Stream Is Shutting Down Its Cloud Data Storage October 1st

Stream 3 is available for download and includes some significant improvements. Stream is a WordPress plugin that tracks changes to a site similar to an audit trail. When version two was released nearly a year ago, it morphed from a plugin to a service. Activity logs were stored in the cloud which lessened the amount of resources used on local webservers.

Version three will no longer store data in the cloud. Instead, it will store activity logs locally. The cloud service provided by Stream 2 is closing on October 1st. This gives users a little more than a month to migrate data from the cloud to their local webserver.

The Cloud is Expensive

Luke Carbis, lead developer of Stream, says the time frame was chosen based on a number of factors, “We chose a 6 week migration window as a balance between bleeding cash and doing the right thing by our users.

“It’s also helpful to remember that the vast majority of our users are on a Free plan, which only includes 12 weeks of storage. We are monitoring the accounts of each of our paid users and I’m personally making sure that every one of them has migrated,” Carbis told the Tavern.

The move away from the cloud is largely based on cost. The majority of Stream’s customers signed up to the free plan with a significant lack of interest in the Pro Subscription. Server costs were also higher than expected.

XWP to The Rescue

With a lack of income from Stream 2 and acquisition talks failing, Carbis was contracted to do outside work leaving Frankie Jarrett the only person working on the project. Stream’s investor decided to pull the plug on the project at the same time Jarrett decided to resign from the company.

“When I heard that Frankie had resigned I gave him a call. We reminisced on our achievements, and threw around some of our ideas on what could have been. That conversation renewed my inspiration. I jotted down some notes, and that’s when things started to turn around,” Carbis said.

Members from XWP stepped in to lend a helping hand and the project is now officially under the XWP umbrella. This allows Stream to remain free and open source. The partnership will also facilitate add-on, connectors, and adapters

What’s New in Stream 3

Stream 3 is rewritten from the ground up. Activity logs use half the space in the database compared to Stream 2. It supports multisite through the use of Network Admin and uses a dependency injection model to be more extendable and efficient.

Although Stream 3 includes a variety of improvements two notable features have been removed, Notifications and Reports. If you depend on these features, please review the following FAQ.

A New Direction

Carbis and XWP are taking Stream into a new direction. Stream’s proposed roadmap is available on GitHub and Carbis encourages users to not only review it, but to contribute to the project’s future, “I’d like to see Stream’s users contribute more to its direction. Contribution isn’t limited to ideas either. If you can design, develop, or translate, please consider contributing to the Stream project,” he said.

It will be interesting to see if Stream can regain the momentum it lost after transitioning to a cloud based system to store data. Now that Stream stores activity logs locally again, those in the EU should be able to use it without breaking privacy laws. Stream is available for free on the WordPress plugin directory.


4 responses to “Stream Is Shutting Down Its Cloud Data Storage October 1st”

  1. I’m excited about this! FYI – for those looking to reactivate Stream on a site which had an earlier version active, you might need to first trigger the Stream Uninstall on the plugins page. Only after doing so with Stream 3 did I begin to see entries. This could be isolated to my environment, but good to note, I think.

  2. I had been a keen user of Stream version 1, and was vocal (including on WP Tavern) with my criticism of the move to a cloud-based model. I was particularly critical of the way in which that transition was handled, and of the fact that the new model meant that users of the service in the EU would be acting illegally.

    The second criticism was met, by apparent “friends” and “supporters” of the Stream developers, with disdain. I was over-estimating the problem, they said; Frankie and the team were “good guys” (as if I ever doubted that); and few users would be concerned about such technicalities. Beware such friends. They are expensive.

    To their credit, the Stream developers themselves did not respond in that fashion. They said, more-or-less, that they thought they had everything planned out well enough, although it would be a shame to lose users in the EU….

    Unfortunately, it now seems that the Stream team hadn’t considered the EU law issue at all when they made the transition. Luke Carbis writes on his Stream blog: “Did you know that in some parts of the EU the storage of personal information on foreign servers is illegal?”

    So the transitional to Stream 2.0 was probably doomed from the start. But that doesn’t mean either the original concept or the code itself was poor. Although I was critical of the move to Stream 2.0, I am sorry that money was lost, and I think it’s great that Luke and Frankie have been able to muster up both the enthusiasm and the backing to create Stream 3.0 and return the plugin to its roots. I shall certainly be trying out the latest version.

    Even more important to me is that, as Luke writes: “I don’t want to make the same mistake as we did with Stream 2. So this time, I’d like your input.”

    But it’s not just the Stream team who need to reflect on this episode. Cheering on friends from the sidelines while they hurtle headlong into trouble does no-one any good. Encouraging a climate of due diligence, on the other hand, is to everyone’s benefit.

  3. I stopped using Stream when they moved to cloud storage. I’ll certainly look at this plugin again now that they’re reverting back to local storage.


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