ODK Central

ODK Central is an early alpha Open Data Kit server alternative. Like ODK Aggregate, it manages user accounts and permissions, stores form definitions, and allows data collection clients like ODK Collect to connect to it for form download and submission upload.

Our goal with Central is to create a modern sibling to Aggregate that is easier to install, easier to use, and more extensible with new features and functionality both directly in the software and with the use of our REST, OpenRosa, and OData programmatic APIs.

ODK Central Features

We have a lot of exciting ideas for the future of Central, and we look forward to hearing yours as well. Here are the features we already support today:

  • User accounts and management
  • Form and submission upload and management
  • Integrated checklist-based help system
  • Automatic, encrypted off-site data backups to Google Drive
  • OData live data feed for analysis with tools like Excel, Power BI, and Tableau
  • Clean and modern REST API for integration and extensibility
  • High performance on low-cost hardware or cloud providers

Here are some (but not all) key features we do not yet support:

  • In-browser viewing of submission data (download and OData only)
  • Advanced user permissioning
  • Encrypted forms
  • Form definitions with multimedia attachments
  • ODK Briefcase compatibility

Who should use ODK Central?

Central is still quite early in alpha testing and is missing many features that some more complicated projects will rely on (see the above list). But we do feel good about the features that we do already support.

If you are an adventurous user who is comfortable with (new) technology, you don't need the features we don't already support, and you are okay with the risks with using early release software, please consider giving Central a try and giving us your feedback.

If you finished reading all the above and you're not feeling too sure about it, we suggest sitting it out for a little while longer. Keep watching the release announcements board for future updates, and we'll be sure to sound the bells when we're sure things are ready for a broader audience.

Learn more about ODK Central