ODK Central v2023.1

We are excited to announce a new release of ODK Central, the ODK server.

If you haven't used Central, the easiest way to get started is with ODK Cloud. Our cloud hosting provides Central servers with automatic updates, daily backups, uptime guarantees, and fast support.

If you are technical and prefer to self-host and rely on community support, start with our installation docs.

If you are using ODK Cloud, we'll be rolling out these updates in the coming days. If you are not using ODK Cloud, follow the upgrade instructions.

Release Overview

In Version 2023.1, we added more information about Datasets, including a new Dataset details page, which can be accessed by clicking on the name of a Dataset. These details include how specific Forms link with Datasets, either by creating Entities or consuming Datasets, and a full list of Dataset Properties.

On January 31, scheduled backups to Google Drive were sunsetted. Since Central v1.5.3, it has not been possible to set up backups to Google Drive. As of v2023.1, all functionality related to backups to Google Drive has been removed. We strongly encourage users to implement an alternative data backup strategy to prevent data loss. Please see the backup documentation for more.

Note that as part of the upgrade to v2023.1, Central will update a few tables of your database. This is called a database migration and is a common part of new releases. The database migration in this release is expected to take longer than normal. The specific duration of the migration will be affected by the number of Submissions, the number of Form versions, and the number of Server Audit Log entries on the server.

Other Highlights

Thanks in part to feedback from our users, we have made a number of additional improvements:

  • Prevent an error when attempting to recreate an Entity from an edited Submission. Thanks to @Syed_Muhammad_Qadeer for reporting this issue!
  • When there is an error creating an Entity from a Submission, details about the error will now be shown more consistently in the Submission activity feed. Thanks to @Syed_Muhammad_Qadeer for reporting this issue!
  • If you use the API to filter for Submissions or Server Audit Log entries before or after a specific time, Central will now truncate sub-millisecond precision. In other words, the timestamp precision of the Central database will match the precision returned over the API. This simplifies automations that fetch new records on a scheduled basis. Thanks to @mathieubossaert and @Julien for reporting this issue!
  • Show a warning if a new Form version removes an existing Form field.
  • Show a warning if a new Form uses the same ID as a Form in the trash.
  • Check that new Forms include a meta group.
  • Link to XLSForm documentation when an XLSForm warning includes a URL.
  • When a Form definition is uploaded, the file picker will filter for Excel and XML files.
  • Show tooltips immediately.
  • Show "Latest Submission" in the tooltip when hovering over a date in a table of Forms.
  • Fix the OData feed for repeat groups whose names contain invalid OData characters.
  • Fix performance issues when there are many Form versions with the exact same Form fields.
  • Log the correct Form action in the Server Audit Log when Managed Encryption is enabled for a Project.
  • Use the OData $select query parameter on the Submissions page to reduce data transfer.
  • Make accessibility improvements to the navigation bar.
  • When a navigation tab is disabled, prevent keyboard navigation into it.
  • Delete a Web User's sessions after their password is changed or invalidated.
  • Log in the Server Audit Log when a password is invalidated.
  • Prevent a Sitewide Administrator from invalidating their own password in the web interface.
  • Reduce noise from npm when Central is built.
  • Add indexes to the entities table of the database.
  • Update Enketo.
    • Improve error messages for revoked Forms and Public Access Links.
    • Improve localization for numeric input.
  • Update pyxform to add big-image support.
  • Update translations.
    • If your language is missing from Central, please contribute it.

As always, we have updated our User Documentation and API Documentation for the latest changes.

More notes about changes to the API for v2023.1 can be found in the API Changelog, which lists additions, breaking changes, and other things of note for each major release.

What's Next

Our next release, v2023.2, will provide a path for users to upgrade their Postgres database from Postgres 9.6 to Postgres 14. We expect v2023.2 to be available within the next month.

To learn more about the roadmap for Central, read What's coming in Central.