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2019

[Updated Dec 18]

 

One more update to Survey123 to close out the year! A day like today in 1901 Walt Disney was born. Good opportunity to remember him!

 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book... Walter Elias Disney was a visionary. He brought animated cartoons to the next level, introducing new techniques, modernizing classic fairy tales and synchronizing music with his creations. He truly transformed a marginal form of communication into an entire new industry. Nobody has won more Oscars (22) or being nominated so many times (59). A pioneer of the American animation industry.

 

The 3.7 release is now available across all supported platforms. You can download this update from the iOS and Google Play stores or from our Survey123 Resources page. The build numbers are 3.7.55 for the field app and 3.7.59 for Connect. The Survey123 web app has also been updated.

 

This is a minor, yet important update, as it brings a handful of critical enhancements and fixes.

 

Inbox Enhancements

 

A lot of work in this update went into making sure you can work with the Inbox more reliably, faster and with many more records. The Survey123 field app Inbox allows you to update existing GIS records. If you are not familiar with the Inbox, I suggest you take a quick look at this video:

 

 

For more details, see the Prepare for editing existing survey data—Survey123 for ArcGIS | Documentation help topic.

 

With this release, the performance of the Inbox has been greatly improved, allowing you to more quickly download records onto your device; twice as fast as before! The Inbox can also now handle many more features. With this update you will be able to comfortably work with a few thousand records in your Inbox, even if you are downloading complex lines, polygons or have many related records. Overall, the Inbox is now much faster and less memory intensive. You will note a great improvement making this feature more reliable, particularly on low-end devices.

 

Based on our own tests, we can define an upper limit for the Inbox around ~40k (for points) and ~8k (for lines or polygons). Having said this, the intended and practical limit of the Inbox is lower; around a few thousand records. The philosophy of the Inbox is that of a 'to do' list where you can download surveys for field-users to process. For example, in an asset inspection workflow, each of the records in the Inbox, would represent an inspection for the end user to complete. You will not want to have the Inbox populated with every asset you have. Instead, you will want to use a filter to have the Inbox show only assets where inspections are due. You can apply Inbox queries using the username of the logged in user to tailor the Inbox contents for every person in your field crew. For the benefit of field users, try to keep your Inbox light, only showing records to be processed. Stay away from using the Inbox to download every record in your dataset, particularly if you have many tens of thousands of records.

 

Enhanced Numbers and Calculator appearances

 

Work with the numbers and calculator appearances was initially triggered by data-loss issues reported through GeoNet (Using Numbers Appearance Type Sometimes Will Not Store Value in Field). We addressed this issue and also took our time to revisit the usability of these controls.

 

The numbers and calculator XLSForm appearances are designed to accelerate data capture, providing specialized keypads that replace the generic screen keyboard provided by the operating system in your device.

 

As their names suggest, the numbers appearance will show a numeric keypad, and the calculator appearance will show... you guessed it: a calculator. These specialized keypads are also shown close to the question on which the data will be entered, as opposed to the bottom of the screen. This allows for faster data entry.

 

Throughout this release we performed many usability tests in various representative forms and against multiple form factors and devices. We refined the look, feel and behavior of these keypads with a focus on making data capture more efficient and intuitive.  If you have used these keypads in the past, you will notice a noticeable improvement. If you are new to them, you may want to give them a go!

 

You can use the numbers and calculator appearances with integer, decimal and text questions. To learn more, see the Appearance—Survey123 for ArcGIS | Documentation help topic.

 

 

 Geode sub-meter GNSS receivers are now supported

 

With this update we are adding support for Geode sub-meter GNSS receivers from Esri Partner Juniper Systems. The Geode receiver is compatible with Windows, iOS and Android devices. You can learn more about how to connect the Survey123 field app to an external GNSS receiver through Marika's Direct GNSS external receiver support in Survey123 3.3 blog post. On top of support for Geode, Survey123 also works nicely with the Juniper Systems Mesa 2 rugged tablet (available with either Android or Windows operating systems).

 

External GNSS receivers, such Geode, allow you capture sub-meter accuracy location data. Additionally, using XLSForm expressions you can easily use location metadata from the device to power data validation rules as well as to simply store the metadata for further analysis in the back-office.

 

 

Check out the Survey123 Tricks of the Trade: XLSForms and location quality blog post or Pulling data from geopoint questions to get the best out of your Geode with the Survey123 field app.

 

Other fixes and minor enhancements

 

This update includes a lot more other good fixes and enhancements. I wanted to briefly highlight a few:


Survey123 web app (aka web form)

 

Fixes to Survey123 web forms apply to newly published surveys. If you have an existing web form already published and want to benefit from these fixes, you can re-publish your form.

 

  • BUG-000126543 - Encountering error "Failed to submit. - Cannot set property 'z' of null' when attempting to submit survey in edit mode (error occurs when submitting a record to a survey which created on top of a standalone table).
  • BUG-000111892 Location for a Geopoint question can not be selected in a Survey opened in the browser of an iOS 10.3.3/10.3.2 device.


Survey123 Connect and Field App

 

  • BUG-000127248 - Location Expressions in watermarks display full JSON object [Updated Dec 18]
  • BUG-000115279 Hosted feature layers created from Survey123 Connect, do not produce shapefiles once exported with valid/visible geometry.
  • BUG-000102165 The default values of non-relevant questions are not preserved when the values are configured with a 'relevant' expression in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS.
  • BUG-000125142 Survey123 for ArcGIS gets stuck at "Getting Service Information" when trying to submit a survey over VPN after the survey had been open for over 10 minutes and the connection to the internet or VPN have been disconnected during this time.
  • ENH-000115846 Review how Survey123 makes query requests from the Inbox to increase performance.
  • BUG-000116741 Survey123 Field App looks like it's frozen when refreshing Inbox with many records (more than 1000).

  • BUG-000123911 After increasing the maximum feature count for a feature service, Survey123 3.5.164 for iOS crashes and can't sync more than 1000 records to Inbox.
  • ENH-000119205 Provide the ability for Survey123 to load more than 1000 records in the Inbox.
  • BUG-000125947 Microsoft Surface Pen is incompatible with the Survey123 field app.
  • ENH-000119711 Add survey version to Survey Summary page.
    • The version number of your survey, as described in the settings worksheet of your XLSForm, will be displayed in the survey details page in the Survey123 field app.
  • ENH-000120747 Use appearance to enable/disable regional formatting (thousand separator) for a question.
    • As of this release, no thousand separators will be automatically added to your integer and decimal questions. The thousands-sep appearance can be used to add thousand separators to decimal questions.
  • Various UX enhancements to the map control when editing the geometry of geotrace and geoshape questions.
  • Survey123 Community pane is now hidden in Connect. A Community tab has been added.


Internationalization

 

  • BUG-000115321 Survey123 Connect. The Cancel button is not translated in the 'Select your active ArcGIS Portal' window in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS 3.0 which is installed on German operating system (OS).
  • BUG-000115322 Survey123 Connect. The "Close" button is not translated in the "About Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS" window of the Survey123 Connect 3.0 which is installed on German OS.
  • BUG-000098942 Survey123 Connect: Untranslated "Show Details...", "Hide Details" and "OK" buttons when validating input.
  • ENH-000121448 Survey123 Field ap. For time and dateTime questions, the placeholder words for 'Date' and 'Time' should be displayed in the chosen language.
  • BUG-000126692 Calculation field returns the error message, "Invalid Number" on validation in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS on French operating system.

 

Documentation

 

  • ENH-000118417 When using the Report (Beta) function on the Survey123 website to display a geopoint, there is no documented method of setting the map extent for the record.
  • ENH-000126633 Addition to the Survey123 documentation: While Survey123 can perform calculations on text fields, they will not be honored in the Survey123 webform; Use concat() or join() instead.

 

Next Steps

 

We have a number of new features and enhancements lined up for upcoming releases. If you want to know more about them, join our Survey123 Early Adopter Community (EAC). You will find documentation about on-going work, forums for your feedback and of course, the Beta software.

 

Available for testing now through EAC:

 

  • Survey123 Feature Report enhancements: PDF output and a new preview mode to generate free PDF watermarked outputs. 
  • Survey123 Web Form JavaScript API: A straight-forward JS API for web developers to embed, style and interact with Survey123 web forms within their web applications.
  • New map capabilities: Support for mobile map packages, web maps and vector tile packages in the Survey123 field app.
  • Windows setup for the Survey123 website and REST API (for Enterprise users).
  • Support for custom JS functions in the XLSForm pulldata function (Survey123 Connect and Field App): Embed custom JS code in your XLSForm expressions.

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