Using Numbers Appearance Type Sometimes Will Not Store Value in Field

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07-01-2019 07:04 PM
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New Contributor III

If using the numbers appearance type and using a mobile device, the cursor does not always appear in the field. Despite this, the user is still able to enter the numbers in the field using the numbers keypad, but the values are not saved when saving the survey. If you select the field twice and ensure there is a cursor in the field before entering your values, the numbers will be saved.

It's difficult to explain or show in a snip, but I've attached two snips, the first (capture1.png) shows no cursor, yet the numbers keypad is visible and you can enter the numbers using the keypad into the field (but they won't be saved). The second snip (capture2.png) shows the cursor visible in the field, and also the phone's native keypad, if numbers are entered in this state, they will be saved.

When using the desktop version clicking in the field with your mouse or using the tab key to jump between fields always seems to produce the cursor in the field so it doesn't seem to be an issue.

If this is not a bug then it is certainly something that users need to be aware of!.

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Esri Frequent Contributor
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Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Jon,

We do have an issue logged with this issue but do not have a timeframe yet when the issue will be fixed. I had added your post to the issue so that we can keep tracking this issue.

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New Contributor III

That’s fine thank you, now that we know why the values aren’t being saved we can work around the issue (by removing the Numbers appearance type in this instance).

Jon Marks

Senior Analyst | Kaitātari Matua

Environmental Science Department | Te Taiao

GREATER WELLINGTON REGIONAL COUNCIL | TE PANE MATUA TAIAO

Shed 39, 2 Fryatt Quay, Pipitea, Wellington 6011 | PO Box 11646, Manners St, Wellington 6142

DDI: 04 830 4140 | M: +64 27 609 8912

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New Contributor III

We are also experiencing this issue, which caused loss of data over several weeks on multiple projects and will require revisiting sites that were previously inspected to recapture the missing data. Why was the numbers appearance left as an option with such severe problems or why wasn't the issue made more visible? From what I can tell, this has been an open issue since 2017 (Numbers data missing from upload ). It makes no sense that this was left in as an option when it has been known to cause unrecoverable data loss for years and there is no estimated timeline for a solution. It is also a non-essential feature that we included for convenience, but that would not have severely impacted the workflow if we left it out. 

This is an extremely severe bug and makes me question if we should continue using Survey123 if it is not reliable for storing the data that was collected in the field. At the very least, there should be a tab in Connect with a list of known bugs so that people creating forms can keep on top of known issues without having to search through a bunch of blog or discussion posts. This bug does not appear in the list of known issues (Known issues—Survey123 for ArcGIS | ArcGIS ) and I could not figure out how to navigate to the list of known bugs in Survey123. This makes us look unprofessional and impacts our budgets and schedule. There may also be context-dependent data collection that can not be reperformed. It is very concerning that ESRI's response to a serious data collection issue is so blasé. 

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Frequent Contributor II

Could not agree more.  We have lost a lot of time and money in the last year due to bugs that are often many years old.  In years prior 123 has always been good about getting these core ones fixed but they seem to concentrate more on the new toys lately.

I have asked for sticky post or known issues lists or something.  Bugs happen - that is life.  But to ignore them for years and not tell anyone is not good programming.  It makes us that push it look bad.

I suggest writing Ismael as he has been responsive to me on these issues.  The team needs to hear more about how big of a deal these things are.  It may seem minor with a few forms or a few users but when you are at scale with hundreds of forms and thousands of users it is a whole different story.

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New Contributor III

I agree. The Survey123 team used to be very good about quickly addressing issues from previous releases and I used to be extremely confident that major issues would be addressed quickly and effectively. But recently, more and more features keep getting introduced without fixing previous bugs and these new features introduce even more bugs. As someone who has used Survey123 since it was first introduced and who used to promote it highly, I no longer feel confident in saying that certain features will work without knowing the exact devices that will be used, the OS of the devices, the version of Survey123, and without testing the exact workflow to ensure that things work as expected. 

Even in this case, I did submit test forms prior to the start of field inspections, but it required a certain combination of actions to produce the bug which I did not come across while testing. The fields with the numbers appearance were not required so it did not immediately raise suspicion that some were coming in empty. But now, I have no idea which were intentionally left blank and which were supposed to have values. We have no way of recovering the data without repeating a month's worth of inspections and all for a feature that could have been easily left off if we had only been aware of this issue. Maybe drop a note in the numbers section of the  Quick reference—Survey123 for ArcGIS | ArcGIS  to alert people of the known issue associated with this appearance type? Just give us a fighting chance to avoid these known issues without having to scour every discussion or blog post. I am someone who follows the Survey123 blog and discussions and who uses Survey123 on a near daily basis, and I still can't keep up with these issues and bugs.

Please address existing bugs before introducing new features that come with their own bugs or disable features that can have a large impact if they do not function correctly. I would rather have a stable product with features that are introduced slowly than a product that I do not trust to function properly.  Instead of being impressed by new features added to Survey123, I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated by the unpredictability of the application.

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Frequent Contributor II

I suggest writing Ismael.  I did and it sounded just like what you wrote - but it could help to hear it from more than just me.

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Esri Frequent Contributor