Today, MS Open Tech China released a new, open data solution for Microsoft Azure built around CKAN, an open source data portal, and an optimized OData plugin developed to specific requirements for the Chinese market. This solution leverages important technology components from the China software development market with a performant cloud platform to provide open source developers easy access and publishing tools with prevailing open data sources.


Unveiling CKAN in China with Brand-New OData Plug-ins

On October 21, to GitHub were officially accepted by the CKAN community. This integrated technology not only extends CKAN’s reach to global markets, but it also enhances interoperability between popular data processing applications such as Excel and OData – an open data protocol endorsed by several major IT vendors, including IBM, SAP and Microsoft.

“These contributions from MS Open Tech China help to add i18n support for non-English users and improve interoperability between CKAN and MS Office,“ said Gavin Chait, Lead Consultant at Whythawk, a core CKAN development and consulting company, “We believe that the wider CKAN community will benefit from the enhancements now available through these tools, reinforcing CKAN as a premier open data publishing solution for customers around the world.”

Thanks to these code contributions, CKAN’s OData plug-in tools now offer Unicode support, enabling CKAN to extend its global reach into markets where languages require double-byte coding. As a result, it is now possible for Chinese government officials, public workers and business professionals to use familiar tools such as Microsoft Excel to access and to process millions of


One-Click Deployment of CKAN Images through VM Depot

CKAN is an open source data portal solution developed by Open Knowledge for data publishers. With CKAN, data publishers can easily publish data for Internet users and developers to query, visualize, download, and call data resources through APIs. Now more than 116 data portals have been built based on CKAN, including the well-known US government site and in the United Kingdom.

Thanks to VM Depot, Microsoft Open Technologies’ catalog of open source images for Microsoft Azure, Web developers can also take advantage of the Azure cloud platform to deploy CKAN images and publish data quickly and easily. Collaboration between Microsoft Open Tech China and Beijing Shuhai Technology Inc. has yielded an array of OData plug-in features in CKAN that have been optimized for the China market, and then converted into VM images that have also been published to the VM Depot China site.

Since the Beijing Municipal Government launched the first China Government Open Data Portal in 2012, an increasing number of government data sources have opened up to the public - and specifically to open source developers - through a variety of local and national data portals. As an active participant in China’s open source ecosystem, MS Open Tech is also a contributor to several Open Data initiatives promoted by Chinese government. We are committed to supporting Chinese developers and users to realize the full potential of open data.


Here are the complete instructions to launch an Open Data Solution from VMDepot.

For any question or suggestions, please feel free to reach us at msopentechcn[at]microsoft[dot]com. We look forward to hearing from you!


Emily Chen

Technical Evangelist

Microsoft Open Technologies China