30 January 2019
Jim Tasevski

What is CKAN?

CKAN is an open source tool that allows you to manage and publish open data, delivering tangible benefits to citizens.

CKAN viability

When an open data project starts, it’s important to check CKAN’s out-of-the-box offering to see how well it suits your project.

Salsa’s CKAN viability methodology involves analysing project requirements from both a functional and non-functional perspective against technical solutions. The technique assigns a rank to each requirement and represents the complexity of effort to deliver or comply.

Salsa uses a rigorous process to assess each requirement and determine whether:

  • an existing CKAN extension delivers the requirement;

  • an existing extension can be modified to deliver the requirement; or

  • a custom extension (CKAN) needs to be built.

Salsa also has many classifications in between, which allow priorities to be planned, estimates to be solid, risks to be managed, and options to be explored.

Salsa has employed the table below to map CKAN classifications ranging from a high compliance level to not complying. Each required functionality is then assigned one of the classifications below. You can also view this table as a PDF file.

CKAN Viability

*CKAN's configuration file options

Each requirement gets added to a table, then a recommendation is added to each requirement, assigning either a core CKAN feature, third-party extension, theme code or custom extension as the approach.

Beside each requirement a description of the solution direction or approach to deliver the feature is captured.

A summary of findings can be tabled to show the coverage of requirements that can be achieved with out-of-the-box functionality, third-party extensions that can be used, and how many features may require custom extensions.

Generally, any out-of-the-box functionality is highly compliant and can range from low to medium complexity. If a feature requires a third-party extension to deliver the requirement, then the compliance level starts with medium to low compliance because generally anything not part of CKAN core is not highly compliant. Third-party extensions can range from low to high complexity depending on the level of modification required with the extension. Finally, any requirement that requires a custom extension to be written because nothing existing meets the requirement is always low compliance, but the complexity can range from low to high depending on the requirements of the feature.

Salsa assessments

Salsa’s CKAN viability methodology gives you a clear understanding of how your requirements map to CKAN’s out-of-the-box solution and the level of compliance. This methodical approach ensures you have a thorough understanding of CKAN’s viability and the effort required to meet your full requirements.

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