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Server software for hosting digital twin documents


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Twinbase is an open source platform for managing and distributing digital twin documents. It is built on git and can be hosted on free-of-charge GitHub services.

See an example server live at and details in an open access journal article: Autiosalo, J., Siegel, J., Tammi, K., 2021. Twinbase: Open-Source Server Software for the Digital Twin Web. IEEE Access 9, 140779–140798.

Twinbase is at initial development phase and backwards incompatible changes may occur. Update mechanisms are not yet implemented.

Twinbase is hosted by Aalto University where its development was initiated as a result of the experience from multiple digital twin related projects. Twinbase is used as a tool for building the Digital Twin Web introduced in Section III of this article. A business capable version of Twinbase is being developed in a Research-to-Business project funded by Business Finland.

Using Twinbase

You can browse the web interface of this Twinbase from the URL shown on the baseurl field in the /docs/index.yaml file if this Twinbase is properly configured.

You can fetch twin documents in Python with the dtweb-python library. Available as dtweb from pip.

To create your own Twinbase

  1. Create a new repository with the "Use this template" button on the twinbase/twinbase page. (Sign in to GitHub if you can't see the button.)
  2. Make GitHub Actions work
    1. In the newly created repository, activate GitHub Actions from the Actions tab (if necessary).
    2. From Settings > Actions > General > Workflow permissions, activate "Read and write permissions" and save. (This allows GitHub actions to push to this repository.)
    3. Manually run the "File modifier" workflow from: Actions > File Modifier > Run Workflow > Run workflow. (This will modify the files to match your GitHub account. Running the workflow several times will not cause any harm.)
  3. Activate GitHub Pages from Settings > Pages:
    1. Source: "Deploy from a branch"
    2. Branch: Select main and /docs and save.
  4. A link to the web interface of Twinbase will be shown at the Pages page. If you have not made any domain name customizations, it is in the form <username><repository name>.
  5. Updates: Unfortunately any updates from the template repository must currently be made manually. But you can also just make another Twinbase and copy your twin folders and files there.

Forks are not recommended for creating a Twinbase instance.

Creating new twins to your Twinbase

Recommended method to create new twins is to use the new-twin page found on the front page of each Twinbase.

After creating a twin, you need to activate its DT identifier with one of these methods:

  • To activate the automatically generated identifier, send the values of dt-id and hosting-iri of each twin to this form.
  • Or you can overwrite the dt-id with the URL given by any URL shortener service or the perma-id service. The URL needs to redirect to the hosting-iri.

To start developing Twinbase

Contribution guidelines are not yet established, but useful contributions are welcome! For development, you can try this:

  1. Create your own Twinbase using the Template.
  2. Modify your Twinbase as you wish in GitHub.
  3. Fork twinbase/twinbase. (Do not activate Actions to avoid unnecessary commits.)
  4. Manually copy the useful modifications from the repository created with the Template.
  5. Submit a pull request.

Local development is a bit tricky as Twinbase uses GitHub Actions as an intergal part of the platform, but feel free to try!


There are currently no official support mechanisms for Twinbase, but Juuso may be able to help.


Twinbase uses

Thanks to the developers for the nice pieces of software!