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Backup Strategy

What is the recommended backup strategy for an organization / Employee Network?  It looks like the only way to backup is to export the app items to Excel, one app at a time, and then you lose the conversation (comments).

Is there a way to use the API to loop through all apps in a company and export the data on a nightly basis?  Has anyone written sharable code for this, or what do you suggest for an automated backup solution? 

We Love Podio, thanks!!

Greg Gorman Answered

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We've used the API to create a backup solution for our needs (building off Andreas Huttenrauch's script, thanks Andreas!) - this has been working well for many months, but recently has been reporting increasing number of rate limit errors (which there shouldn't be any since the script attempts to throttle itself to avoid them), and now has stopped working altogether, repeatedly failing to pull down a particular file that it has successfully retrieved in the past.

The very fact that it has to keep pulling down the same file is a reflection of the limitations in the API; but I suspect that the new failures may reflect changes in the API, which just points out the cost to the whole community of having many customers need to maintain their own API-based solutions, rather than Podio offer/maintain/support it's own option.

This an obvious revenue opportunity, since I don't think any of the people who've posted here describing how important this feature would be could object to paying a premium to get it. So, Podio, please raise this up your priority list.

Really we want two things:

a) A snapshot/rollback facility. I understand all the difficulties involved in disentangling/re-establishing links between apps and items etc that prevent you providing an incremental or piece-by-piece backup, but having an option in place for the disastrous error/disgruntled employee case, where at least one could roll back an entire workspace to a previous state, would provide a stop-loss security blanket.

b) a more supported method to maintain local backup, which can be security blanket against Podio suffering catastropic loss or going dark, can support the data-retention requirements that some organisations must comply with, and can retain the content added between snapshots. (To be clear, I don't expect that this method retains the data in a form that can be 'restored' to Podio - just something which retains the content and relationships in a machine and human readable form. Andrea's script is effectively the first iteration of this, but really we need something that's efficiently incremental; and, crucially, Podio supported.)

Ben Rubinstein 1 vote
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I'm a little surprised Podio haven't responded to this post for over 10 months. We're new users to Podio and have setup our whole company using this excellent piece of online software, but the inability to have automated backups as an integral part of the "furniture", seems to me to be an oversight on Podio's behalf, and certainly cause for concern from our perspective.

Providing in an in-built, incremental, integral user friendly GUI backup system for the most important part of a company's day-to-day systems should be high priority for Podio's administrators, based on the comment here and other posts - particularly for the paid subscriptions.

Earlier in this post - nearly 4 years ago - a Podio moderator (Phil Chambers) said 

"We may offer a full backup solution in future, based on demand."

I see 6 pages of requests . . .  I'd like to understand, when do you consider “Demand” to be high enough to offer this vital service as part of the package Podio?

Thanks

Michelle 1 vote
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Hey Steve,

I have updated the official response with more details! Please check this on page 1.

Our support team can help our paying customers recoved deleted data as needed.

Thanks for your input and feedback on multiple postings.

//Sara - Podio

Sara Høeg Højlund-Rasmussen 1 vote
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Hi Sarah,

Thank you for your comments in response to my most recent post.

I've read many posts regarding this matter on these discussions, but many users, especially "new" Podio users, are not familiar with API's, scripts and software development etc and also may not be in a position financially, to hire someone to do this work for them. Neither do we want to keep paying for extensions and yet more extensions to add functionality to what should (ethically) be integrated into the basic system.

When we (new users) make a decision to use Podio, it's because of it's ease of getting started, ease of creating and customising workspaces & apps, the phrase is "Ease of use" stands out at the forefront . . . and that's why we come to you over other similar service providers.

My (new) company recently had a major issue where our leads app was deleted by mistake, the "Restore" file which was sent to us (2 excel files), was not what we were expecting at all, and continues to cause us a huge amount of (I believe, unnecessary) work to get back to where we were pre-accident.

Podio support advised they would restore the "app" (Quote: "Great news! Because this Organization is on a paid Organization, we can recover this App for you at a charge of $100."), but thats not what we received - no "App", no "Restore" just 2 excel files which were provided to us via n emailed zip file. 

With the 6 pages of requests from posters here (and many other scattered around these forums), I believe mine is not the only request for a backup system. I also believe it's essential for Podio to offer an easy to use, scheduled backup GUI for the user who's just starting out or the seasoned professional alike! ANYONE looking for a great CRM such as Podio, "needs" the re-assurance that as they invest more and more time in building their own custom solutions, they have a the safety-net of an integral backup system which has the ability to FULLY restore all user accounts, workspaces & apps within a few minutes of a disaster.

Even Apple (given their single minded attitudes and - IMO - somewhat disrespectful attitudes to their own customers) respected the requests for an inbuilt backup system, and soon after provided us with Time Machine as part of their OS!

Podio have provided users with an exceptional product, and in return we trust you implicitly with our data, but the lack of a "Real" incremental, offsite backup system (to Dropbox or Google Drive etc), is cause for concern, and probably also to many others.

I'd certainly like to understand why Podio are "resistant" to providing this "basic" function - even if only within paid subscriptions?

I hope the team at Podio reconsider this request, which is in the best interests of their "loyal" customers. 

Steve 3 votes
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Hello Podio Team

I'm kind of surprised about the Post by Koru Homes LLC. As they wrote they received a csv File when asked for a restore. That isn't a backup and restore service as I expected from Podio.

Did this excel File include images, comments, ratings and stuff? In case of lost data, it is a must, that we are able to restore all the information. Otherwise there will be lost so much knowledge. 

Many thanks - Joel

Joel Schuler 1 vote
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Hi Joel and Koru Homes LLC, I am sorry for the lack of reply here from your comment last month.

Currently we don't offer a full backup and restore service. If data is accidentally deleted, we can help to restore certain parts of that content, which is anything you would be able to get in an Excel export. This means files, images and tasks are not included, though we are also able to include comments as part of the recovery. The content is delivered in the form of an Excel spreadsheet which can then be re-imported to your app. We should have been more clear about that prior to performing the recovery, so I am sorry that it wasn't correctly outlined for you. 

This is currently what we're able to do, and I know it isn't enough. Currently the recommendation is to either use the API to perform your own regular backups, or to use the third party extension built by our partners:

https://podio.com/extensions/28

https://podio.com/extensions/10

I completely agree that we can do this better and it isn't off the table, but it is a rather large project and is not currently on our roadmap. That being said, it's clear that this would be immensely helpful for a great number of organizations, and I think it's time that we renewed this discussion with our product team. As always, no promises, but I will see what we can do. 

Thank you for the honest feedback and please do keep it coming. 

/Jacquelyn - Podio 

Jacquelyn May 1 vote
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Hi Joel, just a quick clarification, the files were .xlsx files. We've been "restoring" from these files since the accidental deletion over 2 months ago which has caused us a huge amount of distraction and downtime. We eventually hired a VA to attempt to complete as many additional tasks as possible, but were limited by the actual information contained within the .xlsx files.

After this major outage, we're looking into several methods to backup our data, but during this period, we're concerned that the .xlsx backups (exports) are not sufficient if we have another failure. The option to pay monthly fee's to an external provider is certainly being considered, but to date the responses from the providers as to what they backup, how it's restored, and price have not (to us) been as favourable as we'd like.

I need also to add that Podio support were as helpful as they could be given the circumstances - but I continue to wonder if this will be a long term solution (for us) without an integrated backup system provided to monthly/annual subscribers. It's reasonable to expect to pay for a service such as this, but it does need to be provided by the software developers of Podio and not a 3rd party in my opinion.

However, I'm a little surprised by Jacquelyn's (very honest) comment:

"but it is a rather large project and is not currently on our roadmap. That being said, it's clear that this would be immensely helpful for a great number of organizations, and I think it's time that we renewed this discussion with our product team"

. . .  from other comments on this particular post, I was of the understanding that this "was" being looked at, and disagree that it's an immense project for a development team who have provided us with the ability to create workflows & who have integrated GlobiFlow! If the API is so easy to setup for it's users - then why hasn't the product team already done it?

Until the integrated backup facility is on the "roadmap" of the product team's projects - and I'd suggest this is THE single most important addition Podio could provide given the vast amounts of sensitive data they're responsible for holding on behalf of it's customers - we will continue to run our Google Sheet alongside Podio. A painful, time-consuming but none-the-less necessary operation.

When the day comes that Podio announces it's own integrated backup system, I really think Podio will be "THE" best option, until then, it's just one of many. 

Steve 2 votes
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Hi Podio support team,

Can you please advise if there are any further updates on this subject? We're still very keen to push this along as fast as possible  . . . . as (it would seem from the comments here) many of your members also need this facility! 

Thanks

Steve 1 vote
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Hey Koru,

Please see the response from my colleague Jacquelyn from 1 month ago - this is the latest update from us.

Our partners are building great back up solutions via the API, this is our recommendation to use so far.

Thanks for your passion and input!

//Sara - Podio

Sara Høeg Højlund-Rasmussen 0 votes
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Hi Jacquelyn & Sara,

Wow, has all that time passed already - we've been busy building our business, and suddenly realised we're still operating without a full backup system (ie: no safety net). After the experience earlier in the year, we really need to get something in place as soon as possible - if not sooner!

Are there any further updates regarding Podio/Citrix integrating a "FULL" backup system which backs up data and apps, workspaces etc etc - to a level where we could restore the complete system as it is currently setup with everything in place with the click of a button?

The third party apps look good, but I'm anticipating most of us would prefer a backup developed by yourselves, even at a small extra monthly cost!

Thanks,

Steve

Steve 3 votes
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Hi Steve,

No news on this topic I'm afraid. We will be sure to post here if we have updates.

I would recommend a custom back-up solution by Phases (been a Citrix and Podio partner for 6 years): https://phases.dk/

Or alternatively I know our partner in Belgium https://momentumtools.io/ offer restore with one click button inside of your Podio workspace.

//Sara - Podio

Sara Høeg Højlund-Rasmussen 0 votes
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HI all! My team at TECHeGO has been providing a complete cloud backup and restoration tool for Podio for quite some time now. "Sync" is a constant and continual backup of your Podio data. It crawls through your workspaces, apps, items, files, files, etc. and backs-up every data point of your org. Any updates made inside of Podio are instantly reflected inside of Sync. Protection against accidental deletions, malicious hacks, or system failure is provided with Sync's restoration features. The UI gives you the ability to quickly restore deleted data with the press of a button. Furthermore, data can be easily visualized within Sync, or downloaded into .csv or .xlsx for further analysis. Attached is a link to additional information on Sync. I hope this is helpful and offers the data integrity and protection you are looking for.

https://sync.thatapp.io/#about 

Daniel Wisnom 0 votes
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Thanks Sara for mentioning our Backup & Restore extension for Podio

Our app is the preferred backup solution for many Podio consultancies and partners. In a nutshell, with our app you can:

  • Back up all your Podio data every day. This includes comments, tasks, files and even your Globiflow worlfkows
  • Keep a copy of your Podio backup (in csv format) & attachments on your own server or cloud provider, in addition to the backup we are storing for you. We support FTP, Dropbox and Sharefile
  • Restore your deleted items in bulk with just a few clicks

Everything is secured with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and we run vigorous integrity checks to ensure that your backup always stays up and running. 

Happy to help you if you have any futher questions or want to get started with a free trial today :)

Willem Dewulf 4 votes
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In google docs, you can revert back to an earlier time so that if you make a mistake at 10:30am, you can go back to your 9:30 version. That would be an amazing feature and much needed for a database.

William Noel 1 vote
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Podio, this is INSANE that this part of your service doesn't exist yet. We can host the backup ourselves, just let us access it. Please! Even GlobiFlow hasn't found a way to get your relationships data. This is a deal killer for many.

William Noel 0 votes
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Just like the other missing options in Podio, I have found a great solution to this.  It's called Trello :-)

Vee Ridgley 0 votes
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Hi Podio team,

I have just started using Podio to build my business applications and I find it absolutely brilliant.. the possibilities of the applications I can build are just amazing. So first of all, well done on creating a great tool.

However, I have been developing IT systems long enough to have been bitten by the 'accidental delete' situation. Thankfully for myself it has only had minor impact, but I have also seen some absolute horror stories. That's why tonight I decided I needed to understand backup/restore in Podio before I get too far down the road, and in doing so, I found this thread.

First thing to say is that I absolutely agree with everything the users on this thread have said - for any business owner with a business running on Podio that likes to sleep at night, it is absolutely essential to have the ability to backup Everything, and also it restore Everything. And to be clear, by "everything", I mean items, files, workflows, etc... i.e. everything.

Ok, maybe not everyone is interested in backing up every element in Podio (e.g. chat, files, whatever), but then other companies will need to backup every single piece. So the functionality should be in the product, and maybe selectors so that individual companies can select what they want to backup/restore or not

But I have to say, I am quite disappointed with the responses from Podio in this thread, especially since 6 years has passed since the original post. Other than the CTO's response 6 years ago and then Jacquelyn's very honest response 3 years ago, I don't see Podio demonstrating an understanding of the concerns being raised by the users on this thread. To be clear (again), a business needs to be able to restore from a backup to recover from a critical situation in moments, not hours or days.. and they need to be able to do it themselves. These are just facts of doing business today! Come on, guys.. you should know this

So I have now spent my evening looking at alternatives to Podio because I can't move forward and build my business platform on a system that doesn't allow me to backup/restore at a click of a button (without paying excessive additional fees for an externally-provided extension... I'll pay more for backup/restore, but an extra $49/month and it still doesn't backup everything is a joke, right?)

Just for your info, it seems your competitors "get it" and are offering it. Here is a screenshot from the in-app backup/restore page for Zoho Creator. I have not started a paid subscription with them yet because I'm still looking at whether they do all the other things that I need, but they clearly tick the box in terms of self-service backup/restore

As I said at the start, you guys have a great tool and I want to carry on using it to build my business and other businesses on. But until you fix this glaring hole, I'm afraid you are losing business and falling behind your competition

Kind regards,

Gavin

Gavin S 1 vote
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Gavin, welcome to the Podio complaints club!

We made a number of comments on this subject in various discussion area's, and some of the replies from Admin were courteous, informative, understanding, but none resolved the situation . . . .  and still haven't. In this world of fast Technological advancement, listening and implementing customers valid and reasonable requests, should be considered crucial to building a product and maintaining a position in the marketplace. Many of my colleagues are moving away from Podio because of this lack of willingness to listen (and other reasons). All relate to poor customer relations when it comes to implementing idea's which could benefit the platform and it's clients. 

I don't agree with some of Admins reasons for not putting the backup system in place, many of which point to the complexities of building such a backup system within the platform, and yet Globiflow has been integrated for many years, and to a much MUCH higher level than any backup system I have ever used. A FULL backup system is something an experienced programmer would take a few days, possibly a week to figure out . . . . not 6 years! 

Since our last post, mainly because of the lack of support by the developers, we made a decision to develop our own platform. We are still using Podio minimally, and may continue to do so into the future depending on the direction our business takes, but we refuse to use it as our main CRM because of the lack of a backup system.

If you read back to our initial post, you will see that we had a major situation in our early days with Podio, which we understood (from initial comments made by Podio staff prior to signing up) could be resolved very quickly when we lost our database. This was not the case! The "Backup" consisted of a simple Excel file without a large percentage of the data we'd previously entered into our workspaces. Even in those very early days, it took us over 3 months to fully get back to where we believed we were prior to our crash. It severely affected our business and since that point in time we have had a Virtual Assistant backing up every few days - manually. All this because we have no faith in the Podio "Backup" or 3rd party apps. It has been expensive both in terms of time and money.

Since the transfer of ownership to Citrix, we feel that for us, there has really not been any significant improvement in the product (with a few minor exceptions). This also seems to be echoed by the plethora of feedback, posts and requests from Podio (Citrix) customers. It is because of this that we will eventually also become an ex-customer eventually.

For us, many of our colleagues, members of several meetup groups we belong to and others who post on this forum, I believe it may be too little too late. In this word of technology moving so fast, it's unlikely companies who disregard customer feedback survive for very long. I see many other products out there of a similar nature and much discussion comparing them to Podio - much of it in the same vein as this particular post which has been going on for over 6 years, and mostly the comments are similar in nature.

About time Citrix put some funding into development - possibly, I suggest those of you "who care" - keep lobbying Citrix to take note. Maybe one day they'll listen to your feedback . . .  and maybe they will continue to provide a product without a full featured backup system which relies on expensive 3rd party software to support their system!

KH Admin 1 vote
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KH Admin - I was thinking of your example when I was writing my post. Taking 3 months to restore your data is absolutely ludicrous and utterly unacceptable... who has that much time to recover from a data-loss situation in 2018? That would kill most businesses! 

And you're absolutely right.. it can't be beyond the wit of man/woman to create full backup and easy-to-use point-in-time restore functionality in Podio and include it in a pricing plan as an incremental price increase.... Especially in 6 years since the original post!... an add-on for an extra EUR 49/month is just not cool or reasonable in my opinion.

I should also note, I haven't seen any of the available backup tools say that they backup & restore the automation workflows that customers will spend a long time setting up and testing to make sure they work correctly (I hope I'm wrong on this and I just haven't seen the text stating that it does work)

If it is beyond the wit of man/woman to make this work, then they have done something seriously wrong in designing and implementing Podio

So until this is addressed and provided at a reasonable price, Podio is just an incomplete dev project and not a serious, business-ready product

I don't understand why Podio/Citrix think this is acceptable.. Citrix has been building enterprise-grade solutions for a long time, so they at least should know the importance of providing backup/restore functionality at all levels within their products

Podio / Citrix team - could you provide some response to this and the previous two comments please? 

I'm not here to trash the product because as I said in my first post, I really like it and want to use it... really want to use it... because I find it so easy to use and build what I want, how I want. But not having a built-in backup/restore solution that is complete (i.e. covers every aspect of configuration and data), cost-effective, self-service and provides restore to a particular point-in-time is an instant deal-breaker.

(*crosses fingers and hopes Podio delivers a Christmas present by telling us this type of backup/restore is coming*)

Gavin S 0 votes
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Hi Gavin S.... I am not able to access the link in your previous comment as it tells me I'm not authorised to access this page?

KH Admin 0 votes
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Hi KH Admin,

Yeah, I noticed that my post wasn't coming up in the topic list either. I'm wondering if Podio vet the feature requests before the post gets released on the site for public consumption.

I have just re-created the post as a general discussion post rather than a feature request, just in case they are vetting feature requests. I've updated my post above with the updated URL. Give that a try and hopefully you can access it now

Cheers,
Gavin

 

Gavin S 0 votes