Comparing DKAN and CKAN

CKAN is an open data catalog that has powered many high-profile portals, including the main open data portals for both the United Kingdom and the United States, among others. The makers of DKAN have enjoyed contributing to and deploying CKAN. So why DKAN?

Ultimately, DKAN is a complimentary offering to CKAN in the effort to make data more open and accessible.

Drupal and PHP Ecosystems

PHP powers a significant percentage of web pages and Drupal powers an estimated 2% of the Internet as a whole. This percentage is even higher among government entities who choose to publish open data. DKAN offers an easy option for those who have already adopted PHP or Drupal. DKAN can also be enabled in existing Drupal sites so that anyone using Drupal can easily start to publish open data in standards compliant ways.

One of the design goals of DKAN is to make it easy for anyone with an inexpensive hosting environment to create an open data catalog. Thanks to the popularity of Drupal there are many resources to help install and host Drupal sites like DKAN.

Integrated Content Management System

CKAN has powerful publishing, auditing, and harvesting features for open datasets. Those using CKAN often choose to pair it with Drupal, Wordpress, Django, or other content management systems (CMS) or web publishing platforms to create pages, blogs and other content.

DKAN takes a different approach by integrating open data catalog features into an existing CMS. Datasets are treated as content that can unlock rich workflows. Drupal also provides a user interface for many site management activities. In turn, teams managing content only need to be trained on one system instead of two.

The fact that DKAN provides a single codebase is another benefit. Again, DKAN is a complementary effort to CKAN in enabling people to publish open data using open source tools.