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Understanding User Types: A Survey123 for ArcGIS Guide

Blog Post created by ichivite-esristaff Employee on Nov 28, 2018

[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.

  

Editor

 

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:

 

Creator

Field

Worker

EditorViewer
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.

 

Summary

 

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. 

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