Community Update - 2020-09-29

We sometimes send important announcements to everyone in the community. Announcements like this one are rare (at most every 3 months), so please don't unwatch or unsubscribe from this category or you will miss out on critical information.

Announcing ODK Cloud and ODK Services

We've launched a redesigned website to better reflect where ODK is today and where it's going. With the new site also comes the launch of ODK Cloud and ODK Services from the ODK team.

  • ODK Cloud is fast, secure, and fully managed servers from the ODK team. It's the easiest way to get an ODK server and there are no technical skills required. See ODK Cloud for details.

  • ODK Services lets you go faster with expert help from the ODK team. We offer support packages, local hosting, sponsored features, and more. See ODK Services for details.

Cloud hosting and consulting services are how work on ODK has been funded since 2017. The new site makes this more transparent and helps us ensure ODK is financially sustainable.

While the site has changed, what is not changing are the things that make ODK great: social impact, open source, and community.

ODK's role in the COVID-19 response

ODK has been an essential tool in the fight against endemic and pandemic diseases for more than a decade and it's now being used in the COVID-19 response.

In Honduras, 80,000 teachers are monitoring the remote education of 1.8 million students with ODK. In Nigeria, 70,000 enumerators are mapping 2 million farms to ensure a stable food supply. All this is in addition to ODK-powered contact tracing and disease surveillance in India, Kenya, Philippines, Zimbabwe, and many other countries.

The wide use of ODK is one of the reasons why it was highlighted as one of the leading tools for COVID-19 response in low- and middle-income countries in a report from Johns Hopkins University and Gates Foundation. Read the full report at Digital Solutions for COVID-19 Response.

ODK Collect: Lots of little improvements and a few big ones

We've been focused on improvements that make life a little better for data collectors using Collect. GPS gets lock a little faster, server settings are a little simpler, and repeats are a little easier to add.

Of course, we couldn't help ourselves and we've added some big features too. You can now:

  • Exactly match the blank forms on the server so Get Blank Form is not needed (watch demo)
  • Fit all your searchable cascading selects on one screen with minimal (watch demo)
  • See filled form details on the on-device filled form map

Coming soon are background audio audits, attachments from external apps, and more user-interface modernization. Watch the pre-releases category to get a change to beta test these features (learn how).

:warning: Starting in Collect v1.29, we will no longer use the /sdcard/odk folder for storage. Device-specific identifiers subscriberId and simSerial will no longer be available and deviceId will now refer to the install ID. See this post for more and update your processes as needed.

ODK Central: At v1.0 and powering projects at scale

Central v1.0 has been released and is now in production use at scale. We have stopped active development on ODK Aggregate and now recommend that projects use Central instead.

We've recently added features to Central to make it easier to launch public web surveys. If you find yourself wishing you had the power of ODK forms, but the ease of distribution of tools like SurveyMonkey, you'll love Central. You can now:

We'll soon be adding data editing, submission filtering, and even more languages (contribute yours). If you haven't tried Central yet, there's no better time start. Sign up for a free cloud trial or install it yourself.

One more thing...

Adam Butler (@adam.butler) and Martijn van Rijdt (@martijnr) have been champions of ODK for a long time. They joined ODK's Technical Advisory Board (TAB) two years ago and have recently stepped down to allow others to lead.

Adam and Martijn aren't leaving the community, but we'll miss having their consistent and thoughtful feedback on the TAB. They have been essential in making ODK what it is and deserve an enormous thank you. Join me in saying thank you by tapping the :star_struck: button.

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