Updates to OData Connector from Central to GDS

Hello! Wanted to make a post with some updates on the connector that our team (UW Impact++) built last year.

  • We fixed a bug where the connector did not work with nested repeats or groups in the forms
  • Added a token timeout/logout feature to improve security by not keeping users permanently logged in and allowing users to log out of the Central server they are connected to and connect to a different one.
  • Added more error checking and more detailed error messages
  • Add checks to see if the report a user is trying to edit/refresh the data for has the wrong credentials (credentials for a different Central Server) and then logs the user out and prompts them to login to the correct server.
  • Added an id field which will make blending data between forms or different repeat tables within a form easier.
  • Added a video walkthrough for the connector and more information on the connector guide on our plugin.

Please check it out and if you have any issues you run into or any suggested changes, please let us know either by responding to this post or writing an issue on our GitHub!

Links to check out:

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Awesome, thanks for that @samlevy. Great work!! Quick question though im having a little problem in which i have to authorise the connector everyday; is there anyway I can set access to stay logged in for this specific report?

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Hey @aaronsolofa! We did change the authentication for the connector to match Central's timeout of 24 hours which is why you are being prompted to log in again! I could see it being annoying to have to re-enter your password, username, and form path though. I can try to change it so that when you are logged out due to a timeout, you only have to enter your password. Would that help address the issue you're running into?

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Thanks again @samlevy, that would be a great help and is greatly appreciated.

Hey @aaronsolofa! Unfortunately, GDS does not support authenticating using just a password, but I changed it so that when you are logged out due to a timeout, you just need to resubmit your username and password, not the path to the form. This does mean you will have to remember which ODK Server you were logged into though!

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Thanks for that @samlevy. My only issue is that we only use 1 ODK Central server to feed info into data Studio via GDS Connector. So far everything is working great, the only problem is having to authorize the connector every 12hours.

I understand @aaronsolofa! It should be every 24 hours that you have to reauthorize, are you getting prompted to reauthorize every 12? And I just want to make sure I understand what the ideal change would be for you: would you rather never have to reauthorize the connector unless you log out or is the issue that 24 hours is too short (would you want to be able to configure this for example)?

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Yes, would it be possible to move with the first one you mentioned; to only reauthorize the connector when I log out?

Ok, I understand! I am going to talk to our mentor, @LN, to see if there is any way we can help. I could change it to ensure you never have to log in, but that would mean I would have to cache your username and password indefinitely which could be a security risk.

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Yes I understand what you mean and also agree that it is definitely risky. So far, having to just enter in my central user access will suffice. If possible if this is a feature that could be looked at in the near future?

But thanks again for taking the time to respond, it is very much appreciated

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Yes absolutely! I will be able to tell you what we can do by the end of the week :slight_smile: Thank you so much for all your feedback, by the way, it is very helpful!!

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Hey, @aaronsolofa just wanted to give you an update, it looks like I can add an option for you to cache your credentials so that you won't get automatically logged out! I should have that done sometime mid/end of next week!

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Awesome, thanks @samlevy. Will be looking out for this.

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Hey! Central to GDS connector is a superb effort. Thank you for this!
Awaiting the cache option for authentication!

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@Debjit_Biswas1, @aaronsolofa I updated the connector so now it gives you the option to cache your credentials! Let me know if you have any questions about how it works or if you run into any problems! :slight_smile: Also, out of curiosity, what are the projects you are both working on? I'd love to hear if you're able to tell me!

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Awesome thank you @samlevy much appreciated. Ive been using ODK Central Forms to collect survey data for a local survey and was using the OData to GDS to create a dashboard for output of the information after a little data cleaning.

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Thanks, @samlevy works fine with me.

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