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Our Developer Summit conference is approaching fast.  We at Esri always put a lot of energy into this event. It is an opportunity to meet face to face with many of you, share our work, discuss new features and road map plans. 


2019 will be very special for us as we will make 4 years since we announced the graduation of Survey123 from an Esri Labs proof of concept into a full fleshed ArcGIS Product. This year we will announce details on ambitious plans for the new releases to come: direct connections to external GNSS receivers in the field app, added support for polygon and line features, a release date for our Survey123 report services, enhanced integration with Spike laser measurement tools, a new extensibility framework and many more great news. Members of the Survey123 team from our offices in Beijing, Australia and Redlands will come to Palm Springs. We are really excited for the opportunity to meet you again.


Today we want to share with you some tips and a guide for anything Survey123 at these events.


The Events App


I highly recommend that you download the Esri Events app, so you can always be on top of last minute changes and manage your schedule.  As of the time when I write this post the detailed schedule is not yet up in the app, but it will be available shortly.  This app will be a good companion throughout the entire conference.


Pre-Summit Hands-On Training


Our Esri Pre-Summit Hands-On training sessions take place on Sunday 3 and Monday 4. These are full day sessions with a mix of lessons and practical challenges. You bring your own laptop, so you can take all homework home. Massive learning guaranteed!   Our sessions start at 8:30 sharp. You can register starting at 7:30 at the Hotel Riviera.


  • Mastering Smart Form Design with Survey123 and XLSForm.
    • Sunday, March 3 from 8:30am to 5:00pm
    • Royal II at Hotel Riviera Palm Springs.
  • Extending Survey123 for ArcGIS.
    • Monday, March 4 at Royal II from 8:30am to 5:00pm
    • Royal II at Hotel Riviera Palm Springs


Esri Showcase and GIS Solutions Expo


The GIS Solutions Expo area opens Monday from 2:00pm to 7:00pm at the Primrose Ballroom. This is a great place to meet many partners who work closely with Survey123.  Here are a few:


  • Microsoft. Diamond sponsor this year. Showcasing the Survey123 Microsoft Flow connector.
  • Bad Elf, EOS Positioning Systems, Trimble, GENEC:  Providing GNSS receivers for which Survey123 3.3 will provide direct connectivity capabilities.
  • Zebra Technologies: Manufacturing rugged devices compatible with Survey123.
  • Geo Jobe: Custom software development services.


During this time, you can also swing by the Esri Showcase area to visit the Survey123 team in the Apps area.


On Tuesday from noon to 8:30pm, Wednesday from 1:00pm to 6:30pm and Thursday from 9:00am to 4:00pm the Esri Showcase will continue open in Oasis 1 and 2. Come to the Showcase and look for the Survey123 booth. This is your chance to meet people from the Survey123 team, have a relaxed conversation, ask questions and network with other Survey123 users.


Meet the Teams


The Meet the Teams event will take place from 6:00pm to 8:30pm in Oasis 1 and 2. In other words, at the Esri Showcase area. Drinks, food and GIS to spare.


Esri Dev Summit Technical Workshops


These are 60 minute sessions. All take place in the Palm Springs Convention Center. A good place to learn from the best, ask questions and meet other Survey123 users.


Other related Technical Workshops


If you plan to extend or customize Survey123, the AppStudio sessions are a must.



Survey123 Demo Theaters


Short and to the point sessions focusing on very specific topics. Live demos and time for questions are guaranteed. All Demo Theaters take place at the showcase area.



Survey123 Special Interest  Group (SIG)


This session is a great place to mingle with other Survey123  Ninjas and members of the Survey123 team. Keep your own lunch box because this SIG takes place at noon. We will break the ice with help from a special guest who will share his own work deploying Survey123. Then we will open an interactive Q&A session.


  • Survey123 SIG
    • Thursday, March 7 from noon to 1:00pm
    • Primrose room at the Palm Springs Convention Center

Many web applications support the notion of URL parameters; Survey123 web forms are no exception. URL parameters allow you to dynamically pass data into your survey. This data can be used to prepopulate questions, hide questions, change the language of a form and many other things with your survey form. In this blog post, I will explore the options available in detail.


Before I start, I want to clarify that in the past we already covered how to use the Custom URL Scheme in the Survey123 field app. The concept of a Custom URL Scheme is similar to URL parameters, but they are two different things: the Custom URL Scheme applies to the Survey123 field app and the URL parameters discussed in this post only apply to web forms. That is, to forms loaded within a web browser, as opposed to loaded into the Survey123 field app in your device.


With that, lets get started:


The Basics


Lets first get familiar with how surveys get loaded into the Survey123 web app. Take the following URL:


The first part of the URL refers to the Survey123 web app: We host the Survey123 web app in our ArcGIS Online servers, and it is used to render your surveys as web forms.  The second part of the URL is the unique identifier of your survey. In this particular case, it is: 1cb28b212b5542acbbdbaa35feba0765. The complete URL will open the Survey123 web app in your web browser and immediately present the survey 1cb28b212b5542acbbdbaa35feba0765, in this case it is an Oak Tree Health survey.


So far, no URL parameters have been used, but now we are going to add one parameter to automatically populate one of the questions. Try the following: Paredes


You will notice that now the Submitted By question is automatically adding the name Fernando Paredes in the survey.  Well, that was a URL parameter!  Note that immediately after the basic URL of the web form, I added a question mark (?). The question mark indicates that what follows are URL parameters. Next, I added the name of the parameter, which in this case is field:submittedBy and a value for that parameter: Fernando Paredes.


You can add multiple parameters by simply separating them with an ampersand (&). For example: Paredes&field:commonName=Oak


Next, lets learn about the different URL parameters you can pass to Survey123 web forms.


Some of the URL parameters described here are supported in surveys published with 3.2 or newer versions. If your URL parameters do not seem to take effect, re-publish your survey so it gets upgraded to the latest version, and then try again.


Setting values on questions (field:fieldname)


In the previous section you saw how a URL parameter can set a value to a question in your form, but lets take a closer look at how it works. The syntax is simple:




The name of the parameter is made  out of two distinct parts. First, you have the field: suffix and then you have the name of the question where you want to put a value.  Figuring out the name of a question can be tricky. The question name should not be confused with the label of the question. The label is what users see in the form. The question name represents the column in your feature layer  where the response will be stored. 


If you author surveys in Survey123 Connect, I am sure you already know what  I am talking about: The question name is represented by the name column in the survey worksheet of your XLSForm.  If you design your forms in Survey123 web designer, then finding out the exact name of your questions deserves a more detailed explanation.


After adding a question into your survey in web designer, you need to set its label and other properties, but not the name. The name of your question is automatically assigned by Survey123 web designer.  Assigning a valid question name needs to follow very strict rules (the name cannot start with a number, cannot have special characters, or  spaces and must be unique within your entire form) and that is why we put that out of your way in designer. This simplifies  authoring for beginners, although in cases like this it obscures what is really going on.   In any event, you can look at the question names by using the 'Modify Schema' link during the publishing process. 


Modify Schema in Survey123 web designer


The Modify Schema dialog will let you define the exact names of your questions only when you add your questions to the form for the first time. Once you publish your survey, questions that already exist in your survey will appear as read-only in the Modify Schema dialog.   In my case, I really did not want to change anything, I simply wanted to get the names so I could use them with my URL parameters.


Question names are case sensitive. You must pass the exact name. For example, in the oak survey, field:commonName=Oak will work, but field:CommonName=Oak will not work.



Centering geopoint questions (center)


The center parameter lets you set the default location of the geopoint question in your survey.  It looks like this:,-117


This parameter accepts a latitude/longitude coordinate pair where the values are separated by a comma.  Now. there are a couple of important things to remember when using this parameter:


  1. This URL parameter only takes effect if the geopoint question is flagged as required, AND
  2. If authoring from web designer, the option to 'Ask user's location when opening this question' must be disabled'.


If the geopoint question is not required or the user location is used, the values from this URL parameter will be overridden at runtime when the end-user opens the question.


Hiding questions and survey elements (hide)


The hide parameter is handy when you want to control visual aspects of your survey. You can load a survey and hide questions, the navigation bar and more.  This parameter takes as an input more or more values, separated by a comma.


Parameter ValueDescription
navbarHides the navigation bar. That is, the bar at the top of the survey that includes options to login/logout and to change the language. This is particularly useful when you embed your survey within a website. Example.
headerHides the survey header. The header typically includes the title of the survey or alternatively a banner image. This is particularly useful when you embed your survey within a website. Example.
descriptionThe description element is optionally included if you author your survey in web designer.
footerHides the footer element, which includes the Powered by Survey123 link, or an alternative link if you modified it. Also useful when embedding your survey within a website. Example.
themeUse the theme value to disable any custom theme applied to your survey.  Example.
field:fieldNameThis value is used to hide specific questions within your survey. If you want to hide multiple questions, simply add their names separated by a comma. Example hiding the Submitted by and Survey Date questions.


The hide parameter is very flexible, allowing you to hide multiple elements at once. That is, you can hide the navigation bar, the footer, description and as many questions in the survey as you like.   To hide multiple elements, you simply need to keep adding comma separated values to hide the different components. For example:




Another interesting thing you can do is hide a question and at the same time set its default value through a URL parameter. For example, you can hide the Submitted by question in the Oak survey and also set a value for it through your URL parameter.


Redirect the Survey123 web app to your own ArcGIS Enterprise (portal)


While the Survey123 web app is hosted in ArcGIS Online, there is no reason why you can't load surveys from your own ArcGIS Enteprise instance.  You do this through the portal URL parameter, which takes as a value the URL of your own ArcGIS Enterprise  Web Adaptor. For example:


The above URL will load into your web browser the survey with identifier acb28b212b5542acbbdbaa35feba0765 as found in the ArcGIS Enterprise instance.


Set the app that will open your survey (open)


You can use the open URL parameter to determine the app to use with survey. Valid values for this parameter include: web, native and menu.


Parameter Value Description
webOpens your survey in the Survey123 web app, as a web form. This is the default. Example.
nativeWill open your survey in the Survey123 field app. This option will only work if the Survey123 field app is already installed in the device. Example.
menuWill open web page to let the end user decide if the survey should be open in the Survey123 field app or within a web browser. Example.


Set the language of your survey (lang)


The lang parameter switches the language of your survey dynamically. This parameter only will work if you have included language translations for your survey.  For more details on mutiple-language surveys refer to Introducing Multiple Language Surveys 


The lang parameter accepts ISO language codes. For example: lang=zh-cn  and lang=en.

National Weatherperson's Day, also known as National Weatherman's Day, is observed on February 5 primarily in the United States. It recognizes individuals in the fields of meteorology, weather forecasting and broadcast meteorology, as well as volunteer storm spotters and observers. It is observed on the birthday of John Jeffries, one of the United States' first weather observers who took daily measurements starting in 1774. Jeffries also made the first balloon flight over London in 1784 with the purpose of gathering data for a scientific study of the air at high altitudes.


Our forecast for the 3.2 release is as follows: Bright like the sun, new features and enhancements in the morning, particularly in the Survey123 website and web designer. A joyful rain of fixes for the Survey123 field app at night, including massive improvements to repeats and nested repeats. 


Pages for your web forms


In this update you can organize questions in your surveys across multiple pages. Pages are particularly useful when working on very large forms, helping you logically organize your questions and giving end users a sense of progress across the entire survey.



In the example above, I added a welcome image and text on the first page to create a cover for  my survey. Note that the first page does not expect any input from the survey. It is just a welcoming page, or cover.  Next, I organized the actual questions within my form into pages, giving each page a descriptive title at the top.  As users move from page to page, a progress bar at the bottom shows how close they are to the end of the survey.


You can combine groups and pages to further help organize questions within your survey!


If you use web designer to create your surveys, you will find that we have added a Page option in the main panel. Just like you do with other question types, simply click on Page, and it will be added to your form. You will be able to drag and drop questions into your new page, move questions from one page to another and even merge and duplicate pages!



If you want to work with pages in Survey123 Connect, you need to do two things:


  • First, in the settings worksheet of your XLSForm, you will set the value of the style column to pages.
  • Then, in the survey worksheet, you will use the field-list appearance for any XLSForm begin_group question type that you want to turn into a page. 


Also note that when using the pages style, pages will be automatically created for any question outside field-list groups.


Whilst the implementation for pages is complete in our web form, currently in the field app constraint and required checks will not be performed when you leave a page.  These checks will only be done when you attempt to submit the survey. In some scenarios this can make it difficult for end users to identify the exact question in the form where the validation rules were broken. Make sure you define good error messages for your required and constraint rules. Other than that, pages work pretty well in the field app!


Embedded public web forms


You can now embed public web forms in your own web site. As shown below, the Collaborate tab of your survey will now include an Embed option from which you can copy the HTML code needed to embed your survey within a web site.



A handful of embed options let you quickly configure your embed HTML code to hide elements of your survey that you may want to hide, such as the header, sign-in, multiple language options, footer, etc.  You can even disable the theme colors to provide a more neutral presence of your embedded survey within the web site.


Below is an example showing a Survey123 form embedded within a web page.  Note that the header, footer and themes have been disabled to make the survey fit better within the web site.



Better word clouds


The Survey123 website includes a number of reporting capabilities to help you understand data captured through your surveys. The Analyze page, for example, aggregates responses for categorical, date and number questions and creates charts and maps to more quickly identify trends on your data. 


Questions with free text are always trickier to aggregate, but that is where word clouds come to help. A word cloud takes the most common words found in your data and sizes them according to popularity. The bigger the word, the more repetitions. It is a simple concept but it often gives great insight.  Unfortunately, the most common words in our language are far from interesting in this context. Think about it: this, that, of, a...  all pretty useless stuff in a word cloud, don't you think?  These words are known as stop-words, and now you can set a filter to ignore them. In English at least.


Here you can see how word cloud filters made a difference for our friends at City of Lakeland, in Florida:


In this particular scenario, the survey asked people in the city 'What are your thoughts on how can we better educate drivers to pay attention?'. The most popular words among the responses are 'the', 'and', 'to' and 'of', but if we  apply the stop word filter, much more relevant words will come out:  speed, signs and people.  With stop word filters you can more easily understand certain relevant trends in your data.


More on custom themes


We introduced Custom Themes not long ago. Definitely a good addition to give your surveys a nice final touch! If you haven't already, I highly recommend you watch this video-tutorial or read the Introducing Custom Themes blog post.



In this update 6 new theme templates have been added. 5 of them will help you quickly switch through different color combinations. You can also make tweaks in them, of course, but they provide a nice start.  The sixth template is more interesting, in that it will mirror the Shared Theme of your ArcGIS organization.  If you are not familiar with this concept of Shared Theme, have a look at Ian's blog post Introducing Shared Theme: a new app styling capability in ArcGIS Online.  The Shared Theme is set by the administrator of an ArcGIS Organization defining the basics for styling configurable apps in it: text and background color, etc.  Now, you can easily match that style!


Web designer: Option to automatically center map at the device's location in web forms


A new option has been added in web designer to automatically center the map at the user's location when a geopoint question is open within a web form.



Lets describe in more detail what is going on here, because this option only makes sense once differences between the behavior of geopoint questions across web forms and the Survey123 field app are understood. 


Geopoint questions in the Survey123 field app are by default centered at the user's location. In a Web Form, the behavior is very different.  When your geopoint questions are shown within a web browser, the location of the map remains as set by the author of the survey. The Survey123 web app by default will not attempt to gather the user's location. Otherwise, as soon as the survey is loaded, the web browser will automatically present a dialog to the end user asking for permission to gather the device's location.  Without proper context on why that  message is appearing, this would cause distrust in many users.


The user can change the location of the map by either manually panning the map or centering it at a particular address or at the user's location. By enabling this new option, the map, once in edit mode, will automatically center to the user's location.  This will trigger the web browser to require confirmation before handing over the location to the Survey123 web app, but this will happen in context.  Users will understand at that point why the survey is attempting to gather their location.


For the reasons described above, this new setting has no effect when the survey is loaded in the Survey123 field app.


Other enhancements and fixes


Survey123 Website


  • BUG-000112899 Publishing a survey on connected to a Portal for ArcGIS using Integrated Windows Authentication (IWA) returns the error message, "Unable to publish the survey. Unexpected token < in JSON at position 0".
  • BUG-000116898 Renaming the survey under 'Edit Survey Info' in will cause the feature service to change the name from _fieldworker to _stakeholder.
  • BUG-000117623 When is accessed via Portal and only one record is present in the service, the default extent and zoom level configured on the survey are not honored when viewing from the Data tab.
  • BUG-000116269 When printing a web map in a custom report from the Survey123 for ArcGIS website, at least one element of the web map must be public, otherwise the error message, "An error occurred while generating report(s)" is returned.
  • BUG-000117239 Survey123 does not honor survey’s viewer collaboration with a group in ArcGIS Online if the survey has been authored through Survey123 Connect using an ArcGIS Server secured feature service added to ArcGIS Online as item with Credentials stored.
  • BUG-000116800 Reports generated from the Survey123 for ArcGIS website show the Object ID as a date.
  • BUG-000116268 When printing custom reports from, the web map in the report fails to display all layers in the map.
  • BUG-000118284 In Survey123 for ArcGIS, the map scale setting is not honored when including a map in a report.
  • BUG-000118703 Surveys with calculate type questions that use pulldata() on a geopoint question within an if statement display the error "Error: Initialing Form... FormLogicError: pulldata with incorrect number of parameters found: pulldata('@geopoint', // , '')" and load without form logic when opened in the Survey123 Web App.
  • Custom Reports can now access all fields within the underlying feature service.
  • Custom Report syntax in Microsoft Word documents is now checked immediately after uploading the template.
  • Added support for the XLSForm function @property in Web Forms.


Survey123 Connect


  • Survey123 Connect will no longer overwrite survey settings (such as web hook configurations) updated through the Survey123 website.
  • BUG-000111392 Survey123 Connect installed on a Windows 2012 R2 machine crashes when publishing a survey to Portal for ArcGIS 10.5.1 configured with enterprise logins.
  • BUG-000119026 Delete refresh token stored in SecureStorage if auto login fails with invalid refreshtoken error.
  • BUG-000097165 - Copy images used for form background into the media folder.


Survey123 Field App


  • Various fixes affecting repeats and nested repeats (BUG-000117852, BUG-000117987, BUG-000118094, BUG-000118449 and many others).
    • BUG-000117852 : Surveys for geopoint, picture and select one questions are not displayed for the second and subsequent repeat questions/related tables in sent folder if those questions are relevant questions.
    • BUG-000117987 : Calculation fields fails to retain submitted values in Inbox if the field are part of "Repeats".
    • BUG-000118094 Relevancy questions within repeats do not save the information when the survey is saved as a draft.
    • BUG-000118449 : When including a signature field in a relevancy controlled group within a repeat in Survey123 Connect, the first signature entered is not displayed in the outbox (drafts).
  • BUG-000117493 "SSL Handshake failed (6)" error is generated in Survey123 app when using Android 7.0 or higher and using non-CA certificates for Portal.
  • BUG-000110786 - Survey123 cannot change from an Windows Authentication (IWA) portal to another.
  • BUG-000113293, BUG-000113294 - User signed out when losing network connection.
  • BUG-000098854: Survey123 App Portal cannot be added after tapping "Add Portal" in Windows Mobile.
  • BUG-000118375 Mathematical calculations from Inbox do not trigger when NaN or null values are used.
  • BUG-000106578, BUG-000112873 - When choice_filter used, the name text is saved as the data value, instead of the label text.


Did you know that using XLSForm you can choose to save the label of the selected item in a list instead of the name? For more details see: Survey123 Tricks of the Trade: XLSForm functions for lists 


  • ENH-000109073 - Include a comma (thousands separator) in decimal questions.
  • Various bug fixes for localization issues.


For more details on the 3.2 release, check out our What's New Help Topic, which also includes an archive of all new features added in previous releases.

[Last updated January 23, 2019]


In this blog post I will describe how you can configure your Survey123 smart forms to support multiple languages.  With multiple language support, end-users can pick the language for the questions presented in the form and you can get all their responses into a single feature layer. Multiple language surveys are authored in Survey123 Connect, but once published, they are supported in both the Survey123 Web and Field apps.


Multiple language surveys are created in XLSForms with Survey123 Connect


In order to add multi language support into a survey, you will use Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS. Survey123 Connect is a desktop tool that you can download into your Mac and Windows machine. Survey123 Connect works in combination with Microsoft Excel and lets you author smart forms following the XLSForm specification. Multiple language support is one of the many features of the XLSForm standard, and Survey123 works with it. If you are not familiar with XLSForm yet, I would strongly recommend you start with our XLSForm essentials, XLSForm video tutorials or this beginner exercise.


You can use Survey123 Connect to start a new survey from scratch, or to modify a survey you may have authored on the Survey123 web site.


How-to: A first look


The easiest way to understand how multiple language surveys are built is to look at an example.


  1. Open Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS
  2. Click on New Survey and select the Samples category
  3. Choose the Multiple Languages sample and open it


Note that in the Connect preview you will already see the language switcher in the top-right corner of the preview.  You can use the language switcher  to flip through the different languages.  If you publish the survey, the language switcher will also be present in the Survey123 Field app as well as in Web Forms.


Next, open the XLSForm spreadsheet by clicking on the top icon of the left toolbar. This will open your XLSForm in your spreadsheet editor.


Multiple columns have been added into the XLSForm to translate the labels of questions. Each language is notated using a descriptive string for the language followed by its corresponding ISO 639-1 code enclosed in parenthesis. For example, the XLSForm column with the question label in Spanish will be label::Español (es), and the label in English will be label::English (en).


You can add translations to labels, but also to hints (hint::Español (es), hint::English (en)...), constraint messages and even images! For example, if you want to include an image with a diagram along with your question, you can use the image::Español (es) column to reference a diagram that has text in Spanish and the image:: English (en) column to include that same diagram with text in English.


typenamelabel::English (en)label::Greek (el)hint::English (en)
textnameWhat is your name?Ποιο ειναι το ονομα σου?Type your name
select_one ananimalWhat is your favorite animal?Ποιο είναι το αγαπημένο σας ζώο;Choose one animal


Note: If you start adding language columns for your labels, make sure you add a language qualifier to all of them.



Similarly to how questions are translated in the survey XLSForm worksheet, choices in lists can also be translated. If you turn into the choices worksheet you will note that the same technique is used to translate the choice labels. Similarly to questions, if  you are using the image column with your choices, you can translate it too.


list_namenamelabel::English (en)label::Chinese (zh)label::Greek (el)label::Español (es)


By default, Survey123 will get the language code of your device’s locale settings and try to find the right column in your spreadsheet that matches that locale. In this way, the survey will by default open in the language that matches the device’s locale. You can overwrite this behavior by defining the default language in the settings worksheet of your XLSForm.  The language switcher in the Survey123 app will let users switch to any of the available languages defined in your form.


Multiple LanguagesEnglish (en)


All the above is also nicely described in this new video tutorial created by James Moore.



Other important things to know:


  • Not everything in a survey can be translated to multiple languages. The title of the survey, for example, only supports one language.


  • If you use select_one_or_other type of questions in your XLSForm, your translations will not apply to the ‘other’ choice. If you plan to use your survey in a language other than English, you should not use select_one_or_other and instead build that functionality manually by adding an 'other' choice into your list and then using a relevant statement to make visible the free text question for 'other' when that option is chosen.


  • The language of your form defines the format of Dates in the calendar control.


Learn more:



[Update November 20,2017] A new lesson on Multiple Language surveys has been published.

[Update July 20, 2018] Included list of 2-character language codes. As of version 3.0 (update July 2018) you can no longer specify languages outside the official ISO 639-1 list of 2-character codes. For any previously published forms, language codes outside the list will continue to work.

[Update December 19, 2018] Minor adjustments  made  here and there to more consistently use ISO 639-1 codes throughout the text.

Webhook capability in Survey123 is very helpful to automate process without make a code. you can follow this link for the details : Automating workflows with Survey123 and Microsoft Flow 

I got some challenges when use it in Microsoft Flow especially about time and date. 

  1. originally time and date from survey123 is EPOCH format.
  2. by default time zone form survey123 is UTC.
  3. I have needs to display time and date in proper string format.


Convert EPOCH to YYYY/MM/DD HH:mm:ss

if you access time and date from field directly from dynamic content, it will display epoch time. to show time and date as YYYY/MM/DD HH:mm:sss you can use expression instead of dynamic content.


expression syntax :
addseconds('1970-1-1', Div(triggerBody()?['feature']?['attributes']?['dateTime'],1000) , 'HH:mm:ss')
this part ['feature']?['attributes']?['dateTime'] is time field in your featureservice.
it will return time and date like this : 2019-01-22 02:00:00 (please bear in mind this is UTC time zone)
Convert from UTC to My City Time Zone :
as you can see on the picture above, I added my time expression into add to time plugin. this plugin is default from Microsoft Flow to add interval time into your exisiting time. my city time zone is UTC +7. so I added 7 in interval form and select hour in time unit options.
the result will be like this : 2019-01-16T13:00:00.0000000
its return time and date with full string format. 
Reformat time and date string:
in my case, I want to extract time from converted time and display it as short time pattern.I added Convert time zone plugin provided by microsoft flow. basically this plugin used for converting time zone, however there is an options to display format time and date format string. so I used "short time pattern" in format string options then convert time zone to same time zone due to my time has been converted in previous step by adding interval manually. 
then I can use time in email body like this :
or use converted time in event calendar like this :
here is the whole diagram :
Any inputs are welcome

In this blog post I will introduce a handful XLSForm functions that will help you work with user selections on lists.  If you are not familiar with the basics of publishing smart forms in Survey123 using XLSForms, or with selection questions, then I suggest you take a tour of the basic Video Tutorials in our Survey123 YouTube Playlist.  Below you will find a introductory video tutorial on selection questions and lists.



Using XLSForm expressions you can process user selections on lists and implement data validation rules, conditional statements to show and hide portions of your forms, and more. Here are some of the most common XLSForm functions you will be able to use:


selected(question, value)


The selected() function is used to check if a particular choice has been selected from a list. Here is an example:


select_one yes_norepair_neededAre repairs needed?
textrepairs_commentRepairs needed:selected(${repair_needed},'yes')


The selected() function returns a boolean value. In the example above, I am using the function within the relevant column, to define if the repairs_comment question will be shown to the end user, or kept hidden.


The first  parameter passed to this function is the question on which the user made the selection.  You can only pass questions of type select_one or select_multiple.


The second parameter represents your test choice value. It is important to remember that the test choice value represents the name of your choice, not its label.  This makes sense because otherwise, it would be tricky to write expressions in multi-language surveys.


Do not pass the label of a choice to the selected() function. The selected() function expects the name value of your choice.  Also keep in mind that this function is case sensitive. 'Yes' is not the same as 'yes'.



The selected() function is particularly useful when working with multiple-choice questions (select_multiple). In the example below, I use the function to populate hidden questions with a value of 1, if a particular choice has been selected, or 0 if not selected. 


The violations question is a select_multiple. In it, the end-user can select one or more choices from the violations list. The output of select_multiple questions is a comma separated string representing all the choices selected. That is not very useful if I want to query the data later...   For each type of violation presented in the select_multiple question, I have created a corresponding hidden question. Using a calculation, hidden questions get populated with 1s and 0s based on the user selections.


select_multiple violationsviolationsViolations observednull
hiddenbrokenpipeBroken Pipeif(selected(${violations},'20'),1,0)esriFieldTypeInteger
hiddenwaterfeatureWater Featureif(selected(${violations},'50'),1,0)esriFieldTypeInteger


As I indicated before, the output of the selected() function is a boolean. That is, either true or false. In my example, I wanted to store numbers (0 and 1) so I can more easily count values later or use the data in Operations Dashboard. That is achieved by complementing the selected() function with an if() statement. When selected() returns true, signifying that the choice was selected, I store a value of 1 and otherwise a 0.


The column bind:esri:fieldType plays an important role here too. For my select_multiple question I chose null. This indicates that the output of the question (the comma separated list of selected values) will not have a corresponding field in the target ArcGIS feature layer.  In other words, a null esri:fieldType says that we are not interested in persisting the output of that question. After all, the values in the hidden questions are really what we want to persist.


For the hidden questions, I explicitly set the esri:fieldType to esriFieldTypeInteger, because hidden questions by default are mapped to text fields. Since I know that my calculation is either going to output a 1 or a 0, and I want the output values as numbers, I set the esri:fieldType correspondingly.


To learn more about how XLSForm questions get mapped to Esri fields, check the Mapping XLSForm questions into ArcGIS Feature Service fields blog post.



There are some other tempting options for figuring out what choices have been selected in a list. I strongly recommend that you do not get tempted by them:


One bad habit is using a straight value comparison on select_one questions:


select_one yes_norepair_neededAre repairs needed?
textrepairs_commentRepairs needed:${repair_needed}='yes'


Technically, it is going to work, but if you get used to that you may be led into this...


select_multiple violationsviolationsViolations observednull
hiddenbrokenpipeBroken Pipeif(${violations}='20',1,0)esriFieldTypeInteger


And that is definitively not going to work!  As you may remember, the output of a select_multiple is a comma separated list of values, so if someone selects more than one option in the violations question, your calculations will not work correctly. 


Another temptation, for select_multiple questions, is the use of contains(). For example:


select_multiple violationsviolationsViolations observednull
hiddenbrokenpipeBroken Pipeif(contains(${violations},'20'),1,0)esriFieldTypeInteger


The use of contains() could actually work in some cases, but it is not worth the risk.


The function selected() works beautifully for both select_multiple and select_one. Use it consistently if you want to check what options were selected in them.





The count-selected() function returns the number of selected choices in a select_multiple question.


select_multiple toppingstoppingsSelect up to 2 toppingscount-selected(${toppings})<3Pick no more than 2!


In this example I built a constraint to prevent people from getting too greedy with pizza toppings. If the number of toppings selected is not below 3, a warning message will appear and the user will not be able to submit data.


You can also use count-selected() in a relevant statement, for example to present a comments field if any issues have been found during an inspection.


select_multiple compsissuesCheck manhole components with issues
textcommentsEnter comments relevant for repair effortcount-selected(${components})>0


Pretty handy!


jr:choice-name(choice, 'question')


jr:choice-name() is useful when you need to retrieve the label of a list choice. The syntax goes as follows:


In the example above, I am passing with the first parameter the user selection in the 'activity' question.  The second parameter is the question in the form using the list where the choice has been made.  Very often, the first and second parameters will reference the same XLSForm question, but note that the second parameter is enclosed with quotes, because it does not refer to the value (response) of the question, but to the actual question itself.


This is a very useful function in several scenarios:

  • When you want to include the label of a selected item in the payload of a webhook.
  • When you want to store the label of a selected item in your target feature layer.
  • When you want to display the selected item's label in a note, or use it within a label (dynamic label).


Take this example:


select_one prioritypriorityPriority of the incident
hiddenpriority_labelRepairs needed:jr:choice-name(${priority},'${priority}')


The hidden question, obviously, will not be shown in the form to the user, but will keep the label of the selected choice in the priority question.  This value will be stored in the target feature layer of the survey, and will also be part of the payload sent in any webhooks you configure.


If working with multi-language surveys, the jr:choice-name() function will return the label in the language active when the user submits the data.



A common use case for jr:choice-name() is dynamic labels. Dynamic labels are discussed in more detail in the Understanding Dynamic Labels in Survey123 for ArcGIS blog post. In short, dynamic labels allow you to embed user responses and the result of calculations within labels in your survey. This is a pretty useful technique to help end users navigate along very large surveys for example, because you can bring more context to your questions, using prior responses.


select_one prioritypriorityPriority of the incident
calculatepriori_labelPriority Labeljr:choice-name(${priority},'${priority}')
textcommentsDescribe why the priority is ${priori_label)


When using dynamic labels, you cannot include expressions within the label. You can only perform simple variable replacements. This is why in the example below I first add a calculate question to get the label, and then I embed the variable within the label of the comments question.  Just for clarity, the following will not work:


select_one prioritypriorityPriority of the incident
textcommentsDescribe why the priority is jr:choice-name(${priority},'${priority}')


I always wonder why the jr:choice-name has the jr: prefix in front of it. I am sure there is an obscure explanation somewhere for that. I also wonder why if the function was named jr:choice-name instead of choice-label, since the output is the label, and not the name. Oh well... the function works nicely, so I would not dig to much into this mystery of the XLSForm specification.


selected-at(question, number)


The selected-at() function is unique to select_multiple questions. It is kind of an exotic function but I am including it for completeness. It returns the choice name selected at a specific index within the selection. This is best explained with pizza:


select_multiple toppingstoppingsSelect your top 3 favorite toppings


Above, the selected-at() function is first passed the output of our toppings question. That is, a comma separated list with 3 pizza toppings selected by the user.  The second parameter indicates the zero-based index in that list for which we want to know the value.  Since we are passing 0, the output will be the pizza topping that the user selected in the first place. If we pass an index 2, it will give us the last topping that the user selected, assuming that we have limited the number of favorite toppings to 3.


This function is particularly useful when you want to know the exact order in which the user selected choices within a select_multiple question.  If the index you pass in the second parameter is not within the range of the user selection, the function returns an empty string. For example,  selected-at(${toppings},4) will return an empty string if the user only selected 3 items.


All XLSForm functions described in this document are compatible with both the Survey123 field app as well as with web forms.


[Last updated January 11, 2019]


On November 6, 2018, Esri introduced the concept of User Types in ArcGIS. User Types will be available with the upcoming ArcGIS Online December 2018 update.   ArcGIS User Types are an evolution of the ArcGIS Named User licensing model, bringing more granularity into how capabilities and apps are made available to users.


In this blog post, I want to describe how these upcoming new ArcGIS User Types relate to the different capabilities and components of Survey123 for ArcGIS.


An Overview of ArcGIS User Types


A great resource to learn more about the upcoming ArcGIS User Types is Kelly’s What is coming in ArcGIS Online: Introducing User  Types blog post. I recommend that you read her post as a foundation for the details described here.


ArcGIS User Types define what capabilities and apps are available to ArcGIS users within an organization. The image below describes the different User Types that will be made available in the December release of ArcGIS Online.



From a practical perspective, your existing Level 1 Named Users will become Viewers and your Level 2 Named users will become Creators.  What this means from a Survey123 perspective is that whoever was assigned a Level 2 or Level 1 Named User will continue to be able to do exactly the same things as before. For the existing Named Users you may already have, you can consider the new User Type model as simply a name change. End-user workflows and available functionality will not change.


What is more interesting is that a set of 3 new User Types will now be available for purchase.  This is great news, as these new User Types will give you extra flexibility to add new ArcGIS users into your organization to perform specific tasks with Survey123.

ArcGIS User Types from a Survey123 perspective.


Let’s look in more detail at what each of these new User Types can do with Survey123.


Creator (formerly known as Level 2)


The Creator User Type is designed for those in your organization who create maps and apps for others to use. A Creator User Type (formerly known as Level 2), is what you need if you want to publish new surveys into ArcGIS. A creator, for example, can log into the Survey123 website and use Web Designer to create and publish a new survey. Similarly, creators can download and use Survey123 Connect to publish surveys using the XLSForm specification.

Other Survey123 actions that are unique to the Creator User Type include: Uploading new survey report templates, generating batch survey reports or managing survey webhooks.


You will always need at least a Creator User Type (or other User Types above such as GIS Professional) in order to get things going with Survey123.  You need Creators to publish and manage the surveys that people will use in an organization.


With a Creator User Type you can also design dashboards to display data captured from Survey123, or put together Workforce for ArcGIS projects to coordinate Survey123 field work.


 Creators also include all the capabilities and apps licensed for the Field Worker, Editor and Viewer user types.


Field Worker


This is a new User Type for those in your organization who want to use ArcCGIS mobile apps to perform field work. Field Workers get the Field Apps Bundle, which includes Workforce, Collector and Survey123 for ArcGIS.   The Field Worker User Type is a step down from the Creator User Type in that Field Workers do not have the ability to create new content such as surveys, maps and apps, but includes what is needed to submit surveys from the Survey123 field app. I am particularly excited about the Field Worker User Type because for the longest time many of you have been asking for a more affordable way to equip field crews with a complete suite of mobile GIS apps to do their job. A user type including what a field user needs, but nothing else. That's the Field Worker User Type.


This is the User Type you will want for those who are required to capture data with the Survey123 field app.  Think field crews performing asset inventories or inspections, damage assessments, etc.


Field workers also include all capabilities and apps licensed for the Editor and Viewer User Types.




The Editor User Type is designed for people who need to make simple feature edits (adds, updates, deletes) in ArcGIS.  The Editor User Type does not include the Field Apps Bundle, meaning that Editors cannot use the Survey123 field app, however, Editors can submit surveys from a web browser. The Editor User Type can also be a good choice for people who perform, QA/QC workflows or simple edits from web applications against data captured from Survey123.


If it is your preference, you can complement an Editor User Type with add-on app licenses. That is, you can buy ArcGIS apps a-la-carte and assign the licenses to your existing Editor User Types.  For example, if you feel like your field crews do not need Collector, Workforce and Survey123, instead of purchasing a Field Worker User Type license, you can buy Editor User Types and assign the Survey123 field app to them.


Editors also include all capabilities and apps included in the Viewer User Type.


Viewer (formerly known as Level 1)


Viewers, formerly known as Level 1 Named Users, are designed for people who need to look, but not update, information in ArcGIS. Viewers can for example look at real-time dashboards built on top of Survey123 data, use web apps built with Web AppBuilder to visualize information.  The Viewer User Type also grants read-only access into the Survey123 website. That is, Viewers can look at the Overview, Data and Analyze pages of surveys to inspect the results of surveys


Features in the Survey123 website that require permissions to create content, such as publishing new surveys, export reports in batch or configuring web hooks, will not be available to Viewers. Again, Viewers just can look at data.


GIS Professional


The GIS Professional User Type sits above all the User Types I described so far. It includes everything in Creator plus a license to use ArcGIS Pro.  I list GIS Professional last because it does not add any specific Survey123 capabilities that would be missing in Creator. Adding GIS Professionals into the mix for your Survey123 deployments could be of interest when you plan to further process or analyze data captured with Survey123 for example.


Using Survey123 without an ArcGIS Account


For completeness, I would also add that any person, even without an ArcGIS account,  can submit data using the Survey123 field and web apps if the survey has been shared  publicly. The new User Types bring no changes to public surveys.


Other important facts


To add more clarity to the different User Types and what you can do in Survey123, I created this table:





Design, Publish and Manage surveys
Automate workflows with survey webhooks
Configure survey custom report templates
Generate custom survey reports in bulk
Export survey results to CSV, Excel, File Geodatabase…
Submit surveys from the Survey123 Field App
Submit surveys from a web browser
View and analyze survey results through the Survey123 website


Once a User Type is assigned, can it be changed? Certainly. As an ArcGIS Administrator you can switch User Types. For example, a person can be initially assigned an Editor role to submit surveys over the web and eventually be upgraded to a Field Worker to also be able to use the Survey123 Field app. Conversely, a Creator can be demoted to a Field Editor, Editor or Viewer. Now, in that case, you will want  to make sure any items owned by the Creator are  transferred to some other user with a Creator User Type, so the maps, surveys and other items can be maintained.


A user granted a particular User Type can also be granted access to additional apps not originally included with the User Type. For example, a Field Worker user can also be granted a license of Navigator for ArcGIS, and a Creator can be granted access to Insights for ArcGIS or other add-on apps.


What you cannot do is to break apart a User Type. For example,  you cannot take away from a  Field Worker the Survey123 license and give to an Editor.


Will User Types be available in ArcGIS Enterprise? Yes. Starting at version 10.7, which is scheduled for release around March 2019.


What is the price of these User Types? It varies. My suggestion is that you contact an Esri representative. There are programs for personal use, students, non-profit, small and large organizations.




ArcGIS User Types are simply an evolution of the ArcGIS Named User licensing model.  As a Survey123 user, you should not fear the transition from the existing ArcGIS User Levels we use now, to the new ArcGIS User Types coming in the December 2018 release. Your existing Level 1 and Level 2 users will be automatically transitioned to the Viewer and Creator User Types with absolutely no impact to end users.   The transition of existing Named Users will have minor impact from an ArcGIS administrative perspective: Some minor UX changes as described in this blog post.


New User Types including Editor and Field Workers are of particular interest for the deployment of Survey123 within organizations. They both provide lower entry points to people who need to use the Survey123 field app (Field Workers) or submit surveys over the web (Editors).  


Overall, the new User Types include capabilities progressively:

  • The Viewer can view maps and the results of surveys
  • The Editor can do everything a Viewer can do and also submit data through survey123 smart forms in a web browser
  • The field worker is like an Editor but also includes licenses for the Survey123, Collector and Workforce mobile apps
  • Finally, the Creator does everything a Field Worker can do, plus also create new content, including designing and publishing surveys. 


Understanding all User Types, will help you maximize your investment in ArcGIS. Carefully choose the number of User Types to add into your organization, based on what people will typically do. 

A minor update to the Survey123 field app in the Google Play and Amazon stores has just been made available. This new build, addresses BUG-000117493, which affected Android 7.0 (and newer) devices when attempting to connect to an ArcGIS Enterprise portal using non-CA-signed certificates.


BUG-000117493 "SSL Handshake failed (6)" error is generated in Survey123 app when attempting to connect from Android 7.0 or higher to an ArcGIS Enterprise portal using non-CA-signed certificate.


The new build number for the Survey123 field app on Android is 3.1.159.

St Kilda is a beachside suburb of Melbourne, Australia.  Among the various attractions in St Kilda is Luna Park, a theme park featuring the worlds oldest operating roller coaster. It is also known for its Sea Baths established in the19th century and of course, its beach, which is a popular summer spot for melbournites, tourists and backpackers.  My personal favorite at St Kilda is its pier, which holds a small colony of penguins.  There is only one place in the world where you can step out of a tram, walk down a pier and watch penguins, and that is St Kilda.  


In late October, while giving the final touches to this release, the Survey123 team gathered in Melbourne for a one-week team meeting.  We enjoyed visiting the pier at night and watching the penguins as they swam around and hide between the rocks.   We thought we would be devote this update to the St Kilda penguins, so here you go...


Overall, this update to Survey123 is mostly focuses on quality. We took our time going back through issues reported, sorting the most relevant and fixing them.   While fixes are a big part of this release, you will also find a handful of enhancements inspired by your feedback.



Custom Themes in Web Designer


With Survey123 Web Designer you can visually create smart forms, right from your web browser. Survey123 Web Designer grows with every release, incorporating new question types, validation rules and other improvements. Smart forms published with Survey123 Web Designer can be used from the Survey123 Field and Web Apps.


With the introduction of custom themes, you can now tightly control the look and feel of your web surveys.  Below are some examples illustrating the type of things you can do. Header colors, page and survey backgrounds, the color of the submit button... all of that can be now set so you can more closely reflect the feel and brand identity of your own organization or project.  Custom Themes are of particular interest to those of you interested in publishing surveys for use over the web.



The new themes are under the Appearance tab in Web Designer and can be applied to any survey authored in Web Designer. Custom Themes in Web Designer cannot be used with surveys published from Survey123 Connect.


Check this blog post for more details: Introducing Custom Themes in Survey123 Web Designer 


User Input Validation Rules in Multiple Choice questions (Web Designer)


The validation section for Multiple Choice questions in Web Designer has been expanded so you can easily define the minimum and maximum number of choices that can be selected from the list. For example, you can now configure a Multiple Choice question so users will not be able to check more than 3 options, or at least 2, etc.



Validation rules set in Web Designer will be honored by both the Survey123 Field and Web apps. More details around multiple choice questions can be found at:  Understanding Multiple-Choice Questions in Survey123 for ArcGIS 



Character counter in text questions (Web and Field app)


Multi-line questions now display a character count, helping users keep track of how much text they can add before reaching the maximum limit set by the survey owner.



The character counter is implemented in both the Survey123 Web and Field apps and can be set from Survey123 Web Designer as well as through Survey123 Connect.



Dynamic Question Labels


As of 3.1, you can include XLSForm variables within the label of a question or note.  In the example on the side, the Type of Violation and Offender Name entered by the user are embedded in the labels of questions in the survey.



If used appropriately, Dynamic Question Labels will help you make questions in your survey more meaningful to end-users and facilitate navigation.





For more details around dynamic labels refer to this blog post:  Understanding Dynamic Labels in Survey123 for ArcGIS 












For a complete list of enhancements in the Survey123 Website, Field App and Connect, refer to the What is New Help topic.


Main Fixes and Enhancements to Survey123 Website and Web App


  • BUG-000116143 The Survey123 for ArcGIS website works slowly when generating a report and generates an error while downloading custom reports exceeding 10 MB in size.
  • BUG-000112528 Custom Reports fail to load with an error indicating the parser failed to execute if a field it cannot read or does not exist has a formatting set.
  • BUG-000116436 In Survey123 web Design, Rule Setting disappear when you log out if “Show” questions are in a Group. The settings, however, is still honored in the App or Web when submitting surveys.
  • BUG-000116368 Getting error when trying to export to KML on Survey123 Portal website "Error executing function. failed to execute (export service). failed."
  • BUG-000110646 When publishing a survey from Survey 123 for ArcGIS online website to Survey 123 connect for ArcGIS then publish the survey back to online the survey loses the background image
  • BUG-000115084 When utilizing a choice filter in Survey123 for ArcGIS, if images are used against filtered questions, the label fails to display properly on the Data and Analyze tabs
  • BUG-000113561 The Survey123 for ArcGIS web app does not allow user to enter decimal '.' values when using Dutch language in ArcGIS Online
  • BUG-000114313 The survey background sets in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS is not honored if the survey is accessed using web browser
  • BUG-000114658 A publicly shared Survey123 survey hosted on a federated Portal for ArcGIS or ArcGIS Server is not accessible from a public ArcGIS Online web map when signed in to ArcGIS Online
  • BUG-000115903 In Survey123 website, a question configured using pulldate ("@geopoint") does not get populated even when the Geopoint question is filled (reverse geocode)
  • BUG-000115045 Surveys created in the website fails to open in the Safari browser of iOS devices, where the iOS version is below 11.0.0
  • Added support for the XLSForm version() function in the Survey123 Web App.
  • ENH-000113657 Question visibility settings are now persisted across multiple sessions
  • ENH-000105733: You can now apply filters to data displayed in the Analyze page
  • Image questions in Web Forms now let users leverage the built-in camera or webcam attached to laptops and computers.
  • Major architectural changes have been made in the Feature Report Service to accommodate user load and also to make the rendering of maps in your reports more robust.  Many of the map rendering issues that we have targeted are summarized in this GeoNet thread: Am I the only one having issues with Survey123 Reports?  We also have enhanced the error descriptions to help you debug report template syntax. Our goal is to move the Feature Report functionality into general release around May 2019. We greatly appreciate the feedback that all of you are providing, please keep your comments coming.


Main Fixes and Enhancements to Survey123 Field App and Connect


The build number for the Survey123 Field app is 3.1.158 and it is available for download in the App Stores and our  Survey123 for ArcGIS | ArcGIS Download page. The Survey123 Connect build is 3.1.126.


  • Apple Transport Security supported on iOS.
  • Two new appearances have been added: predictivetext  and nopredictivetext. They are meant to be used with text type of questions and allow the survey owner to enable or disable the predictive text functionality included with the Android and iOS operating systems.
  • BUG-000105983: Survey123 Connect will hang while attempting to publish if the survey includes a repeat block with no questions in it.
  • BUG-000110646 Website background images not maintained when survey republished in connect.
  • BUG-000116622 An error message is thrown when submitting from Survey123 for ArcGIS if the survey contains a geopoint question within nested repeats
  • Fixes for the autocomplete appearance:
  • BUG-000106380 Default Value set in Survey123 Connect is not applied when survey includes cascading select and autocomplete
  • BUG-000097421 In Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS, if a time field has a calculation all time field's defaults are ignored
  • Fixes to repeat_count:
  • Survey123 surveys not showing in app despite being downloaded 
  • BUG-000117394 "The INSERT statement has conflicted with the FOREIGN KEY constraint" error is thrown when Survey123 is pointing to an existing feature service that contains multiple tables all relating back to one parent layer
  • Coordinates passed via custom_url through the center parameter are ignored
  • Under certain conditions, map returns to current location after an address is entered in geosearch
  • On certain iOS6 devices, taking a photo using the Survey123 built-in camera causes an application crash
  • On iOS devices with auto-orientation locked down, images captured using the front-facing (selfie) camera are upside down when the phone is rotated in landscape mode
  • BUG-000116932 When an image is set as a default value for an annotate question outside of a repeat in Survey123 for ArcGIS, the annotate option fails to appear.



What is coming next


Survey123 3.2 is already on the works and our plan is to make it available in January 2019 across all supported platforms.  Version 3.2 will focus on quality, addressing specific software defects that we could not accommodate into the 3.1 update.


Through the Early Adopter Program, we regularly offer early cuts of the software, which you can use to test your existing surveys as well as new features on the works. The main new Early Adopter Program feature in the Survey123 Field App is support for direct connection to external GNSS receivers (scheduled to be generally available around March 2019.  We strongly encourage you to read the Early Adopter documentation, test the latest available builds and report your findings.

Using Survey123 Web Designer, you can tightly control many visual aspects of your Web Forms.  This includes everything from defining the look of your survey header, the style of its background, the alignment, color and size of text used in questions, the placement of logos, etc.


Of course, all of this is important because people are expecting visually compelling surveys from you. Crafting surveys with great visual appeal is particularly critical for public surveys. By having good control over the look and feel, you will be able to more closely reflect the feel and brand identity of your own organization or project.


Before we start, I want to emphasize that in good survey design, the looks are just half of the story. Carefully crafting the questions to be included in a survey, their order, wording, grouping and the best fit for the available question types, is the other half.  Trying to detail all of this at once would make a very lengthy post, so this time I will focus strictly on the visual aspects of surveys: the looks.


Below you have a few examples illustrating different techniques to make your surveys shine: Custom banners, backgrounds, in-line photos and a few other tricks. 



In this blog post, I will describe a handful of techniques to give your surveys a unique touch, making them look more professional.  While some of the features I am about to describe will be honored by the Survey123 field app, I will mostly focus on the design of Web Forms.


For a quick tour of custom themes, I highly recommend you watch this short video-tutorial. In just three minutes, it covers the most important aspects  of custom themes.



Basic Layout Elements: Header, Description and Footer


The basic elements around questions in your survey are the Header, Description and Footer.  Right from the Appearance tab, you can choose to show them, or hide them. For example, the Description element is typically used to describe what your survey is all about.  It is generally made out of text or a combination of text and images. If you feel like the title shown in your header is descriptive enough, you can choose to hide the Description element all together.



By simply clicking on the Header, Description and Footer in the design preview, their properties will be made editable in the right panel of Web Designer.


Survey Header


The header typically holds the title of your survey, but it is also a great location to display an organization logo.  You can choose a Text Header, for which you can control its background color and text alignment, or an Image Header. 


If you choose an Image Header, your image will be adjusted so it fits the entire width of the survey, which will not be larger than 680 pixels. For this reason, as a general rule, your header images do not need to be wider than 680 pixels. The height will be set so your image aspect ratio is preserved. It is best to go with a wide image to avoid taking too much vertical space.  The header is taking the top most part of the display, so with such prime real estate on your screen, you do not need a big, tall header to make a point.



Images used in your survey are not allowed to exceed a size of 1Mb.

    Always try to optimize the size of your images.


Survey Description


The Survey Description element, in Survey123 jargon, is a Note question type. Just like with the Survey Header, you can easily hide the Survey Description element from the Appearance tab.  To set the content of the Description, simply click on the element in the preview, and all the settings will appear in the right panel.



Note that the contents of the Description element accept rich text, so you can add entire paragraphs controlling the font color, size, text alignment, images, links, etc. This makes the Description very flexible, allowing you to provide context about the survey itself.


To support recovery effort after hurricane Michael, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida State Emergency Response Team, published a public survey to help citizens report the location of debris.  Note how they used the Survey Header to include a simple form title, and then leveraged the Survey Description element to place their organization logos as well as a brief note about the purpose of the survey. The Survey Description element also included links referencing the organizations website and other relevant documents.



The Survey Description element is particularly critical for public web surveys where you cannot assume that people know what your survey is all about. A bit of context, is always good!


Right below the Description element is where questions in your form will appear.  I will describe later how you can use Themes to control visual aspects of your questions, but for now, let's jump into the footer.


Survey Footer


The Survey Footer obviously sits at the very bottom of the survey. This is a good place to link back to your organization's website or solicit feedback. Similar to the Header and Description, you can choose to hide or show the footer from the Appearance tab, and you can edit its properties (text and URL link) by simply clicking on the Footer in the preview.  Look carefully at the animation to see how you can bring the window to edit Footer properties.



The URL for your footer does not need to necessarily be a URL to a website. You can also include a mailto link. For example, if your URL is set to , you can help survey takers send you feedback to your email account.


Survey Themes


Survey Themes help you easily define the color scheme of the most relevant visual aspects of your survey. A gallery of basic themes is included with Survey123.  Most themes are based on a primary color applied to the background page of the survey. Different shades of that color are then applied to the header, background of the form and submit button.  The Theme also defines the color assigned to the text in your form, so it contrasts over the background. A second group of default themes uses a background image as the driver for all the visual components in the form.  You can use the themes included as they are. We added a good set of them and you can switch and see how they play out with your own surveys very quickly.



You can also use the included Survey Themes as a starting point to your own design.  That is, you can select a basic theme and then edit it.  The editable properties of a Theme are split as follows:


  • Header: You are already familiar with this element. The theme sets the background color of the header and also the text color. You can easily tweak this as you see fit.
  • Content:The content category refers to the portion of your form containing all the questions. There are a number of important properties: 


Content Background: The content background sits right underneath your survey questions and should not be confused with the page background, which I will describe later. The purpose of the Content Background is to ensure that all questions in your survey are legible. You will want a nice contrast between your questions and the content background: A light background goes with dark question text and inputs, and vice versa. In the vast majority of cases, you will want to use a solid color for your Content Background.


If you want to get creative, you can experiment with images for the Content Background as well, but you need to be careful not to overload it with colors, which would only create distractions. When it comes to images for the Background Content, it is best to use lightly textured images.  Below are a couple of examples using images to create a notebook and wrinkled paper feel.



When using content background images, you will want to play with the different Image Fit strategies available (Repeat, Repeat Vertically, Fit and Center).


For both color and image custom content backgrounds, you can adjust the opacity level, which can give you interesting effects when working in combination with the page background.


Content Text Color: This setting refers to the color used for labels in your questions.  As described above, the color choice for the text depends on the background color.  You will always want to look for good contrast to make your questions more legible.  The content text color is not necessarily applied to hints and notes, as those can override the font colors as specified in the Design view.


Input Background Color: This refers to all the space used to input data. Think of the color of text input boxes for example, but also the background for choices in lists, signature pad, etc.


Input Text Color: This applies to all response text.


  • Web Page: The Web Page element represents all the background behind your actual form content.  This element is visible in desktops and tablets, but it is mostly hidden in smartphone form factors.  You can manipulate the color and image shown in the Web Page background, allowing you to give a strong look to your smart form. The Web Page background is probably the element that can bring the most character to your design. In the following example, I set a colorful image as the background of the page, for my form to stand up strongly, and to highlight the core mission of the form: trees.



As mentioned above, you can use the opacity setting in the Content Background to create interesting visual effects against the Page Background. The next screenshot shows a medium opacity level applied to the Content Background, to create a subtle translucent effect.



The Web Page Background is only shown by the Survey123 Web App. The Survey123 Field App ignores the background because the from content is always expanded to take advantage of all the real estate of your device.

Thank You Screen


The Thank You Screen can be optionally presented in Web Forms right after a survey is submitted.  This is the perfect place for you to thank the survey respondent for taking the time to complete the form, acknowledge the work of your project sponsors or highlight your own organization.



You can include formatted text, links and even custom images within the Thank You Note. I like to give some love to the Thank You Screen in my surveys, particularly when they are public, because they give it a nice touch.


If you look carefully at the bottom of the Thank You Screen dialog, you can optionally enable users to take submit data again with your survey, right after submitting. This option simply adds a link in the Thank You Screen that will quickly take you back to the survey.


Miscellaneous tips and other things to keep in mind


  • Making image assets available to Web Designer:When using Web Designer, all image assets are referenced through a URL. That is, you cannot use Web Designer to upload your image assets directly from your local computer. You must host them somewhere first. Aside from keeping images in your own web server, there are a number of popular options for you to host images, including Box, Google Drive and others. You can also upload your images into your ArcGIS  account, share them and then get their URL as shown in the next animation:



  • Maximum size of images: The maximum size of images you can use in your survey designs is 1Mb. You should always optimize the size of your images to minimize their size without compromising quality. Every image you add will eventually need to be downloaded and that will slow down the initial loading time of the form.
  • Setting custom colors: When setting up the colors for your text and backgrounds, you can use hexadecimal values. Using web browser plugins such as ColorZilla you can easily obtain these hexadecimal values from a website and apply them to your survey visual elements. See the next animation for details.



  • Never underestimate the importance of making your surveys look great.  A good look, can go a long way in terms of helping you get the best data from users.

Starting with version 3.1, you can dynamically change the label of a question, using answers from other questions in the form. Dynamic question labels are particularly handy when working with very long forms, making questions in your survey more meaningful to end-users.


The Water Violation survey sample on the side, for example, shows how you can insert the Type of Violation and Name of Offender in the photo and signature questions that follow.


This is quite a simple example to illustrate the idea. As your survey includes questions across multiple groups, repeats and even pages, dynamic labels become critical to aid with form navigation and to avoid user input errors. 


The dynamic labels technique is often described in survey jargon as question piping, where user responses are inserted or piped into questions further into the survey.


You can add dynamic labels to your forms using Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS. Once published, dynamic labels will work in both the Survey123 web as well as the field apps.



The basics of dynamic labels in XLSForm



In order to insert text dynamically within a question label, you must add XLSForm variables in the label column of your survey. The syntax is quite simple. Insert ${QuestionName} exactly where you want the answer to a particular question in the survey to appear in your label.  This is what the Water Violation example illustrated above looks like in XLSForm.



You can add multiple variables to the same label but it is important to highlight that the use of full XLSForm expressions within the label column is not supported.  Survey123 will only replace XLSForm variables. For example, this is valid:



But this is not valid:



While you cannot use full XLSForm expressions within the label, you can use them in a calculate question, and then reference your calculate question in the label. Calculate questions will not show in your form, but will help you hold the output of full XLSForm expressions, so you can insert those values in a label. For example, lets pretend you want to use a dynamic label in a note to describe the total cost of repairs of a pipe, given its length:



The cost question is a calculate. It will not be shown in the form to the end-user. We use the cost calculate question to run a full expression that evaluates the total cost, and once we have that, we simply use it for our dynamic label.


Working with different data types


As you work with dynamic labels, you will notice that things are straight-forward when you want to insert values from questions of type text, decimal or integer.  All you will need to do is to reference these questions directly exactly as shown above.  When working with other types such as dates or select questions, things are a bit more complicated and you will need to pre-process user values through calculate questions before you insert them into the label.


  • Dates: If you want to insert a date value within a label, you must first use a calculate question and apply the format-date() function. There are some details about formatting dates in Dates and Time in Survey123 for ArcGIS  After doing this, you can bring the formatted date value string from the calculate question, into your label.


  • Select_one questions: If you want to bring a user selection from a select_one question into a dynamic label, you have to keep in mind that by default, you are going to get the choice name value, not the label of the selected choice.  If you want to display the label of the selected choice, then I suggest you use a calculate using the jr:choice-name() function.



Support for the XLSForm jr:choice-name() function was introduced in Survey123 in version 3.1 in both the field and web Survey123 apps.  This function takes two inputs: a string representing a choice name, and a second string representing the name of the select question. Note that the second parameter requires you to enclose the question with quotes.

The output of this function is the label of the choice name passed-in.  If this function is used in a multi-language survey, the label returned is that of the active language.  


  • Select_multiple questions: Select_multiple questions let you choose one or more values from a predefined list. The output of a select_multiple question is a comma-separated string representing all the values selected by the user. This output, as is, is not the easiest to handle with dynamic labels, but again you can use other calculate questions to properly massage the output before it is added to your question label.  The Understanding Multiple-Choice Questions in Survey123 for ArcGIS  blog post describes in more detail how multiple choice questions behave and how you can work and control its outputs.


Other things to consider


There are some obvious and not so obvious things to consider when working with dynamic labels:


  • If you reference in your label a question for which the user has not provided an answer, then your question is going to have some missing text.  You can choose to be clever with the label. For example, in our Water Violation Example it is not evident when the violation type is missing. You will either read “Photo of the violation” (No violation type chosen) or “Photo of the Broken Pipe violation” (if Broken Pipe has been chosen).  In practice, you will not always get so lucky when the variable is missing.  In the pipe cost repair example above, it is evident that we are missing something in the total cost note when a dollar amount is not present.  You can choose to use a relevant statement to hide questions with dynamic labels until the variable to be replaced (in our example the cost or repair) has a valid value. In these cases, you can use the string-length() function as shown in the following example.



  • Your dynamic labels will certainly look great in the survey, but what about when you bring your survey layers into web maps? Or when you look at your survey data in the Survey123 website? On this one, it is important to understand what really happens when your survey is published, and how the Survey123 website as well as other ArcGIS apps work with your survey layers.


When you publish an XLSForm document with Survey123 Connect, we take the values in the name column of your survey spreadsheet and we use them to create new fields in the survey feature layer.  By default, we use the contents of the label XLSForm column to define the field aliases of your attribute fields.  Typically, ArcGIS apps will use the field alias for display purposes. This is the case in the popup of a web map as well as throughout the Survey123 website.


When you insert a dynamic label, your field aliases will include the variable placeholder and that will not look very nice.  If you are worried about this, make sure you set the alias value for your attribute fields in the esri::bind:esriFieldAlias XLSForm column.  Alternatively, you can also refine the field aliases, after the survey is published, from the Item Details page of the feature layer item.



If used wisely, dynamic labels can help you build better and more user friendly smart forms.  We hope this new feature is useful to you!

When you have a multiple choice question in a survey, have you wondered why the data in a popup looks different than in the form?


When Survey123 publishes a single choice question, by default it takes advantage of geodatabase domains to write the default label into the feature layer as well – this allows the label to appear automatically in popups in the Map Viewer and other applications in your ArcGIS Organization. 


With multiple choice questions, this is more difficult.  Survey123 stores multiple choice questions as comma-separated values in a text field.  That means there isn’t a built-in way to view labels for these questions. 


However, Arcade can be used to take the values stored and substitute appropriate labels.  Arcade is a cross-platform expression language for ArcGIS, and is currently supported in web map pop-ups and ArcGIS Pro.  Previously, Carmel Connolly showed how to use Arcade with ‘other’ choices in questions.  For multiple choice label substitution, a template attribute expression is available at the Esri’s Arcade Expressions GitHub repository; you will need to enter in: 

  • The name of multiple-choice question’s field 
  • The list of values and labels to be substituted 


// Replace the field name here 
var fieldName = "like_fruits";
// Replace the choices here 
var choices = {}; 
choices['apple'] = 'Apple   '; 
choices['banana'] = 'Banana   '; 
choices['grapes'] = 'Grapes   '; 
choices['kiwi'] = 'Kiwi   '; 
choices['orange'] = 'Orange   '; 
choices['peach'] = 'Peach   '; 
choices['strawberry'] = 'Strawberry   '; 

function formatLabels(inText) { 
    return Concatenate("", inText); 

function formatMulti(inField, d) { 
    var values = Split(inField, ','); 
    var labels = []; 
    for (var i in values){ 
        labels[i] = formatLabels(d[values[i]]); 
    var outText = Concatenate(labels, TextFormatting.NewLine); 
    return outText; 

formatMulti($feature[fieldName], choices);

You can see this expression in this webmap.

Do you or your colleagues know a little about Survey123, need to learn more, but dont know where to start? If so, we have created three learning paths to help you take you to that next level.


We know there is already a LOT of information available to help you, and that the sheer amount can be overwhelming. To help focus your attention, learn paths are collated around a theme or a learning objective. They are made up of different types of content - some of the content has already been around for a while, some are new - and include videos, tutorials, blogs and formal documentation.


For true beginners start with Try Survey123. In this path you'll use a survey first hand, build one yourself and take a look at the data that can be collected with a survey.


Take your surveys further does just that. Learn how to make your surveys open to the public, use offline maps, connect to existing feature services to collect data and customize how your data is delivered to stakeholders.


Creating your first few surveys can be straight forward: add questions, style and publish. But there's almost no limit to how smart you can make your form. Explore XLSForms for Survey123 will show you how to dynamically populate answers based on previous questions and data from external files, and how to translate your survey for multilingual use.

These paths are hosted at Learn ArcGIS. Let us know what other Survey123 paths you would like to see created.

Whether the natural disaster is flooding, fire, earthquake, landslide, hurricane or tornado, there will be people in need and infrastructure to repair. A key question to be answered before any serious recovery efforts start is the magnitude and impact of the event; quantifying the damage. In times like these, collaboration, coordination and well-established procedures are critical.


The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Damage Assessment Operations Manual defines Standard Operating Procedures for assessing damage and outlines information considered when evaluating requests for a Major Disaster Declaration. This 60-page manual is intended for emergency management practitioners as well as private sector and non-governmental stakeholders who have a role in assessing damage or requesting disaster assistance.


FEMA has condensed the inputs that it requires by creating Preliminary Damage Assessment templates in Survey123 for ArcGIS. These templates reflect the necessary assessment details contained in the manual and are designed to quickly operationalize this information.


The purpose of this blog post is to introduce these FEMA Preliminary Damage Assessment templates (“FEMA Templates”) and describe how they can be configured and optimized using Survey123 to support damage assessment efforts.


A First Look at the FEMA Damage Assessment Templates


The main driver for the FEMA Templates included in Survey123 is to provide State, Local and Tribal Governments with a straight-forward and efficient tool for capturing the exact information FEMA is looking for when evaluating requests for a Major Disaster Declaration (Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act declaration).


Two templates are provided, each matching the information required by FEMA to evaluate requests for the Public Assistance (PA) and Individual Assistance (AI) FEMA Recovery Programs:


  • FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Program: Assists with the restoration of equipment, buildings and other infrastructure damaged by the disaster. It also provides aid for the removal of debris and emergency protective measures.
  • FEMA Individual Assistance (IA) Program: Provides assistance to support the recovery of disaster survivors who have uninsured or under-insured necessary expenses and serious needs.This may include assistance for temporary housing and housing repairs, replacement of essential personal property, etc.


The templates are designed to support the delivery of PA and IA Preliminary Damage Assessment forms via both the Survey123 web and mobile apps.


The Survey123 web app is ideal to support damage assessment self-reporting methods. Self-reporting is primarily conducted at the local or county level to develop initial damage information, which would later be reviewed and validated. Typically, the Survey123 forms would be made publicly available and shared with affected communities via local web pages, social media, etc.


Purely for demonstration purposes, you can preview unmodified examples of the PA and IA Survey123 forms from your browser through the following links:


                              Survey123 FEMA IA PDA Demo Survey                              Survey123 FEMA PA PDA Demo Survey


The same forms can also be used from the Survey123 field app. The Survey123 field app is better suited for field-level damage assessment methods such as Door to Door and Windshield Damage Assessments. IA and PA forms can be downloaded into the Survey123 field app for use in desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices. Once downloaded, the forms can be used by the damage assessment teams even while disconnected from the network.


To preview unmodified examples of the PA and IA forms in the Survey123 field app, you will need to first install the Survey123 app in your device. You can download it from the Google Play and iTunes Apple stores. You can also download desktop versions of the Survey123 app for Windows, Mac and Ubuntu Linux.




The PA and IA PDA demonstration forms above have been published using unmodified FEMA templates included with Survey123. In practice, the templates would rarely be used without modification.

I will use the remainder of this blog post to describe how you can publish, configure, and optimize the templates for your own use.


There are three main reasons why you will want to publish the templates into your own organization:


  1. You will want data captured with the PDA Forms to be securely stored in your own ArcGIS organization, so you can validate, triage, summarize and ultimately share damage assessment information with FEMA for evaluation.
  2. You will want to be able to configure and optimize the FEMA templates for the particularities of specific disaster situations, geography, and the damage assessment methods and teams employed.
  3. You will want to tightly control who has access to submit damage assessment data to your organization.


Publishing the IA and PA PDA Surveys Into Your Own ArcGIS Organization


The FEMA PA and IA PDA survey templates are included out-of-the-box with Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS and can be published to your own ArcGIS or ArcGIS Enterprise organization easily and in just a few minutes.


Survey123 Connect is a desktop tool for designing and publishing advanced smart forms into ArcGIS. It is available for Windows, Mac and Ubuntu Linux and it is available through the Survey123 Download page.


Here are basic steps to get the PDA templates published with Survey123 Connect:


  1. Open Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS and login with an ArcGIS account with Publisher permissions.
  2. Click on New Survey
  3. Select the Community category and search for the FEMA PDA template you want to publish
  4. Set the Title of your form and click Create Survey


At this point, Survey123 Connect will launch your default spreadsheet editor (typically Microsoft Office) to display the FEMA PDA template in XLSForm format. Survey123 Connect will also preview the contents of the XLSForm.  To publish the template unmodified, close Microsoft Excel and click the Publish button on the left vertical bar of Survey123 Connect.


Once your PDA form has been published, you can download the survey into the Survey123 field app or open it with a web browser to submit data. All damage assessments submitted will be securely hosted in your own ArcGIS organization in a Hosted Feature Layer.


To preview submitted data, go into and login with your ArcGIS account.  Your data and reports will be available under the Overview, Data and Analyze tabs.


Configuring and Optimizing Ad-hoc PDA Surveys


A key factor for success when deploying the PA and IA PDA survey templates provided by FEMA is to properly configure them to support the particularities of the event, the damage assessment method employed, and the target audience for the surveys.


Typically the templates will be used as starting points to configure ad-hoc PDA surveys to serve the needs of a single event. In fact, the templates may be used to publish not just one, but several PDA surveys for a single event. For example, a PDA survey may be configured to support initial damage reports by the public, and a second one to support door to door damage assessments by skilled teams. You may also want to configure different PDA surveys to split damage assessments by geographic area, etc.


The purpose of configuring ad-hoc PDA surveys is to optimize the damage assessments efforts in the field as much as possible, and guarantee the highest quality incoming data. Configuring and optimizing the FEMA templates requires knowledge of the XLSForm standard specification. To learn more about using XLSForm with Survey123 Connect refer to the following materials:



Here are some common techniques that you may want to employ to tailor your own FEMA PDA templates:


Hiding questions and setting defaults: It can be very frustrating for field personnel to repeatedly have to complete sections of the form with information that is common to all the damage assessments. A good example is the Incident ID Number or the Incident Begin Date. Since you will be publishing the PDA surveys specifically for a particular event, both the Incident ID and Begin Date will be known for all Damage Assessments. For local events, location information such as the State and even the County will never vary and will be known in advance. So, why should field personnel need to worry about these recurring details? With Survey123, you can configure forms to hide these questions from the end-user and still submit the correct/complete data by setting up default values before you publish the survey.


Reducing choices in lists: The PDA forms include a number of lists to facilitate data entry. This includes lists such as US states and territories, US counties, event types (drought, earthquake, tornado, etc.) and many others. You can configure your PDA surveys to only show choices that make sense for your effort. For example, in assessing damage caused by flooding around the mouth of the Columbia River, you may want to limit choices in the States list to Oregon and Washington; in the Counties list to Pacific (for Washington) and Clatsop (for Oregon). From the Event Types list, you will want to remove choices such as drought, tropical storm, tropical depression and any others that do not apply to the area.


Removal of questions: The FEMA provided PDA templates are exhaustive and in certain sections include detailed information that can only be completed accurately by trained staff. You may want to remove certain questions, particularly when you choose to provide access to IA PDA surveys for citizens and businesses to self-assess damage to their own property. Non-trained citizens may not know the difference between the different levels of damage to a housing unit (minor, major, destroyed…) for example. In these cases, you may want to simplify the form as much as possible and ensure only critical information is included, such as the location of the damage, photos, insurance information, type of building, etc.  Questions can be removed from the XLSForm FEMA template before publishing.


Cosmetic changes: The look and feel of the survey, including the color of the header, description, thumbnail, title, and other aspects can be adjusted to meet the branding guidelines of your own organization.


Offline maps: Once a Survey123 form is downloaded into the Survey123 app, it can be used even if disconnected from the network. This is critical in situations where communications are interrupted due to the event itself, or when working in very remote areas that lack network signals. Now, the map included to help validate the location of a damage assessment needs to be configured to operate offline in the specific area where the damage assessments will be performed. Just for clarity, even if the map is not configured for offline use, the PDA Form will be functional. That is, even without an offline map, field teams will be able to capture the location of damage assessments by leveraging the built-in GNSS receiver in their mobile device, or an external one. Configuring an offline map provides field teams with a visual clue to validate that the location provided by their device is accurate.  The map is also useful to define the location of the damage when the field team can’t physically get close to it. For example, when describing damage across a river or road or within private property.


Collaboration through the Inbox: This is more of a configuration of the survey rather than an adjustment to the template, but it is a consideration worth highlighting. By enabling the Survey123 Inbox before publishing your survey, you will allow field teams to see each other’s work. That is, field teams will be able to request to see damage assessments submitted by others from the Survey123 app. This is really useful to avoid work overlaps, but also to help teams pickup on each other’s work. For example, one team may start a damage assessment and a second team may review and finish it.


Securing Access to Your PDA Surveys


Once your PDA surveys have been tailored to your needs and published into ArcGIS, it is important to control who is granted access. This is all easily done through the Survey123 website.


Survey123 for ArcGIS supports the use of private and public forms.


  • Private forms leverage the ArcGIS security model so your PDA survey can be privately shared with one or more groups defined in your ArcGIS organization. Access to private groups require end users to log into Survey123 before damage assessments can be submitted. When working with private surveys, all damage assessments automatically carry information about the person that originally submitted the data and the last person that changed the data. This is known as Editor Tracking and is a critical component to clearly understand who is doing what.


A not so widely known feature of Survey123 is that it supports social logins. Through social logins, personnel performing damage assessments can be given a choice to use their Facebook or Gmail credentials to authenticate against ArcGIS. This is of particular importance when working with groups of volunteers, who may not remember new ArcGIS credentials assigned to them.


See the Sharing your survey with members of your organization video tutorial for more details.


  • Public forms allow any person, even without an ArcGIS account, to submit data using Survey123.  This is of particular importance to support individual assessments. While public forms are supported by the Survey123 field app, the most common use of public forms is through the Survey123 web app. Links to your survey forms can be posted in social media, websites, and shared with local media.


A discussion around public forms with Survey123 is available through the Getting Started with Public Surveys GeoNet blog post.


Visualizing, Analyzing and Reporting Submitted Damage Assessments


The Survey123 website includes built-in visualization and reporting capabilities, which can be leveraged out of the box against all submitted damage assessments. For example:


  • Survey overview: Describes how many damage assessments have been submitted, when, and by whom.
  • Data: Allows you to visualize all damage assessments, as they come in, with both a map and a table view. You can also filter and look into the details of specific assessments as well as download and even print damage assessment reports following your own custom designed report templates.
  • Analyze: Aggregates all information submitted providing a variety of maps and charts to choose from.


For a quick overview of capabilities available through the Survey123 website, please refer to this video-tutorial.

We just released a minor update to Survey123 including a few high priority fixes. Here are the highlights:


Survey123 Website


  • Submit photos in public surveys where query capabilities are disabled: This is quite a critical fix for all of you working with public surveys involving sensitive data.  Starting with this update, you can protect data from your public surveys by disabling queries in your survey feature layer and allow anonymous users to submit data and photos. We announced this issue as resolved for the Survey123 field app in a previous update and now this update to the Survey123 web app completes the fix so you can submit from either the Survey123 web or native apps. For more details on working with Public Surveys and disabling queries to protect your data, refer to Getting Started with Public Surveys 

The fix described above will take effect on all newly published surveys. If you already have a survey published and you are running into this issue, then you will need to republish the survey (from Connect or Web Designer as appropriate).  Republishing your survey will not cause the loss of any previously captured data.  In the event that any data needs to be deleted during the publishing process, then you will be warned in advance.  For details on situations where republishing a survey may cause data loss refer to the Publish your survey—Survey123 for ArcGIS | ArcGIS help topic.

  • BUG-000114225 Report generated from the Survey123 for ArcGIS website shows incorrect time. Also discussed at date/time error on report beta .This now has been fixed.


Survey123 Field App (Build 3.0.149)


The Survey123 Field App has been updated across all supported platforms. You can download it into your mobile device from the Google Play, Amazon and Apple app stores.


  • Missing data in the first record of a repeat group when the survey is open from the Inbox, Draft, Sent or Outbox folders or the repeat_count XLSForm column is used: This issue has been described through BUG-000115742, BUG-000115754 as well as GeoNet threads including problem when using a repeat count limit, in survey123 mobile app only , Data Lost When Saved as Draft and Can you edit a repeat of an already submitted record?   Thanks to all who helped us narrow down the issue and/or validated the fix through the Survey123 Early Adopter Program.
  • Fixes to autocomplete appearance: The autocomplete appearance is used to provide auto-suggest (or auto-complete) capabilities to lists in Survey123. This update includes a handful of important fixes to problems you reported. For example, autocomplete now supports the use of default values, html formatting for choice labels in the list (see details athtml formating select one list) and also shows previously entered data when working with surveys open from the Inbox (referenced by Stefano Mauri at Populate select_one question with a value from asset).  For completeness on the status of the autocomplete appearance, you should also know that there is still some work pending regarding calculations and autocomplete. Specifically, calculations will not trigger automatically when your survey record is open from the Inbox, Sent or Draft folders, if you choose to apply the autocomplete appearance to your select_one question (this fix is targeted for our 3.1 release in October 2018).
  • Added error explanation when attempting to submit to a feature service that doesn't allow users to add features: This caused a headache to Carl Holt and we do not want that to happen! See the Send Error Geonet thread for details.
  • Fixed override issues on geopoint questions: This issue is described in detail at Survey123 calculating geopoint defaults back to GPS  In short, with this release, the location from your device will no longer override the value of a geopoint question if an expression is added to the XLSForm calculation column.  This ensures that the geopoint value will always be set from your calculation.
  • Strike-through fix on labels of choices: As described by Braden Burkholder, the labels of choices in dropdown lists were stroked-through in some specific conditions (select_one with minimal appearance within a repeat, with a relevant statement applied and set as required). The issue, which is described at Strikethrough on Repeat Records  has been addressed in this update.  Thanks Branden for finding the problem and helping us validate the fix too through the Early Adopter Program!



Other Notes


  • Survey123 Connect (Build 3.0.142) has also been update. This release of Survey123 Connect includes very minor fixes.
  • We have not made available the source code of this update with AppStudio for ArcGIS. This update is built using AppStudio for ArcGIS version 3.1, which is still not publicly available. We will get the source code in AppStudio up to date once 3.1 is released in September 2018.
  • A What is New historic archive is available at What's new in Survey123—Survey123 for ArcGIS | ArcGIS 
  • Our next planned release is 3.1, which is targeted for October 2018. If you would like to learn more about what is coming with the release and want to test your production surveys with it, I encourage you to sign up to our Survey123 Early Adopter Program.  Key features planned for 3.1 include:

    • Keep attention to and provide fixes to critical software defects that may get on your way.
    • Add support for working with external GNSS receivers in the Survey123 field app, so you can not only get more accurate location data, but also be able to store all GNSS metadata from the device (FixType, VDOP, HDOP, Num of Satellites, FixTime, Horizontal Accuracy etc)
    • Add support for Question Piping in both the Survey123 field and web apps, so you can embed within the label of a question a response to a previous question in your form.