Valentine's Day Update

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18
02-08-2016 04:40 PM
IsmaelChivite
Esri Frequent Contributor
9 18 4,495

Our Valentine’s Day release is here. One week ahead of time! Let’s have a look at what is new:

Performance! The Survey123 app should load your surveys much faster now. The new version number is 1.2.49 and is available in the Google Play, Apple and Windows app stores. The performance boost also applies to the desktop: Windows, OS X and Ubuntu Linux. You should be able to create now surveys with hundreds of questions and have them loaded in no more than a few seconds. Average surveys with 20 to 30 questions should load instantly.

Having the many Surveys you have shared with us has been key to get this straight. We noticed that some of you created surveys which used exactly the same relevant expression for many (say 5, 10 even 15) questions. With this update you will see a significant performance boost in these cases, but you can double the effect if you group all of these questions together into a group and apply the relevant expression only to the group. In this way, you reduce the computation needed to load the survey: you reduce loading time and save battery.

We also saw some surveys with very long choice lists. Remember that it is always faster to display long choice lists using the minimal appearance. In some extreme cases we have seen choice lists with over 300 items. The winner in this category had a choice list with over 40 thousand elements. We want to handle these situations better. First, in the next update you will see even faster drop-downs. We are also exploring how to best provide auto-suggest capabilities, so people do not need to handle ridiculously big drop-downs.

Fixes to Sharing & Download Data in survey123.esri.com: Many of you told us that sharing surveys and downloading their results through the survey123.esri.com web site was brittle. This turned out to be much harder than we thought but things should be much better now. We had to make some deep changes in the format of Surveys to get this sorted. For this reason, you will need to upgrade your Surveys. Do not worry, even if you don't your surveys will still work well with the new and old versions of the app. And if you upgrade your surveys, absolutely nothing should break.

To upgrade your survey, you will need to download the latest version of Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS. Connect will detect if the surveys in your local computer need to be upgraded and show a warning in the Survey Gallery, like in the screenshot below.

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To upgrade, simply tap on the Survey and then click on the Upgrade button. This process will essentially make a call to your ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS to replace the format of your Form item. Once a Survey has been updated, sharing from the web site should work smoothly.

Map Preview in iOS: This fix is specific to iOS devices (iPhones and iPads). The Map Preview is now showing again.

We are now working on our next update, which is scheduled for the International Women's Day on March 8. As usual, we try to prioritize our work based on user feedback so keep your comments coming!

The Survey123 for ArcGIS Team.

18 Comments
AnastasiaNaymushina
New Contributor III

Is 1.2.18 the latest version of Surevey123 Connect?

If not, where can I find the latest one?

MaryWasson
New Contributor II

I have been building lots of forms in Survey 123 and love this app.  I'm looking forward to it's full production release.  I get lots of questions from my project manager and other form users asking whether or not they will be able to click a manhole or other asset and the Survey 123 form will come up like it does in Collector.  Survey 123 looks so much better than collector and has much more functionality overall.  Will Survey 123 ever be able to have the spatial join/relate in the field like Collector does? Are you still on track for a release date of mid 2016?

PaulDavidson1
Regular Contributor

At the recent Esri Water Conference, it was mentioned that the next release of Survey123 would be Portal compatible.  Is that this release or the one scheduled for March?

Looks to be a very useful tool!

But we're committed to a Portal setup so...

IsmaelChivite
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi,

to get the latest version of Connect:

1) Go to http://survvey123.arcgis.com

2) Login with your ArcGIS Online credentials

3) Either click on New Survey to download Connect, or scroll down to the bottom of the page and download from the quick links section

Ismael

IsmaelChivite
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi Paul,

Survey123 for ArcGIS works with Portal for ArcGIS 10.3.1. It also works with Portal for ArcGIS 10.4 (coming up very soon). Please find details about working with ArcGIS for Server and Portal for ArcGIS in this blog post from July 2015: Survey123 and ArcGIS for Server

I hope this helps,

Ismael

IsmaelChivite
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi Mary,

we will try to make Collector look better! We are focusing our efforts on building better smart forms. One of the aspects that we have in our radar consists on letting you provision the device with existing Surveys, so you can edit their information. It is a bit early to anticipate when this will be ready, but it is a necessary step before you will be able to open a Survey from a feature in a map.  I think in the short term, you will want to use Survey123 for ArcGIS to address form-centric workflows where you need to capture new information.  Down the road you will be able to edit existing data.

Regarding relates: Technically, Survey123 for ArcGIS already works with relates. Related tables and related layers are created when you add a Repeat to your Form. Do the following test: Create a new Form, add a couple of questions, and then add a repeat with a handful of questions in it.  Publish the Survey and have a look at the Feature Service. You will notice that the questions in the Repeat are modeled as a related table.

Having said this, if what you are looking for is to use Survey123 for ArcGIS to work with an existing Feature Service that already has a related table then the answer is not so easy.  When we built Survey123 for ArcGIS we wanted people to be able to focus their energy into constructing the user experience for capturing data (the Form) rather than on thinking how the data would be stored.  This means that you first build your Form, and then the software figures how your questions will be modeled in ArcGIS.  Related tables are used when necessary.  While it is technically possible to build a Form that works against an existing Feature Service (with related tables or without), the easier workflow is to go in the opposite direction.  You can make your new Form match the database schema of an existing Feature Service, but it is not the natural flow.  I have seen people do it and be very happy with the results, but there are some logical limitations in that process. It may not work with every feature service.

Hope this helps!

Ismael

PaulDavidson1
Regular Contributor

Thank you Ismael.

Just what I was looking for.

Any idea when access to Survey Gallery or View Results might become available ?

-Paul

MicheleLoger
New Contributor

Thanks for speeding up the form loading, my survey is long and was taking too long to be useful.

I'm curious is there is a way to populate a "point number" automatically based on the previous survey entry in the same field. So for each point a full survey form is complete with a field point_num, how can I set as a default the "previous point_num + 1" ?

Thanks!

MaryWasson
New Contributor II

Thank you for replying so quickly.  I have joined Survey123 data to my existing manholes as a test.  It does work but my main problem is the unique identifier.  I am sure that once these forms are field tested more, the maintenance crews using them will enter the wrong MH ID even though I have added constraints using a regular expression.  I can try doing a dropdown but I'm looking at over 6,000 manholes.  I've been brainstorming trying to think of the best way to have the least amount of error.  I may end up using Collector for some forms and Survey123 for others.  I'm also looking at putting a tiled map in the survey to see if that will be helpful. 

Thanks, Mary

FinnianO_Connor
Occasional Contributor II

I'm really liking the existing functionality of the app, however there are a few requests users would appreciate. The main requests are the ability to directly produce a pdf report and csv data from within the Survey123 app. In some disconnected environments users cant send data to AGOL immediately, but still require access to the data they collected.

These two features would add to the usefulness for certain workflows.

Finnian

DougBrowning
MVP Frequent Contributor

I came up with a way to make PDF reports that are emailed overnight.  Little extra work but it also gives you the ability to control what the pdf looks like, add maps, etc.  You could use this code to email a csv copy also.  You have to sync at some point but you would have to have someway to get the pdf off the tablet anyway.

See here for code

Triggers in Collector/ArcGIS Online?

IsmaelChivite
Esri Frequent Contributor

Doug BrowningFinnian O'Connor

Hey Doug, the Python script work you did is pretty nice! I hope it works for Finnian.  We are thinking about adding an option in the Survey123 app as well where you will be able to send an e-mail to someone with the data captured in a particular Survey, or even print it on paper if you had a printer defined (bluetooth-enabled printer for mobile devices, or simply a network printer if you were working from your desktop).  Would this be helpful?

DougBrowning
MVP Frequent Contributor

Yes it would be helpful to get a copy.  Forms are still thought up as paper in most companies.  For us the big one was after a contractor signs it they need a nice paper form looking copy for their records. 

But after setting up this Data Driven Pages solution I realized your biggest hurdle with Survey123 will be designing the reports.  You really do not control the look now - its just a list of fields.  When using something like layout in ArcMap it allowed me to add a logo/address at the top, split fields into columns or even a spreadsheet look, add a map, place the captured signatures anywhere, hide some of the fields, use colors and fonts, etc.  So then it becomes a problem of having to build a form designer...which is always a big undertaking.  If it is just going to spit out a list of fields with no real formatting I do not think it will help anyone much.  The "designer" you have now has no free flow formatting.

FinnianO_Connor
Occasional Contributor II

Doug BrowningIsmael Chivite

Hey Doug that's a nice way of generating a pdf/csv but not entirely suited for my particular workflow. What Ismael talks about is going more in the direction that would work in my situation. We want the user of Survey123 to be able to export/email a pdf/csv of their data directly from the app.

While the data will ultimately end up in a geodatabase it would be good for the guys in the field to be able to visualize their data before that happens; also from a data back-up perspective, if you are disconnected for days at a time you don't want to loose days of data due to a hardware/software issue.

TerriSutcliffe1
New Contributor II

Being able to back up survey data is really important to my team who can sometimes work offline in remote locations for several days. It would be ideal us to have an option in the Survey 123 app to download csv files, which we could then manually copy to a laptop or storage device. However, any option to be able to back up the data while offline would be fantastic. Any help on how to back up data with the current version would be greatly appreciated.

FinnianO_Connor
Occasional Contributor II

Ismael Chivite

Hi Ismale, perhaps you could provide some guidance as to whether Survey123 will be able to perform some kind of backup/export of data when working in an offline environment in the future.

Much appreciated,

Finnian

IsmaelChivite
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi Finnian,

technically, Survey123 for ArcGIS stores all captured data in a SQLLite database in your device. This data can be extracted from your phone and then pushed into the Feature Service from another device or computer. It is just a matter of understanding where the data is stored, what tools to use to make changes (if necessary) and how to sync the data.  We will be working on a blog post and documentation to illustrate this step by step. Thanks a lot for your question!

Ismael

FinnianO_Connor
Occasional Contributor II

Thanks for the reply Ismael. This is fantastic! It will really make a difference on projects that are in areas with no access to an Internet connection. Looking forward to the blog post.

Cheers,

Finnian