A framework for the publication of scientific databases
Today, the publication of research data plays an important role in astronomy and astrophysics. On the one hand, dedicated programs, such as surveys like SDSS and RAVE, data intensive instruments like LOFAR, or massive simulations like Millennium and MultiDark are initially planned to release their data for the community. On the other hand, for more traditionally oriented research projects data publication becomes a key requirement demanded by the funding agencies.
The common approach is to publish this data via dedicated web sites. This includes rather simple HTML forms as well as complex query systems such as SDSS-CAS or the RAVE database query interface. Most of these web sites are tailor made for the particular case and are therefore not easily transferrable to future projects.
At Leibniz-Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), we gained experience with both the maintenance and the development of such applications. The RAVE and MultiDark databases, the German SDSS mirror, and several smaller web sites are written or at least maintained by us. It became, however, apparent that already the current plethora of applications constitutes a major challenge for maintenance expenses and scalability.
In order to address these issues, we developed a new web framework, which is particularly designed to allow for different highly customizable web applications based on a common easily maintainable code base. It is called Daiquiri.
Here are some features that come with Daiquiri. This feature list is far from complete. One of the key design goals of Daiquiri is, to each advanced complex feature to have a simple version that works out of the box. Many of the advanced features require 3rd party tools and are thus more complicated to set up. Such features are marked in bold. Further we strive to make Daiquiri as Virtual Observatory (VO) compliant as possible. The currently implemented VO features are marked with VO.
- User management
- Permission management
- SQL query form
- SQL query permission handling
- Data query forms
- Query management
- Query management using MySQL Job Queue
- Integration with PaQu, a parallel query engine
- Database table viewer
- First impression in-browser plotting
- Synchronous and asynchronous data export into different formats (MySQL Dump, CSV, VOTable ASCII + Binary (VO))
- Database table and column meta data management (supporting UCDs (VO))
- File links and downloads through database tables
- UWS job submission (VO)
- Easy WordPress integration
Technology behind Daiquiri
Daiquiri uses PHP together with the Zend framework. It is currently build for MySQL, but should be able to run with any database after some minor modifications. The advanced features though are tightly integrated with MySQL extensions that we built for use with Daiquiri. These are the MySQL query queue, PaQu, and the IVOA MySQL VOTable dumper. The asynchronous data export relies on Gearman. The user interface makes use of jQuery, bootstrap, CodeMirror and flot.
For more information about Daiquiri and the documentation, please visit escience.aip.de/daiquiri.
Daiquiri is developed and maintained by the E-Science group at the Leibniz-Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam.
Lead developers are Jochen Klar and Adrian Partl.