django-collaborative

by propublica

GitHub Readme.md

Collaborate

ProPublica Google News Initiative

This is a web application for managing and building stories based on tips solicited from the public. This project is meant to be easy to setup for non-programmer, intuitive to use and highly extendable.

Here are a few use cases:

  • Collection of data from various sources (Google Form via Google Sheets, Screendoor, Private Google Spreadsheets)
  • An easy to setup data entry system
  • Organizing data from multiple sources and allowing many users to view and annotate it

The project is broken up into several components:

  • A system for transforming CSV files into managed database records
  • A default and automatic Django admin panel built for rapid and easy editing, managing and browsing of data
  • Customizable fields for tagging, querying, annotating and tracking tips

This is a project of ProPublica, supported by the Google News Initiative.

Documentation

We have a GitBook with a full user guide that covers running Collaborate, importing and refining data, and setting up Google services. You can read the documentation here.

Deploy it

Collaborate has builtin support for one-click installs in both Google Cloud and Heroku. During the setup process for both deployments, make sure to fill in the email, username and password fields so you can log in.

Heroku

Deploy

The Heroku deploy button will create a small, "free-tier" Collaborate system. This consists of a small web server, a database which supports between 10k-10M records (depending on data size) and automatically configures scheduled data re-importing.

Google Cloud

Run on Google Cloud

The Google Cloud Run button launches Collaborate into the Google Cloud environment. This deploy requires you to setup a Google Project, enable Google Cloud billing and enable the Cloud Run API. Full set up instructions are here.

This deploy does not automatically configure scheduled re-importing, but you can add it via Cloud Scheduler by following these instructions.

Once you've deployed your Cloud Run instance, you can manage your running instance from the Google Developer's Console.

Getting Started (Local Testing/Development)

Getting the system set up and running locally begins with cloning this repository and installing the Python dependencies. Python 3.6 or 3.7 and Django 2.2 are assumed here.

# virtual environment is recommended
mkvirtualenv -p /path/to/python3.7 collaborative
# install python dependencies
pip install -r requirements.txt

Assuming everything worked, let's bootstrap and then start the local server:

# get the database ready
python manage.py migrate

# create a default admin account
python manage.py createsuperuser

# gather up django and collaborate assets
python manage.py collectstatic --noinput

# start the local application
python manage.py runserver

You can then access the application http://localhost:8000 and log in with the credentials you selected in the createsuperuser step (above). Logging in will bring you to a configuration wizard where you will import your first Google Sheet and import its contents.

Production Deploy (Nginx/Docker)

If you want to deploy this to a production environment, we've included configuration templates and scripts for Docker and Nginx.

A Collaborate Dockerfile (the same one used by the Google Cloud Run deploy) can be found here:

deploy/google-cloud/Dockerfile

This creates a basic production environment with nginx and gunicorn. By default, it uses SQLite3, but you can configure the database by adding a DATABASE_URL environment variable. You can read more about the format for this variable here.

We also included a configuration script for plain Nginx deploys here:

deploy/google-cloud/django_nginx.conf

This can be copied to your main Nginx sites configuration directory (e.g., /etc/nginx/sites-available/).