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ckanext-report is a CKAN extension that provides a reporting infrastructure. Here are the features offered:

  • All available reports are listed on a central web page and from the command-line.
  • Breadcrumbs allow navigation from a report back to the reports page.
  • Reports are served as a web page, JSON or CSV from a cache.
  • The reports can be run in a nightly batch and saved to the cache.
  • Admins can regenerate reports from the report's web page.

Example report:

Demo report image

A number of extensions currently offer reports that rely on this extension, e.g. ckanext-archiver, ckanext-qa, ckanext-dgu.


  • Stop a report from being generated multiple times in parallel (unnecessary waste) - use a queue?
  • Stop more than one report being generated in parallel (high load for the server) - maybe use a queue.

Compatibility: Requires CKAN version 2.1 or later (but can be easily adapted for older versions).

Status: in production at but since that uses its own CSS rather than core CKAN's, for others to use it CSS needs adding. For an example, see this branch: see

Author(s): David Read

Install & setup

Install ckanext-report into your CKAN virtual environment in the usual way:

(pyenv) $ pip install -e git+

Initialize the database tables needed by ckanext-report:

(pyenv) $ paster --plugin=ckanext-report report initdb --config=mysite.ini

Enable the plugin. In your config (e.g. development.ini or production.ini) add report to your ckan.plugins. e.g.:

ckan.plugins = report

Command-line interface

The following operations can be run from the command line using the paster --plugin=ckanext-report report command:

  report list
    - lists the reports

  report generate [report1,report2,...]
    - generate the specified reports, or all of them if none specified

Get the list of reports:

(pyenv) $ paster --plugin=ckanext-report report list --config=mysite.ini

Generate all reports:

(pyenv) $ paster --plugin=ckanext-report report generate --config=mysite.ini

Generate a single report:

(pyenv) $ paster --plugin=ckanext-report report generate <report name> --config=mysite.ini

Demo report - Tagless Datasets

There is a simple demonstration report included in ckanext-report which you can enable by adding tagless_report to your list of ckan.plugins in your ckan.ini. Once you've restarted paster or whichever webserver, you should see it listed on the webpage at: /report.

Dataset Notes

Reports that examine datasets include a column 'Dataset Notes', designed to show custom properties of the datasets. There are often key properties that you want to show, such as whether a dataset is private, harvested etc., but it is configurable because every CKAN install is different. To configure the contents of this: put a python expression in the CKAN config ckanext-report.notes.dataset.

For example at we flag up if a dataset is 'unpublished', has been harvested or was imported from ONSHUB:

ckanext-report.notes.dataset = ' '.join(('Unpublished' if asbool(pkg.extras.get('unpublished')) else '', 'UKLP' if asbool(pkg.extras.get('UKLP')) else '', 'National Statistics Pub Hub' if pkg.extras.get('external_reference')=='ONSHUB' else ''))

Creating a Report

A report has three key elements:

  1. Report Code - a python function that produces the report.
  2. Template - HTML for displaying the report data.
  3. Registration - containing the configuration of the report.

The examples below are taken from the worked example "Tagless datasets" in this repository - see above for how to run this demo.

Report Code

The code that produces the report will probably make some calls to the logic layer or database, assemble the data into dicts/lists and then return them. This will be saved as JSON in the database data_cache.

The returned data should be a dict like this:

    'table': [
        {'name': 'river-levels', 'title': 'River levels', 'notes': 'Harvested', 'user': 'bob', 'created': '2008-06-13T10:24:59.435631'},
        {'name': 'co2-monthly', 'title' 'CO2 monthly', 'notes': '', 'user': 'bob', 'created': '2009-12-14T08:42:45.473827'},
    'num_packages': 56,
    'packages_without_tags_percent': 4,
    'average_tags_per_package': 3.5,

There should be a table with the main body of the data, and any other totals or incidental pieces of data.

Note: the table is required because of the CSV download facility, and CSV demands a table. (The CSV download only includes the table, ignoring any other values in the data.) Although the data has to essentially be stored as a table, you do have the option to display it differently in the web page by using a clever template.

Dates should be returned as an ISO format string.

The convention is to put the report code in: ckanext/<extension>/


When you view a report, ckanext-report will automatically show the title, options, the CSV/JSON download buttons and for the administrator a 'refresh' button. Everything below that, the display of the data itself, is the job of the report template.

The report template will probably display the incidental data and then the table:

Report (snippet)

table - main data, as a list of rows, each row is a dict
data - other data values, as a dict
    <li>Datasets without tags: {{ table|length }} / {{ data['num_packages'] }} ({{ data['packages_without_tags_percent'] }})</li>
    <li>Average tags per package: {{ data['average_tags_per_package'] }} tags</li>

<table class="table table-bordered table-condensed tablesorter" id="report-table" style="width: 100%; table-layout:fixed; margin-top: 8px;">
      {% for row in table %}
            <a href="{{ h.url_for(controller='package', action='view', }}">
              {{ row.title }}
          <td>{{ row.notes }}</td>
          <td>{{ h.linked_user(row.user) }}</td>
          <td>{{ h.render_datetime(row.created) }}</td>
      {% endfor %}

The convention is to put the report templates in: ckanext/<extension>/templates/report/<report_name>.html

Note: currently ckanext-report has not been styled yet for the core CKAN templates, due to the author using custom templates. Feel free to add styling.

Option templates

Each option needs a template snippet containing the widget for the user to change the value. The snippet for selecting the 'organization' is already included, and you can define others.

  • It must be located at: report/option_<option-name>.html
  • It is passed values:
    • value - Value of this option
    • default - Default value for this option
  • The widget should be a field, with name: option-<option-name> that returns the value for the option when the form is submitted.
  • If it is not missing then the report page falls back to just showing the option value (i.e. read-only).

Here's an example of a checkbox for whether to 'include sub-organizations' from 'ckanext/report/templates/report/option_include_sub_organizations.html':

Option snippet - organization

value - Value of this option
<span class="form-select control-group control-organization">
    <label class="checkbox">
      <input type="checkbox" name="include_sub_organizations" value="1" class="inline js-auto-submit" {{ 'checked=checked' if value }} />
      Include results from sub-organizations


Register your report with ckanext-report with the IReport plugin and supply its configuration.

Your extension will probably have a file defining plugins - classes which inherit from p.SingletonPlugin. Make a plugin implement IReport, based on this example

import ckan.plugins as p
from import IReport

class TaglessReportPlugin(p.SingletonPlugin):

    # IReport

    def register_reports(self):
        import reports
        return [reports.tagless_report_info]

The last line refers to tag_report_info which is a dictionary with properties of the report. This is stored in together with the report code (see above). The info dict looks like this:

from ckan.common import OrderedDict
tagless_report_info = {
    'name': 'tagless-datasets',
    'description': 'Datasets which have no tags.',
    'option_defaults': OrderedDict((('organization', None),
                                    ('include_sub_organizations', False),
    'option_combinations': tagless_report_option_combinations,
    'generate': tagless_report,
    'template': 'report/tagless.html',

Info dict spec:

  • name - forms part of the URL
  • title (optional) - this is the report title as it is displayed. Defaults to name, capitalized and with dashes changed to spaces.
  • description (optional) - this is displayed in the report list page and on the report page.
  • generate - function returning the report data
  • template - filepath of the report HTML template
  • option_defaults - dict of ALL option names and their default values. Use ckan.common.OrderedDict. If there are no options, you can return None.
  • option_combinations - function returning a list of all the options combinations (reports for these combinations are generated by default). If there are no options, return None.
  • authorize (optional) - a function that says if the user is allowed to view the report. Takes params: (user_object, options_dict) and should return a boolean - if the user is authorized or not. The default is that anyone can see reports.

Finally we need to define the function that returns the option_combinations:

def tagless_report_option_combinations():
    for organization in lib.all_organizations(include_none=True):
        for include_sub_organizations in (False, True):
            yield {'organization': organization,
                   'include_sub_organizations': include_sub_organizations}


To translate plugin to a new language (ie. "pl") run python init_catalog -l pl.

To update template file with new translation added in the code or templates run python extract_messages in the root plugin directory. Then run ./ckanext/report/i18n/ -v to strip core ckan's translations.

To update translation files for locale "pl" with new template run python update_catalog -l pl.


CKAN report infrastructure




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