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APIs used

To index content provided and hosted by third party services, centillion uses API calls. API keys are provided in the centillion configuration file.

Currently, centillion works with the following APIs

We cover more information about each below.

Google Drive

The Google Drive API is used to obtain documents from Google Drive. We walk through the steps of setting up the Google Drive API below.

Creating an account

Create an account: it is important to note that when you provide a Google Drive API key to centillion, centillion will index everything that it can access. This means you shoudl not use individuals' Google accounts to set up centillion. Instead, create a dedicated Google account for your centillion instance and grant it access only to the items or folders that need to be indexed.

Enabling the API

Once you have created an account, you need to enable the Google Drive API from the Google Cloud console.

Instructions for enabling the Google Drive API here:

Start by opening the Google Cloud console:

In the console, create a new project for your centillion instance.

Once you've created your new project, you should be on the APIs page. If not, you can always click the three-line hamburger menu icon (top left) and pick APIs from there.

To enable the Google Drive API from the APIs page, click "Library" on the left side menu. Search for Google Drive, pick the Google Drive API result, and pick "Enable".

Creating credentials

Once you have enabled the API, you still need to make API keys to call the Google Drive API. You can do this from the APIs page of the Google Cloud console.

To create Google Drive credentials from the APIs page, pick "Credentials" on the left side menu. Pick Create Credentials, then OAuth credentials. You can add the project name to the "Consent Screen", and leave everything else blank. When asked for an application type, pick "Other".

Once you have done this, a temporary window showing your API keys will pop up. There is no need to save this information. Click "OK" and you should see your new credentials show up in the list.

On the right side, there is a down arrow icon. Click this to download your OAuth API credentials. This will download client_secret.json.

IMPORTANT: client_secret.json contains information specific to the centillion OAuth application you just created, it does not give you the ability to use the API by itself. To do that, you have to log in using your new centillion Google account, and grant permission for the centillion OAuth application to make API calls using that account.

(Note that normally the account creating an app is different from the account granting permission to an app.)

Converting client secret to credentials

Once the Google Drive API is enabled, you can download client_secrets.json, which contains a token and a secret token that enable you to verify you are the true owner of the centillion OAuth application that was just created.

To link these to an account, use the scripts/ script in this repo (requires the google-api-python-client package):

$ pip install --upgrade google-api-python-client

$ ls client_secrets.json

$ python scripts/

This will look for a clients_secret.json in the current directory, and will use it to generate a login link, which a Google user can then visit and log in. This will then create a credentials.json file, which is what centillion needs to make real API calls.


There are two types of Github API credentials, used for two different things by centillion.

First, if centillion is indexing Github content (files or Markdown in a Github repo, or Github issues or pull requests), it will use a Github API access token to access information about the repository. This key is provided in the centillion configuration file.

Second, and independent of whether centillion is indexing any Github content, centillion implements an authentication layer to limit access to authorized users only. This authentication layer uses Github accounts to control access (specific Github users, organizations, or teams are whitelisted in the centillion configuration file). This requires an OAuth application, since users log in using their Github account to verify their identity. The OAuth application key and secret are provided in the centillion configuration file.

Creating API keys

The following instructions cover creating both types of API credentials mentioned above.

Before logging into Github, decide what Github account you should use. Like with Google Drive, it is recommended to use a dedicated Github account for your centillion instance. The account should have access to any private repositories that are to be indexed, and should have the ability to view the members of a Github organization or team, if those are used to control access.

(For example, if access to centillion is restricted to members of the "Admins" group using centillion's access control mechanism, the account used to create API keys must be able to see who is in the "Admins" group!)

Start by logging into a Github account.

Click user icon in upper right and pick Settings.

Pick Developer Settings on the left side menu.

From here, you can create an API access token or OAuth application credentials.

Copy and paste the API keys into the centillion config file.


The Disqus API takes a URL and returns a comment thread.

The using the api instructions at the disqus help site is a useful place to start.

First, create an api application using an account that is an owner or admin for the Disqus forum/forums being indexed.

Once you hae an API key, you can provide it in the centillion configuration file.

To test out the ability to list all threads in a forum using the API, you can run the following curl command (replacing the forum name and public API key):

$ curl -0 -L "<forum-name-here>&api_key=<public-api-key-here>

This will return json.