Inventor's Day Release (1.8)

09-28-2016 05:31 PM
Esri Frequent Contributor
7 13 1,898

We owe to those who with their genius inventions have made our lives easier.  Inventor’s Day celebrates their ideas and occurs in some countries such as United Kingdom, Austria, United States and a few others. Argentina celebrates the Inventor’s Day on September 29, birthday of László József Bíró who invented the ballpoint pen.  Ballpoint pens and forms have a long history together, so we thought we would devote this update to this great inventor.

Here are the highlights of what is new in this release:

  • Export to CSV enhancements: Some of you want to extract your survey data into CSV format so you can easily import it into Microsoft Excel and other tools. As of this release, the CSV column names will honor the label set on your survey questions. This enhancement is particularly handy if you have designed your survey using the Survey123 web site: No more cryptic column headers! Just as a reminder, the export to csv option is available from the Data tab at


  • Launch the Survey123 mobile app from a Web Map popup: You can now configure Web Map popups in ArcGIS to launch the Survey123 mobile app. A classic example is when you want the popup of an asset to let you easily launch Survey123, load a particular inspection form and even prepopulate some questions using attributes from that asset.  To learn more about how to do this, have a look at the Understanding the Survey123 URL scheme blog post, which was recently updated.


  • Automatic download of surveys when Survey123 is launched remotely: This one is also closely related to the use of Survey123’s custom URL scheme. Up until this release, you could not remotely open surveys in the mobile app unless they had already been downloaded into the device first. Starting with 1.8, if the survey you want to open is not present in the device already, Survey123 will attempt to download it automatically, and then open it.


  • Support compulsory questions within a repeat: In Survey123, you can include compulsory questions in your forms by simply flagging them as required. This enables you to prevent end-users from submitting incomplete forms. With this update, we are extending support for required questions to those included within a repeat block.


  • Enhancements to the pulldata function: We introduced the pulldata function in 1.7 as the means to preloading data into your survey using CSV files. With 1.8, you can also use pulldata to extract multiple attributes from geopoint questions. For example, you can extract the X and Y coordinates as well as, if your device is able to provide this information, its elevation, horizontal-vertical accuracy and even the speed and direction of your device when the location was captured.   This is extremely useful  if you want to store the X,Y,Z coordinates as attributes in your features, but also to add constraints in your form to warn users if the accuracy of the captured location is not sufficient. The syntax of an expression using pulldata for extracting the horizontal accuracy from a geopoint question looks something like this:

pulldata("@geopoint", ${location}, "horizontalAccuracy")

For a quick display of this new feature in action, load the new Calculate Location From Geopoint sample in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS.

  • Support for 3D Feature Services:  Through the bind::esri:FieldType column in your XLSForm, you can define the exact way in which attributes will be stored in your feature service. In this release, we have added support for the value esriFieldTypePointZ, which will turn your Survey123 feature service into 3D, allowing you to store the elevation of locations in the geometry column itself.

There are a handful of other miscellaneous fixes and improvements, which are detailed in the What is New Help topic.  As usual, we want to thank all of you who helped us with your feedback getting this release out.

Regular Contributor

Hi Ismael, 

With releases of Survey123 happening so regularly, do you know how many previous versions will still work with the latest release? 1.7.2 still works at the moment. I foresee end users still completing surveys using older versions and only upgrading if an administrator emails and asks them to!

Also, Esri UK are holding a conference on the 4th Oct, I assume there isn't going to be another release before then?


Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi Carmel.

We do our best to ensure that surveys published with previous versions of Survey123 work with the newer ones.  For example, you can use 1.8 to submit data on surveys published with any previous release since we first made available back in April 2015. 

The opposite may be a bit more difficult: that is, you can make old versions of the app work with surveys published with newer versions.  Only if you use new capabilities (new question types, new appearances, new operators in expressions etc) you will make old versions of the app break.

For peace of mind, I would recommend that field users turn off automatic updates of the app. This is so you can keep a better handle on the version of the app that people are using. Once you understand the new features in the new releases and ensure that existing surveys in fact  work well in it, you would ask field users to update Survey123, or use your MDM to push an update to devices.

By design, if an old survey does not work in a newer version we will consider it a bug. In these cases the best is to open an Esri Technical Support incident or to share your case here  in GeoNet.  In some cases for example the issues with newer versions may be caused by logical errors in the form that previous versions of the app were not able to catch. We try to help in these cases as quickly as we can.

Our  next planned release date is late October. We roughly try to update every month.

Regular Contributor

Excellent, thanks for the tips!

New Contributor II

We have hit an issue with the IOS version 1.8.31 not uploading a survey to ArcGISonline using iPhone or iPad IOS 9 or IOS 10.  The survey had uploaded successfully using 1.7 - it's the survey with the calculated fields in the repeat table.

We get the error message:

Send Error

This survey was not able to be sent due to the following error:

Code 1003

Operation rolled back.

I tried our problem survey in Windows desktop 1.7.20 and it uploaded fine.  Any ideas?

Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi Geoff. Can you please share your XLSFile?

New Contributor II

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New Contributor II

After slowly making my way through the form I have identified what is causing the upload fail! 

In the Repeat group I have a hidden Date field which copies the date from the Parent table into the  Child (Repeat) table using the calculation: ${Date} (Date in the Parent table is copied to Op_Date field the Child table).

This is one of the calcs that worked perfectly up to 1.6, copied only once in 1.7, and now causing upload failure at 1.8.

By removing this Date calc I can get collected data to upload fine without issue.  I have three other hidden string calcs that are working the same as 1.7 (copy only once) and upload fine with only the date calc removed.

We do this copying so field users can easily identify and definition query jobs to enable editing ArcGISonline data using ArcGIS Pro post upload if there are errors or duplicates. 

We can probably do without the Date field in the child ta but our problem now is we have users with data collected on their phones which can't be uploaded because whatever is in the hidden Date field is causing an issue.  Uploading new data after changing the form is no problem but app still refuses to upload data previously collected with the date Calc happening in the form.

Any chance of a fix so we can upload collected data without doing it manually on desktop?

Esri Regular Contributor

Unfortunately the required issue is not totally solved yet for repeats from my point of view. I am still able to submit a form as long the first repeat is filled and the others are untouched. As soon as I answer question 1 in the second repeat it will also ask me for the other questions to be answered. So it only works partly and not the way I would expect. 

And we still have the problem that a select_one field would loose it's value when switching between repeats and going back to the first. 

New Contributor II

Regarding the Export to CSV Enhancements section.

Is there anyway to export to CSV using the 'name' column (Database Field Name), not the 'label' column??

Note: I would like this to be as simple as possible, as non-GIS users will be downloading the data for QA/QC and uploading it to a field database.


Occasional Contributor III

Yes, in Survey 123 connect copy the  values from your name column into the bind::esri:fieldAlias column (column w).

New Contributor II

Do I have to set the 'bind::esri:fieldType' and 'bind::esri:fieldLength' as well? 
I did as you said and republished, but I'm still left with the same results.  Export to CSV gives me the labels.  (Export to shapefile gives me the name column, but trims the headers to 10 characters.)

Occasional Contributor III

Curious, the way I understand it this should not  be happening. If you don't set the bind::esri:fieldAlias field the feature layer defaults to the 'label' as the alias, if the bind::esri:fieldAlias is filled in there shouldn't be any reference to the 'label' in the feature layer.  The other bind fields are not necessary for this to work.

New Contributor III

I believe you may have initially published the survey without the bind field alias.  You'll have to re-publish as a new survey.