Created: 2012-03-22 14:30
Updated: 2017-10-04 21:19
License: apache-2.0

Zotonic - Import data from an anyMeta site

Zotonic is a CMS. It is written in Erlang. It is extensible with modules. It is pretty fast.

This is a module for Zotonic. It can import data from anyMeta sites.

anyMeta is an information management system made by Mediamatic Lab

All data is fetched using the anyMeta thing API: Where 12345 is the id of the to be exported page.

When importing you can supply a range of ids to be imported. If only the start of the range is filled in then the import will continue till it finds 100 consecutive not founds, at which point it will stop.

It is safe to re-run the import, as the module keeps a mapping of Anymeta UUID to Zotonic resource id.

Optionally you dan supply the sysadmin password of the anyMeta site to import non-public data.


The module keeps an administration of all imported pages.

This administration is in the table import_anymeta and contains a mapping from the anyMeta uuid and thing-id to the local resource id, including a timestamp when the import was done.

Admin templates and menu

The import module overrules and adds some extra templates to the admin:

  • A menu item Import from anyMeta in the Modules menu
  • The basic form (title, subtitle etc.) is changed so that an extra field chapeau is added.
  • An extra sidebar template with information about the conversion and a link to the page on the original anyMeta site

Old URLs and references to the previous site

After importing a site, you can enable mod_import_anymeta_dispatch ( The dispatch module adds a dispatch handler to map old Anymeta specific URLs to the newly imported resources.


This module has the following limitations:

  • anyMeta listpublish and listedit are only partially converted, a manual correction will be necessary.
  • An empty placeholder resource will be created for some unconverted things, these placeholders can be deleted later.
  • Menu’s need to be re-done, as the menu structure of Zotonic and anyMeta is totally different.

Test cases

This module comes with a number of test cases. For this purpose, JSON files with Anymeta JSON exports are shipped with this module in the testdata/ directory. To run the importer on these files and then run the tests from zotonic, assuming your Zotonic site is called mysite, do the following:


You'll see some output of the importer scrolling by and a message at the end telling you that all assertions have passed:

15:13:57.087 [info] All tests ok.

Conversion callbacks

The import_anymeta module uses three notifications to help in the conversion:

  • A first notification to map an anyMeta kind/type combination into a Zotonic category: {import_anymeta_kind_type, AnymetaKind, AnymetaTypeList} This expects a return of {ok, CategoryAtom} or undefined

  • A fold to convert an anyMeta thing to a Zotonic resource: import_anymeta_fields with a property list as the accumulator. A first default mapping of anyMeta fields to Zotonic properties has been done already, the handlers can do subsequent mapping or translation of values.

  • A first to map a predicate: {import_anymeta_map_predicate, Predicate} Where Predicate is an atom, either already mapped for some standard predicates, or a lower-cased atom representation of the original predicate’s name. A handler should either return undefined to keep the original predicate name, or an atom with the name of the predicate to be used.

Below are two example modules from live projects.

Example 1: Women on Waves

This is the conversion used by the Women on Waves web site:

%% @doc Women on Waves main site module
%% @copyright 2012 Marc Worrell


-mod_title("Women on Waves").
-mod_description("Web site for Women on Waves.").




observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ATTACHMENT">>, [<<"PRESS_COVERAGE">>,<<"CARTOON">>|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, cartoon};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ATTACHMENT">>, [<<"CARTOON">>|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, cartoon};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ATTACHMENT">>, [<<"PRESS_COVERAGE">>|<<"OPINION">>]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, press_image};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ATTACHMENT">>, [<<"PRESS_COVERAGE">>|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, press_image};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ATTACHMENT">>, [<<"PRESS_COVERAGE_E">>|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, press_image};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ATTACHMENT">>, [<<"CAMPAIGNS_DIARY_POLAND">>|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, campaign_image};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ARTICLE">>, [<<"PRESSRELEASE">>|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, press_release};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ARTICLE">>, [<<"PRESS_RELEASE">>|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, press_release};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ARTICLE">>, [<<"PRESS">>|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, press};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ARTICLE">>, [<<"ABOUT_US">>|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, about_us};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ARTICLE">>, [<<"CAMPAIGNS">>,<<"DIARY">>]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, campaign_diary};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ARTICLE">>, [<<"DIARY">>]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, diary};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ARTICLE">>, [<<"CAMPAIGNS">>|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, campaigns};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ARTICLE">>, [<<"REALITY">>|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, reality};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ARTICLE">>, [<<"WE_HELP">>|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, reality};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ARTICLE">>, [<<"PRESS_COVERAGE">>|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, media_press};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, _Kind, _TypesSymbolic}, _Context) ->
    ?DEBUG({_Kind, _TypesSymbolic}),

observe_import_anymeta_map_predicate({import_anymeta_map_predicate, diary_portugal}, _Context) ->
observe_import_anymeta_map_predicate({import_anymeta_map_predicate, set_campaigns}, _Context) ->
observe_import_anymeta_map_predicate({import_anymeta_map_predicate, set_reality}, _Context) ->
observe_import_anymeta_map_predicate({import_anymeta_map_predicate, P}, _Context) ->

manage_schema(install, _Context) ->
        categories = [
              {anymeta_type, categorization, [{title, <<"Anymeta Type/Kind">>}] },
              {press_image, image, [{title, <<"Press Image">>}]},
              {campaign_image, image, [{title, <<"Campaign Image">>}]},
              {cartoon, image, [{title, <<"Cartoon">>}]}
            {hasfeatured, [{title, <<"Has Featured">>}], []}
                 [{title, <<"Home">>},
                  {summary, <<"Women on Waves is a Dutch non-profit organization concerned with women’s human rights. Its mission is to prevent unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortions throughout the world.">>},
                  {page_path, <<"/">>}
manage_schema({upgrade, 2}, _Context) -> #datamodel{categories=[{cartoon, image, [{title, <<"Cartoon">>}]}]};
manage_schema({upgrade, 3}, _Context) -> #datamodel{categories=[{campaign_image, image, [{title, <<"Campaign Image">>}]}]}.

Example 2: Women on Web

This is the conversion used by the Women on Web web site:


-mod_title("Women on Web").
-mod_description("Web site for Women on Web.").



observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ATTACHMENT">>, [<<"PORTRAIT">>|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, portrait};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"LOCATION">>, [<<"COUNTRY">>|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, country};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"KEYWORD">>, [X|_]}, _Context) ->
    {ok, z_convert:to_atom(z_string:to_lower(X))};
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, <<"ARTICLE">>, Ts}, _Context) ->
    case lists:member(<<"QUESTION">>, Ts) of
        true -> {ok, consult_question};
        false ->
            case lists:member(<<"CONSULT">>, Ts) of
                true -> {ok, qanda};
                false -> undefined
observe_import_anymeta_kind_type({import_anymeta_kind_type, _Kind, _TypesSymbolic}, _Context) ->
    ?DEBUG({_Kind, _TypesSymbolic}),

%% @doc Map some block texts in the portraits to normal properties.
observe_import_anymeta_fields(import_anymeta_fields, Props, _Context) ->
    case proplists:get_value(category, Props) of
        portrait ->
            Bs = proplists:get_value(blocks, Props, []),
                {name_first,   take_one(qb([<<"name_first">>], Bs))},
                {name_surname, take_one(qb([<<"name_last">>], Bs))},
                {q_feeling,    qb([<<"wiz_keyword_q_feeling">>, <<"q_feeling">>], Bs)},
                {q_how,        qb([<<"wiz_keyword_q_how">>, <<"q_how">>], Bs)},
                {q_situation,  qb([<<"wiz_keyword_q_situation">>, <<"q_situation">>], Bs)},
                {q_status,     qb([<<"wiz_keyword_q_status">>, <<"q_status">>], Bs)},
                {q_where,      qb([<<"wiz_keyword_q_where">>, <<"q_where">>], Bs)},
                {blocks, []}
                | proplists:delete(blocks, Props)
        _ ->

qb(_, []) ->
qb(P, [B|Bs]) ->
    Name = proplists:get_value(name, B),
    case lists:member(Name, P) of
        true ->
            case proplists:get_value(body, B) of
                undefined -> undefined;
                null -> undefined;
                X when is_binary(X) -> z_string:trim(z_html:strip(X));
                L when is_list(L) -> z_string:trim(z_html:strip(iolist_to_binary(L)));
                {trans, Ts} -> {trans, [{Iso,z_string:trim(z_html:strip(X))} || {Iso,X} <- Ts]}
        false ->
            qb(P, Bs)

take_one(undefined) -> undefined;
take_one(null) -> undefined;
take_one(B) when is_binary(B) -> B;
take_one(L) when is_list(L) -> L;
take_one({trans, []}) -> undefined;
take_one({trans, [{_,B}|_]}) -> B.
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