Why does Survey123 Feature Report generation cost so many credits?

10-03-2019 08:45 AM
New Contributor

I understand that some of the online services associated with Survey123 and AGOL have to cost credits in order for ESRI to make money, but the recent change to charging 2.5 credits per Survey123 Feature Report seems way too high in relation to the actual effort required on their end and the benefit received.

When I originally found out they would charge credits, I assumed it would be something reasonable like 0.1 credits per feature report. At 2.5 credits per report, our business will likely be forced to move away from using Survey123 reporting in the future unless the cost drops to a more reasonable range. Doing the math, this works out to $0.25/per report (1 Credit = $0.10; $0.10 x 2.5 = $0.25/report). One of my laser printers costs less to operate.

Does anyone know why Survey123 reports cost so many credits to generate? Does anyone know the justification for this price point?

13 Replies
New Contributor III

This is especially troublesome when developing and/or troubleshooting a report.  When developing, many times I will break a report into smaller sections to test before going live.  This can add up quickly, especially when learning new features and proper syntax. 

Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Kevin,

The Survey123 website just got an update which is available on our beta version of the website: https://community.esri.com/groups/survey123/blog/2019/10/30/survey123-early-adopter-program-updates , you can find a new Preview capability for the feature report, which can be utilized to refine your report template without charging credits. Also, generating a report in PDF format is available there too.

Please feel free to post your (technical) feedback about these new features in the website forum in EAC.



New Contributor III

Excellent!  I am very happy to hear that.  I will provide feedback after I have been able to take a look and thank you for being responsive.


0 Kudos
New Contributor

Zhifang Wang That's not the point. It still costs too much to create a report

by Anonymous User
Not applicable

This cost seems exorbitant. We utilize Survey123 to take hundreds or thousands of preliminary damage assessments for an incident and are often asked to generate pdf reports for each entry for record-keeping. Seriously, has anyone found a workaround?

survey123 reports‌ survey123 survey123 credits #disaster response

Survey123 for ArcGISPublic Safetyhttps://community.esri.com/community/public-safety/blog/2018/09/11/fema-releases-survey123-templates...US Disaster CommunityDisaster Resilience

Occasional Contributor III

I agree, the cost of generating a single page report just seems extremely high...

You could build a data driven page in ArcMap/Pro with the required template and include your data* as dynamic fields from your survey. Photos should come through as dynamic content and it can save you the cost of generating a report in AGOL/Survey123 website. (I've done it in the past before the feature report generation became available.) I hope this helps.

*: either download your survey data as a file geodatabase or use the feature layer from AGOL/Portal.

(The on-premise version of the Survey123 website is coming at some point and it supposed to include the feature report generation functionality when it becomes available for Server/Enterprise.)

0 Kudos
New Contributor

We used to generate about 1000 reports a month using Survey123, but now with their new fee structure, we have stopped using the report service and replaced it with an excel to word workflow. The rest of our survey123/Collector/AGOL process has stayed the same.

The excel to word process is less elegant than the reporting in survey123 since it requires transferring data from the database into an excel workbook, but does not cost us anything once setup and has been working fine for the past 3 weeks. It took me an afternoon to build the excel workbook and word template plus prepare a standard operating process for the coworkers that will be running reports. Our process is only partially automated but I am sure that it can be fully automated provided someone with time and coding skills set their mind to it.

As a bonus, our reports look identical to the reports we would generate from Survey123. So from a deliverable standpoint, there was no change.

I would consider moving back to the Survey123 process if the price was significantly lower but it would only be for convenience sake and even then, I might stay with this approach as it gives me more control over the process and output (I was able to code in some error checking into the excel workbook that warns the users if there are potential problems with the data). We are deploying this approach across more of our projects now that we have the template and work process figured out.

So far I am still happy with ESRI's Survey123/Collector/AGOL services as a whole. I think ESRI has missed the mark on pricing the report generating service and I hope that they correct this mistake in the future. Until then, we will not be using the service much, if at all.

This is the YouTube video that helped us develop our work process: How To Create Custom Word Documents From Excel WITHOUT Mail Merge - YouTube 

Hope this helps those of you with reports and saves you some money!

#Survey123 Reports #Survey123 Credits #Survey123

by Anonymous User
Not applicable

Thank you. I did a quick search yesterday trying to find an excel to word template method to run locally without luck, so hopefully, your youtube link will get me down the right path. We too would continue to use the service if it was set at a more reasonable price point. I'm curious as to the real draw on Esri's processing power that drove their rationale behind the cost.

MVP Regular Contributor

I too had the exact same comment. Not only does ESRI charge me for my AGOL accounts, they have the nerve to start charging me 2.5 credits for each of these reports. There is nothing special about these reports and will be looking for another method to move away from Survey123 reports.

Very unfortunate ESRI.