Using the API

The RESTful application programming interface is the best way to interact with Clowder programmatically. Much of the web frontend and the extractors use this same API to interact with the system. For a full list of available endpoints please see the Swagger documentation:

For more information about the endpoints take a look at the source code in app/api package. All routes are defined in conf/routes. For methods that write to the system a key is required. The default key is available in conf/application.conf under commKey. Please change this to a very long string of characters when deploying the system. The key is passed as a query parameter to the url. For example ?key=sdjof902j39f09joahsduh0932jnujv09erjfosind.

You can use curl to test the service. If you are on Linux or MacOSX you should have it already. Try typing curl on the command prompt. If you are on windows, you can download a build at If you prefer more of a GUI experience, you can try Postman.

pyClowder2 API wrapper in Python

If you are writing Python scripts or extractors against the Clowder API, the pyClowder2 library provides some of the API functionality with simplified wrapper functions. After using python install to install the library, you can use it to get and post data to Clowder.

When to use

pyClowder2 provides straight forward submodules for various Clowder API endpoints. Python scripts that interact with Clowder can usually be simplified by replacing custom implementations with calls to the appropriate pyClowder2 methods.

  • files (e.g. upload/download/get metadata/update/submit for extraction)
  • datasets (e.g. create/download/get metadata & contents/submit for extraction)
  • collections (e.g. create/get datasets)
  • Additional functionality (such as support for geostreams) in development.

For details about pyClowder2 functions and how they can be used, please see the library documentation.

pyClowder2 is updated as relevant API endpoints in Clowder are added or changed, so by using this library your code is better insulated from breaking changes as well.