:8180/ciss/<core name>/select

Once this is complete the data from the v1 instance will be available in the triple store used by OpenSKOS v2.

6.5 API Documentation

Generate API Documentation

npm install
npm run doc


7 Development

To test / develop the application you can run

docker-compose up --build
docker exec -it openskos-php-fpm ./vendor/bin/phing

Go to http://localhost:9001/manage.html?tab=datasets login with admin / admin create a persistent dataset named openskos Create a test tenant / user in the openskos application

docker exec -it openskos-php-fpm php ./tools/tenant.php create -e development --code=pic --name=Picturae --password=test

Now you can login on http://localhost:9000/editor/login