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datHere CKAN DMS-as-a-Service

Managed Data Infrastructure You Can Build On (DIY-CBO)

We’ve deployed more than 100 CKAN installations over the past 12 years. In that time, we’ve learned a lot about the limitations of deploying CKAN – Doing it Yourself (DIY) on your own infrastructure, the limitations of a CKAN Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and the need for a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) option with the convenience of SaaS.

We applied these hard lessons learned and created datHere’s CKAN DMS-as-a-Service – it’s Data Infrastructure You Can Build On (DIY-CBO).

datHere CKAN Data Management System (DMS) as a ServiceWhat is DIY-CBO?

Traditional DIY affords you the flexibility to tap the full power of CKAN, but unless you’re willing to stand up a dedicated team with deep knowledge of CKAN, working with a DevOps team to manage all the subsystems, and have it available 24×7 – what you get is a Minimum Viable Portal.

That’s why a lot of implementations have gone with SaaS – you just focus on populating and maintaining the Catalog, running CKAN primarily as an Open Data Portal Application, and let the CKAN SaaS vendor deal with the running and maintenance of it with a Service Level Agreement.

However, this ease of deployment and maintenance comes at the price of flexibility. As an Application – beyond the ability to configure some limited settings (like a custom theme with your preferred branding), you cannot really customize CKAN, never mind install your own extensions, tailor its workflow, or use it as a platform. It’s yet another system in your Application Portfolio – ill-suited to serve as the foundation of your Enterprise Data Infrastructure.

Data Infrastructure You Can Build On marries the flexibility of traditional DIY with the ease of deployment & maintenance of SaaS – allowing you to Build Data Infrastructure Applications and integrations.

datHere DMS 2Why do I need DIY-CBO?

Your business runs on Data. In this Information Age, all your business processes, even supposedly manual ones, ultimately produce data. How do you manage this Data as a Critical Enterprise Asset?

You need a comprehensive Metadata Inventory of your Data Assets. May it be coming from an old Mainframe, a business process that manually logs entries into an Excel spreadsheet or a high-volume trading system – they all have metadata – Data about Data.

Judiciously capturing relevant metadata about these data sources can give you a holistic view of your Enterprise’s Data Landscape even if you don’t build a massive Data Lake or Data Warehouse. You can leave your systems be and just focus on collecting metadata.

However, we’re just not talking about basic metadata, we need to go well beyond Dublin Core, and even DCAT for that matter.

When was it last updated? What is the source of the data? An internal system or business process? What “version”? Did you buy or license the data? From whom? How much? What are the terms of service? What other business processes or datasets are dependent on this data? 

Fortunately, metadata is small enough that you can have a central source of truth for all your Enterprise’s metadata. And CKAN has a robust framework to capture, catalog, and manage your metadata inventory.

That’s because CKAN is not just a system for spinning up Open Data Portal Applications – it’s a full-fledged Data Management System (DMS) Platform that you can Build On – that you can loosely couple to your existing data streams to capture relevant metadata. With small, lightweight scripts in your data pipelines, you can capture select metadata from all your data streams and catalog it in your central DMS.

What is datHere CKAN?

CKAN DMS-as-a-Service

datHere CKAN is our value-added Data Management System (DMS) distribution built around CKAN designed to enable DIY-CBO.

  • Built around the latest stable CKAN version (v2.10), configured with the latest stable versions of key CKAN dependencies/subsystems (Python 3.11, Redis v x, Solr v x, Ubuntu 22.04 LTS)
  • Bundled with other high-value open-source data analytics tools to help put your Data to Work (e.g., Superset, Metabase, Great Expectations, qsv, etc.)
  • Future-ready as there will always be an upgrade path to the next datHere CKAN distribution version. As a policy, we have a stable version tracking the current CKAN stable version, with support for the last minor version. (e.g., datHere CKAN stable is 2.10, with available support for 2.9.x)
  • For existing CKAN instances older than the last support minor version, we will work with you to initially migrate your installation to datHere CKAN.
  • Optimized and configured for the Cloud.
  • Bundled with Certified Extensions. Certified Extensions are select CKAN extensions from the ecosystem that are guaranteed to work with datHere CKAN. We do this by maintaining forks that work with our Distribution. As a policy, we will always contribute back our changes upstream, but it is up to the original maintainer to merge our contributions.
  • Bundled with our growing library of value-added Extensions – Datapusher+, DataTables+, our user-configurable CKAN Theme, qsv, and more!
  • Bundled with pre-sliced, high-value open data feeds and maps (starting with the US Census. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Geonames Gazeteer, etc.)
  • Bundled with a library of pre-built, customizable Superset Dashboards.
datHere CKAN DMS Private Cloud datHere CKAN DMS PaaS datHere CKAN DMS SaaS Traditional CKAN SaaS CKAN Do It Yourself (DIY) Proprietary SaaS Data Portals
Deploy PII/PHI Data
Powered by
datHere CKAN Distribution
Open Source by Default
Some proprietary extensions

Service Level Agreement ✱✱
Clear CKAN Upgrade Path we can migrate data from most proprietary portals
Certified and Value-Added Extensions No ecosystem of third-party


Data Infrastructure You
Can Build On (DIY-CBO)
Custom extensions ✱✱;  migration path to PaaS/
Private Cloud

API only integrations

Value-added Integrations (Superset, qsv pro, etc.)
Included Data Feeds

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) & Protected Health Information (PHI) can be loaded at your option as datHere CKAN is running in your own infrastructure, according to your security requirements. datHere will have no access to the Data, and your team will be responsible for securing the data.

✱✱ we only warranty the datHere CKAN Cloud Distribution. There is no SLA, as the instance runs in your own infrastructure.

✱✱ datHere CKAN SaaS custom extensions are primarily limited to Theme and Scheming extensions.

Find out more about datHere CKAN DMS-as-a-Service