We have recently updated the software behind the Open Data Communities service, to use PublishMyData version 2.5. Users of the data might not notice much difference! The datasets and the main ways of accessing them are the same, though you'll see a few minor layout changes on the web pages, aiming to make it easy for users to find the information they want.
The most important changes are those behind the scenes, where some substantial feature and engineering improvements have taken place. With increasing use of Open Data Communities at DCLG, as a core part of the department's open data strategy, the management tools have been enhanced to support a growing group of data editors. Also the upgraded system lays the groundwork for increased automation of data transformation and data publishing processes - helping the department to decrease costs and increase reliability and timeliness of publication, while expanding the range and quantity of data available made available to users.
Performance has been improved: increasing the speed of data retrieval especially for larger datasets, and improving the ease with which large datasets can be loaded and updated.
And finally the new version incorporates the first steps towards some significant new tools for data access. The first of these will provide easy ways to relate Index of Multiple Deprivation data to postcodes, to be followed by the 'data shopping cart'. Building on lessons learned from our 'Spreadsheet Builder' prototype app, the data shopping cart will provide an easy way to pick and mix data from many different datasets.
If you have any questions, comments or feedback on the new system, do get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.