Appengine costs question as a part of ODK training seesion

Hello Community,

I am thinking of conducting a 3 day training programme for a few local NGOs on ODK components like collect, aggregate, briefcase, online & offline system, xlsform etc. The objective is entry level training of ODK, their capacity building & make them self sufficient in subsequent survey exercises. Briefcase is the most suitable option at root level, but I plan to assist them in setting up a Google Appengine instance for each of them.

The question I am facing from nearly all of them is "To what extend we can use the appengine cloud platform free of cost". Many of those may not even have credit card or not willing to share details with Google.

To sum up, questions like, "We have a form with 100 questions (only text no pictures). Our 10 enumerators will submit 2000 records submissions over a period of 10 days. Do we need to pay or our services will cease to work." "If we have a photograph of 500 Kb, then can we submit only half the number of records per day"."Should we increase number of days for submissions to 15". And various combinations like these, but avoid billing as far as possible.

I am quite aware that there is no right hand thumb rule for this.

But following is mentioned in the docs site.

"Google App Engine has 24-hour activity quotas that typically enable free use of ODK Aggregate during evaluation and small pilot studies."
"You may be able to run a full study within these activity thresholds provided you collect fewer than 2000 responses etc."
Does this mean that we can send about 2000 submissions per day or in total?

It can be a spare time activity to answer this question, but interesting, as it will definitely help in expanding the user base and spread the word.

Thank you..


we are waiting for this training.

Hi, i agree the cost is very unclear with the google apps. We had $50 of credit being used by multiple instances of ODK aggregate, some with many rows of data, others with images and it seems that the cost was almost negligible. If you have no credit you will have problems, if you have a small amount of credit you can collect a huge amount of data for a very long time with a very little cost.

If there are groups who want to avoid google based systems which require credit cards, then Kobo could be an alternative as there is no payment at all. The main limitation here being (as far as I know) it is not compatible with ODK Briefcase.


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Sir kindly you tell me about personal experience related to google app engine

My project running in 36 district and my enumerator 95 and questions 258 (only text no pictures)
You tell me what was the plan purchase from Google app engine or how to estimate these things like
What is my storage and other things that we need ?

we had a server with one form and data from more 10,000 household visits. the charge at the end of the month was less than $1. You can track the costs over the long term using the app engine and add more credit if necessary but you will not reach a significant cost based purely on forms containing text.


THANKS @noel
One thing more
If i get daily 1500 household visits and at the last of month 1500*30=45000
Google app engine have any daily limit for example app engine received just daily 800 household visit or monthly 30000 household ?
sorry for my bad English

Dear Intratek
we are waiting for this training.

When you start you get a credit for appengine, in my case it was 200USD which will be enough for your campain.
If you use App-Engine and have data that contains private information like date of birth or full names, you can use a GSuite Account to run the Database.
This would be the highest monthly cost you have except you get GSuite as an organization for free.

Alternative is to use Amanzons AWS... as a NGO you can get 2000USD per year in credits:

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Yes... I am finalizing the sessions and topics to be covered, delivery of training. Please give me some time so that each and every aspect will be covered. I will also make it available in this thread for review & esteemed sugestions.

BTW I went through Amazon hosting. Their t.micro instance is free for 1 instance & sufficient for a small - midium survey. t2.small may be sufficient to cater most of the needs of large survey with images etc & costs INR 1150 approx for a month.

t2.medium will be quite sufficient for multiple surveys, from multiple enumerators concurrently & may cost INR 2300 approx.

To me, t2.micro or t2.small will serve the purpose for many of us, going for a single survey!!

Thanks @Intratek
Waiting all community for this training


My question is very much related to what Intratek is asking about the costs for using the Google App Engine. We are planning to conduct a community survey targetting a sample of 5000 participants with an average daily submission of 500 forms. The survey form/questionnaire will have between 130-150 questions (including single and multiple choice questions). We prefer to log onto aggregate daily to be able to review the data being submitted for quality assurance purposes. My supervisor has asked me to indicate how much it would cost to use App Engine or if it will be free and I basically have no idea what to tell him. I am requesting members on this community to support me estimate the cost of using APP Engine. I have read some responses to previous posts, but can't seem to find any concrete answers.


@pmusinguzi App Engine makes it so hard to evaluate these things.

I've been involved in some massive campaigns (thousands of enumerators) and it's very rare that cost of hosting goes over $100/month.

Further, App Engine gives you a $200/month credit these days, so that's 2x what the largest campaigns see.