#iSoc12 The DataTank
Hello fellow earthlings, my name is Jan Vansteenlandt and I’m currently working on The DataTank together with Jeroen Penninck.
The DataTank is a lightweight data publishing platform written in PHP. The purpose of The DataTank is to open up data without taking over control of the data. In fact, The DataTank will never save your data in the framework itself but it will, however, save meta-data about the resources it has to open. The true use for end-users of The DataTank is that they can access static files, such as CSV, XLS, SHP, etc. through a RESTful API built on those dataresources. App developers, for example, won’t have to bother anymore about downloading that darn Excel file over and over again, parsing it and using it in their app. That medieval way of working is over, as they can now open it up with The DataTank and access those files with a RESTful webcall.
The above explains in a nutshell what The DataTank’s purpose is, so what are we working on right now? Well, at the time of writing I’m working on adding a database resource so that datatables in a specific database can be opened up and accessed through a RESTful API. Next to that I’m also enriching the data of the Gentse Feesten by adding the longitude and latitude of the events to the CSV-file that is available on the open data websection of the city of Ghent, and making that data available through a RESTful call.
Jeroen is working on abstracting the filter layer of The DataTank. The purpose of this is to make filtering data much more efficient, and uniform. Currently all filtering is being done on PHP objects in memory. However if the user passes along an SQL filter for an SQL resource for example, this filter could be handled more efficiently if the SQL is handled by the SQL engine itself.
We’ve only been going at our tasks for 5 days now, and a lot of work is still ahead of us, yet the unique atmosphere iSoc12 has will get us there, of that I am sure!