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Introduction

The purpose of the InforMEA API is to establish a communication protocol between InforMEA database and its data providers, the MEAs. Currently, this is a one-way communication, with data retrieval from the MEAs into the InforMEA database. The underlying protocol used to transport data is based on the OData web protocol. Together with our initial MEA contributors we have agreed on the format of the envelope that is defined on top of OData. The specifications for this format are defined on this Google document.

The InforMEA Toolkit

In order to optimize the costs of building an web service on each MEA end, the MEA IKM initiative has funded the development of a software toolkit that allows MEAs to install on their infrastructure and, with a proper configuration, allows exposure of the data via the OData web protocol. In return, InforMEA can harvest this information and index into the website. We have made the implementation open source (distributed under GPL v3 licence) and the source code, packages and documentation is available below.

Harvesting InforMEA data

The InforMEA provides to the interested parties an API endpoint where data can be queried and retrieved using various tools. The endpoint is located at http://odata.informea.org. Note: The display of data on third parties websites is subject to an agreement with the IKM project, please contact us for further details.

InforMEA Toolkit Download

To retrieve the latest version of the toolkit, please visit our Github page: https://github.com/InforMEA/odata.provider/releases.

InforMEA Toolkit VM

The toolkit VM contains a pre-configured Debian 7 virtual machine with JDK 1.7, Apache Tomcat 7 and Toolkit that can be deployed in a virtual environment and configured to connect to a database and serve OData out of the box.
Note: This VM has a public password and no firewall configured. If you wish to deploy this in production please consider the following security guidelines:

  • Strong passwords for root & informea accounts
  • Disable password SSH authentication, leave only key-based authentication
  • Do not expose the port 8080 to the public, rather use Apache or nginx in front to proxy requests
  • Configure firewall to allow traffic only on ports 8080. No incoming or outgoing requests should be allowed
Date Version Downloads NOTES
26-Oct-2015 2.2.2 Download appliance (~750MB)
SHA1: 1b51ca4951f83b8c8a0c7fcc9f658cf0280c516b
Root password: informea.
Debian 7 VM with 5GB Virtual HDD. Tomcat is cofigured as service to start on port 8080
Warning: THIS MACHINE IS NOT SECURE ENOUGH FOR PRODUCTION!

Configuration & Update

The toolkit is installed on /opt/apache-tomcat-7.0.65/webapps/ROOT.


To configure

  1. edit the XML file /opt/apache-tomcat-7.0.65/webapps/ROOT/WEB-INF/classes/META-INF/persistence.xml and set your correct SQL server configuration parameters (user, password, server ip & database).
  2. Restart the Tomcat service, as root: ~#> service tomcat restart.

To update

  1. Stop the Tomcat service, as root: ~#> service tomcat stop
  2. Delete everything in /opt/apache-tomcat-7.0.65/webapps/ROOT/
  3. Download the new release from https://github.com/InforMEA/odata.provider/releases
  4. Reconfigure the toolkit (see above)
  5. Restart the service
     

InforMEA Applet

informea applet Get the inforMEA applet from here

Status of the data harvesting from MEAs

Currently there are about 14 secretariats who have granted access to their data as web data service, using the OData web protocol. The exposed data consists of:

  1. Decisions - COP/MOP decisions as documents and metadata
  2. Meetings - COP/MOP or other events
  3. Contacts - List of National Focal Points (NFPs)
  4. Parties - Countries that are parties to the Convention

We are regularly harvesting this data and updating the InforMEA index with this data. The status of this harvesing can be found on this Google document.

Terms and Conditions for the Harvesting of InforMEA Data

This site aggregates content from many sources which may be used, downloaded and printed solely for noncommercial purposes and in accordance with this User Agreement, provided that such use does not alter or remove any copyright symbol or other identification concerning authorship of any of the materials contained on or otherwise made available. The site also provides to the interested parties an API endpoint where data can be queried and retrieved using various tools, on condition that the implementation of this approach is accompanied by the installation of the traceability found at: https://www.informea.org/page/informea-page-tracking, which would allow the various content providers of this site to track information on how their data is being used.

Attached files: 
AttachmentSize
PDF icon Toolkit deployment guide322.19 KB
PDF icon InforMEA brand guidelines10.25 MB
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