In Fall 2023, we will remove Google Drive/Sheets functionality from ODK Collect. Users will no longer be able to download blank forms directly from Google Drive or send completed forms directly to Google Sheets. We are making this change to enable us to move faster on features that serve more users.
We believe most people use Google Drive/Sheets because they see it as reducing the financial and technical cost for organizations to use ODK. But because Google Drive/Sheets were not designed to be a replacement for an ODK server, the user experience is not intuitive or reliable. We know that projects using Google Drive/Sheets are unable to use ODK to its full potential and we believe they will be best served by using a server designed for use with Collect.
In the last 12 months, Google Drive/Sheets was used for 6.1% of submissions sent from Collect. Roughly 5.2% of our user base used it. We believe that with sufficient warning, these users will be able to migrate to ODK Cloud, self-host Central, or use an ODK-compatible server.
If you use Collect to connect to Google Drive/Sheets, we recommend the following actions:
Plan for future data collection efforts to use an ODK server
Stop all automatic updates of Collect for devices connecting to Google Drive/Sheets
Use Collect projects if you need to start new initiatives while data collection is still being done using Google Drive/Sheets
Once all Google Drive/Sheets data collection is complete, resume Collect automatic updates
Stopping automatic updates will allow you to continue using Google Drive/Sheets for as long as you need it (or until Google changes something on their end). You will also be able to install Collect v2022.4.2 with Google Drive/Sheets support manually from APK.
We generally do not recommend stopping auto updates or using older versions of Collect. However, in this case, we think it provides the smoothest transition out of Google Drive/Sheets.
In Collect v2023.1 (~March 2023), there will be a banner at the top of the main menu for users of Google Drive/Sheets. It will tell them that Google Drive/Sheets support is going away and will link to this post.
In Collect v2023.2 (~summer 2023), users will not be able to configure new projects that connect to Google Drive/Sheets.
In Collect v2023.3, all user-visible Google Drive/Sheets functionality will be removed.
We welcome feedback you may have on this approach. Are there implications we may not have considered? Do you have alternate suggestions on how we make this change as seamless as possible for users?
Thank you for the update. My team belongs to that 6% who have been using Google sheets to log our data. Could you please clarify if Google will continue allowing data collection from the ODK application?
It's unlikely that Google will explicitly ban Collect. What is more likely is that Google will change or sunset the Drive or Sheets APIs that Collect relies on. We do not know if or when that will happen.
What a pity they don't want to work with GoogleSheets anymore. The only reason why we started our project in ODK was the possibility of managing the database that was generated with the forms easily for any user. Filling the information, correcting errors, deleting poorly saved records, with all the simplicity of a Google spreadsheet.
Do you know for sure the exact date on which you will stop providing this service? I firmly believe that it is a bad decision (even if we are only the 6% of users). Something that differentiates you from the rest of the forms services is the possibility of using GoogleSheets. Remember that it is an extremely simple and free option. Most users do not know how to install a server or we can not afford ODK Cloud prices (it does not have a free version). Hopefully at some point they can resume this service so characteristic and original that they had with Google.
Really sad to hear that. Almost 3 years running forms this way and then generating a final repost in PDF with scripts directly inside the google sheet and now this is threatened.
I agree with Nicolas, this is a really bad idea and this features is what differentiates you from the rest of the form services.
@gmiranda I understand this change is frustrating, but please understand that Collect is made by two people who are providing free software to millions of users. For us to keep ODK going, we need to make thoughtful choices about how we use our limited resources.
In this particular case, we are not taking anything away from you. In fact, we've gone out of our way to ensure you can freeze the ODK Collect version and continue with your existing usage. Is there any reason why this wouldn't work for you?
As I said, it seems the alway it works todays is threatened. Any modifications on Google side and I understood we will have no support anymore.
For the project I have running, nothing to do right now. Just hope it lasts for long time.
But I wouldn't rely on this for any new project/form from now on.
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