Overview

Connectors & minions are components that can be deployed in addition to the core magda services to extend the functionality of your Magda instance by harvesting data from other sources, and enhancing that data.

The default Magda helm chart is an example of creating a Magda deployment that combines magda-core with a selection of connectors and minions. You can find out more about how to reference different components (published Magda helm charts) from its dependencies definition file requirements.yaml.

Please note: the requirements.yaml above references magda-core as a local directory in order to use the local magda-core chart files in this repository. You can (and should) reference the magda-core helm chart that published on our helm chart repository in order to use the packed production ready version:

dependencies:
    - name: magda-core
      repository: https://charts.magda.io
      version: 0.0.57-0

Package your own connector or minion as deployable component (helm chart)

In order to deploy a connector or minion with magda-core, you need to:

You can find an example setup in our connector repositories & minions repositories.

The default CI workflows (using Github Actions) in those repositories are configured to publish to Magda’s central helm chart repository, but you can find a sample CI workflow config for publishing your helm chart to a github pages-based repository here.

To use the sample CI workflow, you need to:

  1. Create a clean / blank gh-pages branch in your github repository:
git checkout --orphan gh-pages
# preview files to be deleted
git rm -rf --dry-run .
# actually delete the files
git rm -rf .
git commit -a -m "Init gh-pages commit"
git push origin gh-pages
  1. Add the following information to the Github repository secret settings section:

    • GITHUB_ACCESS_TOKEN: Github person access token
    • DOCKER_HUB_PASSWORD: Your Docker Hub Account Password.
  2. Watch the script run. It will:

    • Build & push docker image to docker hub - you can control the docker image name with config.docker.name field of your package.json ( here is a sample config )
    • Package & push helm chart to Github Page (gh-pages branch of your Github repository). Your helm repo access url will be:
      • https://<user>.github.io/<repository>
      • Or https://<organization>.github.io/<repository>

Develop a Magda Connector

Connectors are responsible for fetching metadata from external systems and converting their attributes into those represented by “aspects” in the MAGDA system.

Magda has published a list of NPM packages to make developing new connectors on NodeJS easier. They are:

Most of the existing connectors are written in Javascript and are inherited from the JSON Connector and JSON Transformer base implementations.

If the system you are working with does not use JSON ie. XML, it typical to convert to a JSON representation first.

When developing a new connector, it is useful to save some samples of the source system and implement a connector test.

Each aspect-template can then be tested and debugged using the “debugger;” javascript statement for inline/eval script debugging.

You can find more connector examples from our connector repositories

Develop a Magda Minion

A minion is a Magda service that listens for new records or changes to existing records, performs some kind of operation and then writes the result back to the Magda registry. For instance, we have a broken link minion that listens for changes to distributions, retrieves the URLs described, records whether they were able to be accessed successfully and then writes that back to the registry in its own aspect.

Magda has published NPM packages to make developing new NodeJS-based minions easier. They are available at:

Here is a simple example of a minion:

import minion, { commonYargs } from "@magda/minion-sdk";
import onRecordFound from "./onRecordFound";

const MINION_ID = "minion-format";
const argv = commonYargs(6311, "http://localhost:6311");

const aspectDefinition = {
    id: "dataset-format",
    name: "Details about the format of the distribution",
    jsonSchema: require("@magda/registry-aspects/dataset-format.schema.json")
};

// --- will be called when changes are made to records in magda registry
async function onRecordFound(record, authorizedRegistryClient) {
    // --- adding logic of based on the current record data, create / update extra data and save back to registry via `authorizedRegistryClient`
}

minion({
    argv,
    // --- monitor `dcat-distribution-strings` aspect
    aspects: ["dcat-distribution-strings"],
    async: true,
    id: MINION_ID,
    onRecordFound,
    optionalAspects: [],
    writeAspectDefs: [aspectDefinition]
}).catch((e: Error) => {
    console.error("Error: " + e.message, e);
    process.exit(1);
});

You can find more connector examples from our minion repositories