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Development setup#

See our developer guidelines and get in touch with our developer team. Have a look at the official git-Book instructions on how to setup your git on a new system to be able to contribute to our GitHub repository.

Choose your development environment and tools#

As a software developer, you learn your own way of working and refine it as your experience grows. The choice of developer environment & tools is therefore largely a personal preference. Here we want to suggest how new developers can get started and how we can implement successful, efficient development.

In addition, there are some tools that are absolutely necessary to ensure the quality of the software while new code from various sources is collaboratively fed into a code repository on github.

The operating system#

In our installation guide we offer the installation for all common OS (Linux/Apple, Windows). Since the server on which the developed software (especially web applications) is operated is usually a Linux-based system, it is also highly advisable to design the local development environment as similarly as possible.

Especially for developers using a Windows computer, there are relevant considerations here to avoid constant additional work that is necessary to install certain packages in order to remain compatible with the latest developments.

Those who want to participate in software development in the long term should therefore consider whether it is worth using either a container solution such as Docker in which the software and databases are installed. New code can then be written or tested directly in the container via an IDE. On the other hand, WSL has also been available for some time, which can be used to run a Linux system on a Windows computer. As Microsoft itself developed the solution, it is particularly well integrated.

Development tools#

We mainly use VSCode or PyCharm as an integrated development environment (IDE). These IDEs are particularly easy to install, can be flexibly extended with plugins and enable all relevant tools for development to be operated in one window, which in our view increases productivity.


We encourage you to install our pre-commit hooks. They will probably get in the way sometimes when you try to "just commit" your code, but they help us to ensure the quality of the code, especially the formatting of the code.

pip install pre-commit

And install our hooks as defined in the '.pre-commit-config.yaml' file

pre-commit install

From now on, you can only transfer if the hooks are successful.

Useful VSCode plugins#

You can search the name in the VSCode Extensions tab:

  • Black Formatter
  • isort
  • Flake8
  • Pylance
  • Python
  • Python Debugger
  • Code Spell Checker
  • Database Client
  • ESLint
  • markdownlint
  • GitLens

Run all tests#

We aim to develop the oeplatform by using the test driven development approach. Fundamentally this requires a testing framework that is provided by django. If you want to check if your changes to the codebase affect the existing functionality run all available tests:

python test

Most of our current tests are available in the api app of the django project. Look for the tests directory in any of our apps.

Deploy locally#

You can run your own local copy of the OEP website server with

python runserver

By default, you should be able to connect to this copy by visiting localhost:8000 in your web browser. This way you can insert your changes without worrying about breaking anything in the production system.

User Management - Setup a test user#

To create a dummy user for functionality testing purposes

Then execute this python code (either directly in a terminal or from a file)

import os    
import django

os.environ.setdefault("DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE", "oeplatform.settings")
from login.models import myuser
u = myuser.objects.create_devuser('test','')

Create test tables#

You have multiple options to create tables and upload data. We will not explain the approach using a SQL dump that is imported into the postgresql database. The easiest approach that will get you started quickly is based on the OEP-Website UI. The related functionality is part of the dataedit app in the django project.

Before we can get started we have to register the topics where data can be grouped to. Initially all data is uploaded to the topic model_draft. Once it is published it is moved to another topic e.g. demand or scenario. You can use the management command to register our predefined topics:

python create_topics

Using the HTTP-API#

You can either use the http api that is available once you started your local development server using the runserver command. To understand how to use the api you can have a look at our academy courses but keep in mind that you have to modify the URL of the api endpoints to you locally running oep instance. You can to this by changing the beginning of the url from something like to Have a look at this course to get started with the http api.

Using the OEP-Website UI#

The OEP-Website includes a features that is called upload wizard internally. This features usually is used by the user to add datasets to the model_draft topic and can be accessed via the database page. Initially the database is empty and the topic cards are not visible. You have to navigate to the page manually. Once you have started your local instance of the OEP you can navigate to this URL:

There you can create a table, upload data from CSV file, create metadata and then navigate to the table page. To get started it is okay to just create a table with minimal requirements by just adding a table name that is all lowercase and does not include whitespaces, - or any special characters.

Publish aka move datasets#

Once you created your test data you probably want to move your data to any of the other topics. This functionality is also available via the Website UI and by using another endpoint of the HTTP-API.

Via the HTTP-API#

There is no tutorial available for this feature. You can send a post request to the following URL. You need to add your api token to the post request header. You can have a look on the table create tutorial linked above to understand how you can do that. In python you can use the package requests to perform http requests.<str:schema>/tables/<str:table>/move/<str:to_schema>/

The URL must include the name of the topic and table you want to move and the name of the topic you want to move table to. In the future this endpoint will change because it is part of the publishing process. Moving a table will then only be possible once the metadata for that table includes an open data license.

Via the OEP-Website UI#

You can navigate to the profile page using your local instance of the OEP website.

There you find a tab called tables. If you include an open data license in the metadata of your test table you previously create in the model_draft topic, a publish button becomes visible. Once you click it you can select a topic to move the table to.

You can edit the metadata for a table by visiting the detail page of a table then click the tab meta information and click the button edit. The license information should be added to the licenses field of the metadata.