Openverse Providers#


The Openverse Catalog collects data from the APIs of sites that share openly-licensed media, and saves them in our Catalog database. This process is automated by Airflow DAGs generated for each provider. A simple provider DAG looks like this:

Example DAG

At a high level the steps are:

  1. generate_filename: Generates the named of a TSV (tab-separated values) text file that will be used for saving the data to the disk in later steps

  2. pull_data: Pulls records from the provider API, collects just the data we need, and commits it to local storage in TSVs.

  3. load_data: Loads the data from TSVs into the Catalog database, updating old records and discarding duplicates.

  4. report_load_completion: Reports a summary of added and updated records.

When a provider supports multiple media types (for example, audio and images), the pull step consumes data of all types, but separate load steps are generated:

Example Multi-Media DAG

Adding a New Provider#

Adding a new provider to Openverse means adding a new provider DAG. Fortunately, our DAG factories automate most of this process. To generate a fully functioning provider DAG, you need to:

  1. Implement a ProviderDataIngester

  2. Add a ProviderWorkflow configuration class

Implementing a ProviderDataIngester class#

We call the code that pulls data from our provider APIs “Provider API scripts”. You can find examples in provider_api_scripts folder. This code will be run during the pull steps of the provider DAG.

At a high level, a provider script should iteratively request batches of records from the provider API, extract data in the format required by Openverse, and commit it to local storage. Much of this logic is implemented in a ProviderDataIngester base class (which also provides additional testing features).

To add a new provider, extend this class and implement its abstract methods.

We provide a script that can be used to generate the files you’ll need and get you started:

# PROVIDER_NAME: The name of the provider
# ENDPOINT: The API endpoint from which to fetch data
# MEDIA: Optionally, a space-delineated list of media types ingested by this provider
#        (and supported by Openverse). If not provided, defaults to "image".

> just catalog/add-provider <PROVIDER_NAME> <ENDPOINT> <MEDIA>

# Example usages:

# Creates a provider that supports just audio
> just catalog/add-provider TestProvider https://test.test/search audio

# Creates a provider that supports images and audio
> just catalog/add-provider "Foobar Museum" image audio

# Creates a provider that supports the default, just image
> just catalog/add-provider TestProvider https://test.test/search

You should see output similar to this:

Creating files in /Users/staci/projects/openverse-projects/openverse
API script:        openverse/catalog/dags/providers/provider_api_scripts/
API script test:   openverse/catalog/tests/dags/providers/provider_api_scripts/

NOTE: You will also need to add a new ProviderWorkflow dataclass configuration to the PROVIDER_WORKFLOWS list in `openverse-catalog/dags/providers/`.

This generates a provider script with a templated ProviderDataIngester for you in the provider_api_scripts folder, as well as a corresponding test file. Complete the TODOs detailed in the generated files to implement behavior specific to your API.

Some APIs may not fit perfectly into the established ProviderDataIngester pattern. For advanced use cases and examples of how to modify the ingestion flow, see the ProviderDataIngester FAQ.

Add a ProviderWorkflow configuration class#

Now that you have an ingester class, you’re ready to wire up a provider DAG in Airflow to automatically pull data and load it into our Catalog database. This is done by defining a ProviderWorkflow configuration dataclass and adding it to the PROVIDER_WORKFLOWS list in Our DAG factories will pick up the configuration and generate a complete new DAG in Airflow!

At minimum, you’ll need to provide the following in your configuration:

  • ingester_class: the ProviderDataIngester class itself


# In catalog/dags/providers/
from providers.provider_api_scripts.foobar_museum import FoobarMuseumDataIngester



There are many other options that allow you to tweak the schedule (when and how often your DAG is run), timeouts for individual steps of the DAG, and more. These are documented in the definition of the ProviderWorkflow dataclass.

After adding your configuration, run just up and you should now have a fully functioning provider DAG!


When your code is merged, the DAG will become available in production but will be disabled by default. A contributor with Airflow access will need to manually turn the DAG on in production.

Testing guide#


  1. Ensure you’ve gone through the quickstart. Ensure that the Docker daemon is running.

  2. Run individual test by creating a testing session within Docker, then selecting only the tests associated with the provider.

    $ just catalog/test-session
    $ pytest -k <provider_name>

    Alternatively, the test selection can be run in Docker directly with:

    $ just catalog/test -k <provider_name>


Using just catalog/test-session opens Docker to access a shell which is set up to run tests. This allows one to run tests repeatedly while potentially modifying the code, without having to start the Docker container up each time the tests need to be run. Running the tests on Docker directly (e.g. using just catalog/test) will spin up the container, run the selected tests if any are provided (or all by default) and then stop and remove the container. That can be useful for ensuring that all tests pass if one does not need to iterate and check the test failures repeatedly.