Backups to Google Drive from Central will stop working after Jan 31st

On January 31st, 2023, encrypted backups to Google Drive from Central will stop working.

This change is because we have recently learned that Google has deprecated the mechanism we use for those backups. See https://developers.googleblog.com/2022/02/making-oauth-flows-safer.html for more.

If you are self-hosting Central, we recommend you use one of these alternative methods for backup.

  • Use your hosting provider’s full machine backups (e.g., DigitalOcean's system-level backups)
  • Use a third-party tool (e.g., BorgBackup) to backup the ~/central folder and all Docker data
  • Use Central’s Backups API to initiate and download backups

If you are using ODK Cloud, you do not need to take any action. Central data in ODK Cloud is backed up continuously and can be restored to a specific moment in time.

In the next release of Central, we will remove the Google Drive integration, but leave the rest of the Backups infrastructure in place.

Note: After we published this post, we asked Google for a 3 month extension to the Oct 3rd deadline. They've granted our request and we've updated the above post accordingly.

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Any plans to add a similar "easy" offsite-backup option? WebDAV would be interesting to save backups on systems like Nextcloud.

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We had a discussion with the TAB about this, and the general consensus is that organizations that are self-hosting have their own backup systems anyway, so there isn't a ton of value add for us to add another backup system on top of it.

Is that a sentiment you agree with, @poVoq? How do you backup your Central install?

I think the main use-case was shared instances where the normal users would feel safer having a backup on their own Googe Drive instead of fully depending on the 3rd party that is hosting the main server.

I think that that was useful to have, but I understand that it might not be worth the effort to re-implement an alternative now.

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We asked Google for a 3 month extension to the Oct 3rd deadline. They've granted our request and we've updated the initial post accordingly. The new deadline is Jan 31st, 2023.

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