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ArcGIS Survey123

113 Posts authored by: ichivite-esristaff Employee

We are happy to announce a new update to Survey123. This update only touches on the web components of Survey123 (Survey123 website, report services and the web app) and it is available in anticipation to our official 3.10 release, which will be available later in July, including updates to Survey123 Connect, the field app and the documentation.

 

The main driver for this early update is to bring to you a number of important fixes into the Survey123 web app, but since sometimes it is hard to decouple fixes from new features, you will find in this release some extra juice. One important note to make is that new features in this update are not officially documented. The documentation will come in just three weeks in late July, along with updates to other components of Survey123 like Connect and the field app.

 

Enough preamble, here are the highlights:

 

Survey123 Reports (Price reduction and increased capabilities)

 

Survey123 includes out of the box functionality to help you generate high quality documents from records submitted from the Survey123 web or field apps. This is extremely useful when you need to present your Survey123 data following strict formatting guidelines, for example when mimicking legacy paper forms or to comply with legal documents. If you are not familiar with Survey123 reports, check the Understanding Survey123 Feature Reports blog post and our Feature report templates—Survey123 for ArcGIS | Documentation help topic.

 

With this update, the price of this ArcGIS Online premium service drops from 2.5 credits to 0.5 credits per report. We are aware that this was an important aspect for many of you and we want to thank to all of you that took the time to discuss with Esri staff your use cases and reasoning behind your request. We also want to thank all your comments and community discussion at the Reduce Excessive Credit Cost of Survey123 Feature Reports ArcGIS idea thread.

 

Additionally, you can now try new expanded report template syntax, allowing you to include in your reports summary and statistics sections. This is a significant shift for the report capabilities and here is why: So far, the Survey123 report syntax allowed you to create 'feature reports', that is, a report representing a single survey record. Say for example you use Survey123 to perform routine asset inspections. When using feature reports, your reports include information about a single inspection: The date, status, comments, photos, a map of the location of the inspection and potentially data from related records such as all the incidents found. In feature reports, one report represents a single survey record.

 

Using the new summary section syntax in report templates, you can now create reports that include many survey records. For example, you could create a single report that includes all inspections ever performed, or all inspections in the last week. In a summary report, one report can include many survey records. Summary sections are generally shown as tables. In the following animation you can see a typical workflow where a summary section is used in a report to present a collection of survey records. The report is done against all water hydrants inspected in the past 18 days and it breaks down inspections in color coded tables (summary sections), one for each condition assessed.

 

Survey123 Summary Reports

 

Below is a still screenshot of the report. In it you will be able to appreciate that a small section is included at the beginning with some statistics: Number of hydrants inspected and hydrants that need maintenance. That is, of course, a statistics section, which is also part of the new report template syntax that this update includes.

 

Water Hydrant Summary Table

The new statistics and summary sections bring quite a bit of flexibility to your reports. Best of all, you can combine them all in a single report with a feature report section too. 

 

Back to the early discussion about the price, it will be worth clarifying how summary and statistics account for the price of your reports. Essentially, a report in Survey123, regardless of how many summary and statistic sections are included in it, will always cost 0.5 credits. In the event that you include additional feature report sections, the cost will increase at a rate of 0.5 credits per survey record included. For example:

 

Report includingArcGIS Online credits
1 feature report (one survey record)0.5 credits
1 summary section (as many survey records as you want)0.5 credits
4 summary sections (as shown above in the example)0.5 credits
1 feature report + n summary sections + n statistics sections0.5 credits
5 feature reports (5 survey records)0.5 * 5 = 2.5 credits

 

Photos and maps, can only be included within a feature report section.

      

To help you get started with the new report template syntax, we have added the capability to auto-generate sample report templates with summary and statistics sections as shown below. We will also be releasing a dedicated blog with details on this new syntax in the next few days.

 

 

Enhancements to Survey123 designer

 

Survey123 designer lets you visually create your own smart forms. With this update we are introducing the new Ranking question type. The Ranking question allows users to compare items within a list and sort them in order of preference. Based on the order selected, each item gets a numeric score.

 

Ranking Survey123

 

The main use cases for this type of functionality originate in online surveys. For this reason, this question type will not be initially supported in the Survey123 field app.

 

To avoid bias in responses, the ranking question can be configured to arrange the choices in the list randomly. This can easily be done right from within Survey123 designer.

 

Management view for ArcGIS administrators

 

If your account has administrative privileges in your ArcGIS organization, you will find a new 'Organization' tab in the Survey123 website. This new view, will let you easily find and manage any survey published in your organization. You will be able to update the surveys, change their sharing, etc.

 

 

 

Other fixes and enhancements

 

Last but not least comes a list of various fixes and other enhancements included in this update. It is a long list, and it includes work in very critical areas. As I described earlier in this blog, this is really the main driver for this update, to bring to you as quickly as possible the many fixes and enhancements listed here:

 

  • Web Accessibility: Support keyboard navigation in the Survey123 web app (except for ranking question type).
  • BUG-000131124 A user within a Portal for ArcGIS Organization with a username of 20 or more characters long of only numbers for example,12345678901234567890, is prompted with the following error message, "Unable to publish Details: For input string: "12345678901234567890" when publishing a survey in the Survey123 Web Designer".

  • BUG-000126461 Unable to generate a stakeholder view layer when the source of the survey is a hosted feature layer view.

  • BUG-000126792 Attributes in a field created in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS 3.6.1.137 using the select_one question type that reference a list_name with True and False choices do not populate in Feature Reports exported from Survey123 for ArcGIS.

  • BUG-000127161 The Basemap Gallery does not honor the custom sorting settings configured in the Basemap Gallery settings of the organization when a survey is accessed from the Survey123 for ArcGIS website. ([Design, web app] Refine the map list for geo questions to respect org settings)

  • BUG-000129766 Public-facing survey's service URL exposes the survey's data, even if the survey's sharing settings are set to private. (Restrict permissions on public surveys)

  • BUG-000131590 Pasting an image in the note's description of Survey123 Web Designer fails to publish the survey, returns the error message, "Invalid protocol: data"

  • BUG-000130588 Survey123 for ArcGIS website fails to show the note in preview mode when a note includes '%' and returns the following error message, "Error Initializing Form - URIError URI malformed." (Percentage sign % in group description or note question which is inside group and page cannot be Previewed)

  • ENH-000123861 Create options for summary of data in report for survey123 ([Report] Support summary report or summary section inside a report)

  • BUG-000127719 [Data]Edit in Individual Response with calculation may change original value after loading

  • BUG-000122381 Unable to view the hosted feature layer of a survey in ArcMap, published to ArcGIS Enterprise from Survey123 website.

  • BUG-000130716 The owner is unable to view any data and receives the message, "An error occurred while loading the page. Some features may not work" in the Data tab in the Survey123 for ArcGIS website when choosing 'Only add new records' in the 'What can submitters do' section. ([Data] Error message "An error occurred while loading the page. Some features may not work." raised during loading the page due to lack of Query capability in the survey layer)

  • BUG-000130065 Individual response: map cannot display correctly when the survey has a geopoint question has a default map which the spatial reference is neither geographic (4326) nor web mercator (3857)

  • BUG-000108603 When adding a geopoint question to a survey using the Survey123 for ArcGIS web designer, it is possible to select a non-web mercator basemap for the question, even if the basemap is not compatible with the survey.
  • BUG-000105581 A Survey123 for ArcGIS survey created on survey123.arcgis.com web hub which includes geopoint question with a user defined home location does not zoom to the correct location in the Survey123 field app; instead it zooms to the 0,0 origin point. (On publish, write Survey123 App - compatible survey settings)

  • BUG-000109078 BUG-000110137 Default map of Geo Point question from website will not work on Survey123 app

  • BUG-000130365 Select_One question records the first choice clicked in a repeat, instead of the final choice selected (select_one in a repeat cannot reflect the selected status in UI as expected)

  • BUG-000130473 If a page does not have a label, any Single Choice question in it cannot work

  • BUG-000127417 With Integrated Windows Authentication (IWA) portals, the geopoint question in Survey123 for ArcGIS gets stuck in Loading state on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers.

  • BUG-000125138 Signature attachments submitted via webform are not visible in AGOL

  • BUG-000131123 A user within a Portal for ArcGIS Organization with a username that is 20 or more characters long of only numbers (ex. 12345678901234567890) is prompted with the error message, "You cannot submit records to the survey since you are not Submitter or the Owner" when accessing a Survey123 form in the web.

  • BUG-000130565 When taking a survey in the web browser created in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS and a question has the 'minimal' appearance chosen and 'readonly' set to yes, the user is still able to select an answer for the survey (Read only minimal questions can still take value)

  • BUG-000130090 Geopoint question with the 'read-only' parameter enabled does not capture the latitude or longitude when filling the survey through the Survey123 for ArcGIS web app. (Read-only behavior of locate in Geopoint question)

  • BUG-000127924 When a 'View' URL is configured from a Survey123 web form which has pages, it does not show the questions.

  • BUG-000126498 In Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS, an embedded web form fails to reflect edits performed on a geopoint structured using the relevant fields and calculations in an Excel form.

  • BUG-000125101 The error message, "Error Initializing form.... Failed to load data from" is returned when opening a survey in the Survey123 for ArcGIS website that has been configured with a JavaScript extension in Survey123 Connect to pull data from an existing feature service.

  • BUG-000124744 HTML markup codes appear at the start of the published survey in Survey123 for ArcGIS.

  • BUG-000128852 Survey123 feature reports fail to generate when feature layer name contains accented character (example: é)

  • BUG-000125498 The bit.ly link that is generated by Survey123 will generate a 404 error response when navigating through the browser intermittently.

  • BUG-000131376 Adding a new signature to a survey via web using the edit URL does not save the changes if using a mobile device.

  • BUG-000130958 In the Survey123 for ArcGIS web app, the today() function in the calculation column of an XLSX survey file does not return a value if it is a hidden field with an 'esri:field:type' set to DATE.

  • ENH-000123510 Send related record information to webhook providers.

 

Next steps

 

Officially, our 3.10 update is scheduled for July 23, 2020. On this date we will update Survey123 Connect, the field app and also include further work in the Survey123 website, web app and report services. We are furiously working towards having everything ready for you on that date. If you want to know what is coming, I encourage you to join our Survey123 Early Adopter Community. You will be able to download the Beta version of the software and provide feedback to the team. Additionally, we will share more information about the 3.10 release at the Esri User Conference.

The Survey123 Early Adopter Community (EAC) helps you access the latest Beta builds of the software. You can sign in with your existing Esri account and gain access to software downloads, documentation on upcoming features and discussion forums.

 

We have just updated EAC with new Beta versions of Survey123. You can test the Survey123 website, web app, field app and Survey123 Connect across all supported platforms. Below is a list of some of the Beta features available for testing:

 

As a general rule, we prefer feedback regarding our Beta releases through the Early Adopter Community Forums. We like to keep discussions in GeoNet for the released version of the software. Keeping things separate avoids potential confusion.

 

One question, many photos

 

Configure image questions in your Survey123 forms to allow end users to associate multiple photos with it. Below is a screenshot of Survey123 designer, showing the new options we added to give you more control.

 

 

If using Survey123 Connect, you can now apply the multiline appearance to your image questions to support capturing multiple photos. You can also use XLSForm functions such as count-selected() against image questions in your calculations, constraint and relevant columns. This allows you to do things like: store the photo count as a GIS attribute along with the record, force users to take a minimum and a maximum of photos, etc.

 

We want to make this feature available in our July update. Waiting for your last word! More info for Connect users here, and for designer here.

 

Map enhancements in Survey123 Connect

 

Survey123 Connect now lets you easily configure maps in your survey so you can use your own web maps, mobile map packages, offline map areas, etc. You can also use extended XLSForm syntax to control exactly what each of the maps in your survey will show. A new Linked Content section allows you to browser for existing maps in your organization, so end users of your survey can easily access them from the app.

 

 

All of this may already be somewhat familiar to you because the released software has this feature flagged as Beta.

 Your feedback is important now more than ever as this is ready to be shipping in July. Learn about this feature and more mapping enhancements here.

 

Survey123 organizational settings

 

A collection of Survey123 organizational settings can now be controlled by ArcGIS administrators. Use them to help users and Survey123 authors be more effective and bring consistency to your organization. You can access these settings from the Survey123 website when you are logged with a user with administration privileges.  As shown in the screenshot below, there are a number of settings available.

 


Summary reports

 

Do you wish to create a report template including a table for all records, or a selection set in your survey layer? Do you also want to add statistics for these records? Then it will be worth learning about the extended report template syntax.  Find all the details here.

 

Custom JavaScript functions and pulldata()

 

This is for advanced XLSForm ninjas only. Invoke a custom JavaScript function using the pulldata() XLSForm function. This allows you to model complex logic in JavaScript syntax that would be difficult to express in XLSForms (or not even possible). You can check for duplicate values in repeats, lookup values from web services, perform point in polygon queries and much more. 

 

While this capability has been available in the Early Adopter Program for quite some time, we are now aiming to release it in July 2020.  We made quite a few enhancements in Survey123 Connect to help you test your JavaScript functions and also enabled execution of your own code in the Survey123 web app too.  More info here.

 

Survey123 website installer

 

The Windows installer for the Survey123 website is virtually ready to go. This is for those of you who want to install the Survey123 website locally rather than having survey123.arcgis.com configured to work against your ArcGIS Enterprise. You can now test our release candidate before we officially make it available! Info here.

 

And much more...

 

There are many hidden gems available through the Early Adopter Program to test. You can find a more complete list of features for the Survey123 website here, and a list of other features for Connect and the field app here.  You will find that the Beta builds also address many bug fixes and other minor, yet important, enhancements you have requested via Esri Technical Support and GeoNet.

By definition, a public survey is accessible to anyone who wants to submit data to it, but that does not mean that anyone should be able to look at the data itself. If your public Survey123 form contains sensitive information, you should configure your survey to prevent users in the public domain from downloading, querying or changing already submitted data. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find public surveys where the security configuration of the survey is not set  appropriately, allowing unauthorized access to the survey’s data. This article describes best practice for securing the data of surveys published in the Survey123 web designer. If you are interested in securing data for a public survey published with Survey123 Connect, refer to Securing data in public surveys (Survey123 Connect) .

 

If you are not familiar with the basics of public surveys, refer to Getting Started with Public Surveys.

                        

 

Sharing your survey publicly while keeping your data private

 

Technically speaking, you can control the sharing of your survey from the Survey123 website as well as from ArcGIS.com. The easiest and safest way to share your surveys is through the Survey123 website. Using the ArcGIS.com website is more error prone and can lead you to inadvertently share, and expose your data.

 

To share your survey publicly:

 

  • Sign in to the Survey123 website at survey123.arcgis.com.
  • From the survey gallery, open the Collaborate tab of your survey

  • The Submitter panel controls who can submit data to your survey. While in the Submitter panel, look for the section named 'Who can submit to this survey?' and check the Everyone (Public) option to share your survey publicly. 

 

If the option to share your survey publicly is missing, contact your ArcGIS administrator.

                        

  • Scroll down the page and look for the 'What can submitters do?' section. Check the 'Only add new records' option.
  • Click on Save at the bottom to persist all changes.

At this moment, your survey is shared publicly, allowing anyone to submit data through both the Survey123 web and field apps. You can get the link to your survey from the top of the Collaborate tab and distribute the link with your users. Since you have restricted access to 'Only add new records' in the Collaborate tab, it will not be possible to query, update, delete or download your survey data through the Survey123 web or field apps. Your survey's feature layer will also be secure, preventing any type of access (other than adding new records), from other Esri, third party apps or programmatic access.

 

Sharing your survey results privately for use within the Survey123 website

 

Your survey data is useful for people to make decisions, so at some point you will need to share that data with people who need it. Through the Collaborate tab, you can privately share this data with members of your ArcGIS organization so they can view, analyze and even download the data from the Survey123 website.

 

  • From the Collaborate tab of your survey, switch to the Viewer panel.
  • Look for the "Who can view results of this survey?" and check the groups within your organization that should have access to your survey's data.
  • Click on Save to persist changes.

Now that you have shared the results of your survey, users with access to the survey results will be able to look at the data from the Survey123 website using the Overview, Data and Analyze tabs of the Survey123 website. You can get the survey results link from the top of the Collaborate tab and distribute it within your organization or alternatively ask users to login into the survey123.arcgis.com website to see the survey results.

 

A deeper view into how all of this works

 

The Collaborate tab in the Survey123 website is meant to make the process for sharing and securing your data easy and error-free. Under the covers, sharing and access control to your survey data is managed through the use of ArcGIS feature layers and hosted feature layer views. These layers are saved in folder created in the ArcGIS account of the survey owner.  Next, we are going to look at these feature layer views in detail.

 

  • Log into the arcgis.com website and click on the My Content tab.
  • Look for your survey's folder in the Content tab. Note that Survey123 folders carry a Survey prefix followed by the name of your survey. It will look something like this:

Here is a brief explanation of the items in your survey directory:

 

  • A Form item: This ArcGIS item contains the definition of your survey with its questions, rules, look and feel and other properties. This item allows end-users to use your form from the Survey123 web or field apps.
  • A Hosted Feature Layer View with a "_fieldworker" suffix in its name. This item is created by the Survey123 web designer when the survey is first published. This item is used by the Survey123 web and field apps to submit data into ArcGIS. Permissions and sharing for this item are controlled via the Submitter panel in the Collaborate tab of the Survey123 website.
  • A Hosted Feature Layer View with a "_stakeholder" suffix in its name. This item is created by the Survey123 website when the survey results are shared through the Collaborate tab. This item is used to control access to the survey results through the Survey123 website.  If the Viewer panel of the Collaborate tab has not been used to share the survey results, this item will be missing.
  • A Hosted Feature Layer. This is where the actual data of your survey is stored. This item is created by the Survey123 web designer when the survey is published. You should never share this item.

 

The Survey123 website, through the Collaborate tab, manages the sharing and permissions set in each of these items. The website guarantees that the sharing across the items is consistent so the Survey123 website and apps work while keeping your data secure. Manually controlling the sharing of these items through the ArcGIS.com website can lead to inconsistencies and inadvertently expose your data.

 

  • The Form item is shared with all groups in the Submitter and Viewer panels of the Collaborate tab. Since the Form item simply describes questions and rules in your survey, it does not provide access to your data. If your survey is shared publicly for submits, this item will be shared publicly. If your survey is shared with specific groups in your organization for viewing results, this item will be shared with these groups as well.
  • The _fieldworker feature layer view is shared with users who need to submit data (submitter panel in the Collaborate tab). If your survey is shared publicly, this item will also be shared publicly. Access privileges in this item control how your data is accessed according to your choices in the Submitter panel of the Collaborate tab.
  • The _stakeholder view is shared with users who need to view survey results. Access privileges are controlled through the Viewer panel of the Collaborate tab.
  • The Hosted Feature Layer is kept private so only the owner of the survey has access to it. As long as there are _fieldworker and _stakeholder views, the Survey123 website and apps do not require direct access to this item. This item should always remain private to the owner of the survey.

 

Never share your survey feature layer. Keep your survey feature layer private and let the views do the sharing.

                        

 

For a more in-depth exploration of the specific security settings present in the _fieldworker and _stakeholder views, you can follow these steps:

 

  • From the ArcGIS.com Content panel, while looking at your survey's folder, click on the _fieldworker feature layer view.
  • Switch to the Settings tab and scroll down to explore all the permissions.

 

The most restrictive permissions in the _fieldworker view that enable submissions from a public survey while preventing access to your data are as follows:

 

SettingComments
EditingEnabled. Editing is required for the Survey123 web and field apps to submit data.
Enable SyncDisabled.
What kind of editing is allowed?Add enabled. Delete and Update disabled.
What features can editors see?Select this option: Editors can't see any features, even those they add
What access do anonymous editors (not signed in) have?Any option is fine since editors cannot see any features.
Export dataDisabled.

 

Sharing your survey results in web applications and dashboards

 

It is very common to build web mapping applications and dashboards on top of survey data. Enabling access to your survey data from these applications must be done with care, carefully controlling what data is shared and with whom.

 

The best way to enable access to your survey data by third party applications is by creating a new feature layer view on top of your survey's feature layer. By creating a new view, you can better control what data from your survey is shared and with whom, tailoring this to the needs of your third party application.

 

Using your survey's feature layer, fieldworker or stakeholder views to support third party applications is not recommended because in the future you may need to make adjustments to the sharing or permissions of these items to satisfy the needs of your third party application, and these changes can affect the normal behavior of your survey and compromising the security of your survey data.

 

Please read the previous paragraph again. Read it carefully so it sticks! 

 

This is how you can create a new view, for example, to support a web mapping application:

 

  • From your survey's folder in My Content, click on your survey's feature layer to open it's item details page.

 

  • Next click on Create View Layer.

Once your new view layer is created, you can control through the Settings dialog the permissions set on that layer. For example, you can disable editing and make it read-only. Through the Visualization tab, you can also use the feature layer view definition to choose which fields in your feature layer you want to expose.  It is also possible to apply filters to your view to hide certain rows, such as non-vetted submitted survey entries, etc. Finally, you can also share this new view layer according to the needs of your web application, which will likely be different from those of your survey.

 

For more information about working with feature layer views:

 

 

Do's and Don'ts

 

For surveys authored from the Survey123 web designer, the easiest and safest way to control the sharing of your survey and access to your survey results is through the Collaborate tab in the Survey123 website. It is recommended that you use the Collaborate tab for this purpose.

 

Altering the sharing and privileges on your survey items directly through the ArcGIS.com website is more error prone and can lead to a broken survey (for example, a survey that cannot access the _fieldworker view to submit data), or to a survey that exposes your data (through a misconfiguration of the sharing for the feature layer or its feature layer views).

 

It is not recommended that you alter the sharing or security properties of the survey form item or its corresponding feature layer and views. Let the Survey123 website do that for you.

 

Note: You should not need to read this last paragraph, because you read it twice already. In the event that you need to enable access to your survey data for third party applications, it is highly recommended that you create a new feature layer view on top of your survey's feature layer. It is not good practice to use the _fieldworker or _stakeholder views to support third party applications, because the sharing and access needed by your survey and the third party apps are likely very different.

By definition, a public survey is accessible to anyone who wants to submit data to it, but that does not mean that anyone should also be able to look at the data itself. If your public Survey123 form contains sensitive information, you should configure your survey to prevent users in the public domain from downloading, querying or changing already submitted data. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find public surveys where the security configuration of the survey is not set appropriately, allowing unauthorized access to the survey’s data. 

 

This article describes best practice for securing the data of public surveys published from Survey123 Connect. If you are interested in securing data for a public survey published with the Survey123 web designer, refer to Securing data in public surveys (Survey123 web designer) 

 

If you are not familiar with the basics of public surveys, refer to Getting Started with Public Surveys.

                      

A bit of context before we start

 

To properly secure your survey results it is important to understand first some basic concepts.  When you publish a survey using Survey123 Connect, a new folder is created in your ArcGIS account. This folder includes the name of your survey so you can easily find it.  Inside this folder, you will find a Form item and a Feature layer item:

 

  • Form item: The Form item contains the definition of the questionnaire presented to users: The labels of your questions, the calculations, media files and other resources needed to render your form.
  • Feature layer: The feature layer is the item where responses to your survey are stored.

 

In short, the survey folder contains one item (the form item) for the survey questions and one item (the feature layer) for the survey responses.

 

If you are working with sensitive data, you never want to share your surveys source feature layer. Instead, you will want to keep your survey feature layer private, and build feature layer views on top where you can better control the sharing and privilege properties. At the very least, you will want to create two feature layer views:

 

  • A view for the Survey123 web and field apps to use.  This view will allow the apps to add, and if appropriate to edit records in your feature layer.
  • A view for the Survey123 website to use. This view will control who can access the survey results through the Survey123 website, and with what privileges: just view, or also view and edit.

 

Additionally, you may want to create extra views to support other applications, such as ArcGIS Dashboards, Web AppBuilder apps, etc.

 

This article describes in detail how to build these feature layer views and associate them with your survey. If you are not familiar with the concept of feature layer views, I suggest read the Create hosted feature layer views—ArcGIS Online Help | Documentation help topic.

 

Do not create the views too early.

 

Let me put this upfront: as of version 3.9, Survey123 Connect does not like views: Connect does not create views, and does not handle them well when you delete or modify the survey. This is something that is going to change, rendering this whole article unnecessary, but for now bear with me.

 

As stated above, my recommendation is that you always use feature layer views when your survey is shared with people, but from a practical perspective you do not want to create the views too early. Survey design is an iterative process where you will be adding, changing and removing questions from your survey frequently. Some of these changes necessarily affect the schema of the surveys feature layer. If your survey is configured with views, Connect may not be able to change the schema of the source layer. If the schema of the layer is changed, your views will break.

 

For this reason, keep your survey without views for as long as you are working on it and configure the views when you are ready to put your survey in production, right before you share your survey with users.

 

Create a view for the Survey123 website first

 

I said before you will want to create at least two views: One for users who will look at your survey results through the Survey123 website, and another one for users to submit data through the Survey123 web and/or field apps. It is best to start with the view to control access to the survey results.

 

To build the view:

 

  • Login into the Survey123 website
  • Navigate to the Collaborate tab of your survey
  • Switch to the Viewer panel and hit Save.

 

 

 

If you return now to the Survey123 folder under Content in ArcGIS.com, you will notice that a new view has been created for your survey. This view has a 'stakeholder' suffix.

 

 

This new view will control who can use the Survey123 website to look at your survey results.  You will want to use the Viewer panel in the Survey123 website to control this. For example, say that users in a group called 'City of Cilantro' need to be able to look at the results of your survey, create reports and download data. Then you will go into the Collaborate tab, switch to the Viewer panel and share your survey results with that group. At that point, 'City of Cilantro' users can log into the Survey123 website and use the Overview, Data and Analyze tabs to do what they need. 

 

I would not recommend that you modify the sharing of this view through ArcGIS.com. For the Survey123 website to properly work, the sharing of the Form and stakeholder view items must be in sync.  The Collaborate tab in the Survey123 website takes care of that.

 

Create a view for the Survey123 web and field apps next

 

Configuring the view for the Survey123 web and field apps is a bit more involved. We need to create this view manually, then associate the view with the Survey123 Connect survey.

 

  • Log into the arcgis.com website and click on the My Content tab.
  • Click on the Form item to open its item details page, then click on Create View Layer. You can choose any title for your feature layer view.

To make your survey work against your own  feature layer view, you need to configure the submission_url and form_id XLSForm settings in your survey. This can be an error prone process at first. Once you are familiar with this I am sure you will do this with your eyes closed, but here I am going to follow a long but safe route:

 

  • In Survey123 Connect, from the survey gallery, click on New Survey and then choose the Feature Service option.
  • Look for the feature layer view you just created and give your new survey a throw-away name, such as temp or delete_me.

 

  • Open the XLSForm of your temporary new survey and switch to the settings worksheet. Then copy the values in the form_Id and submission_url cells into a text editor or a safe place, so we can paste them later into the original survey.

The submission_url value defines the feature layer (or feature layer view) that the survey is targeting. If empty, Survey123 Connect will create a new feature layer when you publish the survey. If a value is provided, the survey is published targeting the specified layer by the submission_url . The form_id value defines the sub-layer in your feature layer that drives the questions in your survey.

 

  • Back in Survey123 Connect go back to survey gallery, and open the survey that you want to make public.
  • Open the XLSForm, paste the submission_url and form_id values.
  • Save your XLSForm and publish your survey again.

 

The Publish dialog will indicate that your existing survey will be updated to use a custom feature service as specified by the submission URL, as shown in the next screenshot.

 

Now that your survey has been updated to target your own feature layer view, you can share your survey publicly with confidence. We will do that from the Survey123 website.

 

Sharing your survey publicly

 

  • Log into the Survey123 website at survey123.arcgis.com.
  • From the survey gallery, open the Collaborate tab of your survey

  • The Submitter panel controls who can submit data to your survey. While in the Submitter panel, look for the section named 'Who can submit to this survey?' and check the Everyone (Public) option to share your survey publicly. 

If the option to share your survey publicly is missing, contact your ArcGIS administrator.

                      

  • Scroll down the page and look for the 'What can submitters do?' section. Check if not already the 'Only add new records' option and click on Save at the bottom to persist all changes.

At this moment, your survey is shared publicly, allowing anyone to submit data through both the Survey123 web and field apps. You can get the link to your survey from the top of the Collaborate tab and distribute the link with your users. Since you have restricted access to 'Only add new records' in the Collaborate tab, it will not be possible to query, update, delete or download your survey data through the Survey123 web or field apps. Your survey's feature layer will also be secure, preventing any type of access (other than adding new records) from other Esri apps, third party apps or programmatic access.

 

If you go back to My Content in arcgis.com and check your survey folder, you will find that your feature layer view and the Form item are now shared publicly, while the feature layer remains shared only with you, the owner. This is the way you want it. Do not share the source feature layer if you want to keep your data safe.

 

Sharing your survey results in web applications and dashboards

 

The same technique we used to create a feature layer view for the Survey123 web and field apps can be replicated to support other apps and uses. It is not good practice to reuse the feature layer view we just created or to share the source feature layer. Build new views, restrict access to data as appropriate to the needs of the web app and share accordingly.

 

Here are a few links to learn more about feature layer views:

 

In this post you will find step by step instructions to help you embed a survey within an ArcGIS Dashboard. This is a commonly used used to support QA/QC and review workflows. The animation below illustrates what this could look like. In this dashboard, a list of mosquito spray exclusion requests is shown in the left panel. These requests are added through a separate online survey open to the public. A request review survey has been embedded in the right panel. As requests from the list are selected, the survey is automatically populated so the request can be reviewed and updated.

 

Embedded survey in a dashboard

 

The above example provides a compact user experience for browsing and updating existing data. This same idea can be applied to many workflows, where one survey is used to submit jobs or requests of some sort, and a dashboard with an embedded survey is used to review the incoming information.

 

If you would like to give the above sample application a go, you can try it live:

 

 

In this scenario, you need two surveys targeting the same feature layer. One survey is used to submit requests, and the other to review them. The surveys share a common set of questions, but they are not exactly the same: the request review survey, for example, has an extra section to approve or deny the request. Generally, the surveys are also shared differently: the one to submit requests is shared with a group of people, even with the public, whereas the survey to review requests is shared with a smaller group.

 

Assuming that you already have the survey you want to embed into your dashboard ready to go, and that you are somewhat familiar with ArcGIS Dashboards, here is a step by step guide to get you going:

 

  • Before we start, make sure your dashboard has a Map element and that the web map in it has a refresh rate set.
  • In your ArcGIS dashboard, add a List element and configure it to target your survey layer. You can apply a filter to this list in case there are survey records you do not want to show. In our example above, a filter could help us hide any request that has been already been approved and closed. You can also use the sorting options in the List element to present the most relevant records at top of the list.
  • Next, add an Embedded Content element.
    • In the Data Options panel, first set the Type to Features and target your survey feature layer.
    • Paste the URL of your survey web form into the URL property.
    • Set the Maximum Features Displayed property to 1.

Configuring embedded content element in the dashboard (1)

At this moment, a preview of your survey should be shown in the right panel. Next, we are going to modify the URL with some extra parameters to load content and adjust the look and feel. If you are not familiar with the Survey123 web app parameters, check out Survey123 Tricks of the Trade: Web form URL parameters and Survey123 Tricks of the Trade: Editing records in a web form 

 

  • Right at the end of the URL you just pasted, add the following:
    • ?mode=edit&globalId= If using a survey from ArcGIS Online
    • &mode=edit&globalId= If using a survey from ArcGIS Enterprise.
  • Use the fields collection to add the GlobalID variable into your URL.
  • Optionally, add the following parameters to hide the navigation bar and footer: &hide=footer,navbar

 

The following animation shows the last three steps.

 

Configuring embedded content element in the dashboard (2)

 

 

  • Save your changes and go back into the dashboard design.

 

At this moment you have the List, Map and Embedded Content elements in your dashboard, but they do not talk to each other. We are going to configure actions to make them work together.

 

  • Open the List element configuration dialog and add a new filter action targeting the Embedded Content element

 

 

  • Optionally, you can also configure actions in the List element to zoom to and flash the selected record.
  • From the design preview, select an element from your list and wait for the embedded survey to load the corresponding record. Now you can make changes to the record and submit!

 

Limitations

 

The filter action in the Embedded Content element can also be triggered from a selection in the map. However, it is not possible to configure your dashboard to trigger the filter from both the Map and List elements. That is, you need to choose either to load a survey from a selection in the list or from a selection in the map, but you cannot do both.

 

The Survey123 web app does not support editing surveys with repeats. You will get an error when attempting to initialize the form if it includes a repeat.

You can think of XLSForm repeats like sub-forms: A form within a form that can also be completed multiple times. Repeats are a very powerful feature in Survey123 because they can be configured in many different ways to support different business workflows. This article covers everything from the basics to the more advanced features of repeats. 

 

Some use cases

 

Let's first review some common scenarios that scream for a repeat:

 

  • In a door-to-door population survey, you will want to capture the location of the household and address, but also information about every member of the family. A repeat will help you model the form to be completed for each of the members of the household, including information about their name, age, gender, etc. The household survey will have a household member repeat in it, which will be completed for each person in the household.
  • In an asset inspection form you may want to capture information about each defect found. The defects repeat (or sub-form) will include questions to let you document each defect with its own photo, a description of what needs to be repaired and estimated cost of repair.
  • Repeats are also a great way to handle routine inspections. An asset form can include a repeat for the inspections: one form for the asset with its ID, location, etc and a sub-form (repeat) for every inspection ever made, with its date, issues found, etc. Since repeats can be nested, the inspection repeat form can also include its own repeat or sub-form for every defect found.

 

The basics

 

Repeats are supported through XLSForms via Survey123 Connect. If you are familiar with XLSForm groups, you have a lot of ground covered, because a repeat is really a type of group that lets you cycle through the questions in the group again and again.

 

To add a repeat to an XLSForm you need to enclose a set of questions within a begin repeat and end repeat set, as shown in this example:

 

typenamelabel
texthh_idHousehold ID
texthh_addressAddress
begin repeathh_membersHousehold Members
textmbr_nameName and last name
integermbr_ageAge
select_one gendermbr_genderGender
end repeat
select_one yes_noall_members_presentAll household members present?

 

In the survey above, the main body of the form is really about the household itself and is used to collect the household ID and address. The repeat block is all about household member information. We expect the enumerator to complete the Household Members repeat, or sub-form, once for each person in the household. The All household members present? question is outside the repeat, so it also belongs to the main form, but it will be presented right after the Household Members repeat.

 

Below is what the survey above would look like in the Connect preview. Note that the repeat appears as a common question group, except that at the bottom there are multiple options to navigate records within the repeat: a plus button to add a new record as well as next and back buttons (once you have more than one household member).

 

 

The user experience for repeats within the Survey123 web app is slightly different, presenting all the repeat records at once. You can navigate through them by scrolling up and down, as shown in the next animation.

 

Repeat records in the Survey123 web app are shown all at once

 

You can add one or more repeats to your survey. For example, in a school survey, you could include a repeat to document all classes in the school, and a separate repeat to gather information about teachers, etc. 

 

Understanding repeat data in your feature layer

 

Survey123 repeats are modeled in ArcGIS as related tables (or related layers if your repeat includes a geopoint, geoshape or geotrace question). In the example household survey above, the information about the household (id, address...) is kept in the main layer of a feature service, and the data from the household member repeat (name, age, gender) is modeled as a separate, but related table. The relationship between the tables/layers is kept through internally created global IDs.

 

If you would like to preview what your geodatabase schema looks like you can use the Schema Preview option in Connect, as shown in the animation below. Note that the name of the repeat in XLSForm becomes the name of the related table.

 

Survey123 Connect lets you preview the geodatabase schema of your survey

 

Using the Survey123 website, you can quickly explore data from repeats using the Data tab. The table will show records from the main layer of your survey as usual, and also extra tabs for every repeat in your form. You can propagate selections across the tabs for easier exploration of your data.

 

Use the Survey123 website to explore related records (repeats)

 

Repeat appearances (minimal and compact)

 

Through the appearance column in the XLSForm you can control how the repeat initially loads and appears in your form. By default, a repeat with no appearance value set is shown expanded, with one initial record showing. This can be good or bad. The good is that all questions within the repeat are ready for end-users to enter data right away. The bad is that if no data is entered, a new empty record will be added to your related table. I generally avoid using repeats with no appearance unless questions within the repeat are flagged as required.

 

If you want to avoid the repeat from having an initial record preloaded, use the minimal appearance. This will show your repeat group expanded, but with no records. To initialize data entry in the repeat, the end user will need to explicitly add a new record to the repeat by clicking the plus button.

 

The compact appearance simply collapses your repeat when the form initially loads. Of course, you can combine the minimal and compact appearances.

 

 

XLSForm expressions and repeats

 

XLSForm expressions allow you to bring sophisticated logic into your forms. Generally, XLSForm expressions are used to auto-calculate values (Calculations), define skip logic (Relevant), and to build data validation rules (Constraints). The XLSForm expression syntax for calculations in repeats is basically the same as with any other question in the form (more details at Formulas—Survey123 for ArcGIS | Documentation), but here are some important things to highlight.

 

When writing XLSForm expressions for a question within a repeat, you can reference other questions inside the repeat, but also questions outside! A common use is that where you want to bring data into your related table from the parent record. For example, in the example household survey you may want to store, along with every household member, their corresponding household ID. It would look something like this:

 

typenamelabelcalculation
texthh_idHousehold ID
texthh_addressAddress
begin repeathh_membersHousehold Members
hiddenparent_hh_idParent Household ID${hh_id}
textmbr_nameName and last name
integermbr_ageAge
select_one gendermbr_genderGender
end repeat
select_one yes_noall_members_presentAll household members present?

 

Note how the parent_hh_id question within the repeat is calculated to automatically fetch the value of the Household ID for that person. The Household ID is outside the repeat, but the calculation brings that value into the repeat record. This is a common use of calculations within repeats because it helps bringing more information into the repeat table that would otherwise require a join.

 

Styling

 

There are a few techniques you can use to style your repeat with custom colors and labels. This can be help users navigate your form more efficiently.

 

One technique is to dynamically set the label of your repeat to provide some context as to what information should be entered into the repeat. For example, in our household survey, you can include the address of the household in the header of the repeat. Instead of just reading 'Household Members', you can make it read 'Household Members at: <Address of the household comes here>. This is what is known as a dynamic label and it is described in more detail in the Understanding Dynamic Labels in Survey123 for ArcGIS blog post.  This is quite handy when working with long surveys, because it brings additional context for the person filling out the form. Here is what this would look like. Note how the label for the repeat is dynamically generated using a value from a question outside the repeat.

 

typenamelabel
...
texthh_addressAddress
begin repeathh_membersHousehold Members at ${hh_address}
...

 

You can also use colors to make your repeats stand out better within the form, like in the following screenshot. The repeat block uses a darker background color than the rest of the form, clearly separating questions within the repeat, from those outside.

 

The background and border colors of your repeat can be controlled through the body::esri:style column. In the example above, the vale in this column for the begin_repeat question is: backgroundColor='#cbcddb' borderColor='#494a4f'.  The color is expressed in hexadecimal format or HTML color name.  You will generally not want to use bright colors for you repeat backgrounds. Try to be subtle using slight variations of the background color of your form.

The body::esri:style color parameters are only honored by the Survey field app.

 

Aggregation functions (max,min, count and sum)

 

XLSForms support a handful of functions specially built to work with repeats. Specifically: count, sum, min, and max. They are all pretty self-explanatory. The design below shows the max and count functions in action.

 

typenamelabelcalculationbind::esri:fieldType
texthh_idHousehold ID
texthh_addressAddress
begin repeathh_membersHousehold Members
textmbr_nameName and last name
integermbr_ageAge
end repeat
hiddenmax_ageAge of oldest personmax(${mbr_age})esriFieldTypeInteger
hiddentotal_countTotal persons in housecount(${mbr_name})esriFieldTypeInteger

 

The count function can get a bit tricky as it will only consider in the count records with a value in the question it references. For this reason, it is best to use the count function against a question within the repeat that is flagged as required.

 

The sum question is also an interesting one in that it can sum not only numbers, but also text and even geopoint questions as well. If you sum text, it will concatenate all responses to your question within the repeat. If you sum on a geopoint question within the repeat, it will generate a geotrace object.

Check the Repeat Aggregation Survey123 Connect survey sample for an example using aggregation functions.

                            

 

Aggregation functions (join)

 

There is one more aggregate function that may be of interest: join. The join function is used to create a single list including all responses to a particular question within the repeat. Its syntax looks as follows:

join (",",${questioname})

The first parameter defines a separator. You can use a comma ",", a hyphen "-", or other character. The second parameter is the question within your repeat from which you want to create the list.

 

In our household survey example, we could use join to display a list of all people interviewed so far.

 

typenamelabelcalculation
texthh_idHousehold ID
texthh_addressAddress
begin repeathh_membersHousehold Members: ${interviews}
textmbr_nameName and last name
integermbr_ageAge
end repeat
hiddeninterviewsEvery person interviewedjoin(",",${mbr_name})

 

Note that the hidden question at the end uses the join function in the calculation column. Then the label in the begin repeat takes that value and displays it dynamically. You can see the effect in the next animation:

 

 

We can take join a bit further. Let's pretend we need to design a manhole inspection form. We want all six parts of the manhole to be inspected: the cover, chimney, cone, wall, bench and channel. We will use a repeat to document the inspection results of every component, and the join function to help us make sure all components have been inspected. Let's first have a look at what the form's behavior looks like:

 

 

Note that a checklist at the bottom of the form keeps track of the components inspected so far. When a new component is selected for inspection within the repeat, the value of the checklist is recalculated accordingly. This checklist at the bottom is set as read-only, so the user cannot manipulate it. A constraint in the checklist is also in place to avoid users from submitting the form unless all components are checked.

 

A simplified version of the XLSForm, highlighting the use of the join function is shown below:

 

typenamelabelcalculation
textmanhole_idManhole ID
begin repeatcomponents_groupComponents
select_one componentscomponentComponent
select_one conditionsconditionCondition
end repeat
select_multiple components
comps_inspectedComponents Inspected
join(",",${component})

 

To complete the XLSForm to mimic the behavior shown in the animation, you would also need to:

  • Set the comps_inspected question as read-only, to avoid users from manipulating the checklist manually.
  • Set the constraint of the comps_inspected question to count-selected(${components_tested})=6.

 

Repeat Count

 

If you want to control how many records must exist within a repeat, use the repeat_count XLSForm column. If you set the value to 2, then your repeat will be initialized with 2 empty records. If you set it to 5, it will contain 5, etc. You can also set the repeat_count dynamically as shown in the example below.

 

typenamelabelrequiredrepeat_count
texthh_idHousehold ID
texthh_addressAddress
integerhh_totalHow many people live in this house?
begin repeathh_membersHousehold Members${hh_total}
textmbr_nameName and last nameyes
integermbr_ageAgeyes
end repeat

 

The repeat_count column simply defines how many records are shown in the repeat. All records will be empty until the end user goes through every record to add data. Unless you have required questions within the repeat, Survey123 will allow you to submit records from the repeat with no data, and they will show as what they are: empty records. Generally speaking, you do not want to use repeat_count, unless you want to force people to submit a specific number of records in the repeat. If that is the case, you will want to add required fields within the repeat group. In the household example above, we first ask, "How many people live in this house?" We use that number to define the exact number of records in the household roster that must be completed. By making the questions within the repeat required, we guarantee that data is entered for every person in the house.

 

In cases where you want users to submit a number of records within a range, you will not want to use repeat_count. Instead, you will want to use constraints and the count function. For example, in an electric panel survey, you include a repeat to document all circuit breakers. Say that the number of circuit breakers is always between 5 and 20. This is what you would want to do:

 

typenamelabelconstraintcalculation
textcc_idCircuit Panel ID
begin repeatbreakersCircuit Breakers
select_one typebreaker_typeType
select_one statusbreaker_statusStatus
end repeat
integertotalTotal Breakers${total}> 4 and ${total}<21count(${breaker_type})

 

As described above, for the count function to work effectively, you will want to make the breaker_type question required.

 

Nested repeats

 

A nested repeat is a repeat within a repeat. For example, say you are doing a survey of a campground in a National Park. You want a survey for the campground itself (the name, the location of the entrance, etc). Within each campground you have campsites, so that gives you one repeat (location of the campsite, photo, size, etc). Then for each campsite you have equipment, which gives the second repeat (equipment type, condition, etc).

 

You can nest as many repeats as you want. That is, you can nest 3, 4 even 5 repeats if you like. Technically you could nest even more but for the sanity of your users avoid it whenever possible. 

 

Nested repeats are only supported in the Survey123 field app.

The Survey123 web app does not support nested repeats.

                          

Repeats in the Inbox

 

The Inbox is a powerful feature in the Survey123 field app, allowing you to edit existing GIS records in a feature layer. If you are not familiar with the Inbox, I strongly suggest you watch this short video tutorial.

 

 

By default, when GIS features are loaded into the Inbox, the repeat records will be empty. That is, the Survey123 field app does not fetch data from related records unless told otherwise. When updating an existing record from the Inbox in this way, you will be able to add new repeat records, but not view or update existing ones from the feature layer.

 

If you want to look at or update existing related records, you need to specify in your XLSForm what you want to download into the app, and for what purpose. This is all done through the bind::esri:parameters XLSForm column.

 

For example, let's pretend you are creating an asset inspection form and you want the complete history of inspections to be available in read-only mode. Then you would go with something like this:

 

typenamelabelbind::esri:parameterscalculation
textpanel_idElectric Panel ID
geopointlocationLocation
begin repeatcircuitsCircuit Breakersquery
datetimeinsp_dateInspection date
select_one statusstatusStatus
end repeat
integertotalTotal Breakers${total}> 4 and ${total}<21count(${breaker_type}

 

The query value in bind::esri:parameters will force the Survey123 app to download every related record, so all your inspections will show in the repeat of the asset form. The values supported in this column include:

 

  • query: Used to fetch related records and populate repeats. If query is not used, surveys from the Inbox will not display any repeat information from the existing feature. You can also control which records should be fetched, by defining a where statement for your query. For example: query="status='needs_repair'" will populate the repeat with all related records where the status is set to needs_repair. If no where statement is passed, the query parameter will fetch all related records.
  • allowUpdates: This parameter controls if the existing data in the repeat can be updated by the end user of the Survey123 field app or not. This is extremely useful because often you want end users to have read-only access to historical data (for example previous inspections of an asset) in the repeat, while allowing entering a new inspection to the repeat. allowUpdates by default is always false, but you can turn it on: allowUpdates=true.
  • allowAdds: By default this parameter is always true, allowing the end user to enter new records in the repeat. You can turn it off by passing allowAdds=false.

 

In the example below, our electric panel survey will display all existing circuit breakers ever recorded for that asset. It will also allow the end user to modify information from those previously recorded breakers because allowUpdates is set to true. The only exception will be the installation_date, which will be shown in the repeat as read-only.

 

typenamelabelbind::esri:parameterscalculationreadonly
textpanel_idElectric Panel ID
geopointlocationLocation
begin repeatbreakers Breakersquery allowUpdates=true
datetimeins_dateInstallation dateyes
datetimeinsp_dateInspection date
select_one statusstatusStatus
end repeat

Survey123 website links are a not so widely known. Through this article, I want to bring some visibility to this cool feature. You may already be familiar with the Survey123 field and web app linking capabilities. Links allow you to launch and pre-configure the apps with a single click. Survey123 website links are not much different, allowing you to create links to share with those who need to look at and analyze survey results, or pre-configuring the Survey123 website to target your own instance of ArcGIS Enterprise.

 

Analyze and Data Tab page links

 

The Analyze and Data tabs in the Survey123 website are a great way to explore and understand data submitted to your surveys. The Data tab lets you drill down into specific survey records while the Analyze tab lets you explore trends. Both tabs have plenty of options to help you tweak all sort of options. For example, in the Data tab you can control which basemap to use in the map, which features should be selected in the table view or what filters to apply. In the Analyze tab you can control which questions should be shown or hidden, what type of charts to use to summarize each question, etc.

 

Survey123 website links are a great way to take a snapshot of all these preferences you set and reuse them later. For your own use, or for someone else's!

 

If you look carefully, you will notice that as you work on your Data and Analyze tabs, the URL in your browser reflects your choices. In the screenshot below, for example, observe that the URL in the browser has a bunch of parameters specifying the currently selected basemap, map extent, filter and other properties in the Data tab.

 

 

What this essentially means is that you can now easily copy the URL, bookmark it for later use or even share it with other people that have viewer access to your survey. That is, in short, a Survey123 website link!

 

For your convenience, you can also grab the link to your survey123 page as shown below.

 

 

Survey123 website links are particularly useful with the Analyze tab. Your preferences to use one type of chart or another, hide or show specific questions or even your own filters will all be encapsulated in the page link. In this way, you can save bookmarks to easily return to your preferred survey results view.

 

Target your own ArcGIS Enterprise with the portalUrl query parameter

 

If you work with ArcGIS Enterprise, this is a must-have. Through the portalUrl query parameter you can define the target ArcGIS Enterprise instance that will be hit from the Survey123 website. For example:

https://survey123.arcgis.com/?portalUrl=https://host.domain.com/webadaptor/

In the URL Above, the host, domain, and webadaptor are replaced by information about your portal, allowing you to use the Survey123 website against your own ArcGIS Enterprise instance. 

 

While you can obviously bookmark the URL above to reuse it, it is much better to modify your ArcGIS Enterprise app launcher to include a shortcut to the Survey123 website. That way, anyone in your organization can easily access the Survey123 website without having to remember the syntax of the URL.

 

 

You will find step by step instructions to create your own Survey123 website shortcut in the app launcher of ArcGIS Enterprise in this Technical Support Article.

Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, near Copenhagen, Denmark, on April 2, 1805. He is famous for his fairy tales, such as "The Little Mermaid", "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Princess and the Pea" and many others. Fairy tales are short fictional stories for children's entertainment. They generally involve animals, plants, forces of nature or folkloric characters such as elves, witches, fairies... fairy tales often have happy endings, but Andersen never took that very literally.

 

Coinciding with Andersen's birthday and International Children's Book Day, today we release Survey123 version 3.9. This update also has a touch of magic in it...

 

Survey update notifications in the Survey123 field app

 

Many of you have contributed with your comments and voted up ArcGIS Ideas from Mike Bruening and James Botterill on survey update notifications. So far, these are among the most popular of all! 

 

With this update, the Survey123 field app will let you know if a new version of a survey on the device is available for download. This check happens automatically when the application starts, or when a new user signs in to the app. You can also manually trigger the check by simply dragging down on the survey gallery.

 

Survey update notifications will appear after you re-publish a survey. For example, if you add additional choices to a list, fix a typo on a label, add new questions or adjust calculations, etc.

 

As of this release, it is up to the end user of the app to decide if and when a survey update should be downloaded. We are aware that many of you would like to force survey updates in some cases and this is something we are working on implementing in a future release.

 

We trust this new feature will streamline much of your field work out there!

 

 

New Map question in the Survey123 web designer (line/polygon support added)

 

With this release, we have replaced the geopoint question type in the Survey123 web designer with a new Map question type. The Map question is useful when you want end users to provide the location of an event, just like you did with the geopoint question, but it also supports line and area modes.

 

Survey123 designer now includes a new map question type

 

In the screenshot above, for example, the Map question in the form is configured to let end users draw an area (polygon), instead of a single location (point). The new Map question type works well in the Survey123 web and field apps and features vertex-by-vertex and freehand drawing tools.

 

Since the ArcGIS data model is limited to one geometry field per layer, it is only possible to add a single Map question to a form. Additionally, once a survey is published, it is no longer possible to switch the type of geometry in the Map question. That is, you cannot for example switch from line to area. It is possible to change the drawing tool mode from freehand to vertex-by-vertex, but not the geometry type. If you ever need to make such a change, you can save a new copy of your survey and change the geometry type before publishing your new survey.

 

We want to thank all of you who provided feedback through the Early Adopter Program and our Holistic Testing sessions during the development of this new question type. In particular to Charlie FitzpatrickJoseph Kerski and Education colleagues.

 

Custom Survey123 feature report filenames

 

Many of you have requested more control over the name of the output files created by the Survey123 feature report service. You can now include a question placeholder in the output report file name that you pass into the service. This placeholder value will be dynamically replaced when the report is generated.

 

In the screenshot below for example, you can see that the name of the output report file generated includes the household id value from the survey record.

 

Custom report file names (Survey123 report service)

You can use question placeholders when defining the report output filename in the Survey123 website, or from the Integromat module. The placeholder looks as follows: ${question_name}. For example, below I set the placeholder to use the value from the field hhid (Household ID). You can combine if you wish multiple placeholders.

 

 

New Survey123 web app JavaScript API

 

The Survey123 web app JavaScript API is designed to help web developers more easily embed, style and interact with live Survey123 smart forms within their applications. It is a simple, yet powerful way to integrate Survey123 within larger business workflows. Through this API, you can choose at runtime what survey you want to display and how it will fit within your web application. You can bidirectionally send messages between your form and the web application. To learn more about this API check the Introducing the Survey123 Web App JavaScript API blog post.

 

Survey123 web app Draft mode

 

In the Survey123 website, if you visit the Collaborate tab, you will find a new Draft mode section. If you choose to use the draft mode, data entered through the Survey123 web app (from a web browser) will be stored locally until your survey is sent or cleared. This is useful for long surveys where people may choose to work on your form for a while, and then come back to it later after having closed the browser. Data will not be lost even if the end user navigates away from the survey or closes the browser; when they go back to your survey URL, all the entered data will be there until submitted.

You will want to turn on this option selectively, as this could compromise the privacy of entered data if used from a shared computer. For example, if someone is working on a form with sensitive information and draft mode is enabled, it is possible that data could be compromised if that person forgets to submit or does not reset the data in the form. Anyone loading the survey URL at a later time from that shared computer will see the data.

 

Draft mode is only available in surveys published with version 3.9 or above.

 

When draft mode is on, a link to reset the draft will be shown at the top, as illustrated in the screenshot below.

Other fixes and enhancements

 

Whilst the new features above are important, many of the fixes and enhancements that follow are just as relevant. I will highlight here a few that could easily get lost amongst the list below:

 

  • As anticipated in our earlier Upcoming changes to Survey123 web form's query parameters announcement, the mode query URL parameter in the Survey123 web app now supports the use of globalIds.  To facilitate migration of your existing work, we have extended the life of the objectId parameter in 3.9.

 

VersionobjectIdglobalIdComments
3.8 and earlier versionsSupportedNot supported
3.9SupportedSupportedUse this version to migrate!
3.10 and beyondNot supportedSupported

 

  • We very strongly recommend that you transition away from objectIds as the days for them are counted!  With 3.10 we will completely drop to support and exclusively use globalds.
  • In the Survey123 field app, you will notice that the sign in workflow has been revised. It features a cleaner, more informative and easier to use UX. This was part of a larger effort to accommodate random sign out issues and to incorporate multiple enhancement requests to facilitate login/logout workflows. The UX for connecting the app to your own ArcGIS Enterprise portal has also been revised.
  • In the Survey123 website, the Analyze tab now includes a much improved user experience for navigating long forms.
  • If you work with XLSForms, you should also note that starting with this release, select_multiple questions now support calculations.
  • If PKI authentication is of interest, on top of SAML PKI support, the Survey123 field app now also supports PKI authentication from your ArcGIS Enterprise web adaptor.
  • For Windows users: You can also now download the Survey123 app and Connect directly from the Windows Store.

 

Survey123 field app and Connect

 

  • Never get randomly signed-out again: Multiple fixes have been applied to accommodate scenarios where the Survey123 field app would randomly sign users out: BUG-000128933
  • Enhanced PKI authentication support: While support for PKI through SAML has been available in Survey123 for a while, this update brings new enhancements to support PKI authentication at the ArcGIS Enterprise Web Adaptor level. This provides additional flexibility to deploy Survey123 in environments that adhere to this standard. For more information regarding PKI support in Survey123, check this help topic.
  • Windows Store: The Windows 64-bit and 32-bit setup files of the Survey123 field app and Connect can be found from our Survey123 download page. Additionally, starting with this release you can also download Survey123 Connect and the Survey123 app directly from the Windows Store.
  • Addressed multiple issues related to double tap sensitivity: BUG-000124309BUG-000125208BUG-000127278BUG-000109661.
  • Split View on Apple devices: You can now arrange the Survey123 field app in iOS split view.
  • BUG-000125609 ArcGIS Online allows the organization short name to include uppercase characters leading to case sensitive related errors when using the organizations URL.
  • BUG-000127518 Creating a form in Survey123 for ArcGIS with a geopoint question type and esriFieldTypePointZ field type does not allow the feature geometry to update in ArcGIS Online Map Viewer.
  • BUG-000127816 The surveys displayed is changed when multiple languages are set up in the survey.
  • ENH-000125365 Have Survey123 honor the "Remember Me" functionality when using a IWA login from Portal.
  • ENH-000105906 Add functionality for Survey 123 Connect to have a "remember me" option for usernames.
  • ENH-000121154 Support Trimble Rx GPS receivers in Survey123 on iOS devices.
  • BUG-000122130 One page will be automatically added when collecting the survey in the survey123 app created from survey123 web designer with more than one page.


Survey123 website, web app and report services

 

  • DE-000003535,BUG-000126960 An error is returned when trying to generate a feature report in the Survey123 for ArcGIS website for a survey published using the 'Feature Service' option.
  • BUG-000128390 Surveys created and accessed through the Survey123 for ArcGIS website returns the error message, "Survey does not exist or is not accessible" when special characters exist in question or choice labels.
  • BUG-000128110 GeoPoint question's map for the surveys created using Survey123 web designer (after the recent update) does not appear in Survey123 field app (on both desktop and mobile devices).
  • BUG-000126008 After removing a single choice grid from a group, republishing the survey, and adding it back into the group, any changes made to the single choice grid questions are given identical, generic schema names preventing the user from republishing the survey
  • BUG-000127630 In Survey123 for ArcGIS, when a survey has a geotrace or geoshape question type, the map scale setting is not honored when including a map in the feature report
  • BUG-000126425 Boolean expressions do not work in the Survey123 for ArcGIS web app
  • BUG-000128085 In the Survey123 for ArcGIS website, images in a Note element cause the survey to fail to publish if they are on the same row separated by a space
  • BUG-000128548 The background set for a survey is displayed as distorted in the web form if the “style settings” is set to “pages” and “appearance” for groups is set to “field list”
  • BUG-000124744 HTML markup codes appear at the start of the published survey in Survey123 for ArcGIS
  • BUG-000116598 Survey123 for ArcGIS error 'Privileges of stakeholder role are required to access this page. You're currently in field worker role.' when accessing the survey..
  • BUG-000117843 When using the em dash 'ー' (UTF-8 Enconded \xE3\x83\xBC) in a single line text question, the words are broken up into separate responses in the wordcloud section of the Analyze tab
  • BUG-000125151 The Survey123 for ArcGIS Website does not retain the Layout Element settings (Header and Footer Settings) for a survey if the Survey has been published through Survey123 Connect
  • BUG-000111740 The Survey123 website returns the 404 error message in network traffic when loading a survey in a web browser
  • BUG-000126848 Viewer and Editor roles with the 'feature report' privilege enabled by default are unable to generate a feature report in Survey123 for ArcGIS as the 'create, update, delete content' privilege is also required.
  • BUG-000122896 Surver123 for ArcGIS does not provide a character count on text questions with repeats. 
  • BUG-000129358 Some organizations are unable to publish any surveys in the Survey123 for ArcGIS web app
  • BUG-000125046 A geopoint location is rendered as an empty map image in the exported report from the Survey123 for ArcGIS website when the survey is created from an existing feature service.

 

Documentation and templates

 

  • BUG-000128228 Unlisted built-in (reserved) geodatabase field names cause the publishing error with Survey123 for ArcGIS that is returned when using a reserved keyword for a field name, "Error: Dataset not found. Code: 500. Publishing failed."
  • ENH-000127952 Displaying the 'name' field instead of the 'label' field for select_one type questions in Survey123 reports
  • ENH-000128878 Survey123 - Documentation - orderBy Parameter - is missing of examples, case application and a more detailed description for the function
  • ENH-000128477 Improve documentation for Repeats in Survey123 to contain information on the abilities and limitations of nested repeats
  • ENH-000126920 Currently the text for when Configuring Survey123 with a feature service published to ArcGIS...
  • ENH-000127608 Please update Product Life Cycle page for Survey123 to indicate Classic was 2.9 and below and is now retired as of a certain date

 

Next steps

 

Survey123 3.10 is already in the making. You can access the latest builds from the Early Adopter Community. Our focus is aimed towards a few critical aspects:

 

Survey123 field app fix-only update for iOS (for release before end of April 2020):

 

  • Specifically for iOS, and for specific surveys, you have observed consistent crashes in the Survey123 app. These issues are currently being worked on and we are aiming at releasing an update for iOS to address these issues as soon as possible. BUG-000111086,DE-000003544, BUG-000108085,BUG-000128201,DE-000003543, BUG-000125015,DE-000003368, BUG-000126685. Beta builds with fixes to these issues will be shared through the Early Adopter Community as soon as they are ready.

 

Survey123 3.10:

 

  • Mapping enhancements in the Survey123 field app: for quite some time now we have been shipping the Survey123 field app with a Beta feature that lets you bring your own web maps, vector and mobile map packages into the map. We are now finalizing this work, which should be fully supported in the 3.10 release.
  • The Survey123 feature report service is getting ready to see its first major feature update since release. We are working on supporting summary reports where you can bring all or a subset of features in your survey into a single report. As part of this effort, we are also adding new syntax to support statistics within reports.
  • Ranking question: we are working on a new ranking type of question to help you define sortable lists within a form. With the ranking question, end users will be able to express preferences over a predefined list of choices: drag and drop choices to set their order!
  • Finalizing the on-premises setup of the Survey123 website and API.
  • Improving web accessibility in the Survey123 web app.
  • Support for ArcGIS Enterprise in the Microsoft Automate connector.

 

A complete list of Beta features is available in the Early Adopter Community, as well as user forums and documentation. If you are interested, have a look!

The Survey123 web app JavaScript API is designed to help you embed, style and interact with Survey123 smart forms within your own web applications. At a glance, here is what you can do with this API and a little bit of JavaScript magic:

 

  • Programmatically embed a Survey123 web form within a web page at run-time.
  • Apply a custom css to the embedded web form to make it look fit within your own web app.
  • Programmatically read and write values into the embedded web form from your own web application.
  • Subscribe to web form events such as onFormLoaded, onFormSubmitted or onValueChanged.

 

There are many applications for this new API. In the animation below, for example, a form is embedded within a web page used to report the speed of your internet connection. When the page is initially loaded, a big button is shown to help users initiate a quick internet speed test. One the connection speed is estimated, a Survey123 web form is loaded and the output of the speed test is automatically added into the form. At that point, the end user can complete the remaining questions and submit. The whole idea with this is that the logic to measure the internet speed of your connection sits in your web application, but when the time comes to submit data like your location, email contact and internet speed a Survey123 form is used for that. Through the Survey123 web app JavaScript API you can make your web app talk to the form and load the measured internet speed right away to make the process simpler.

 

Thanks to the Applications Prototype Lab for sharing the above example and making its source code available in GitHub!

                          

You may also want to leverage the Web App JavaScript API to bring Survey123 forms into existing websites. Of course, you can always embed your survey by copying and pasting an embed link, but using the Web App API has the advantage that you can make your form interact with the website and vice-versa. For example, say you want to embed in the website of your city a form to capture incidents or issues that need attention. You can pre-populate certain questions in the form using information gathered from your own website. Similarly, you can feed your website with information entered by the user in the Survey123 while the form is being completed, or when the data is finally sent.

 

 

Getting Started (Hello World)

 

The following is about the simplest code snippet showing the basics of the Survey123 Web App JavaScript API. This sample loads a custom web form into a web page and pre-populates a couple of questions in it.

 

 

Lets have a closer look at the code:

 

  • Line 2: In this line we import the Survey123 web app JavaScript API. The address of the latest version of the API is http://survey123.arcgis.com/api/jsapi 
  • Line 5: Your web form needs a container in your web page. Typically, you will want to use a DIV HTML element. You can control the exact size of the the container in your page, although keep in mind that you cannot make it too small or otherwise your web form will not have room to display.
  • Lines 7-14: This is where we create a Survey123WebForm JavaScript object. The constructor requires at least the following attributes:
    • clientId: The client ID is a string that proves that you have explicitly authorized the use of Survey123 web app API from your web page. You need to create the Client ID through the https://developers.arcgis.com/ website. Check the Generating a Client ID section later in this article for details.
    • container: This is the HTML element in which you want your web form to be displayed. Typically a DIV.
    • itemID: This is the ArcGIS itemID of your web form. Check the Getting the ItemID of a web form section later in this article for details.
    • token: This attribute is only needed if you are targeting a private survey.

There are a number of optional attributes you can also set. In the example above, we added the defaultQuestionValue attribute to set the default value of a couple of questions.  Check the Web Form attributes section later in this document for a complete list.

 

Generating a Client ID

 

To authorize the use of the Survey123 web app JavaScript API within your web application, you must provide a valid Client ID. You can create a Client ID through ArcGIS for Developers  as follows:

 

  1. Login into ArcGIS for Developers and open the Dashboard.
  2. Create a New Application and switch to the Authentication tab
  3. Add your web application URL and/or domain to the list of Redirect URIs.
  4. Copy the Client ID.

 

 

Getting the ItemID of a Web Form

 

ItemIDs uniquely identify ArcGIS items within your organization. You can find more information about itemIDs in the Where can I find the item ID for an ArcGIS Online item? article. To get the ItemID of your web form:

 

  1. Login to Survey123.arcgis.com.
  2. Open the Overview or Design tab of your survey
  3. The portion in the URL highlighted in the screenshot below is the itemID.

 

 

 

More details (Web Form attributes)

 

Here is the list of all attributes supported by the Web Form object.

 

PropertyDescription
containerThe HTML element that will contain the web form, typically a DIV.
clientIdA valid Client ID for your domain registered in ArcGIS for Developers
itemIdThe ItemId of the web form you want to load.
portalUrl(Optional) The URL of your ArcGIS portal. If left empty, defaults to https://www.arcgis.com
tokenRequired if you work with private surveys.
hideElements

(Optional) Elements can be set to be hidden, including navbar, theme, header, subHeader.

    For example: ["navbar","header","subheader"]

You can also hide questions within your survey. For example:

    For example: ['field:yourQuestionName']

autoRefresh(Optional) Enable auto refresh the survey after submit successfully. You can set autoRefresh=3 which will refresh the survey after 3 second
defaultQuestionValue(Optional) Lets you populate questions in the form. For example: {field_0: 'value1', field_1: 'value2'}
isDisabledSubmitToFeatureService(Optional) Set this property to true and the web form will not send data to your feature service.
onFormLoaded(Optional) Invokes a callback function when loaded. For example: function({form:Form, contentHeight: number })   
onFormResized(Optional)
onFormSubmitted(Optional) Invokes a callback function when the form is submitted. For example: function({surveyFeatureSet: SurveyFeatureSet})
onQuestionValueChanged(Optional) Invokes a callback function when values in your form change. For example: function({field: string; value: any; path: string; repeatIndex: number; formId: string})
width(Optional) Takes a number in pixels. Controls the width of the survey although anything smaller than 660 will be ignored.


 

More details (Web Form methods)

 

Web Form methods allow you to set the value of questions within your form from a JavaScript function.  You can also use them to programmatically change the style of your form.

 

MethodDescription
.setQuestionValue

Used to set the value of a question, or questions, at run-time. For example:

 

webform.setQuestionValue({
  'field_1': 'test1',
  'field_2': 'test2'
});

.setGeopoint

Used to center the map and set the geopoint value to a given location. For example:

 

webform.setGeopoint({

   x=-117.34,

   y=43.78

});

 

It is commonly used in combination with the Geolocation API.

.setStyle

Used to apply CSS styling to your web form. For example:

 

webform.setStyle({
  '& .question-label': {
     'color': '#ff0000 !important',
     'font-size': '30px !important'
  },
  '& .form-header': {
     'color': '#ff0000 !important'
  }
});

 

Samples

 

  • Hello World: A bare bones sample showing how to embed a web form within a web page.
  • Speed Test: A more elaborate sample written by the Esri Geo Experience Center’s Applications Prototype Lab. It integrates a simple routine to estimate internet speed connection and then uses that estimation to pre-populate a question in a web form.

[Updated March 28, 2020]

[Updated April 3, 2020]

What is changing?

 

Survey123 version 3.4 introduced the ability in the Survey123 web app (aka web form) to update and view existing GIS features using the mode URL query parameter. Essentially, this query parameter allows you to pass the objectId of an existing GIS feature to preload data into a web form to view or update its contents. More details about use cases and syntax can be found at:

 

 

We will be introducing changes to the mode query parameter in version 3.9, replacing the use of objectId with globalId as the means to set the GIS feature record to be updated or viewed. For example:

 

 

* [Update March 28,2020] To facilitate migration to the globalId parameter, we will be extending support for the objectId parameter until 3.10.

 

VersionobjectIdglobalIdComments
3.8 and earlier versionsSupportedNot supported
3.9SupportedSupportedUse this version to migrate!
3.10 and beyondNot supportedSupported

 

Why are we making this change?

 

The use of globalId to set the GIS feature to be updated is less susceptible to manipulation by end users.

 

How will this change affect me?

 

This change can potentially break existing workflows where static or dynamic links are used to update/view existing features using a web form. For example:

 

  • If you have embedded a web form within a dashboard to edit the selected record from a list element, this change in Survey123 query parameters can break your existing Survey123-Dashboard integration.
  • If you have a custom web map pop-up with a link to a survey web form in edit mode, this change may break your workflow.
  • If you have shared static HTML links in websites, e-mails or by other means, the links may stop loading the data to be updated.

 

Any survey published prior to 3.9 will continue to work normally and without modification to the query parameter, unless version locking is disabled or the survey is republished with 3.9 or a newer version.  

 

What should I do about this?

 

Now that 3.9 is released, it is time to act:

 

  1. Start now documenting web applications or workflows where you make use of the mode=edit or mode=view URL parameter.
  2. Re-publish your surveys affected and switch your URL calls from using the objectId parameter, to using the globalId parameter.

 

VersionobjectIdglobalIdComments
3.8 and earlier versionsSupportedNot supported
3.9SupportedSupportedUse this version to migrate!
3.10 and beyondNot supportedSupported

We recently applied a minor patch to the Survey123 website, web app and report service. This is a very focused update addressing five issues recently reported.

 

  1. BUG-000128390 Surveys created and accessed through the Survey123 for ArcGIS website returns the error message, "Survey does not exist or is not accessible" when special characters exist in question or choice labels. Thanks to Jeff Carney and Kanin Sangcharoenvanakul for their Survey 123 web Form Error discussion.
  2. BUG-000128110 A geopoint question added from Survey123 web designer will not render correctly in the Survey123 field app.
  3. Surveys published from Survey123 Connect after January 21 do not render DateTime questions correctly in the Survey123 web app. Thanks to Jônatas Lima Póvoas for reporting the problem.
  4. Surveys published to ArcGIS Enterprise cause the Survey123 Report service to fail if "Include default maps" is enabled in through the Maps settings in Survey123 Connect. Thanks to Kanchana Karthikeyan for reporting this issue.
  5. Surveys published from Survey123 Connect will cause the Survey123 Report service to fail if the target feature layer is missing Editor Tracking fields. Thanks Mervyn Lotter for reporting and helping out with the diagnosis and validation.

 

For fixes to issues #2 and #3 to take effect, you will need to re-publish your survey.

 

 

We have also made available in the Early Adopter Community | Esri Early Adopter Program new updates to version 3.9 via the latest Survey123 3.9 RC builds. 3.9 is scheduled for release in April. We are targeting the inclusion of new features including:

 

  • Survey update notifications in the field app.
  • Replacement of the Geopoint question type with a new Map question type with support for point, line and polygons.
  • Expanded Survey123 report syntax: Statistics and summary tables.

 

Check the Early Adopter Community announcements for details.

With every new release of Survey123, we include fixes, enhancements and new features into Survey123.  For the most part, having access to the latest and greatest fixes and features is straight-forward:

 

  • Survey123 field app: Install the latest Survey123 field app from the app stores.
  • Survey123 website: Reload the Survey123 website in your browser.
  • Survey123 report service: Nothing to do... every time you request a new report, the latest report engine is used.
  • Survey123 Microsoft Automate and Integromat modules: All changes get applied right away in run-time and design modes.

 

But what about your web forms? Well it depends so that is why I thought it would be worth going in detail over this.

 

Survey123 web form version locking

 

Survey123 web forms are version locked by default. That is, a web form (unless specified otherwise) will always use the version of the Survey123 web app that was current when you last published the survey.  This basically means that any new fixes and enhancements we apply to new versions of Survey123 do not take effect over your already published web forms.

 

We apply version locking by default because we want to make sure your surveys always behave exactly as when you published them, regardless of changes in newer versions of Survey123.  It is true that new versions incorporate fixes and enhancements, but they can also bring unexpected changes that may break your existing surveys. 

 

Three ways to upgrade your web forms

 

If you would like to upgrade the version of Survey123 used to render your web forms, you have different options.

 

  • You can disable version locking in your survey through the Settings tab of your survey. In the screenshot below, you can see that I have a survey that was published with version 3.5. If version locking is enabled, then the 3.5 version of the Survey123 web app will always be used to render the form. By activating the option to 'always use the latest version', the web form will always run on the latest and greatest version.

 

 

A handy preview link right by the 'always use the latest version' option is available so you can validate that all looks good before you make a change.  I strongly suggest you always preview your survey to make sure everything behaves as expected.

 

Choosing to always run your web forms against the the latest version of the Survey123 web app available is tempting, but consider the following:  First, by disabling version locking you are forcing a dynamic upgrade of your published survey to the latest version when the survey is loaded in your browser. We do our best to minimize the impact of upgrading your web forms on the fly, but this could slow down the loading time of your form.  Second, with every new update there is always a chance that something could break. If you disable version locking you lose control over which version of the Survey123 web app will be used to render your form.

 

  • You can force your web form to use the latest version available of the Survey123 web app by adding the version=latest query parameter to the URL. For example:

https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/<your_survey_id_here>?version=latest

Note that version=latest has been added as a query parameter to the URL.  You can combine version=latest with other query parameters as described in Survey123 Tricks of the Trade: Web form URL parameters 

 

I like to use this technique to thoroughly test out my surveys before I upgrade them to the latest version, but I do not like to share URLs with the version=latest parameter in them because people may accidentally or intentionally remove it.

 

  • Finally, you can upgrade your survey web form by republishing it.  With this approach, your web form is upgraded to the current version of the publishing tool (Survey123 Connect or Survey123 web designer) you use. By keeping version locking activated, your web form is always cached and ready to go (no on the fly upgrades). You would need to republish it again if in the future you consider that you need to upgrade the web form version.

 

All in all, I personally prefer to decide when to upgrade a web form. If a web form is working all good, I leave it alone: Don't change anything that works!  In the event that I want to leverage a particular fix, enhancement or new feature in a more recent version, I first validate my web forms with the latest release (using version=latest), and then I republish the survey to upgrade the web form.  Knowing that my web form is version locked and running on the exact version I want gives me extra peace of mind.

ichivite-esristaff

Hug Day Release

Posted by ichivite-esristaff Employee Jan 21, 2020

[Updated on January 27, 2020]

 

Can you tell the difference between a bear hug and a cheek hug? Today is National Hugging Day!  You can't (yet) hug through social media and AI cannot hug (yet). YOU have to hug, you alone. Hugging is good for you. Hugging is good for people you hug. Hug!

 

 

Today, we let a new update to Survey123 go free. This release is mostly focused on the reporting capabilities of Survey123. We are adding new functionality to our report service such as report previews, PDF outputs and merging of multiple reports into a single file. This update also brings a good number of fixes for the Survey123 website and web app. Survey123 Connect and the field app have not been updated with this release.

 

If you are not yet familiar with Survey123 Feature reports, check theUnderstanding Survey123 Feature Reports blog and/or have a look at this 7 minute tutorial video:

 

 

 

Report preview mode

 

Many of you requested that we add a new preview option so you can generate test reports for free. Authoring good report templates is an iterative process and it is common to generate many test reports before a template is ready. The report preview output consists of a watermarked PDF file. Here is an example:

 

This new option to generate a preview of the report is only available to the owner of the survey. Once generated, the download of your report preview will start automatically in your web browser.

Please note that selecting content in report PDF previews is disabled.

                        

 

PDF support added to Survey123 Reports

 

You can now save your Survey123 reports in PDF format. A new Format drop down has been added, as shown below, so you can choose PDF as your output.

 

 

If you plan to generate reports in PDF format, it is highly recommended that you embed fonts within your Microsoft Word template as described in the Embed fonts in Word or PowerPoint - Office Support help topic.  If you do not embed the fonts, your report outputs may not look exactly the same as your template.

 

[January 27, 2020] The Integromat module has been updated so you can create reports in PDF.

 

Merge multiple reports into a single file

 

When creating reports in bulk, you can now also choose to merge all reports into a single file. If the collection of feature reports you want to merge is larger than 512Mb we will automatically split your job into multiple files.

 

 

Expanded report template syntax

 

A number of new functions have been added to the feature report syntax. For example, you can now:

 

New functionExample
utcOffset. Apply an UTC offset to a DateTime question. This is useful if you want to express time in your reports in local time. Remember that all dates and time values in ArcGIS are always stored in UTC time!${survey_date | utcOffset:"+01:00"}
Apply basic math operators: +, -, * and /.  Use them to perform basic aggregation functions in your report using data from your survey.${boys + girls}
checked. Shows a checkbox to indicate if a particular element has been checked in a single or multiple selection question.  The new checked function replaces the old selected function for this purpose.  The selected function should be used along with conditional (if) statements instead of for showing a checkbox.${defects | checked:"Paint"} Needs paint
selected. In the past this function was often used to add a checkbox into your report when a particular choice in a selection question was checked. While all report templates using selected for that purpose will continue to work, it is strongly recommended you now use this function within conditional statements. Anything shown in between the ${conditional statement}  and ${/} will be shown only if the conditional statement evaluates to true. If you want to add a checkbox to your report, use the checked function instead.  ${if needRepair | selected:"yes"}…${/}
${if favoriteFruits | selected:"apple"}…${/}
countSelected. Count the number of elements checked in a multiple selection question. ${defects | countSelected}
selectedAt: For a multiple selection question, returns a specific selected choice for the given index (zero-indexed). Returns an empty string if the index does not exist.${defects | selectedAt:2}

 

For more details and additions in this release, check the Feature report templates—Survey123 for ArcGIS | Documentation help topic.

 

Miscellaneous fixes and minor enhancements

 

Important note: As described in Understanding web form version locking in Survey123 already published surveys will not benefit from fixes to new releases of the Survey123 web app, unless you upgrade them.  Since this update does not include a new version of Survey123 Connect, use the version=latest URL query parameter to load your survey or disable version locking in your survey.

  • BUG-000126720 Basemap selected for GeoPoint question in Connect for Survey123 is not honored when viewing the survey through survey123.arcgis.com
  • BUG-000126537 Non-survey owners cannot edit their submissions through the Survey123 for ArcGIS web App despite documentation stating it is possible to do so. ([Data] Non-owners with both stakeholder and fieldworker privilege cannot edit in Individual Response for Connect surveys).
  • ENH-000117970 The default Admin role in the Survey123 for ArcGIS website does not have the 'Everyone' option available in the Collaborate tab when the organization has the 'members can share content publicly' setting disabled.
  • BUG-000124120 Hide Parameter in Web Form URL fails to hide Survey Fields that are within a group. (Hide questions inside of group of page through URL parameter).
  • BUG-000126428 Adding an image URL link in the Survey Description section causes the survey to fail to publish in the Survey123 for ArcGIS website with an error message, "ObjectStoreException. Unable to add or update item: &lt;item_ID&gt;."
  • BUG-000124617 When the 'appearance' field is set to hide-input for a Geopoint question in a Survey123 for ArcGIS XLSForm, the Easting and Northing values are identical (UTM Coordinates) when the survey is opened from a web browser.
  • BUG-000125399: Time question with value set to now() is not able to render the correct 12PM time in the web form.
  • BUG-000121113 If a select one survey response contains a comma in the name value the value/label will not be printed in a Feature Report.
  • BUG-000115396 The CreationDate method does not include the UTC offset option when generating a report in the Survey123 for ArcGIS website.
  • 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.
  • BUG-000126329 The Collaborate 'Viewer' settings allowing non survey owners to have the capability to edit their own submitted records are not being honored when attempting to edit in the Data page.
  • BUG-000126582 When entering survey responses for a survey using the Survey123 for ArcGIS website, pressing 'Enter' in a text question launches the computer's camera.
  • ENH-000125299 Add error handling for an extra slash at the end of the Survey123 for Enterprise URL.
  • BUG-000124359 Error "Can not find your location. Please check your browser to ensure that your location is shared." when using the "Find my location" option on iOS devices on publishing a survey using the Survey123 Web Designer.
  • BUG-000122802 Photos missing properties do not display when Custom Report is printed from survey123.arcgis.com.
  • BUG-000099614 In the Analyze Tab on Survey123 for ArcGIS Hub, DATE values will only be reported if they have same DATE as the initial report.
  • BUG-000121513 Geopoint question device location does not work as expected in Microsoft Edge 41.x and Internet Explorer 11 browsers.
  • BUG-000127348 Submission w/ Attachment fails on SQL Server due to lower case GlobalIDs.
  • BUG-000126959 AttachmentInfos and AttachmentInfo are empty in the Integromat module for Survey123 for ArcGIS when a survey is published or updated in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS 3.6.127.
  • BUG-000124762 When Creating a Survey using the Survey123 Web Designer with a Note question, the Note does not honor the alignment settings for an image when the survey is viewed online.
  • BUG-000126022 DE-000003375 The USA Topo Maps basemap does not work in Individual Response and Feature Report when location is outside USA.

 

Next steps

 

We are finalizing work in the Survey123 Integromat module to incorporate the new Format parameter. This will allow you to automate the creation of PDF reports using Integromat. We are looking at having this ready before the end of the month. We will simply update the Integromat module and add a brief note in this blog post when ready. The Integromat module has been updated with support for PDF output format [January 27, 2020]

 

From a functional perspective, we also have received requests to expand the report service from feature reports to summary reports. This is also right now in design and we will update our Survey123 Early Adopter Community website as soon as we have something for you to test.  

 

The next update to Survey123 Connect and the Field app (3.9) is almost ready. We have uploaded the latest Beta builds to the Early Adopter Community website and are looking forward to your feedback before we move to General Release. The main new feature we plan to make available touches on the Notify users a Survey123 form has been updated GeoNet idea.  There are also some quite juicy fixes in this 3.9 release but I leave the details to our Early Adopter documentation on 3.9.

 

If you are a fan of Survey123 web designer, you should know that we will soon add a new Map question type. The new Map question type will bring support for polygons and lines into the web designer.

 

For more details on what is cooking for the next updates to Survey123, check the Survey123 Early Adopter Community website.  There are a good number of active projects waiting for your feedback!

The Survey123 Early Adopter Community (EAC) helps you access the latest Beta builds of the software. You can sign in with your existing Esri account and gain access to software downloads, documentation on upcoming features and discussion forums.

 

The Early Adopter Community is critical to Survey123. It allows the development team to share with you early access to the software for user testing and feedback. This feedback is used to refine new features and fixes before they are made available under general release. EAC offers you a great opportunity to try out your own surveys and workflows with the Beta software and anticipate any issues that may arise in upcoming releases.

 

We have just updated EAC with new Beta versions of Survey123. Below is a list of some of the Beta features and when we estimate they will be available.

As a general rule, we prefer feedback regarding our Beta releases through the Early Adopter Community Forums. We like to keep discussions in GeoNet for the released version of the software. Keeping things separate avoids potential confusion.

 

Survey123 Feature Reports (PDF, Previews and Merged Reports)

 

We released Survey123 Feature Report capabilities back in July 2019. EAC will give you access to the Beta builds of the Survey123 website, which include new options to:

 

  • Generate outputs in PDF format. We want to make sure this works well with your existing report templates and that you do not have any issues with fonts once you open the PDF on your computer.
  • Preview Report designs, so you can put together your report templates without incurring ArcGIS Online credit costs. The output preview documents will be always generated in PDF format and include a watermark.
  • Merge multiple reports in a single file. This new option is available when you want to generate report files in bulk. When chosen, all your feature reports will be combined into a single PDF or docx output file.

Please note that when generating reports (other than previews) through the Early Adopter Community your account will be charged with credits. Use the preview option if you do not want to be charged.

You can try out all of the above through survey123beta.arcgis.com. When testing the new PDF and report preview capabilities, please report your findings (positive and negative) in the new Survey123 website forum in the EAC website. We are targeting late January 2020 for the release of both of these features.

 

Survey123 Field App (Survey update notifications and more)

 

Through the Early Adopter Community website you can access Beta builds of the Survey123 field app for iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS and Linux. The Beta build of the Survey123 field app cannot run on the same device as the released version, so you will need extra hardware to test it or remove the released version from the device first.

 

The latest Beta builds available include support for:

 

  • Survey update notifications. This work is inspired by our most popular Survey123 Geonet Idea: Notify users a Survey123 form has been updated. This will facilitate having field users more easily refresh their surveys if new updates are available in ArcGIS Online or Enterprise. This feature is planned to be made available in late February or early March 2020. 

 

  • No more random log outs. This is a fix to an issue some of you have reported where field users would get randomly log out, forcing users to have to type their user credentials again. The fix to this problem is now included with the latest Beta builds.
  • There are also a number of additional features available for testing. Information about the specific bug fixes addressed in each Beta update and new features are detailed in the Announcements section of the EAC website. 

 

The Beta builds of the Survey123 field app are also useful for you to test your existing surveys. As much as we do our best to ensure backwards compatibility with older versions, your own testing can help highlight issues we may never find on our own.

[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.