GCat Service

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gCat Service is a RESTful service enabling any client to programmatically interact with the gCube Catalogue. gCat Service uses the principles defined in gCat Background

Request

URL

The URL used to interact with gCat is composed of two parts:

  • Base Service URL (e.g. https:/gcat.d4science.org/gcat)
  • Specific API (e.g. /organizations)

D4Science infrastructure uses cloud facilities allowing to replicate a service to achieve failover and load balancing.

gCat instances can be deployed and undeployed dynamically. For such a reason the Base Service URL MUST NOT be hard-cabled in the code because it can change over time.

To dynamically discover the Base Service URL you can use the Registry RESTful Service

You need to discover gCore Resource having:

  • class : DataPublishing
  • name : gcat

HTTP Headers

gCube Authorization Token

Any request performed to gCat MUST contains the gCube Authorization Token.

This is done using the HTTP Header gcube-token

gcube-token: YOUR-TOKEN

The gcube-token HTTP header acts as the standard Authorization HTTP header. Plese note that Authorization HTTP header cannot be used in place of gcube-token HTTP header.

Retrieve your gCube Authorization Token

the gCube Authorization Token is a UUID bound to yourself and a given Infrastructure context. To retrieve it, you just need to go to a VRE for which you are interested and use the Authorisation Options portlet (see below)

Authorisation option.png

Click on Show button and select the token.

Content Type

Any request must contain the indication of the interested content type.

For any operation returning a result, the client must specify the Accept HTTP Header.

Accept: application/json

For any operation sending content to the service, it is necessary to specify the Content-Type HTTP Header.

Content-Type: application/json

Actually, the service accepts and returns only JSON objects.

Except for a profile which can be also requested in XML.

HTTP Statuses

Any successful operation returns 200 OK status code except for create operation which return 201 Created or for the operations which do not provide any content and returns 204 No Content.

The most common error status a client can obtain are

A complete list of HTTP Status can be found here: https://httpstatuses.com/

You can report a 500 Internal Server Error the ticketing system. Please use this checklist before reporting an error:

  • replicate the request
  • the failure could be temporal due to network error, server issue so please retry the request after a certain amount of time
  • indicate how to replicate the error
  • indicate the time when the error occurred (this simplify the identification of the issue)

HTTP Methods

To be RESTful compliant gCat uses standard HTTP Methods to perform a listing of collections and CRUD (Create Read Update Delete) operations on instances.


Operation HTTP Method URL Success HTTP Status Safe Idempotent
Supported
HTTP Methods
OPTIONS /{COLLECTION} 204 No Content
(Supported HTTP Methods in Allow HTTP Header)
Y Y
List GET /{COLLECTION} 200 OK Y Y
Exists HEAD /{COLLECTION} 204 No Content Y Y
Create POST /{COLLECTION} 201 Created N N
Supported
HTTP Methods
OPTIONS /{COLLECTION}/{INSTANCE_ID} 204 No Content
(Supported HTTP Methods in Allow HTTP Header)
Y Y
Exist HEAD /{COLLECTION}/{INSTANCE_ID} 204 No Content Y Y
Read GET /{COLLECTION}/{INSTANCE_ID} 200 OK Y Y
Update PUT /{COLLECTION}/{INSTANCE_ID} 200 OK N Y
Patch PATCH /{COLLECTION}/{INSTANCE_ID} 200 OK N Y
Delete DELETE /{COLLECTION}/{INSTANCE_ID} 204 No Content N N
Purge PURGE /{COLLECTION}/{INSTANCE_ID} 204 No Content N N
Purge DELETE /{COLLECTION}/{INSTANCE_ID}?purge=true 204 No Content N N


About URL:

  • {COLLECTION} is the plural name of the entity type;
  • {INSTANCE_ID} is an identification which enables to univocally identify the instance in the collection.

About Safety and Idempotency properties:

  • A method is Safe if it does not produce any side effects. "This does not prevent an implementation from including behaviour that is potentially harmful, that is not entirely read-only, or that causes side effects while invoking a safe method" https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7231#section-4.2.1;
  • A method is Idempotent if the same operation repeated multiple times has the same side effect than using it one time. "repeating the request will have the same intended effect, even if the original request succeeded, though the response might differ" https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7231#section-4.2.2.

DELETE has been defined as idempotent. Allamaraju[1] argues that DELETE idempotency should be accomplished client-side. The server should inform the client if a delete succeeded because the resource was really deleted or it was not found i.e., 404 Not Found error is suggested instead of 204 No Content. The latter situation should be treated as idempotent by the client. For this reason, gCat does not provide server-side idempotency for DELETE and PURGE operations.

You can find more information about HTTP Methods at https://restfulapi.net/http-methods/

Uncommon HTTP Methods:

  • PATCH method allows to perform a differential update (i.e. an update which provide only the differences and not the whole new representation) [];
  • PURGE method is not a standard but is a widely used in service which requires this action (e.g. Varnish, Squid). gCat provide support for this method but to support a wider range of clients it also provides the Purge action via DELETE with the additional get parameter
    purge=true

Collections

Collections available to any users. Non-safe methods can only be invoked by Catalogue Editor

Collections available only for Catalogue Admin


For each collection HEAD and OPTIONS operations are not shown in tables even there are always available.

To keep this documentation simple, for each collection is presented only the relevant attributes of an instance. This allows getting the picture of the content of a request or the content of a response.

Item Collection

Operation HTTP Method URL
List GET /items?limit=10&offset=0
Create POST /items?social_post=true
Read GET /items/{NAME}
Update PUT /items/{NAME}
Delete DELETE /items/{NAME}
Purge PURGE /items/{NAME}
Purge DELETE /items/{NAME}?purge=true

List Items

The listing API provides paginated results by using the query parameters limit and offset. The defaults values are 10 for limit and 0 for offset. To get unlimited results the limit query parameters must be set to -1. If the results are too much the operation could fail. It is recommended to request no more than 1000 results. The offset parameter indicates the page number taking in account pages containing a number of results equivalent to limit.

Filtering options

The listing method offers options to filter the results, thus enacts to search for items including spatial search (see ext_bbox below).

It accepts the following query parameters (a subset of Solr search query parameters, see Solr Query Syntax):

  • q (string) – the solr query. Optional. Default: "*:*" See Solr Query Syntax
    • E.g. /items?q=title:foo returns the items with word "foo" in the title;
  • fq (string) – Filter query. A query string that limits the query results without influencing their scores. Note: +site_id:{ckan_site_id} is added to this string prior to the query being executed.
    • E.g. /items?q=title:foo&fq=notes:bar returns with word "foo" in the 'title' and the word "bar" in the 'notes';
  • fq_list (list of strings) – additional filter queries to apply.
    • E.g. /items?q=title:foo&fq_list=... returns the items with word "foo" in the 'title'
  • sort (string) – sorting of the search results. Optional. Default: 'relevance asc, metadata_modified desc'. As per the solr documentation, this is a comma-separated string of field names and sort-orderings.
    • E.g. /items?q=title:foo&sort=name+asc returns the items with word "foo" in the 'title' sorting the results by name ascending;
  • include_private (bool) – if True, private datasets will be included in the results. Only private datasets from the user’s organizations will be returned and sysadmins will be returned all private datasets. Optional, the default is False.
    • E.g. /items?include_private=true
  • ext_bbox: The coordinates of the upper-right and bottom-left angle of a rectangular to query for. The form is Lat,Long,Lat,Long
    • E.g. /items?limit=10&offset=0&q=Pollution&ext_bbox=-7.535093,49.208494,3.890688,57.372349 returns the first 10 items with 'Pollution' having a spatial coverage in the specified bounding box

Create Items

The create API allows to create social posts by indicating social_post=true in the URL. The social_post query parameter is optional and the default value is false.

An Item is mainly described by the following attributes (* indicate mandatory attributes):

  • name* (string): the name of the new item, must be between 2 and 100 characters long and contain only lowercase alphanumeric characters, '-' and '_';
  • title (string, defaut="same as name"): the title of the item;
  • private* (bool): If True creates a private item;
  • maintainer (string): the name of the item’s maintainer;
  • maintainer_email (string): the email address of the item’s maintainer;
  • license_id* (license id string): the id of the item’s license, see license_list() for available values;
  • notes (string): a description of the item;
  • url (string): a URL for the item’s source;
  • version (string, no longer than 100 characters): ...;
  • state (string, default='active'): the current state of the item, e.g. 'active' or 'deleted', only active items show up in search results and other lists of items, this parameter will be ignored if you are not authorized to change the state of the item;
  • groups (list of dictionaries): the groups to which the item belongs, each group dictionary should have one or more of the following keys which identify an existing group: 'id' (the id of the group, string), or 'name' (the name of the group, string). To see which groups exist use list method in Group Collection
  • tags (list of tag dictionaries): the item’s tags. The tag is a dictionary in the format:
    • name : the name for the tag, a string between 2 and 100 characters long containing only alphanumeric characters and '-, '_' and '.'.
  • resources (list of resource dictionaries): the item’s resources, see Resource Collection for the format of resource dictionaries;
  • extras (list of item extra dictionaries): the item’s extras, extras are arbitrary (key: value) metadata items that can be added to items, each extra dictionary should have keys 'key' (a string), 'value' (a string).

Parameter automatically managed:

  • author (string): the name of the item’s author (the owner of the gcube-token);
  • author_email (string): the email address of the item’s author (the email of the owner of gcube-token);
  • owner_org (string): the id of the item’s owning organization, see organization_list() or organization_list_for_user() for available values (the VRE corrsponding to the gcube-token).


Geo-Indexing your datasets

In order to make an Item searchable by location, it must have a special extra, with its key named ‘spatial’. The value must be a valid GeoJSON geometry, for example:

{
  "type":"Polygon",
  "coordinates":[[[2.05827, 49.8625],[2.05827, 55.7447], [-6.41736, 55.7447], [-6.41736, 49.8625], [2.05827, 49.8625]]]
}

or

{
  "type": "Point",
  "coordinates": [-3.145,53.078]
}

If at least one profile has been defined within this context, then you need to specify the profile's type when creating the item. You need to insert, among the extras of the JSON object describing the item, a system:type property with the proper value (i.e. its value must be equal to the type property contained in the profile). The validation of the submitted request will be performed against the profile whose type has been specified. The other profile's properties need to be specified within the extras field as well.

If no profile has been defined, then no validation will be performed. Thus you do not need to set any system:type property.

Suppose you discover that in the context you are willing to publish are defined the following profiles: 'A', 'B' and 'C'.

You are interested in publishing an item with profile 'A', thus you download the XML of profile 'A' which looks like the following

<metadataformat type="A">
    <metadatafield>
        <fieldName>Input Parameter</fieldName>
        <mandatory>false</mandatory>
        <dataType>String</dataType>
        <note>Input parameter expected for the execution of the process</note>
    </metadatafield>
    <metadatafield>
        <fieldName>Output Parameter</fieldName>
        <mandatory>false</mandatory>
        <dataType>String</dataType>
        <note>Output parameter expected from the execution of the process </note>
    </metadatafield>
    <metadatafield>
        <fieldName>Process Author</fieldName>
        <mandatory>false</mandatory>
        <dataType>String</dataType>
        <maxOccurs>*</maxOccurs>
        <defaultValue/>
        <note>The name of the author, with email and ORCID. The format should be: family, given[, email][, ORCID]. Example: Smith, John, js@acme.org, orcid.org/0000-0002-1825-0097</note>
        <validator>
            <regularExpression>^[a-zA-ZÀ-ÿ .'-]+, [a-zA-ZÀ-ÿ .'-]+[,]*([a-zA-Z0-9_!#$%’*+=?`{|}~^.-]+@[a-zA-Z0-9À-ÿ.-]+)?[,]*(orcid.org\/0000-000(1-[5-9]|2-[0-9]|3-[0-4])\d\d\d-\d\d\d[\dX])?$</regularExpression>
        </validator>
    </metadatafield>
</metadataformat>

The previous information can be easily discovered with the Profile Collection. Then, the JSON object of the create request will look like

{
    "metadataformat": {
        "metadatafield": [
            {
                "note": "Input parameter expected for the execution of the process",
                "fieldName": "Input Parameter",
                "dataType": "String",
                "mandatory": false
            },
            {
                "note": "Output parameter expected from the execution of the process",
                "fieldName": "Output Parameter",
                "dataType": "String",
                "mandatory": false
            },
            {
                "note": "The name of the author, with email and ORCID. The format should\t\t\tbe: family, given[, email][, ORCID]. Example: Smith, John,\t\t\tjs@acme.org, orcid.org/0000-0002-1825-0097",
                "fieldName": "Process Author",
                "defaultValue": "",
                "dataType": "String",
                "validator": {
                    "regularExpression": "^[a-zA-ZÀ-ÿ .'-]+, [a-zA-ZÀ-ÿ .'-]+[,\t\t\t\t]*([a-zA-Z0-9_!#$%’*+=?`{|}~^.-]+@[a-zA-Z0-9À-ÿ.-]+)?[,\t\t\t\t]*(orcid.org\\/0000-000(1-[5-9]|2-[0-9]|3-[0-4])\\d\\d\\d-\\d\\d\\d[\\dX])?$"
                },
                "maxOccurs": "*",
                "mandatory": false
            }
        ],
        "type": "DataMiner Process"
    }
}

Resource Collection

Operation HTTP Method URL
List GET /items/{ITEM_ID}/resources
Create POST /items/{ITEM_ID}/resources
Read GET /items/{ITEM_ID}/resources/{ID}
Update PUT /items/{ITEM_ID}/resources/{ID}
Delete DELETE /items/{ITEM_ID}/resources/{ID}


An Resource is mainly described by the following attributes (* indicate mandatory attributes):

  • name* (string);
  • url* (string): url of resource;
  • package_id* (string): id of the item that the resource should be added to;
  • revision_id (string);
  • description (string);
  • format (string);
  • mimetype (string);
  • created (iso date string);
  • last_modified (iso date string);


Profile Collection

Operation HTTP Method URL
List GET /profiles
Create PUT /profiles/{NAME}
Read GET /profiles/{NAME}
Update PUT /profiles/{NAME}
Delete DELETE /profiles/{NAME}

Only a Catalogue Editor can manipulate profiles (Create, Update, Delete). These operation are available starting from gCat 1.1.0.

At creation and update time the provided profile is validated against the defined XSD schema (see Item Profile Defintion v3)


A profile is defined using XML. In place of application/json Use

Accept : application/xml

and

Content-Type : application/xml


Listing return a JSON Array. It is also possible to read the representation of a profile as JSON which is an automatic mapping to of the original XML definition to JSON.

An example of Profiles listing is :

[
    "EOSCService",
    "SoBigData.eu: Dataset Metadata",
    "SoBigData.eu: Application Metadata",
    "SoBigData.eu: Method Metadata"
]

An example of Profile is :

<metadataformat type="SoBigData Method">
    <metadatafield>
        <fieldName>External Identifier</fieldName>
        <dataType>String</dataType>
        <mandatory>false</mandatory>
        <note>This applies only to methods that have been already published. Insert here a DOI, an handle, and any other Identifier assigned when publishing the dataset alsewhere.</note>
    </metadatafield>
    <metadatafield>
        <fieldName>Creator</fieldName>
        <mandatory>true</mandatory>
        <note>The name of the creator, with email and ORCID. The format should be: family, given[, email][, ORCID]. Example: Smith, John, js@acme.org, orcid.org//0000-0002-1825-0097</note>
        <validator>
            <regularExpression>^[a-zA-Z .'-]+, [a-zA-Z .'-]+[, ]*([a-zA-Z0-9_!#$%’*+=?`{|}~^.-]+@[a-zA-Z0-9.-]+)?[, ]*(orcid.org\/\/0000-000(1-[5-9]|2-[0-9]|3-[0-4])\d\d\d-\d\d\d[\dX])?$</regularExpression>
        </validator>
    </metadatafield>
    <metadatafield>
        <fieldName>CreationDate</fieldName>
        <mandatory>true</mandatory>
        <dataType>Time</dataType>
        <note>The date of creation of the dataset (different from the date of registration of the dataset automatically added by the system). Use ISO 8601 Date Format: YYYY-MM-DD[ HH:MM] Ex. 1998-11-10 or 2015-05-29 11:55</note>
        <validator>
            <regularExpression>^(\d{4}\-(0?[1-9]|1[012])\-(0?[1-9]|[12][0-9]|3[01]))+([ ]+(\d{2}(:?\d{2})?)?)?$</regularExpression>
        </validator>
    </metadatafield>
    <metadatafield>
        <fieldName>Owner</fieldName>
        <mandatory>true</mandatory>
        <note>The name of the owner, with email and ORCID. The format should be: family, given[, email][, ORCID]. Example: Smith, John, js@acme.org, orcid.org//0000-0002-1825-0097</note>
        <validator>
            <regularExpression>^[a-zA-Z .'-]+, [a-zA-Z .'-]+[, ]*([a-zA-Z0-9_!#$%’*+=?`{|}~^.-]+@[a-zA-Z0-9.-]+)?[, ]*(orcid.org\/\/0000-000(1-[5-9]|2-[0-9]|3-[0-4])\d\d\d-\d\d\d[\dX])?$</regularExpression>
        </validator>
    </metadatafield>
    ....
    <metadatafield>
        <fieldName>License term</fieldName>
        <mandatory>false</mandatory>
        <dataType>Time_Interval</dataType>
        <note>Period of time during which the dataset may be used. Use ISO 8601 Date Format: YYYY-MM-DD[ HH:MM] Ex. 2016-07-31 or 2015-05-10 12:00</note>
        <vocabulary/>
        <validator>
            <regularExpression>^(\d{4}\-(0?[1-9]|1[012])\-(0?[1-9]|[12][0-9]|3[01]))+([ ]+(\d{2}(:?\d{2})?)?)?$</regularExpression>
        </validator>
    </metadatafield>
    <metadatafield>
        <fieldName>Requirement of non-disclosure (confidentiality mark)</fieldName>
        <mandatory>false</mandatory>
        <note>Requirement of non-disclosure (confidentiality mark). Whether the dataset bears confidentiality mark/may be used and shared subject to the obligation of non-disclosure</note>
    </metadatafield>
</metadataformat>


You can find all details about profiles at Item Profile

Namespace Collection

Operation HTTP Method URL
List GET /namespaces

An example of given result is:

[
    {
        "id": "contact",
        "title": "Contact Title",
        "name": "contact",
        "description": "This section is about Contact(s)"
    },
    {
        "id": "developer_information",
        "title": "Developer Information",
        "name": "developer_information",
        "description": "This section is about Developer(s)"
    },
    {
        "id": "extra_information",
        "title": "Extras",
        "name": "extra_information",
        "description": "This section is about Extra(s)"
    },
    {
        "id": "ReportDetails",
        "title": "Report Details",
        "name": "ReportDetails",
        "description": "Report Details"
    }
]

License Collection

Operation HTTP Method URL
List GET /licenses


An example of given result is:

[
    {
        "status": "active",
        "maintainer": "Creative Commons",
        "od_conformance": "rejected",
        "family": "Creative Commons",
        "osd_conformance": "not reviewed",
        "domain_data": true,
        "title": "Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0",
        "url": "https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/",
        "domain_content": true,
        "is_okd_compliant": false,
        "is_osi_compliant": false,
        "domain_software": false,
        "id": "CC-BY-NC-SA-4.0"
    },
    {
        "status": "active",
        "maintainer": "Creative Commons",
        "od_conformance": "rejected",
        "family": "Creative Commons",
        "osd_conformance": "not reviewed",
        "domain_data": true,
        "title": "Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0",
        "url": "https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/",
        "domain_content": true,
        "is_okd_compliant": false,
        "is_osi_compliant": false,
        "domain_software": false,
        "id": "CC-BY-NC-ND-4.0"
    },
    ...
    {
        "status": "active",
        "maintainer": "Free Software Foundation",
        "od_conformance": "not reviewed",
        "family": "",
        "osd_conformance": "approved",
        "domain_data": false,
        "title": "GNU Affero General Public License v3",
        "url": "http://www.opensource.org/licenses/AGPL-3.0",
        "domain_content": false,
        "is_okd_compliant": false,
        "is_osi_compliant": true,
        "domain_software": true,
        "id": "AGPL-3.0"
    }
]

Group Collection

Operation HTTP Method URL
List GET /groups
Create POST /groups
Read GET /groups/{NAME}
Update PUT /groups/{NAME}
Patch PATCH /groups/{NAME}
Delete DELETE /groups/{NAME}
Purge PURGE /groups/{NAME}
Purge DELETE /groups/{NAME}?purge=true

Only Catalogue Admin are able to invoke non-safe methods.


A group is mainly described by the following attributes (* indicate mandatory attributes):

  • name* (string): the name of the group, a string between 2 and 100 characters long, containing only lowercase alphanumeric characters, '-' and '_' ;
  • id (string): the id of the group;
  • title (string): the title of the group;
  • description (string): the description of the group;
  • image_url (string): the URL to an image to be displayed on the group’s page;
  • state (string, default: 'active'): the current state of the group, e.g. 'active' or 'deleted', only active groups show up in search results and other lists of groups, this parameter will be ignored if you are not authorized to change the state of the group;
  • extras (list of dataset extra dictionaries): the group’s extras, extras are arbitrary (key: value) metadata items that can be added to groups, each extra dictionary should have keys 'key' (a string), 'value' (a string), and optionally 'deleted'.


Representation

An example of Group representation is:

{
    "name": "group_name",
    "id": "fd72502e-ddfa-4121-a12a-bb42e572d649",
    "title": "Group Title",
    "description": "",
    "image_url": "",
    "state": "active",
    "extras": [],
    "created": "2018-03-22T11:48:42.612063",
    "revision_id": "0b5dda21-9bb0-4993-896b-d865e0d2f1f3"
}

Organization Collection

Operation HTTP Method URL
List GET /organizations
Create POST /organizations
Read GET /organizations/{NAME}
Update PUT /organizations/{NAME}
Patch PATCH /organizations/{NAME}
Delete DELETE /organizations/{NAME}
Purge PURGE /organizations/{NAME}
Purge DELETE /organizations/{NAME}?purge=true

Only Catalogue Admin are able to invoke non-safe methods.

An Organization is mainly described by the following attributes (* indicate mandatory attributes):


  • name* (string): the name of the organization, a string between 2 and 100 characters long, containing only lowercase alphanumeric characters, '-' and '_';
  • id (string): the id of the organization;
  • title (string): the title of the organization;
  • description (string): the description of the organization;
  • image_url (string): the URL to an image to be displayed on the organization’s page;
  • state (string, default: 'active'): the current state of the organization, e.g. 'active' or 'deleted', only active organizations show up in search results and other lists of organizations, this parameter will be ignored if you are not authorized to change the state of the organization;
  • approval_status (string);
  • extras (list of dataset extra dictionaries): the organization’s extras (optional), extras are arbitrary (key: value) metadata items that can be added to organizations, each extra dictionary should have keys 'key' (a string), 'value' (a string), and optionally 'deleted'.


User Collection

Operation HTTP Method URL
List GET /users
Create POST /users
Read GET /users/{NAME}
Update PUT /users/{NAME}
Delete DELETE /users/{NAME}

Only Catalogue Admin are able to invoke non-safe methods.

A User is mainly described by the following attributes (* indicate mandatory attributes):

  • name* (string): the name of the user, a string between 2 and 100 characters in length, containing only lowercase alphanumeric characters, '-' and '_';
  • id (string): the id of the user;
  • fullname (string): the full name of the user;
  • email (string): the email address for the user;
  • password (string): the password of the user, a string of at least 4 characters (parameter only used to create a new user);
  • about (string): a description of the user.


{
    "name": "luca_frosini",
    "id": " 5f5c2bc0-bcd4-460a-9548-52cd4d33b263",
    "fullname": "Luca Frosini"
}
  1. Allamaraju S. RESTful Web Services Cookbook: Solutions for Improving Scalability and Simplicity . O’Reilly. first ed. 2010