Important Enketo Express Updates - 03/2020

Martijn van de Rijdt, 30 Mar 2020

This post is meant for people that are running their own Enketo Express installation and particularly those that use Enketo’s offline-capable webforms.

A BIG change

Chrome version 83 85 (expected in May August 2020) will no longer support a caching technology Enketo has been using since 2012 to launch offline.

Thankfully, there is a better technology available that is widely supported across all modern browsers and Enketo Express has switched to this technology in version 2.0.0 in March 2020. Users will have to refresh one of the offline-capable webforms they are using to switch to this new type of cache once this version has been deployed by you. The new webform URLs will also be slightly different but old URLs will be redirected automatically.

It is recommended to take 2 steps to best deal with this change.

1. Upgrade to Enketo Express 1.86.x very soon

It is best to first upgrade to one of the 1.86.x versions as soon as possible. This version includes a change that will provide a helpful dialog to users letting them know when to refresh the webform. This will reduce the need for user support by you. Note that the (presumably) largest Enketo Express users, KoBoToolbox and Ona have already upgraded to 1.86.x and have not reported any issues.

2. Upgrade to Enketo Express 2.x.x at least one week later but before Chrome 83 is released

The rationale for waiting at least a week, is to give most of your users some time to update their cached Enketo application (and get the helpful modal dialog). They may not open their webforms every day or may be out in the field without Internet. You will of course know better what amount of time is appropriate for your users.

Farewell Internet Explorer

The switch to the new offline caching technology also means that we have to finally completely drop support for Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer users will be redirected to a modern-browsers page.

A Node.js change in version 2.1.0.

Enketo Express version 2.1.0 and onwards will require Node.js version 12. Any Enketo Express version before 2.1.0 requires Node.js version 8. This is a good way to make this upgrade:

  1. Remove the node_modules folder from your Enketo Express installation
  2. Upgrade Node.js to version 12
  3. Upgrade Enketo Express to version 2.1.x or later

You may decide to skip 2.0.x and go straight to 2.1.x or later of course. There should be no problem doing that.

Feedback

As always, we’d love to get your feedback! Comment on this blog, tweet @enketo, or post a message in the Enketo forum. If you discover a bug, please let us know what browser you are using.

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