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Original author(s)Open Knowledge Foundation
Stable release
2.10.0[1] / 15 February 2023 (2023-02-15)
Written inPython
Available inMultilingual
LicenseAGPL Edit this at Wikidata

The Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) is an open-source open data portal for the storage and distribution of open data. Initially inspired by the package management capabilities of Debian Linux,[2] CKAN has developed into a powerful data catalogue system that is mainly used by public institutions seeking to share their data with the general public.

Rufus Pollock developed its first version in 2005-2006. Since its inception, CKAN has evolved and is the leading[citation needed] open data platform software in the world, used by governments including the US and UK, to publish millions of public datasets.

CKAN's codebase is maintained by the Open Knowledge Foundation. The system is used both as a public platform on Datahub[3] and in various government data catalogues, such as the UK's,[4] the Dutch National Data Register,[5] the United States government's[6] and the Australian government's "Gov 2.0".[7] The state government of South Australia also makes government data freely available to the public on the CKAN platform.[8] The Italian government makes available the open data of the Data & Analytics Framework on the CKAN platform.[9]

Internal technology[edit]

CKAN's back end, the part running on the Web server, is written mainly in Python. The web pages it offers to users browsers include JavaScript. CKAN maintains information about the data sets to be offered to users in PostgreSQL databases. Searches are implemented by Solr. CKAN installations can be queried through Web APIs.[10]

Future of the project[edit]

The CKAN Stewardship proposal jointly put forward by Link Digital and Datopian received support from the Open Knowledge Foundation Board. In appointing joint stewardship put up jointly by Link Digital and Datopian, the Board felt there was a clear practical path with strong leadership and committed funding to see CKAN grow and prosper in the years to come. The Open Knowledge Foundation will remain the ‘purpose trustee’ to ensure the Stewards remain true to the purpose and ethos of the CKAN project.[11]

Similar projects and alternatives[edit]

  • Dataverse provides similar functions and is widely used for open data.
  • DKAN is a Drupal-based open data portal based on CKAN.[12]


  1. ^ "The latest CKAN release is here, say hi to CKAN 2.10!". 15 Feb 2023.
  2. ^ Rufus Pollock, Daniel Dietrich (2009-12-28). "CKAN: apt-get for the Debian of Data". 26th Chaos Communication Congress. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
  3. ^ About Datahub
  4. ^ About
  5. ^ About the Dutch government's National Data Portal at
  6. ^ " Launches New Catalog and APIs". 2013-05-22. Archived from the original on 2014-06-06. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  7. ^ "New – now live on CKAN". 2013-07-17. Archived from the original on 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  8. ^ SA Government data now freely available
  9. ^ "API for search and visualization of open data within the Data & Analytics Framework". Archived from the original on 2018-07-27. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  10. ^ About CKAN at
  11. ^ Statement from the OKF Board on the future of the CKAN Association
  12. ^ "DKAN Overview — DKAN Docs 1.17 documentation".

External links[edit]