Is it possible to secure answers to public surveys

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08-08-2017 09:45 AM
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New Contributor II

When a survey is made available to the public is it possible to secure the hosted  AOL feature service so that results of the survey are not visible?    

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Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Rich,

Is this a survey that was authored via the website or Survey123 Connect?  You can either set or confirm that the people filling in the survey cannot view the data by going to the Item Details for the Feature Service (if published by Survey123 Connect) or the _fieldworker Feature Service View (if published by Survey123 website).  Check the Settings for the Feature Service, and look at the following settings:

  • What kind of editing is allowed? - not directly what you're asking about, but this controls the ability edit submissions
  • What features can editors see? - this controls read access for people signed in.  The "Editors can only see their own features" restricts people signed in.
  • What access do anonymous editors (not signed in) have? - this controls what people not signed in can do.  "Only add new features, if allowed above (requires tracking)" will prevent querying by non logged in people.
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New Contributor II

Hi James,

Thanks for quick reply.

This survey was created via the website, so I do have the _fieldworker Feature Service View and its settings are:

· What kind of editing is allowed – Only add new features

· What features can editors see – Editors can’t see any features

· What access do anonymous editors (not signed in) have? – The same as signed in editors

This worked great, pulled the Feature Service View into ArcMap and nothing, just what we were looking for!

My remaining concern is do I need to make similar setting changes to the Feature Layer and the _stakeholder Feature Layer View or can I just change the Share property to only group members for these two items?

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Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Rich,

You shouldn't need to make a change to the Feature Layer or _stakeholder Feature Layer View.  

To provide a quick overview, with surveys created via the website we take advantage of Feature Service Views (Create hosted feature layer views—ArcGIS Online Help | ArcGIS ).  These allow us to have different URLs for the same data to better restrict who can do what with the data in the table:

  • Feature Service:  This is the 'root' item for the table; if you delete this, you delete the data.  We expect this to have the most restrictive sharing (such as kept private to you and administrators for management purposes)
  • _fieldworker View:  This is designed as the entry point for the people filling out the forms.  As you've seen, it's restricted in what can be queried out of it.
  • _stakeholder View: This is designed as a publication point - it's what you would use to show the result of the surveys to interested parties (hence 'Stakeholder').  It is a read only view- someone with access to it cannot edit the data.  This is also where the data shown in the Analyze & Data tabs comes from, which is why those pages can now be shared.

With views, you can restrict:

  • Access permissions (read, add, update)
  • Which fields are visible
  • Definition query (which features are visible)

For example, if you need to hide certain fields on the Analyze page, you can edit which fields are seen in the Stakeholder View.  If you want to have a complete dataset shared internally for review and a public dataset that shows only the QA'd data, you can set up a view for the public that has a definition query applied to filter out the in QA data.

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MVP Regular Contributor

If I set that editors can only access their features, can anonymous users access all anonymously created records? Or must one be signed in to then access features created by their username? I'll definitely use a view in a public web map app, but since the hosted feature layer still needs to be shared publicly for the public to take the survey, I'm trying to hide certain fields from prying eyes. If I turn on "edit only your features" to disable editing by the public, then I can't allow the project manager on AGO to have access to editing all features, right?

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Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Chelsea,

When editor tracking is set, an anonymous user can see all anonymously submitted by default.

From your description, it sounds like for the submitting feature layer view you would want Add Features and then disable query.  You would want a separate view for your editors that doesn't have query limitations.

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MVP Regular Contributor

Thanks for the quick reply! So it sounds like the main hosted feature class can be "locked down" even if a view created on that feature class needs to broaden access for our project staff. That will work perfect for us!

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New Contributor

This did not work for me.  I searched for the survey through ArcGIS online and found the hosted feature layer.  When I added it to the map.  All the data was there.  Is there a way to protect the results of a public survey so only We can view them?

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Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Alex,

The fieldworker view or feature service used for submission should have its editor settings set to 'Add Only' and the "What features can somebody see?" should be set "Editors c...

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