Moving to Dropbox API v2

Maintaining support for Dropbox when the v1 API closes in June 2017

Lots of Runway customers use our built-in functionality for connecting to Dropbox for making automatic backups. It’s a really useful feature, as it means not only are regular backups being made, but they’re also being seamlessly distributed to any computer using the same Dropbox account. In such a scenario, it becomes very hard to find yourself in a position without recent backups.

In order to move files to and from Dropbox, Runway uses the Dropbox API. In fact, Runway has always used the official Dropbox PHP library – with a bit of our own magic sprinkled on top – to ensure that we were in a good position to keep that functionality updated and working well. In 2016, Dropbox annouced a new version of their API, and we made note and kept watch for the new version of their PHP library to become available.

In late 2016 it became clear Dropbox had dropped support for their PHP library (argh!) so we started planning for a replacement solution. Unfortunately this can happen when you depend on third party services and software libraries, and is one big reason the core of Perch isn’t based on a third party framework.

The replacement for the Dropbox library wasn’t ready when Runway 3.0 shipped, but it’s ready now, so we’re shipping it, curiously in version 3.0.4. We didn’t want to wait as the old API is being switched off at the end of June 2017.

PHP 5.5

The replacement library that we’re using has a minimum requirement of PHP 5.5, whereas the general minimum for Runway is 5.4. This means that if you want to use the Dropbox functionality and you’re on PHP 5.4 you’re going to need to update your PHP version. Sorry about that – we don’t like to require PHP updates if we can help it, but there are times when things just have to move forward.

It makes no sense for us to develop our own solution just to support one feature for those few customers left on PHP 5.4 when that time could be spent more effectively elsewhere.

Updating Runway

Updating is no different that usual, just download and apply the update. There are no configuration changes. Dropbox should just keep on working like it did before, and hopefully for years to come! (But, you know, we’ll keep an eye on it!)