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a Python package for calling the OpenCorporates API

Project description


Total alerts Language grade: Python


opyncorporates is a Python wrapper for the OpenCorporates API. It allows a user to create an Engine object that interacts with the API through two simple methods: search and fetch.

The search and fetch methods use signatures that mimic the request arguments and variables required in the GET requests through the
OpenCorporates API, while eliminating some of the cruft.

For example, a request to search for a company by name through the OpenCorporates API might look something like this:


Submitting the same request through the search method of of an opyncorporates Engine object, on the other hand, would look like this:

>>> from opyncorporates import create_engine
>>> engine = create_engine(api_version='0.4')
>>> search ='companies', q='bar', per_page=100)

Both the search and fetch methods return opyncorporates.Request objects, which allow the user (1) to explore information related to a request and (2) to obtain results more easily than it would be to craft a series of successive API calls.

Getting Started

This section will show you how to get up and running with the opyncorporates package. Additional information can be found in the documentation here.

To get started, you can install the package using pip:

$ pip install opyncorporates

Once the package is installed, you can use it to create an Engine object for submitting requests and retrieving data through the OpenCorporates API. When creating an Engine object, you have the option of specifying an API version and an API token:

>>> from opyncorporates import create_engine
>>> engine = create_engine(api_version='0.4',
...                        api_token='<api-token>')
>>> engine.api_version

The API version and API token will be used when building the urls required to submit requests to the OpenCorporates API. As of now, the package's default API version is 0.4, and it is the only version supported. If you are planning to query the API on a regular basis, I highly recommend purchasing an API token to increase your call limits.

Once you have created an Engine object, you can start making calls to the OpenCorporates API. In general, each of your API calls will perform only one of two actions. It will either:

  1. search for potential matches to a specified string value, or
  2. fetch a specific object by its unique identifier

There is a third action available when seeking information about a particular object using an imprecise identifier. This third action allows you to match to an object by providing a string value for that object's name.

Finally, if none of these actions suit your purposes, you can make a generic request to the API and parse the response yourself.

The call signatures for the methods associated with each action mimic HTTPS calls to the API. Http request args are submitted to the method as positional arguments, while request variables are submitted as keyword arguments.

Further explanation of the search, fetch, match, and request actions can be found below.


Your Engine object implements searches through the search method, which returns a SearchRequest object:

>>> from opyncorporates import create_engine
>>> engine = create_engine(api_version='0.4')
>>> search ='companies', 'search', q='Google')
>>> search.url
>>> search.responses # a history of responses for the object
[<Response [200]>]
>>> search.response # the most recent response for this request
<Response [200]>
>>> search.total_pages
>>> search.per_page
>>> search.total_count

You can then use the properties of this SearchRequest object to return as much or as little information from the OpenCorporates database as you need. For example, if you want to retrieve only the first page of search results from the OpenCorporates API:

>>> first_page = search.get_page(1)
>>> print(type(first_page))
<class 'list'>
>>> print(len(first_page))
>>> print(type(first_page[0]))
<class 'dict'>


The fetch method implements the second available action. This method allows a user to retrieve a specific item from the OpenCorporates API by providing the item's type and unique identifier. For example, a user can retrieve a specific company from the OpenCorporates API by providing its item type (i.e., 'company' or 'companies') and its unique identifier, which is the company's two-character country code plus its company number unique to that jurisdiction:

>>> from opyncorporates import create_engine
>>> engine = create_engine(api_version='0.4')
>>> fetch = engine.fetch('companies', 'gb', '00102498')
>>> fetch.responses # a history of responses for the object
[<Response [200]>]
>>> fetch.response # the most recent response for this request
<Response [200]>
>>> fetch.results['name']
'BP P.L.C.'
>>> fetch.results['incorporation_date']

If the fetch action is successful, the item is stored as a dict in the FetchRequest object's results attribute.


The match method implements the third available action. It allows a user to match a specified string value to a single item in the OpenCorporates database. As of version 0.4, the OpenCorporates API exposes this action to match jurisdictions only:

>>> from opyncorporates import create_engine
>>> engine = create_engine()
>>> match = engine.match('jurisdictions', q='U.K.')


The request method implements a generic request action. It allows a user to submit a request by supplying either (1) a string for the request args and/or vars or (2) the request arguments and variables as positional and keyword parameters. The engine will build a clean url for your request.

For example, the same request for a search of company records can be written in any of the following ways:

>>> from opyncorporates import create_engine
>>> engine = create_engine()
>>> r1 = engine.request('companies/gb/00102498/search?q=google')
>>> r2 = engine.request('/companies/gb/00102498/search',
...                    q='Google')
>>> r3 = engine.request('companies', 'gb', '00102498', 'search'
...                    q='google')
>>> r1.url == r2.url == r3.url # confirm all urls are the same

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