Register Content in Tiled

The usage tiled serve directory ... is mostly for demos and small-scale use. The following guide demonstrates more sophisticated control over this process.


The tutorial Serve a Directory of Files demonstrates the usage:

tiled serve directory [--watch] [--public] [--api-key <SECRET>] <DIRECTORY>

which is a shorthand for:

  1. Walk a directory tree to identify formats it recognizes and then ingest their metadata, structure, and filepaths into a database for efficient search and random access.

  2. Start a server that uses that data.

  3. Optionally, watch the directory tree for changes, and synchronizing them to the data.

Limitations of tiled serve directory ...

The shorthand is great for quickly getting started, but it has numerous limitations.

  • Tiled walks the entire directory at server startup. This can be slow.

  • Tiled creates an ephemeral database (SQLite in a temporary directory) just for this process. That work is discarded when the server shuts down.

  • One database per server is not horizontally scalable.

  • With --watch, Tiled picks up files as soon as they are created, and they may not be ready to be read yet. (Example: a partially-written HDF5 file.)

  • With --watch, Tiled currently re-scans the entire directory from scratch every time anything changes. This may be improved in the future, but there are limitations to how smooth this can be.

  • This can place a lot of load on a filesystem, which can be an issue for networked file systems in particular.

When these limitations are reached, read on for a more sophisticated approach.

Production-Scale Approach

Start a Tiled server.

tiled serve catalog <DATABASE_URI> -r <DIRECTORY> [--public] [--api-key <SECRET>]
  • The <DATABASE_URI> may be a SQLite file like catalog.db or a PostgreSQL URI like postgres+asyncpg://<USERNAME>:<PASSWORD>:<HOST>/<DATABASE>.

  • The <DIRECTORY> instructs Tiled to enable an authorized clients to register files in that directory to be served. For security reasons, nothing outside of that directory will be possible to register. (Multiple -r arguments may be used.)

  • If an --api-key is not passed, a secure random key will be generated and printed at server startup.

Simple cases

As in the Quickstart, this walks the directory tree, identifies recognized formats, and registers the metadata, structure, and filepaths.

tiled register http://localhost:8000 [--api-key <SECRET>] <DIRECTORY>

Complex cases

Sometimes it is necessary to take more manual control of this registration process, such as if you want to take advantage of particular knowledge about the files to specify particular metadata or specs.

Use the Python client, as in this example.

import numpy
from tiled.client import from_uri
from tiled.structures.core import StructureFamily
from tiled.structures.data_source import Asset, DataSource, Management
from tiled.structures.array import ArrayStructure, BuiltinDtype

# You can pass the api_key in explicitly as shown here, but for security, it
# is best to set the API key in the environment variable TILED_API_KEY, which
# from_uri(...) will automatically detect and use.
client = from_uri("http://localhost:8000", api_key="...")

structure = ArrayStructure(
    shape=(2, 512, 512),
    chunks=((1, 1), (512,), (512,)),
    dims=("time", "x", "y"),  # optional

# POST /api/v1/register/{path}
                Asset(data_uri="file:///path/to/image1.tiff", is_directory=False, parameter="data_uri", num=1),
                Asset(data_uri="file:///path/to/image2.tiff", is_directory=False, parameter="data_uri", num=2),