Web Services - Add Custom Fields

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status: pslc member review of design proposal

We are seeking your feedback on our current design proposal.

We've been discussing and designing a new feature for DataShop—the ability to add and modify custom fields for existing data in DataShop. We'd like your feedback! If you have a moment, take a look at the PDF below, pages 1-9 (the rest is an archive of our discussion that you're also welcome to read). Then send us feedback or add it to this page below.

In the document we talk a lot about web services (a way to programmatically retrieve and annotate data), but the idea of custom fields would be universal. Would this proposal meet your needs for annotating (adding columns to) your data? If not, how can it be improved?

Please add your comments by Wed January 19 2011 (after which we'll be writing low-level requirements)

Feel free to add comments in the document and email it to datashop-help@lists.andrew.cmu.edu, or add comments on this wiki page.

User Stories

  1. As a researcher (EDM, M&M, CMDM), I want to retrieve transaction data programmatically and append custom fields to transactions in DataShop so that I can more easily run my models on the data outside of DataShop and put the results back in.
  2. As a researcher who has created a custom field for an existing data set, I want to import that new field into the step rollup table so that it is both preserved and available in DataShop tools. - Ryan Baker, 12/15/2008


  • For permissions: it seems to me that anyone with only "view" access should at most be able to create private custom fields, i.e., fields viewable only by the creator. It seems like it should require "edit" access to create publicly-viewable custom fields. -- Geoff Gordon, 1/6/2011
  • It seems like there should be an error when someone tries to add a custom field value for a key that doesn't exist, and at least a warning when someone tries to delete an object (e.g., a KC) which has custom fields attached. In the latter case, telling the system to delete the KC anyway should presumably lead to deletion of the corresponding custom field values. -- Geoff Gordon, 1/6/2011

See on-going DataShop 4.x Features
See unordered Collected User Requests
See Web Services