A public use implementation of the TAP, cone search, datalink and SIAP virtual observatory protocols as used in the CSIRO ASKAP Science Data Archive
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This web application provides access to astronomical data using the following Virtual Observatory protocols:

Protocol Version Endpoint Base
Table Access Protocol v1.0 /tap
Simple Cone Search v1.03 /scs
Simple Spectral Access v1.1 /ssa
Simple Image Access v2.0 /sia2
Datalink v1.0 /datalink

Each protocol has an /availability and /capabilities endpoint (e.g. /tap/capabilities ) which comply with the IVOA Support Interfaces (VOSI) v1.0 specification. The /capabilities endpoint lists all other endpoints and is the means clients will use for auto discovery of services. The /capabilities will also be included in the IVOA registry entries for each VO Tools instance.

The application is designed to be reusable both within CSIRO and by other data centers. As a result there should be no CSIRO specific code or functionality included in the application. All customisation is also accessible using configuration rather than via code.

Release History

Current Release: v1.8

Notes for each release are available at release_notes.md


System Requirements

  • Java v8 SDK
  • Web container: tested with Tomcat 8
  • Postgres database running PostgreSQL 9.4 or later and pgShere v1.1 or later

Accessing the WAR file

CASDA Vo Tools is distributed as a ready to install war file (web archive). This can be directly deployed in a Java web container such as Tomcat.

The casda_vo_tools.war file can either be downloaded from the files tab at CASDA VO Tools v1.8 on CSIRO Data Access Portal or you can build it using the instructions below.


  1. Tomcat should be configured to expand war files (for ease of configuration).
  2. The casda_vo_tools.war file should be added to the webapps folder in Tomcat.
  3. Start Tomcat (or restart Tomcat if it is already running)
  4. Open http://localhost:8080/casda_vo_tools/ to see a welcome message.
  5. Then open http://localhost:8080/casda_vo_tools/configure/home to access the initial configuration screen.

Note that the server name and port may vary depending on your deployment server and how tomcat is configured.


A full guide to interactive configuration is provided at Deploying_CASDA_VO_Tools.pdf however a short intro is provided here.

Application config

Two configuration systems are available for use in the CASDA VO Tools application.

  • Spring Boot's externalized configuration which uses application.properties and config/application-casda_vo_tools.properties. These can be within the war file or placed in the runtime working directory. See src/main/resources/application.properties for further details.
  • A custom config/configuration.yaml file in the runtime working directory. This is the main means by which an external data center would configure their VO Tools instance.

Either config system can be used in a particular deployment. If present, the yaml will override the spring boot config.

The configuration can be interactively managed using the endpoint /configure/home. This is documented in /src/docs/Deploying CASDA VO Tools.docx

For an initial installation, you should follow these basic steps:

  1. Go to http://localhost:8080/casda_vo_tools/configure/home

  2. If a database connection is detected then a login will be required. The default login details are User: voadmin Password: password

  3. Click Current to see the current configuration

  4. Change the values for connection.url, connection.username, and connection.password to connect to your database.

  5. Select Update as the allowed access level and click Explore to read in the details of your database and create the TAP metadata tables

  6. Add schema and table entries e.g.

    ivoa: !au.csiro.casda.votools.config.SchemaConfig {}
    ivoa.obscore: {}

  7. Select Update as the allowed access level and click Apply to save the configuration and update the TAP metadata tables

  8. Edit config/authz to change the password to one of your choosing.

  9. Go to http://localhost:8080/casda_vo_tools/tap

  10. The UI you see at this address can be used to execute some ADQL queries. eg:

SELECT * FROM tap_schema.tables


The log4j configuration file is detected using default behaviour of log4j, by being named according to convention (log4j2.xml) and provided on the classpath. When running locally or in the application environments, the log4j configuration file is bundled with the application. When running under Eclipse, the log configuration file is copied into the local Eclipse-managed server's WEB-INF/classes directory, because it's in the src/test/resources folder, and loaded via the classpath. A custom logging config can be placed at config/CasdaVoTools-log4j2.xml under the Tomcat working directory.

Logs will be written by default to the following location, relative to the working directory of the Tomcat process:



CASDA VO Tools is a Java web application. It has a fairly standard layout and the build is managed using the Gradle Build Tool .

The Gradle build is configured to download all dependencies, compile the code, run the unit tests and build the war file.

On Windows:

gradlew clean build

On Unix or Mac:

./gradlew clean build


For information on developing CASDA VO Tools, see DEVELOPERS.md