Paper Migration Guide

// By Dropbox Platform Team • Dec 04, 2020

[Update: retirement of the legacy Paper API has moved from September, 2020, to Q2 of 2021. Create and Update calls are now available for .paper files in the filesystem.]

Paper API to Paper in the Dropbox API Migration Guide

Starting in September 25 2019, new Paper users will see Paper docs they create as .paper files alongside their Dropbox content in the filesystem. This is part of an effort to ensure consistency with where Dropbox and Paper content are stored, and their associated sharing and permissions.

As part of this change, any existing /paper/ API endpoints that interact directly with Paper content won’t work for new users whose Paper content is stored alongside their Dropbox content. Instead, the associated /files/ or /sharing/ equivalent API endpoint should be used to interact with a user’s Paper content. Read on for a full list of API endpoints that you should start using to fetch this new .paper file type.

A few other things to note:

  • This change will not affect existing Paper users so you can still use /paper/ endpoints to work with Paper docs created by existing Paper users.
  • Your app can support both new and existing users as long as you use the appropriate endpoints for a given user.
  • We’ll eventually retire the Paper API by Q2 2021.

The following timeline and guide will help you migrate from using /paper/ endpoints to their equivalent /files/ endpoints to work with a user’s Paper docs in the Dropbox file system:

Dates Planned changes How you should prepare
September 25th, 2019 - New Paper users will see Paper docs they create as .paper files alongside their other Dropbox content.

- There won’t be any change to new docs created by existing Paper users. Over the coming months, we’ll offer a way for existing users to migrate their docs to .paper files and will eventually migrate all users in Q2 2021. Once migrations begin, you can check the state of a user (i.e. where their created Paper docs are stored) by calling /users/features/get_values.
- Start using the Dropbox API to fetch Paper docs that are in a user’s filesystem.

- If your app already uses the Dropbox API to fetch a user’s files, you’ll start seeing .paper files for any Paper docs created by a Dropbox account on or after September 25. Read more about the behavior and limitations of .paper files and other online-only files in this blog post.
Q2, 2021 - The Paper API will be retired.

- The /paper/archive endpoint will not have a Dropbox API equivalent, so you won’t be able to programmatically archive Paper docs.
- Ensure that your app uses the Dropbox API to interact with your users’ Paper docs.


Determining where a user’s created Paper docs are stored

For a Dropbox account created on or after September 25, 2019, new Paper docs created will be stored in the user’s file system as .paper files alongside their other Dropbox content.

You can check this using the /users/features/get_values endpoint and looking for the feature called paper_as_files.

Note that it is possible for a user to interact with .paper files (Paper docs that reside in their filesystem) and legacy Paper docs (the old model). If you want to fetch all docs that a user has access to, you’ll need to use both the Paper API and the Dropbox API.

Endpoint Mapping: Paper API to Dropbox API

Functionality that will be retired for new Paper users

The following endpoint does not have a Dropbox API equivalent. This means that the action will not be available for new Paper users created on or after September 25, 2019:

  • /paper/docs/archive - Archiving docs will no longer be supported but you can delete docs using the /files/delete endpoint instead. An important difference between deleted docs and archived docs is that deleted docs are scheduled to be permanently removed based on the user’s file retention policy (see article) whereas archived docs will indefinitely remain in an archive state and will show up in Paper search results.

Paper endpoints will return an error in the following scenarios:

  1. If you attempt to create legacy Paper docs for a user whose Paper docs reside in their filesystem (these are usually Dropbox accounts created after September 25, 2019). You’ll see a permission_denied or invalid_request error.
  2. When we fully retire the Paper API in Q2 2021. You’ll see a 404 error.

Need support getting your Paper endpoints migrated? Post a thread in our developer community or submit a ticket to get help from an API expert. 


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