Create simple APIs from CSV files
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db updated some tests, fixing some things on the way Dec 3, 2016


Mira is a Ruby on Rails application which gives you a simple HTTP API for CSV files.


  1. You create a Mira project. A project is simply a home for one or more CSV files, along with a datapackage.json file. More on that now...

  2. You provide Mira with information about your CSV files by uploading a datapackage.json file to the project. This file provides metadata for the CSV files you plan to upload to the project. i.e. file names, columns names and types, delimiters etc. See here and here for more information about datapackage.json files and tabular data packages.

  3. With the datapackage.json file Mira then does the following:

    • it creates an empty database table for each CSV file specified in the datapackage.json file.
    • it creates an API to these database tables which you can use to read and write data.
  4. You write data to the database tables by uploading CSV files, or by using a JSON API.

  5. You can query the data using simple API requests. Consider a table mytable in a project, with columns col1, col2 and col3. To get rows where col1 equals "XXX", col2 equals "YYY" and col3 equals "ZZZ", you could make the following GET request:


See the demo for more details on how the data can be queried.

  1. You can generate API keys to control the reading and writing data.


A Mira instance is running here providing APIs to several datasets:

For example, some dummy clinical trial data has been uploaded and its API details are found here:

Some examles of interacting with a Mira API:

Quick Start


  1. Clone the repository

  2. Run bundle

     bundle install
  3. Update the config/database.yml file with your database credentials. Assuming you've created a user "mira" with full access to a database of the same name:

     default: &default
       adapter: postgresql
       encoding: unicode
       pool: 5
       host: localhost
       port: 5432
       username: mira
       password: **your_password_here**
       <<: *default
       database: mira_dev
       <<: *default
       database: mira_test
  4. Create and migrate database, and seed database with a single admin user (email = and password = topsecret):

     rake db:create
     rake db:migrate
     rake db:seed
  5. Start your local development server

     rails s
  6. In a separate terminal start a background job to process uploaded files

     rake jobs:work
  7. Open up the Mira homepage:

    [http://localhost:3000] (http://localhost:3000)

  8. Download sample csv files + their datapackage.json file:

    [mira_sample_data.tar.gz] ( or [] (

  9. Log in, create a new project, first upload the datapackage.json file, then the sample csv files

  10. Navigate to the following address for the project's API details:


Extra Notes

Assuming a write API key has been generated, here's how you can write data:

curl -d "data[col1]=value1&data[col2]=val2" -H "X-Api-Key: 6041fa394bc84abe46ffdb71" http://localhost:3000/api/projects/1/tables/mytable/data