Collector current user

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01-06-2019 05:33 PM
DavidRowe1
New Contributor III

Was hoping that the new version of Collector would make it easier to access the currently signed-in user to enable a default user name for capture config purposes. So far I haven't found anything to suggest this is possible yet. Surely the Collector app knows 'who' has signed in and an application global or GetUser function can be made available to access this in the form. Has anyone found a solution to this ?

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5 Replies
Chris_Counsell
Esri Contributor

At a Feature Layer level we can keep track of who created and updated features:

This will enable us to track who created or edited a feature, as well as when, based off the portal user login, and works for the ArcGIS Platform (not just specifically to Collector).

I find this is the simplest and most effective way to track who is submitting data as it aligns with the identity-based sharing and access models, and isn't specific to one platform component. 

Is this what you were after, or are you seeking user-dependent questions/answers in data collection for Collector?

DavidRowe1
New Contributor III

Hi Chris, I'm actually working with feature services rather than hosted feature layers, which I should've mentioned in my OP. I'm well aware of editor tracking which is just plain overkill, and why I keep away from it. It needs to be done at the feature-class level, which has it's own complications for other users, uses UTC for date/time values, and was already available in the older version. And if I recall correctly, when using as a feature service thru AGS with Web Adaptor, the user has to login twice, which is really inconvenient.  Thanks for the reply.

Cheers,

David

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Chris_Counsell
Esri Contributor

The second article linked indicates that we can do editor tracking for ArcGIS Server feature layers (feature services). I haven't done this workflow personally but this may be worth reading:

So the question is, is there a way to populate a field with the logged in Portal/AGOL username when collecting data that isn't Feature Layer editor-tracking?

I'm not aware of a way to do this for Collector for ArcGIS. The answer I would suggest is editor tracking. 

The Aurora Project brought smarter forms, including Arcade Expressions, but my understanding is that these are limited to the information within the form. I could be wrong on this or there may be another part of the update that brings the desired functionality, but I'm not aware of it. The functionality is also listed under the broader idea here:

I would encourage you to vote for and comment on the idea with your workflow/organisational context.

It is possible to bring in the username in Survey123 by using the property("username") function. Survey123 could be used as an alternative or in conjunction with Collector for ArcGIS. 

The double-login would occur for standalone ArcGIS Servers service secured with Web Authentication regardless of editor tracking. For other readers, we can embed credentials when adding the service as an item in AGOL if the server has GIS-tier token based authentication. 
If we federate with Portal for ArcGIS we have additional options with accessing/sharing content that bypass this issue.

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DavidRowe1
New Contributor III

Yes, it's interesting that you can access the user_name property in Survey123 but not in Collector, and seems a bit impractical to have to retrieve it through another app, when it's obviously 'known' by Collector in the first place but the developers choose not to expose it. The Arcade globals/functions would be the obvious place to access it.

I've worked with editor tracking with feature services in the past and as I've mentioned, it causes other issues for users of the same dataset, and is just a stop-fix that over-complicates a very simple and reasonable requirement.

Thanks for the follow-up.

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MartinSlimin1
New Contributor II

We also need to see this occur, the issue with editor tracking is it is set at the featureclass / hosted feature layer level. Therefore it cannot be made application specific, if you enable it to track users and dates in Collector and have another data stream which is entered by an administrator then the user and date are populated by the admin username and date entered, not who by and when the data was collected.

For example we provide support tools for community groups to collect environmental data, some groups love the efficiency and accuracy of using collector, others are tech shy so have a single data curator who enters the data through a web app. This means we are forced to have 2 Collected By and Collected On fields, making analysis of the data down stream more complicated.

I hope the promises of Collector Aurora / Arcade will bring these capabilities soon.