Aperture Data Studio SDK and pre-configured Java project.
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Aperture Data Studio SDK

The SDK provides a simple Java library to create your own custom steps and extend the capabilities of Aperture Data Studio version 1.2.

This repo contains the SDK jar and a pre-configured Java project that uses Gradle to easily build your own custom step. Alternatively, you can add the SDK as a dependency to your own project by downloading the SDK jar from the libs folder.

The project comes with an ExampleSteps module which, when built, will output the SDK examples jar. The example classes demonstrate some key functionality of the SDK along with providing a template class which can be used as a starting point for your own custom steps.

You can view the Javadoc here for full reference documentation.

Table of contents

Generating a custom step with the sample project

The steps below show how to generate a compatible jar file using Gradle:

  1. Clone the repo.
  2. Open the project in your favourite IDE.
  3. Create a new class within the MyCustomSteps module. For the output jar to work correctly it will need to be in the com.experian.aperture.datastudio.sdk.step.addons package - the template class is located there. We recommend that you base your class on one of the examples or use the template class.
  4. Open the Gradle window in your IDE and run the MyCustomSteps build task. This will build the jar for the steps you have created.
  5. Your new jar will be built to build/libs/MyCustomSteps.jar.

Generating a custom step from a new or existing project

If you don't wish to use Gradle, you'll need to configure your own java project to generate a compatible jar artifact:

  1. Create a new java project or open an existing one.
  2. Download the sdk.jar file.
  3. Create a libs folder and add in the sdk.jar as a library.
  4. Create a new package - com.experian.aperture.datastudio.sdk.step.addons.
  5. Create a new class in the package you just created.
  6. Configure your project to output a jar file as an artifact, this will be done differently depending on your IDE.

Adding a custom step to Aperture Data Studio

To make your custom step available in the Aperture Data Studio UI:

  1. Copy your new jar into the addons folder in your Aperture Data Studio installation directory - you should see the new step in the UI.
  2. Test your new step by dragging it into your workflow like any other step.

Creating a custom step

The sample project in the repository has a pre-configured Gradle build as well as having the SDK included and the correct package name configured. If you would like to start your own project then follow the instructions above.

With your project set up you can now create a new class. If you cloned the sample project you will have a MyCustomSteps module, inside that module you'll find the package com.experian.aperture.datastudio.sdk.step.addons. Create your new classes in this package so that they are correctly picked up by the Data Studio UI.

Importing the SDK

In order to make use of the classes and methods, you'll need to import the SDK into your class. Add an import statement below the package name to import all the SDK classes and methods.

import com.experian.aperture.datastudio.sdk.step.*

Your new class should look something like this:

package com.experian.aperture.datastudio.sdk.step.addons;

import com.experian.aperture.datastudio.sdk.step.*;

public class DemoStep {

All the classes and methods will now be available to you.

Configuring your step

The SDK has a StepConfiguration class. A custom step class should extend the StepConfiguration class. This will allow you to correctly configure your custom step and ensure it displays correctly in the UI.

You can create a new method in your class to set up your step.

Adding step information

Each step needs some basic information to identify it in the Data Studio UI. You'll need to make sure your step has a name, description and icon:

package com.experian.aperture.datastudio.sdk.step.addons;

import com.experian.aperture.datastudio.sdk.step.*;

import java.util.Collections;
import java.util.Optional;
import java.util.Base64;

public class DemoStep extends StepConfiguration {

    public DemoStep() {
        // Basic step information
        setStepDefinitionDescription("Demonstrates a step");

Adding step properties

Step properties represent step UI elements. These properties could include displaying information about the step, allowing the user to input something or selecting a column to manipulate. The property type is set using the ofType method. For example setting the property to be a column chooser would be done with the following code:

StepProperty arg1 = new StepProperty()

It it also recommended that you update the UI with some prompts and error icons to show the user that more interaction is required before the step will work correctly. You can do this using the withStatusIndicator, withIconTypeSupplier and withArgTextSupplier methods. The example below will show an error icon and display a couple of prompts if no data input is present and subsequently if no column is selected. If all is correct then the name of the column will be displayed.

StepProperty arg1 = new StepProperty()
        .withStatusIndicator(sp -> () -> sp.allowedValuesProvider != null)
        .withIconTypeSupplier(sp -> () -> sp.allowedValuesProvider == null ? "ERROR" : "OK")
        .withArgTextSupplier(sp -> () -> sp.allowedValuesProvider == null ? "Connect an input for columns" : (sp.getValue() == null ? "Select a column" : sp.getValue().toString()));

Most workflow steps will take in an input and then output something at the other end. To allow input and output you'll need to use havingInputNode and havingOutputNode. The final part of initial setup for a step property is to call validateAndReturn to perform the validation.

StepProperty arg1 = new StepProperty()
        .withStatusIndicator(sp -> () -> sp.allowedValuesProvider != null)
        .withIconTypeSupplier(sp -> () -> sp.allowedValuesProvider == null ? "ERROR" : "OK")
        .withArgTextSupplier(sp -> () -> sp.allowedValuesProvider == null ? "Connect an input for columns" : (sp.getValue() == null ? "Select a column" : sp.getValue().toString()))
        .havingInputNode(() -> "input0")
        .havingOutputNode(() -> "output0")

The property is now ready to be added. The setStepProperties method takes a list. For a single property use a SingletonList. To add multiple properties, use Arrays.asList.


Step output is where the main work is done, you'll need to define a new output class and set it using setStepOutput. This method takes a new StepOutput class:

setStepOutput(new DemoOutput());

Step output

Step output classes are configured by extending the StepOutput class.

private class DemoOutput extends StepOutput {

First up you can set the name that appears when viewing the output data by overriding the getName method.

public String getName() { return "Demo step"; }


The initialise method initialises the view and is therefore where you would set up your output columns. You may want to add some columns or replace values in an existing column. You can use the ColumnManager class for this.

An example of using the column manager to add a column is below. Here the column manager clears the columns, gets the column selected by the user and adds a column next to it.

public void initialise() throws Exception {


    String selectedColumnName = getArgument(0);
    if (selectedColumnName != null) {


        StepColumn selectedColumn = getColumnManager().getColumnByName(selectedColumnName);
        if (selectedColumn != null) {
            int selectedColumnPosition = getColumnManager().getColumnPosition(selectedColumnName);

            getColumnManager().addColumnAt(this, selectedColumnName, "Base64 Encoded column", selectedColumnPosition);


The getValueAt object is called for each cell when generating the view or executing the workflow. By default it will simply display the data as it is. If you override this, you can set the values in a specific column. You'll see in the example below that the row and column are passed in. The example also shows getting the column selected by the user and using those values to set the values of another column.

public Object getValueAt(long row, int col) throws Exception {

    // get the user-defined column
    String selectedColumnName = getArgument(0);

    // get the column object from the first input
    Optional<StepColumn> inputColumn = null;
    if (selectedColumnName != null && !selectedColumnName.isEmpty()) {
        inputColumn = getInputColumn(0, selectedColumnName);
    if (inputColumn.isPresent()) {
        // get the input column's value for the selected row
        String value = inputColumn.get().getValue(row).toString();
        // add text and return it
        return Base64.getEncoder().encodeToString(value.getBytes("utf-8"));
    } else {
        // if not found return an empty value. We could alternatively throw an error.
        return "";


Similar to getValueAt, the getInputRow object array can be called to retrieve data from the view row-by-row. You can do something simple like return a row from a user specified ID by using getInputRow in an overridden getValueAt method.

public Object getValueAt(long row, int col) throws Exception {
    List<StepProperty> properties = getStepProperties();
    if (properties != null && !properties.isEmpty()) {
        String arg1 = getArgument(1);

        if (arg1 != null) {
            try {
                Integer userDefinedInt = Integer.parseInt(arg1);
                // Our custom column
                if (col == 0) {
                    return userDefinedInt;

                // Need to correct the userDefinedInt as it gets passed to getInputRow,
                // Because users will expect 1 to be the index of the first row, but we have a zero-based index here.
                Object[] rowValues = getInputRow(0, userDefinedInt - 1);

                // Need to correct the column index that we get the value for, 
                // to allow for our extra column which we have already defined a value for.
                // e.g. we want the value from the previous column Index because they have all shifted right by one
                return rowValues[col - 1];

            } catch (NumberFormatException ex) {
    } else {
        return new NullPointerException("Properties is null or empty");
    return null;


To enable standard Java's remote debugging feature:

  1. Install Aperture Data Studio. Please contact us to get the latest version.

  2. Go to the installation directory of Aperture Data Studio.

  3. Edit Aperture Data Studio Service 64bit.ini.

  4. Alter the following property: Virtual Machine Parameters

    Virtual Machine Parameters=-Xms66:1000:16000P -Xmx66:1000:16000P -agentlib:jdwp=transport=dt_socket,server=y,suspend=n,address=5005
  5. Open Intellij IDEA, click Edit Configurations...

    Edit Configurations

  6. Click the + button and add new remote debugging: Add Remote Debugging

  7. Click OK.

  8. Place a debug point in your addons code.

  9. Restart Aperture Data Studio.

  10. Now you can debug your custom addons code. NOTE: make sure -agentlib:jdwp=transport=dt_socket,server=y,suspend=n,address=5005 is removed in the production environment.


In order to improve performance, especially when calling a web service that may have slower response times, it is beneficial to to use multiple threads. The EmailValidate example step demonstrates how to make use of multi-threading within a custom step.

Reading Data Studio Values

Various Data Studio properties are accessible through the SDK:


This function obtains the value of a constant value stored in Data Studio. In Data Studio constants are stored under the Glossary area under the Constants tab. The name to pass to the function is typically the constant name uppercased and with spaces replaced with underscores. For example, to obtain the regular expression for validating emails:

                Object res = getConstantByName("EMAIL_ADDRESS");

Glossary Values

This function obtains groups of values defined under one glossary item in Data Studio. For example to get a list of all the blocking keys:

                List<Object> values = getGlossaryValues("EXPERIAN_MATCH_BLOCKING_KEYS");

Server Properties

You can obtain a list of values under a particular Data Studio property using:

                List<String> dnsServers = getServerObjectProperties("DNSServers", "CONTENT");

Alternatively you can obtain a single server property, as defined in Data Studio or set in the server's server.properties file:

                Object value = getServerProperty("NAME");

Optimising your step

Your custom step can be optimised by using the following function:

                Object value = getServerProperty("NAME");

Step Type

You can optionally specify that your step be a process flow step. Process nodes should be used to perform an operation that does not change the data, for example downloading new reference data, or sending an email notificiation. They differ from normal steps in that they have different connecting nodes, and pass data through unchanged. You do not have to specify any input or output arguments as a single input and output node will be added automatically. Set the step type to process by adding the following line to the step definition:


There is another step type "PROCESS_ONLY" which prevents the step from being connected to other steps' "data" outputs/inputs.

isInteractive flag

This flag is set to true when the step is being used as an interactive drilldown. When false the step is being invoked as part of a workflow execution step, or as input to a view that requires all its data.

boolean res = isInteractive();

This setting is best used during the execution and getValueAt stages of the step, as it can negate the need to process all the input data when being viewed interactively, instead you can just process values when required.


The cache object allows a custom step to cache its results for reuse later. Each cache object is created and referenced by a particluar name. The cache is global, and is useful for caching reponses from slow services between instances of custom steps. The backing key/value datastore is fast enough on reads to be used for random access lookups, and it can handle reads/writes from multiple steps at once. The cache is managed by Aperture Data Studio, but it is the responsibility of the custom step to deleted or refresh the cache as necessary.

Caches are created simply or obtained by calling getCache with the name of your cache, which can be any string.

Cache myCache = getCache("my cache name");
Cache interface

The cache interface is defined by the following functions. They are called through the Cache object returned by the getCache function described above.

    String read(String key) throws Exception;

Reads a string value from the cache according to the key given. If the key is not found in the cache it will return null.

    void write(String key, String value) throws Exception;

Writes a value string to the cache keyed by the given key string. If the key is already present, the old value will be replaced with the new value.

    void close() throws Exception;

Closes the cache. Should be called when all read/writes are completed - typically in StepOutput.close().

    void delete() throws Exception;

Deletes the cache. Will throw an exception if in use.

    long getCreateTime();

Gets the time when the cache was created.

    long getModifiedTime();

Gets the time when the cache was last modified.


When your step is being executed it may take a long time to run. You can let Data Studio and its users know how far it has got, and therefore approximately how long it will take to finish by sending progress updates to the server. The sendProgess call should be called with a double between 0 and 100 depending how far along your execution as got. For example:


Note: When your step's execution function finishes the progress will automatically be set to 100.

Working with Datastores

You can get access to Aperture Data Studio's datastores and the tables within them through the SDK, obtain information about them and even create new tables or append to existing ones.


Get Datastores

To get a list of all datastores available to you call the getDatastores function. This returns a list of Datastore objects that can be further queried.

Datastore Interface

This interface allows you to find out about a particular datasource. This includes getting its name, it's type, whether it is the current user's private import datastore, get the properties for the datastore and even set some properies. See the javadoc for the Datastore object for more details. This interface also allows you to obtain a list of tables within the datastore that you are allowed to see, which are returned as TableSDK objects.

TableSDK Interface

Objects implementing this interface allow you to interact with individual tables in a datastore. You can query the status of cached data, remove or refresh the cache, read the file or delete it (where applicable). See the javadoc for the TableSDK interface for more details.