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S123 Wishlist?

a month ago
MVP Regular Contributor

I have been trying to put together a short-list for my "top S123 changes that need to happen". For my list, I am trying to keep is under 10 items and am not including known bugs/defects.

Currently, my top items are (numbered for clarity, not order):

  1. Add “Save to Drafts” button inside active survey
  2. Change “x” inside active survey to a menu icon
  3. Auto recovery file should allow for multiple items/surveys
  4. Auto recovery file should not delete itself (add a menu option to do this)
  5. “Send Database” option needs to be mandatory in field app. The registry setting can be for turning it off.
  6. “External Content” and “Survey Updates” should be enforced every time a survey is launched and not be skippable (e.g., By launching from URL). I consider this a defect though since there is already an Enterprise setting that “requires survey be updated”, but it is ignored.
  7. Photos taken by S123 should be saved to mobile device's "photo library".
  8. Repeats in Field App should allow for “Excel style” entry (kind of like web interface)
  9. EDIT: Apple Pencil/Scribble feature... super need this one. (currently, this is a limitation with the QT Framework, but I believe S123 is moving away from that framework since it's EOL. As, such, it should be appropriate for a short-list now)

I'm very curious about what other people would consider top priority.

Also, I feel like I'm missing a couple, so maybe this will help me remember.

5 Replies
MVP Regular Contributor

For each of these items you should

  1. Create an ArcGIS Idea, if it does not exist already. A good idea has workflows and value reasoning (not just Esri should do X).
  2. Contact Esri support to create an enhancement request, if it does not exist already
  3. Ask Esri support to connect the ArcGIS Idea URL to the enhancement request (this works for ENH, not BUG)
  4. Add the ENH request number to the ArcGIS Ideas post 
  5. Encourage users to vote for the idea and add a comment as to why it's beneficial for their organization or workflows. As an MVP you'll come across a lot of questions where you can link the Idea as an answer.

If you have an item on your short-list and it doesn't have an idea/ENH, there is no official communication or pressure on the product team to add it. They also have no mechanism to assess the number of users or accounts (and total $ of accounts) that would like this functionality.

Some ideas are easier to implement than others. Others need more justification or might not make sense. For example, 'Add “Save to Drafts” button inside active survey' - this doesn't make any sense to me and if I was an Esri product/dev team reviewing the product plan, I wouldn't know why this was important.

Here's one that I put in around group UI improvements (ENH-000108284)

And here's another for supporting custom URL parameters for the Inbox (ENH-000130171)

And offline images in Inbox (ENH-000158507):

As community members we need to encourage users to support these ideas. Look at ArcGIS Pro - how many ideas came from the community in each release. 

I would recommend that you create an idea and ensure an ENH request is linked. Update your question with the links and numbers. Then maybe this can turn into a thread on sharing the best ideas and discussing why we want them or how users could improve their submissions. This will give us the opportunity as a community to champion requests and loop in the Survey123 team. Adds a bit more substance and direction to move forward with what we think is essential functionality or improvements that may be overlooked in favor of trendier stuff (looking at you, AI).

For known bugs it's really important that users contact support, ask to be attached to the issue, and then escalate the case with reasoning. This really puts it on the product team to fix, particularly if you have a larger account. So many users will share a bug but then there's only 1-2 accounts actually associated to it.

e.g. bug-000141398 where the CSVs don't update (though maybe this needs to be updated to the form, not just the CSVs)


MVP Regular Contributor

Of course! Each of these already has at least one (if not more) idea. And in most cases, Support was contacted. But I love the idea of linking ideas. I'll have so scour the Ideas thread for each one.

MVP Regular Contributor

For example, 'Add “Save to Drafts” button inside active survey' - this doesn't make any sense to me and if I was an Esri product/dev team reviewing the product plan, I wouldn't know why this was important.

This is something any user should be doing with any work that they are doing. For instance, when working in MS Word, the long-held advice is to "save often". MS Word has a much more robust auto-save and auto-recovery system than S123, and this advice still holds true.

Devices can sometimes crash, programs sometimes have bugs, and saving regularly can help minimize data loss in all those cases. For example, off the top of my head:

  1. Power loss to device can lose all S123 data without backup (had this happen a couple times. I blame the user here, but back-ups should still exist),
  2. The current photo bug can crash S123 without saving to backup (already logged as a bug, but no ETA on a fix)
  3. I've had multiple users complain that their idle S123 crashed without saving (I haven't recreated this one yet, but I've heard of it happening enough times to care).

When you have people working on very large/long projects where they are collecting huge amounts of irreplaceable data, having it randomly disappear isn't exactly a fun experience. Presently, users need to click the "x" > click "Save to Drafts" > get forcibly kicked out of the survey > go to "Drafts" > click on the survey > wait for survey to load > go back to where they were in the survey.

A simple "Save" button should be an incredibly easy UI addition and would resolve several issues.



MVP Regular Contributor

This is great additional information - the exact type of stuff I'm talking about. The survey123 team might not appreciate the size or time taken to enter some survey forms (though they should, I've seen some massive ones in my time...)

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MVP Regular Contributor

We already know how much #6 drives me nuts and I need it to be fixed. One of I'm sure several Ideas for fixing this: Survey checks for updates when loaded from web lin... - Esri Community

And I have BUG-000141398 logged with Esri for this issue as well.

#8 would also be up there on my list.

One I'll add is allow Survey123 Connect to store files somewhere other than you C drive?? It's an infuriating piece when it comes to the ability for collaboration, and even just proper data management principles within an organization. This one I have as ENH-000132527