How to cascading dropdown in ArcGIS Field Maps form

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12-16-2020 10:24 PM
Jack_Zhang
Occasional Contributor

Hi, I'm wonder if cascading dropdown is possible in ArcGIS Field Maps form. I couldn't find a way to do it so far. It is one of the necessary widget s / capabilities  and basic requirement if you want to build people an efficient mobile data collecting app. I'm surprised it's not covered by ESRI's new-era mobile data collection solution. No, Survey123 is not the alternative for us and we really don't want to use it.

3 Replies
AaronPulver
Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Jack, I believe what you are referring to are Contingent Values. These are on the roadmap and are being implemented across the ArcGIS platform. Hopefully in 2021, you will be able to configure contingent values in ArcGIS Pro for a feature service, publish that service, and then see the contingent values in clients apps like Field Maps.

Jack_Zhang
Occasional Contributor

Thanks AaronPulver for the reply. I'm looking forward in the new year to see the contingent values been supported in feature service. Saying that, the demand of cascading dropdown has been there for long time from many since the ear of Collector or earlier. Though the indention to have form inputs restricted by data schema is good for data integrity, the way how it works in Collector / AFM actually put a lot limitations when design form in this app.

In the field, we use mobile form is not just a place to enter in the data, but also to guide users through questions and options by providing them the required info. For example, in a hydrant inspection and test form (a frequently used example by ESRI), user wants to know what the valid flow volume and pressure should be for a specific type of hydrant by pick the hydrant type in a dropdown list. Sound reasonable and simple workflow, but I couldn’t find an easy way to do this in Collector or AFM. I thought about using related table to do that, but that doesn’t work because the form won’t be able to read the related table before it’s saved. I also tried putting the description to the coded domain text, but it doesn’t work if the description text is more than couple of words, and it put everything in one line.  Another example, how can I set the form to calculate Input3 by adding the result form Input1 and Input2.  At the moment you can only add to Collector / AFM form if it’s in the table schema, the table schema directly dictates the form UI, which I think could be improved by allowing add any form elements regardless the table schema, and have a form engine to pipe the inputs to the valid output that goes into the database. It also saving us from saving the intermedia data that used to generate the final output and we don’t need to run post-process in the database to calculate the intermedia data to the final data we needed.

Seems there’re still plenty for AFM to catch up in terms of form design capabilities. There’re plenty of good mobile form apps out there hope it can provide some good examples.

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AaronPulver
Esri Regular Contributor

Hi @Jack_Zhang 

Thanks for providing all of that information.

For example, in a hydrant inspection and test form (a frequently used example by ESRI), user wants to know what the valid flow volume and pressure should be for a specific type of hydrant by pick the hydrant type in a dropdown list. Sound reasonable and simple workflow, but I couldn’t find an easy way to do this in Collector or AFM. I thought about using related table to do that, but that doesn’t work because the form won’t be able to read the related table before it’s saved. I also tried putting the description to the coded domain text, but it doesn’t work if the description text is more than couple of words, and it put everything in one line.

Have you tried defining sub-types for the hydrant types? For each sub-type you can set specific coded value or range domains. These have worked in Collector for quite some time and continue to work in Field Maps. This would mean the inspector doesn't need to know the valid ranges or options because they are only allowed to enter valid values.

Another example, how can I set the form to calculate Input3 by adding the result form Input1 and Input2.

This is also on the roadmap and is pretty high priority.

I agree that Field Maps has a lot of room to expand regarding form design. We have quite a lot of items on our roadmap that you will see come to life over the next year or two.

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