In theory

The farmOS data model describes basic record types that can be used to represent a farming system, but how those record types are used is left up to the user in large part.

It is not the data model's responsibility to enforce an opinionated standard for all data that it stores. Instead, it aims to provide the flexibility for these standards to be developed through a collaborative community effort on top of the data model over time. These standards are collectively referred to as "conventions".

Conventions are not part of the data model itself, but understanding how they relate to and are built on top of the model helps develop good record keeping habits, which result in more consistent and comparable data.

One of the longer term goals of farmOS is to be a platform that supports the collaborative development of these conventions over time. As new standards are developed and adopted in the community, they can be written into modules that provide different levels of "enforcement of" or "compliance to" these conventions.

The data model, combined with established conventions, and tools like the farmOS Aggregator can enable a wide variety of data sharing, aggregating, and reporting use-cases.

In practice

Within an individual farmOS instance, you may develop your own conventions around naming your Assets. Or you may develop a standard operating procedure for certain types of common data entry, to ensure that it always goes into farmOS in the same manner and format.

Across separate farmOS instances, developing shared conventions enables data to be more easily aggregated and compared at larger scales.

Some ways in which conventions are already being developed include:

  • Quick forms, surveys, and other data entry tools that collect specific information and store it consistently in Logs.
  • Reports that query the database for Logs that match a certain convention and summarize them in different ways.