SODAR Core Development Resources

This document details instructions and guidelines for development of the SODAR Core package.

App Development

Guidelines for developing internal SODAR Core apps (ones included when installing the django-sodar-core package) are detailed in this section.

For the most part, developing apps within the SODAR Core package follow the same guidelines as detailed in Site Development. However, there are certain exceptions.


For internal SODAR Core apps, you need to use core counterparts to the mixins than provided for SODAR Core using sites. The counterparts use different media type and versioning from views to be implemented on external sites. This is to prevent version number clashes requiring changes in external APIs. The classes can be found in projectroles.views_api and are as follows:

  • CoreAPIVersioning

  • CoreAPIRenderer

  • CoreAPIBaseMixin

  • CoreAPIBaseProjectMixin

  • CoreAPIGenericProjectMixin

For detailed API descriptions, see docstrings in the view_api module. The media type and versioning for these views are hardcoded and should not be changed, except version information upon a new release of SODAR Core.

Projectroles App Development

This section details issues regarding updates to the projectroles app.


As all other apps in SODAR Core as well as sites implementing SODAR Core are based on projectroles, changes to this app need to be implemented and tested with extra care. Also make sure to provide detailed documentation for all breaking changes.

Projectroles App Settings

Projectroles defines its own app settings in projectroles/ These are not expected to be altered by SODAR Core based sites. These settings add the local attribute, which allows/disallows editing the value on a TARGET site.

To alter projectroles app settings when developing the app, update the PROJECTROLES_APP_SETTINGS dictionary as follows:

'example_setting': {
    'scope': 'PROJECT',  # PROJECT/USER
    'default': 'example',
    'options': ['example', 'example2'],  # Optional, only for settings of type STRING or INTEGER
    'label': 'Project setting',  # Optional, defaults to name/key
    'placeholder': 'Enter example setting here',  # Optional
    'description': 'Example project setting',  # Optional
    'user_modifiable': True,  # Optional, show/hide in forms
    'local': False,  # Allow editing in target site forms if True


To run unit tests, you have to install Chrome and Chromedriver followed by the Python test requirements:

$ sudo utility/
$ pip install -r requirements/test.txt

Now you can run all tests with the following make command:

$ make test

If you want to only run a certain subset of tests, use e.g.:

$ make test arg=projectroles.tests.test_views

Remote Site Development

For developing remote site features, you will want to run two or more SODAR Core example sites concurrently: one SOURCE site and one or more TARGET sites.

For running a single TARGET site in addition to the main site, the fastest way to get started is the following:

First, set up a second database called sodar_core_target using utility/

Next, migrate the new database and create a superuser using make manage_target. The admin user name is hardcoded into admin_target in, so you are strongly recommended to use that name for your target site admin.

$ make manage_target arg=migrate
$ make manage_target arg=createsuperuser

Launch your site with make serve_target. By default, you can access the site at Port 8001 on localhost. The port can be altered by providing the target_port parameter, e.g. make serve_target target_port=8002. Management commands to the target site can be issued with the make manage_target make command.

Due to how cookies are set by Django, you currently may have to relogin when switching to a different site on your browser. As a workaround you can launch one of the sites in a private/incognito window or use different browsers.

If you need to create multiple target sites for testing PEER synchronization features, make sure that you have a separate SODAR Core database for each site and launch each site on a different port on localhost. The configuration is included for developing with multiple TARGET sites.