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ckanext-hierarchy - Organization and group hierarchy for CKAN

Organizations and groups can be arranged into a tree hierarchy.

This new hierarchical arrangement of organizations and groups is displayed using templates in this extension, instead of the usual list: Screenshot of organizations page

Provides a new field on the organization and group edit form to select a parent organization: Screenshot of organization edit page

When viewing an organization you see its context within the tree in the side bar. In addition you can widen search of the organization's datasets to include datasets in sub-organizations too: Screenshot of organization page

Technical details

Forms (hierachy_form plugin):

  • /organization/new
  • /organization/edit/{id}
  • /group/new
  • /group/edit/{id}

Templates (hierarchy_display plugin):

  • /organization - now shows the organization hierarchy instead of list
  • /organization/about/{id} - now also shows the relevant part of the hierarchy
  • /group - now shows the group hierarchy instead of list
  • /group/about/{id} - now also shows the relevant part of the hierarchy

Snippets (used by hierarchy_display and ckanext-scheming):

  • /scheming/form_snippets/org_hierarchy.html

You can use this extension with CKAN as it is, enabling both plugins. Or if you use an extension to customise the form already with an IGroupForm, then you will want to only use the hierarchy_display plugin, and copy bits of the hierarchy_form and/or hierarchy_group_form into your own. If you have your own templates then you can use the snippets (or logic functions) that this extension provides to display the trees.

In order to make hierarchy work with ckanext-scheming you need to enable just hierarchy_display and then use corresponding form_snippet in your org_schema or group_schema. For example, you may add next field:

    "field_name": "not_used",
    "label": "Parent organization",
    "display_snippet": null,
    "form_snippet": "org_hierarchy.html",
    "validators": "ignore_missing"

Optionally one could also specify a full name and leave the field 'title' for the short name or acronym (more convenient for display).

    "field_name": "longname",
    "label": "Full Name",
    "validators": "ignore_missing unicode",
    "form_snippet": "large_text.html",
    "form_attrs": {"data-module": "slug-preview-target"},
    "form_placeholder": "My Organization full name",
    "display_snippet": null


  • make the trees prettier with JSTree


This extension requires CKAN v2.7 or later.


To install ckanext-hierarchy:

  1. Activate your CKAN virtual environment, for example:

    . /usr/lib/ckan/default/bin/activate
  2. Install the ckanext-hierarchy Python package into your virtual environment:

    cd /usr/lib/ckan/default/src
    pip install -e "git+"
    pip install -r ckanext-hierarchy/requirements.txt
  3. Add hierarchy_display, hierarchy_form and/or hierarchy_group_form to the ckan.plugins setting in your CKAN config file (by default the config file is located at /etc/ckan/default/production.ini). Note that hierarchy_display should come before hierarchy_form and hierarchy_group_form


    ckan.plugins = stats text_view recline_view ... hierarchy_display hierarchy_form hierarchy_group_form
  4. Restart CKAN. For example if you've deployed CKAN with Apache on Ubuntu:

     sudo service apache2 reload

Config settings

None at present


To run the tests, do::

nosetests --nologcapture --with-pylons=test.ini

To run the tests and produce a coverage report, first make sure you have coverage installed in your virtualenv (pip install coverage) then run::

nosetests --nologcapture --with-pylons=test.ini --with-coverage --cover-package=ckanext.hierarchy --cover-inclusive --cover-erase --cover-tests

Releasing a new version of ckanext-hierarchy

ckanext-hierarchy should be available on PyPI as To publish a new version to PyPI follow these steps:

  1. Update the version number in the file. See PEP 440 <>_ for how to choose version numbers.

  2. Make sure you have the latest version of necessary packages:

    pip install --upgrade setuptools wheel twine
  3. Create a source and binary distributions of the new version:

    python sdist bdist_wheel && twine check dist/*

    Fix any errors you get.

  4. Upload the source distribution to PyPI:

    twine upload dist/*
  5. Commit any outstanding changes:

    git commit -a
  6. Tag the new release of the project on GitHub with the version number from the file. For example if the version number in is 0.0.1 then do:

    git tag 0.0.1
    git push --tags

Licence and copyright

This module is openly licensed with AGPLv3 - see LICENSE file.

Copyright belongs to commit authors. Commits 2013-2017 by @davidread are Crown Copyright.