pycsw has the ability to process CSW Harvest and Transaction requests (CSW-T). Transactions are disabled by default; to enable, manager.transactions must be set to true. Access to transactional functionality is limited to IP addresses which must be set in manager.allowed_ips.

Supported Resource Types

For transactions and harvesting, pycsw supports the following metadata resource types by default:

Resource Type Namespace Transaction Harvest
Dublin Core yes yes
FGDC yes yes
ISO 19139 yes yes
ISO GMI yes yes
OGC:CSW 2.0.2   yes
OGC:WMS 1.1.1   yes
OGC:WFS 1.1.0   yes
OGC:WCS 1.0.0   yes
OGC:WPS 1.0.0   yes
OGC:SOS 1.0.0   yes
OGC:SOS 2.0.0   yes
WAF urn:geoss:urn   yes

Additional metadata models are supported by enabling the appropriate Profile Plugins.


For transactions to be functional when using SQLite3, the SQLite3 database file (and its parent directory) must be fully writable. For example:

$ mkdir /path/data
$ chmod 777 /path/data
$ chmod 666 test.db
$ mv test.db /path/data

For CSW-T deployments, it is strongly advised that this directory reside in an area that is not accessible by HTTP.



Your server must be able to make outgoing HTTP requests for this functionality.

pycsw supports the CSW-T Harvest operation. Records which are harvested require to setup a cronjob to periodically refresh records in the local repository. A sample cronjob is available in etc/harvest-all.cron which points to (you must specify the correct path to your configuration). Harvest operation results can be sent by email (via mailto:) or ftp (via ftp://) if the Harvest request specifies csw:ResponseHandler.


For csw:ResponseHandler values using the mailto: protocol, you must have server.smtp_host set in your configuration.

OGC Web Services

When harvesting OGC web services, requests can provide the base URL of the service as part of the Harvest request. pycsw will construct a GetCapabilities request dynamically.

When harvesting other CSW servers, pycsw pages through the entire CSW in default increments of 10. This value can be modified via the manager.csw_harvest_pagesize configuration option. It is strongly advised to use the csw:ResponseHandler parameter for harvesting large CSW catalogues to prevent HTTP timeouts.


pycsw supports 3 modes of the Transaction operation (Insert, Update, Delete):

  • Insert: full XML documents can be inserted as per CSW-T
  • Update: updates can be made as full record updates or record properties against a csw:Constraint
  • Delete: deletes can be made against a csw:Constraint

Transaction operation results can be sent by email (via mailto:) or ftp (via ftp://) if the Transaction request specifies csw:ResponseHandler.

The Tester contain CSW-T request examples.