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Open Data Certificates

This source code is for the ODI's Open Data Certificates app at The online assessment tool allows publishers to assess how good their open data release is across technical, social, legal and other areas. When published, a certificate (which can be Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum) shows data reusers how much they can trust and rely on the dataset


This code is open source under the MIT license. See file for full details.

Summary of features

Open Data Certificate is an online assessment tool for open data releases powered by Rails.

Follow the public feature roadmap for Open Data Certificates



ruby version 2.1.8

Environment variables

Some extra environment variables are required for the certificates site; these can be set in a .env file in the root of the project. The docker setup will create this file if it doesn't already exist.


# A hostname to create links in emails

# Redis server URL


The following extra are needed in production or for optional features:

# Rackspace credentials for saving certificate dumps

# Juvia details to allow commenting

# Sending error reports to airbrake

# Enable footnotes for debugging info

Specific Development Notes

Development: Running the full application locally

With Docker

The simplest way to get a certificates app up and running is under Docker.

  1. Install Docker Toolbox
  • Set up a Docker host with docker-machine start default or run the Kitematic GUI.
  • Make sure your terminal can talk to Docker
    • either by opening the 'Docker Quikstart Terminal'
    • or adding eval $(docker-machine env default) to your .bashrc
  1. Install VirtualBox
  2. Set TLS envronment variable
  1. Run bin/dockerize
  • Make note of successfully built docker machine IP address eg Connection to port 3000 [tcp/hbci] succeeded!
  1. Make tea
  2. Everything should be set up and be open in your browser.
  3. Run docker-compose run web bin/setup
  4. App will be available at (depending on your docker machine IP address)
  1. Install docker-engine, docker-compose, and then docker-machine
  2. Set up a Docker host with docker-machine create -d virtualbox default
  3. Run bin/dockerize
  4. Make tea
  5. Everything should be ready and the script will try to open the browser
  • If it doesn't, hit ctrl-c and check all 4 containers are up with docker-compose ps
  • Then point your browser to the address:port for the opendatacertificate_web_1 container (likely
  1. Run docker-compose run web bin/setup
Without Docker
  1. Install Ruby 2.1.8, and bundler.
  2. Install and run Redis and MySQL servers.
  3. Run bin/setup (generates .env file)
  4. edit the default config/database.yml #TODO with what?
  5. Run bundle exec rails s

If you're not using docker, ignore the docker-compose run web prefix on the commands below.

Known issues

eventmachine rubyracer

Application Configuration

Default Admin User

Both of the above methods should set up your local app with a default admin user:

  • Username:
  • Password: testtest

By default, only the UK survey is built in development, as building more can take a while.

To build a specific country survey (AU used as an example):

docker-compose run web bundle exec rake surveyor:build_changed_survey FILE=surveys/generated/surveyor/odc_questionnaire.AU.rb

To build a few surveys:

docker-compose run web bundle exec rake surveyor:build_changed_surveys LIMIT=5

To build all the other surveys (remember, this can take a while):

docker-compose run web bundle exec rake surveyor:build_changed_surveys

For information on how to translate and localise surveys, see below.


To run tests:

docker-compose run web bundle exec rake test

You can also run tests continuously whenever a file is changed:

docker-compose run web bundle exec guard


Certificates can be created and updated using a JSON API. See the API documentation for details.

Application Functionality

Admin functions

To mark a user as being an admin use the rails console to set the admin field to true. The easiest way to find the ID is to look on the URL of their account page.

User.find(<id>).update_attributes(admin: true)

Admins are able to block a dataset from displaying on the public /datasets page by visiting the dataset and toggling the visibility at the top of the page.

Removed datasets are listed at /datasets/admin (only accessible by admin users).


The survey attempts to fetch answers from the documentation URL and fill them into the questionnaire. These answers are marked as autocompleted.

Surveys can be autocompleted if the pages machine-readable metadata in the following formats:

  • DCAT
  • Datapackage
  • CKAN

Some examples of URLS that can be autocompleted:

Additional documentation

App approach document

The original prototype has been moved to /prototype.