OpenSpending Datastore

The OpenSpending Datastore is a flat file datastore with source data stored in Fiscal Data Packages.

The following notes are important to know:

  • The Datastore runs from S3, or, an object storage which supports the S3 API.
  • The Datastore is the point of truth for data, holding the raw data sources, and the Fiscal Data Package that describes the sources.
  • All data coming into OpenSpending first hits the Datastore. From the Datastore, various services read this data and create derived databases to represent the data in certain ways. For example, the data is read into an SQL backend to provide the analytics API, and a search backend for the search API.


In order to use the Datastore, a number of OpenSpending components need to be able to read and write from it. In order to do this, we suggest the following setup (those familiar with AWS and S3 may modify aspects of this as desired, as long as the user with the access keys can read and write to the bucket that provides the Datastore).

AWS account

Setup an AWS account.

AWS user

You need a user that has permissions to read and write to the bucket. It is best practice to not employ an actual user account for this task, but, rather, set up some user that you use for deployed services, who has only the actual access levels required to perform the needed actions. An example setup is:

  • Go to security credentials in AWS and create a new user with a name that helps you remember it is a deployment user. Example: openspending-robot
  • Get this user's access key, secret key. The access key and secret key are used in the OS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and OS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY environment variables respectively.
  • Go to that user's permissions and attach an AmazonS3FullAccess policy (great place for fine-tuning if you are familiar with AWS)
  • Go to S3 and create a bucket that you will use as the OpenSpending Datastore. The name of the bucket is used in the OS_STORAGE_BUCKET_NAME environment variable.
  • With the S3 bucket created, go to its 'Properties', then 'Permissions', then 'Edit Bucket Policy'. The policy should allow GET access to anyone, like:
  "Version": "2012-10-17",
  "Statement": [
      "Sid": "AddPerm",
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Principal": "*",
      "Action": "s3:GetObject",
      "Resource": "arn:aws:s3:::{YOUR_BUCKET_NAME}/*"
  • Also in the 'Permissions' section, choose 'Edit CORS Configuration' and use this configuration:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<CORSConfiguration xmlns="">