Xively launched yesterday and, as sometimes happens, there were some things that we didn’t fully explain about the new system and processes, which has left existing users a little confused about the status of their data and their devices. We’d like to apologize for not communicating this clearly enough, but hope you understand that, with such a substantial augmentation of the previous service there are some things that fell through the cracks. Apart from expanding and reformulating the service itself, we put a huge amount of effort into building new libraries, tutorials, documentation, hardware examples, and even a pretty amazing Test Drive (with which you connect your mobile phone to a Xively channel in realtime in less than a minute), but we didn’t do so well in communicating changes that existing users might expect.
The most important thing to say up front is that you own your data, and that if you were a Cosm (or even an original Pachube) user, your data is safe and you don’t have to change anything about the way your existing devices use the API. You’ll lose out on some future benefits if you don’t start moving over to the new system, but the fact is that at every step we’ve taken since the very first launch, we have always been careful to support legacy devices and protect your data. There are, even now, devices out in the world that still use our v0 API from 5 years ago and haven’t updated their firmware.
We have a new process now (which we’ll explain a little more below) but any ‘feed’ (to use the Cosm terminology) that was in Cosm is now called a ‘legacy feed’. Legacy feed history will not be truncated – you can carry on using any feeds you already created just as you always have. You will find your ‘legacy feeds’ listed at the bottom of your Developer Workbench (which you will find at https://xively.com/develop). We had some problems redirecting Cosm console URLs to Xively Dev Workbench, which unfortunately made it seem like feeds had been deleted, but this should be resolved shortly and we can assure you all your feeds and all of your data are still there. If you have any trouble finding them please contact support with your username and we’ll have a look ASAP.
The new Xively process involves two stages (and there’s a detailed explanation here). The first stage is to use your Developer Workbench. You no longer create ‘feeds’ and ‘datastreams’ via the API, but instead you create Development Devices, which have ‘Channels’ using the Developer Workbench. Everybody using one of our free Developer accounts can create an unlimited number of Development Devices. The only limitation on Development Devices is that their data is deleted after 30 days – the principle being that these are devices you are experimenting with and have only transient need for data.
Then, once you have finished prototyping, the second stage is to deploy a working device as a Production Device (which you access via the Management Console). Production Devices have no limitation on their history (just like ‘feeds’ in Cosm). Users of our free developer accounts and those that purchase commercial service can both deploy Production Devices – the difference being that free users are limited to 5 devices with a total of 30 Channels while commercial customers can buy as many channels as they require. We think it’s really important to be able to use exactly the same tools and APIs to build one device as you would use to scale up to millions.
To reiterate, if you were a Cosm user your ‘legacy feeds’ are different to Development Devices, Production Devices and Channels, and therefore are not subject to these limitations, or having any history truncated. So, existing Cosm users have both ‘legacy feeds’ with unlimited history as well as up to 30 Channels of Production Devices with unlimited history.
A word about URLs: in Cosm you could visit a feed page, at a URL something like cosm.com/feeds/504. The same is true of Xively: you can find information both about ‘legacy feeds’ and Development & Production Devices at xively.com/feeds/504 (or whatever its ID is). Now, the data presentation will update in realtime as the values change. (Graphs require a click on a channel to expose). If you go to https://xively.com/feeds/YOUR_FEED_ID/workbench (which you will access directly via your Developer Workbench) you will have the same view, but with additional developer and debug tools to make working with them easier. Our focus has been to make it easier to build your products and manage your users or communities.
One other evolution we would like to describe here is how we handle data that users elect to make public. In the past, we haven’t had an explicit license applied to this data and there has been strong demand to formalise this. So, in Xively, if you make data public a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal license is applied (both on its page and in headers when requested via the API), which expresses your ownership of your data but your desire to make it much more useful and usable to others that might access the data. Read more about CC0 here.
There have been many questions about Air Quality Egg and other community projects. We will be updating those communities directly, but again the principle is that existing service will not be disrupted.
We hope this helps clear up some of the confusion about the status of people’s data and accounts. We know people have lots of questions about our plans for graphs on device pages – we have some advancements coming soon, please stay tuned. As always, if you have any questions please drop support a line and we will try to answer as quickly as possible.