Survey123 Early Adopter Program Updates

10-30-2019 09:22 AM
Esri Notable Contributor
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The Survey123 Early Adopter Program (EAP) 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 Program is critical to Survey123. It allows the development team to share with you early cuts of the software feedback can be gathered. This early feedback is used to refine new features and fixes before they are made available under General Release. The EAP offers a great opportunity for you to try out your own surveys and workflows with the Beta software to anticipate any issues that may arise in the upcoming releases.

We just updated the EAP with a Beta version of Survey123 3.7, which is planned to be made available in December this year. Not all the new features and work you see in the EAP will make it to 3.7.Only features that have received positive feedback make the cut for general release. Below is a list of some of Beta features for which we want to actively gather your feedback, and some thoughts on when we estimate the features will join the production release of Survey123.

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

Survey123 Feature Reports

We released Survey123 Feature Report capabilities back in July 2019. The Early Adopter Program will give you access to the Beta builds of the Survey123 website, which include:

  • A new option 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.
  • A new option to generate Preview Reports, so you can design your report templates without incurring ArcGIS Online credit costs.

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

When testing the new PDF and report preview capabilities, please report your findings (positive and negative) in the new Survey123 website forum in the EAP website. We are targeting 3.7 for the release of both of these functions.

Survey123 Field App

Through the Early Adopter Program 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 off the device first.

Our 3.7 release is mostly focused on bug fixes and performance improvements. Information about the specific bug fixes addressed in each Beta update are detailed in the Announcements section of the EAP website. Some of the main areas of work include:

  • The numbers and calculator appearances went through an entire overhaul. The main goal of this work is to address data loss issues reported. We also revisited the overall user experience and came up with a new design to accelerate data capture. We believe we got the data loss issue completely resolved. Can you prove us wrong? Your feedback regarding the new look and feel and usability will also be welcomed.
  • Inbox performance improvements. Our own tests show pretty substantial improvements in terms of memory consumption and speed. This means a better user experience and reduced chances of a crash, particularly on low-end devices. We want you to put points, lines and polys to the test in the Inbox, particularly when working with related records. We are not looking at the Inbox as the means to load 10K records ion your device, but working with a few hundred and even 1000 or 2000 should be now much smoother.
  • Added support for Geode external GNSS receivers.

The features above are planned for our 3.7 release. We are actively working to address random logout issues in the field app. It is our goal to upload new Beta builds so this networking issues can also be validated through the EAP.

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 not to break backwards compatibility with older versions, your own tests can highlight issues we would never find on our own.

Survey123 Web Form JavaScript API (New)

  • This is for any JavaScript developer looking to embed Survey123 forms within a web application. Using this API you can easily have the form interact with your own web app. You can apply your own CSS styling, calculate questions and hook to web form events to make your web app and survey work like one.

This is the very first time we expose this feature through the Early Adopter Program. We are initially aiming to release in early 2020, but as usual, the ultimate release date will be dictated by your own feedback through the Early Adopter Program.

On-Premises Survey123 setup (Updated)

  • A Windows-only setup for those of you who want to deploy the Survey123 website and Survey123 REST API locally in your own on-premises environment.

We have had our On-Premises Survey123 setup available in the Early Adopter Program for some time. We are progressively making adjustments and improvements driven by your feedback. Currently, the beta version is ready for anyone who wants to test the website and API locally while keeping a connection to the internet available. If you plan on deploying in a completely disconnected environment (with no access to the internet), keep in mind that Survey123 Connect will not be able to work in that environment (the website and API will).

We are aiming towards a release of this feature (subject to positive feedback) within the first half of 2020.

Standard Map Types

  • Standard map type functionality was introduced in 3.6 as a Beta feature. This is the only Beta feature included in the released builds of the software.  Standard map type functionality needs to be explicitly activated in Connect and the field app, allowing you to work with web maps, mobile map packages and vector tile packages. 
  • Please note that our Beta builds in the Early Adopter Program do not include any new work in this area when compared with the 3.6 release. For this reason, if you are testing this feature you may want to wait for upcoming updates in the Early Adopter Program.

Other topics

You will find other Beta features such as how to use custom JavaScript functions in the field app or how to work with the Survey123 Feature Report service REST API.