Wikimedia Enterprise

From mediawiki.org
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Wikimedia Enterprise API is a new service focused on high-volume commercial reusers of Wikimedia content. It will provide a new funding stream for the Wikimedia movement; greater reliability for commercial reusers; and greater reach for Wikimedia content.

For general information, the relationship to the Wikimedia strategy, operating principles, and FAQ, see Wikimedia Enterprise on Meta. The project was formerly known as "Okapi".

For information about obtaining access to this service, please see Access on the project's Meta homepage.

Updates[edit]

Public meetings[edit]

Contact the team if you would like to arrange a conversation about this project with your community.
Monthly "Office hours": Third Friday of each month @ 15:00 UTC. April: Friday 16th @ 1500 UTC via Zoom

The most recent months of updates (full list):

2021-03: Community conversations[edit]

  • Refreshed documentation
    • Publication of completely refreshed documentation on MediaWiki.org and Meta. See Meta talkpage with significant amount of community feedback/comment.
  • Landing-page website
    • Launched! Incremental improvements in temporary code.
    • The website content itself is temporary and a placeholder until a fully featured page is launched alongside the product in a few months

Overview[edit]

Background[edit]

Due to the myriad of sources of information on the internet, compiling public and private data sets together has become a major proprietary asset (seen in customer knowledge graphs) for large tech companies when building their products. It is through this work that a company’s voice assistants and search engines can be more effective than those of their competitors. Wikimedia data is the largest public data source on the internet and is used as the "common knowledge" backbone of knowledge graphs. Not having Wikimedia data in a knowledge graph is detrimental to a product’s value, as we've proven through customer research.

In order for Wikimedia Enterprise API's customers to create effective user experiences, they require two core features from the Wikimedia dataset: completeness and timeliness.

Wikimedia content provides the largest corpus of information freely available on the web. It maps broad topics across hundreds of languages and endows consumer products with a feeling of “all-knowingness” and “completeness” that drives positive user experiences.

Wikimedia content originates from a community that authors content in real time, as history unfolds. Leveraging that community’s work provides customer products with the feeling of being “in-the-know” (i.e., “timeliness”) as events occur, thus generating positive user experiences.

There is currently no way for a data-consuming customer to make one or two API requests to retrieve a complete and recent document that contains all relevant and related information for the topic requested. This has resulted in customers building complex ad-hoc solutions that are difficult to maintain; expensive, due to a large internal investment; error prone, due to inconsistencies in Wikimedia data; and fragile, due to changes in Wikimedia responses.

Research Study[edit]

From June 2020 – October 2020, the Wikimedia Enterprise team conducted a series of interviews with third-party reusers [Users] of Wikimedia data to gain a better understanding of what companies are using our data, how they are using our data, in what products they are using it, and what challenges they face when working with our APIs. Our research showed that:

  1. Users cache our data externally rather than query our APIs for live data
  2. Each user approaches our current stack differently, with unique challenges and requests
  3. The Wikimedia APIs are not viewed as a reliable ingestion mechanism for gathering data and are prone to rate limits, uptime issues, and excessive use to achieve their goals
  4. All users have the same general problems when working with our content, and we have received similar asks from users of all size

The Enterprise API team has identified four pain points that cause large third-party reusers to struggle when using our public suite of APIs for commercial purposes. Note: Many of these concepts overlap with other initiatives currently underway within the Wikimedia movement, for example the API Gateway initiative.

  • High Frequency: Commercial reusers want to be able to ingest our content "off-the-press" so that they can have the most current worldview of common knowledge when presenting information to their users.
  • System Reliability: Commercial reusers want reliable uptime on critical APIs and file downloads so that they can build using our tools without maintenance or increased risk on their products.
  • Content Integrity: Commercial reusers inherit the same challenges that Wikimedia projects have in relation to vandalism and evolving stories. Commercial reusers desire more metadata with each revision update in order to inform their judgement calls on whether or not to publish a revision to their products.
  • Machine Readability: Commercial reusers want a clean and consistent schema for working with data across all of our projects. This is due to the challenges that come from parsing and making sense of the data they get from our current APIs.

Product Roadmap[edit]

In response to the research study, the Enterprise API team focuses on building tools for commercial reusers that will offer the advantages of a data service relationship while expanding the usability of the content that we provide.

The roadmap is split into two ordered phases focused on helping large third-party reusers with:

  1. Building a "commercial ingestion pipe"
  2. Creating more useful data to feed into the "commercial ingestion pipe"

Beta: Building a "Commercial Ingestion Pipe" (Current)[edit]

The goal of the first phase is to build infrastructure that ensures the Wikimedia Foundation can reasonably guarantee Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for 3rd-party reusers as well as create a "single product" where commercial reusers can confidently ingest our content in a clear manner. While the main goal of this is not explicitly to remove the load of the large reusers from Wikimedia Foundation infrastructure, it is a benefit, for we do not currently know the total capacity of these large reusers on donor-funded infrastructure.


The Q4 2021 release (May/June 2021) of the Enterprise APIs proposes the following:

Type Name Compare To What is it? What’s New?
Realtime Enterprise Activity "Firehose" API EventStream HTTP API A stable, push HTTP stream of real time activity across “text-based” Wikimedia Projects
  • Push changes to client with stable connection
  • Filter by Project and Page-Type
  • Be Notified of suspected vandalism in real time
  • Machine Readable and Consistent JSON schema
  • Guaranteed uptime, no rate-limiting
Enterprise Structured Content API Restbase APIs Recent, machine readable content from all “text-based” Wikimedia Projects
  • Machine Readable and Consistent JSON schema
  • Guaranteed uptime, no rate-limiting
Bulk Enterprise Bulk Content API Wikimedia Dumps Recent, compressed Wikimedia data exports for bulk content ingestion
  • Machine Readable and Consistent JSON schema
  • Daily “Entire Corpus” exports
  • Hourly “Activity” exports
  • Guaranteed delivery
  • Historical Downloads

Launch: Enhance Wikimedia Data for Reuse[edit]

The goal of the second phase of this project is to enhance the data that comes through the infrastructure provided by the Enterprise API. By doing this, we will create more opportunity for reusers ingesting our data feeds to efficiently use our content in their products. We have taken requests on ways that reusers would like to have our data evolve over time and created this list.

The elements listed are by no means in order of importance or commitments, just ideas and direct responses to requests that have been articulated to our team. We look forward to defining future directions in collaboration with other teams within the movement.


Enterprise API Roadmap Considerations

Theme Feature Details
Machine Readability Parsed Wikipedia Content Break out the HTML and Wikitext content into clear sections that customers can use when processing our content into their external data structures
Optimized Wikidata Ontology Wikidata entries mapped into a commercially consistent ontology
Wikimedia-Wide Schema Combine Wikimedia project data together to create “single-view” for multiple projects around topics.
Topic Specific Exports Segment corpus into distinct groupings for more targeted consumption.
Content Integrity Anomaly Signals Update schema with information guiding customers to understand the context of an edit. Examples: page view / edit data
Credibility Signals Packaged data from the community useful to detect larger industry trends in disinfo, misinfo, or bad actors
Improved Wikimedia Commons license access More machine readable licensing on Commons media
Content Quality Scoring (Vandalism detection, “best last revision”) Packaged data used to understand the editorial decision-making of how communities catch vandalism.

Active Development (Beta)[edit]

Note: We are still defining the exact nomenclature for API endpoints and documentation, but these are the main products that our team is currently building.

Structured Content API[edit]

High-volume reusers that use an infrastructure reliant on the EventStream platform depend on services like RESTBase to pull HTML from page titles and current revisions to update their products. High-volume reusers have requested a reliable means to gather this data, as well as structures other than HTML when incorporating our content into their KGs and products.

Wikimedia Enterprise Structured Content API, at release, will contain:

  • A commercial schema
  • SLA

In terms of schema, we are limiting our scope to optimize the reliability of these services. However, refer to our Product Roadmap to understand where this will expand. Please note, this schema is still in progress and is not final; it was built to articulate our ideas and is not fully named or coded. We will likely leverage ideas from schema.org when building out this schema in full.

{
  "qid": "Q...",
  "wpid": "###",
  "title": "TITLE",
  "url": "URL Link",
  "db_name": "WIKI PROJECT CODE",
  "lang": "LANG ISO CODE",
  "revision_dt": "TIMESTAMP",
  "content": {
      "license": ["CC BY-SA"],
      "html": "STRING BLOCK",
      "wikitext": "STRING BLOCK"
  }
}

Firehose API[edit]

High-volume reusers currently rely heavily on the changes that are pushed from our community to update their products in real time, using EventStream APIs to access such changes.High-volume reusers are interested in a service that will allow them to filter the changes they receive to limit their processing, guarantee stable HTTP connections to ensure no data loss, and supply a more useful schema to limit the number of api calls they need to make per event.

Enterprise Firehose API, at release, will contain:

  • Filtering of events by Project or Revision Namespace
  • Guaranteed connections
  • Commercially useful schema similar* to those that we are building in our Structured Content API and Bulk API
  • SLA

*We are still in the process of mapping out the technical specifications to determine the limitations of schema in event platforms and will post here when we have finalized our design.

Bulk API[edit]

For high volume reusers that currently rely on the Wikimedia Dumps to access our information, we have created a solution to ingest Wikimedia content in near real time without excessive API calls (Structured Content API) or maintaining hooks into our infrastructure (Firehose).

Enterprise Bulk API, at release, will contain:

  • 24-hour JSON*, Wikitext, or HTML compressed dumps of "text-based" Wikimedia projects
  • A hourly update file with revision changes of "text-based" Wikimedia projects
  • SLA

*JSON dumps will contain the same schema per page as the Structured Content API

Past Development[edit]

Daily HTML Dumps[edit]

The Enterprise team's first product was building daily dump files of HTML for every "text-based" Wikimedia project. These dumps will help content re-users use a more familiar data type as they work with Wikimedia content.

Reusers have four immediate needs from a service that supports large-scale content reuse: system reliability, high frequency or real-time access, content integrity, and machine readability.

Web Interface[edit]

This is a screenshot from the alpha dashboard (when the project was codenamed "Okapi") where users can download and save daily exports of HTML from "text-based" Wikimedia projects

A downloader interface now in design stages allows for users to download a daily dump for each "text-based" project, search and download individual pages, and save their preferences for return visits. Currently the software is in Alpha and still in usage and quality testing. This dashboard is built in React with internal-facing client endpoints built on top of our infrastructure. The downloads are hosted and served through S3.

Rationale behind choosing this as the Enterprise API's first product

  • Already validated: Before the Enterprise team ran research to discover the needs of high-volume data reusers, this was the most historically requested feature. Large technology partners, researchers, and internal stakeholders within the Wikimedia Foundation have long sought a comprehensive way to access all of the Wikimedia "text-based" wikis in a form outside of Wikitext.
  • Take pressure off internal Wikimedia infrastructure: While not proven, anecdotally we can conclude there is a significant band of traffic to our APIs by high-volume reusers aiming to get the most up-to-date content cached on their systems for reuse. Building a tool where they can achieve this has been the first step to pulling high-volume reusers away from WMF infrastructure and onto a new service.
  • Standalone in nature: Of the projects already laid out for consideration by the Enterprise team, this is the most standalone. We can easily understand the specs without working with a specific partner. We were not forced to make technical decisions that would affect a later product or offering. In fact, in many ways, this flexibility forced us to build a data platform that produced many of the APIs that we are offering in the near future.
  • Strong business development case: This project gave the Enterprise team a lot of room to talk through solutions with reusers and open up business development conversations.
  • Strong introductory project for contractors: The Enterprise team started with a team of outside contractors. This forced the team to become reusers of Wikimedia in order to build this product. In the process, the team was able to identify and relate to the problems with the APIs that our customer base faces, giving them a broader understanding of the issues at hand.

Design Documents[edit]

WME Schema 3-2-2021.png

Application Hosting[edit]

The engineering goal of this project is to rapidly prototype and build solutions that could scale to the needs of the Enterprise API's intended customers – high volume, high speed, commercial reusers. To do this, the product has been optimized for quick iteration, infrastructural separation from critical Wikimedia projects, and to utilize downstream Service Level Agreements (SLAs). To achieve these goals in the short term, we have built the Enterprise API upon a third-party cloud provider (specifically Amazon Web Services [AWS]). While there are many advantages of using external cloud for our use case, we acknowledge there are also fundamental tensions – given the culture and principles of how applications are built at the Foundation.

Consequently, the goal with the Enterprise API is to create an application that is "cloud-agnostic" and can be spun up on any provider's platform. We have taken reasonable steps to architect abstraction layers within our application to remove any overt dependencies on our current host, Amazon Web Services. This was also a pragmatic decision, due to the unclear nature of where this project will live long-term.

The following steps were taken to ensure that principle. We have:

  • Designed and built service interfaces to create abstractions from provider-specific tools. For instance, we have layers that tie to general File Storage capabilities, decoupling us from using exclusively "AWS S3" or creating undo dependency on other potential cloud options
  • Built the application using Terraform as Infrastructure as Code to manage our cloud services. [The Terraform code will be published in the near future and this documentation will be updated when it is]
  • Used Docker for containerization throughout the application
  • Implemented hard drive encryption to ensure that the data is protected (we are working to expand our data encryption and will continually as this project develops)

We have intentionally kept our technical stack as general, libre & open source, and lightweight as possible. There is a temptation to use a number of proprietary services that may provide easy solutions to hard problems (including EMR, DynamoDB, etc). However, we have restricted our reliance on Amazon services to what we can be found in most other cloud providers. Below is a list of services used by the Enterprise API within Amazon and its purpose in our infrastructure:

We are looking to provide Service Level Agreements (SLA) to customers similar to those guaranteed by Amazon's EC2. We don't have equivalent uptime information from the Wikimedia Foundation's existing infrastructure. However, this is something we are exploring with Wikimedia Site Reliability Engineering. Any alternative hosting in the future would require equivalent services or time to allow us to add more staff to our team in order to give us confidence to handle the SLA we are promising.

In the meantime, we are researching alternatives to AWS (and remain open to ideas that might fit our use case) when this project is more established and we are confident in knowing what the infrastructure needs are in reality.

Team[edit]

We are staffing our engineering team currently with Speed & Function. At this early stage in the project, we are not yet sure of the long-term engineering needs and wish to thoroughly assess the project’s ability to become self-sustaining. In this way, we hope not to disrupt other WMF projects or divert excessive resources.

See also[edit]

  • API:Main page – the central listing of all Wikimedia APIs.
  • Wikitech: Data Services portal – A list of community-facing services that allow for direct access to databases and dumps, as well as web interfaces for querying and programmatic access to data stores.
  • Enterprise hub – a page for those interested in using the MediaWiki software in corporate contexts:
  • Wikimedia update feed service – A defunct paid data service that enabled third parties to maintain and update local databases of Wikimedia content.