What’s new in Survey123 for ArcGIS v 2.0?

We are pleased to announce the availability of Survey123 version 2.0.  Survey123 for ArcGIS IconThis releases brings key new features and enhancements.

  • The survey123.arcgis.com web site has been updated. Remember to clear your browser cache to avoid any gotchas.
  • The build number for Survey123 Connect v2.0 is 2.0.35. It is available in our Download Page.
  • You can also access version 2.0 of the Survey123 field app from the Google Play, iTunes and Amazon app stores. If you would like to run Survey123 in Windows, Mac or Ubuntu Linux, you can access the setups from our Download Page.

Here is what is new:

Enhanced Web Designer

The easiest way to get started with Survey123 for ArcGIS is through the Web Designer. While it does not feature all the smart form capabilities supported by Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS, Web Designer offers plenty of functionality to author powerful forms for data collection, and it is certainly a favorite among many of you.

Change surveys once they have been published

With this update, you can add, delete, or update existing questions in surveys, even after people have submitted data.  While it is not ideal to update surveys once they have been published and shared, we all make mistakes, so this option is quite handy.  In fact you can now modify anything in a survey from questions, to options in lists, labels, hints, defaults and user input constraints.  Previously captured data in your feature service will not be lost.

Rating question

The new Rating question is best shown in action:

Not only you can control the number of ticks in the Rating question, but you can also switch between a more visual appearance with icons versus a textual appearance.

Technically, the Rating question is modeled in XLSForms as a select_one type of question with a likert appearance.

Added Support for Integrated Windows Authentication

(Survey123 Connect and Survey123 field app)

Starting with version 2.0, you can use both the field app (to capture data) as well as Survey123 Connect (to publish new surveys) against an instance of Portal for ArcGIS configured with an IWA-enabled Web Adaptor. Details about this configuration can be found in the Use Integrated Windows Authentication with your portal help topic.

What is best of all is that if you’re using Connect or the field app from a Windows operating system, you will benefit from a SSO (Single Sign On) experience.  All you need to do is add a new Portal connection to Survey123 using the URL of your ArcGIS Web Adaptor. Then, provide your Windows credentials once and from that point on, you will be automatically signed-in, even in Survey123 Connect.

Enhancements to the Survey123 field app

In every release, we try to make the field data capture experience better and better. The Survey123 field app in this update includes many new features and fixes.

Collapsible Groups

Groups are a great way to split long surveys into sections. With version 2.0 Groups can be easily expanded and collapsed by the field user with a simple tap, making the data capture process more efficient.   Also with this update, you can apply the compact appearance to your Groups in XLForms, forcing Groups to appear collapsed by default.

This short video-tutorial describes Groups in Survey123 in more detail.

.

Survey download page

You can now easily sort the list of surveys in the Download page. This is very handy when many surveys have been shared with your account. I particularly like to sort by time, because that moves recently updated surveys to the top of the list, but you can also sort surveys alphabetically.  The search box in the download page also allows you to filter the list of surveys.

The survey Download page will now list public surveys, if they were published to your own ArcGIS organization. Generally, public surveys are open using a custom URL Scheme link which will automatically download and open a Public Survey in your device, but having the ability to also download them while signed-in is useful for the survey author.

Folders

The Survey123 field app uses the Draft, Outbox and Sent folders to better organize surveys with responses:

  • Incomplete surveys are saved in the Draft folder.
  • Any survey ready to be submitted will be kept in the Outbox folder if disconnected from the network.
  • Lastly, surveys already submitted are kept locally in the Sent folder in case they might be needed in the future.

Starting with version 2.0, surveys can be sorted within each of these folders alphabetically and by time. You can also filter surveys from the list using the Search box.  The Search works against the label of your survey (instance_name) as well as against any response within the survey.

You can learn more about controlling the survey label shown in folders through the instance_name setting through this video tutorial, or this blog post.

The traditional folder list view is now complemented with a map view. This is quite handy, because field users can now use a map to determine where they have previously submitted surveys, or locate surveys in the map that are still in draft mode.  Surveys can be easily opened from the map view too.

The following video describes in more detail what the Sort & Search and Map additions mean to the Sent Folder.

.

Getting Service Information Fix

Last but not least for the Survey123 field app! Some of you reported that the Survey123 field app would hang right after attempting to submit a survey showing a ‘Getting Service Information’ dialog. Well, this was caused by expired ArcGIS security tokens. This problem should be now gone.

Added support for editing survey responses

(Survey123 field app)

Starting with version 2.0, you can use the Survey123 field app to update existing features in a feature service. This has been a popular request in ideas.arcgis.com so we are very happy to have this new capability available to all of you.

Correcting previously submitted surveys:

In its simplest form, editing survey responses means that field users can now correct or update surveys previously submitted from their device. In the Survey123 field app, every submitted survey is kept in the Sent folder.  When opening a survey from the Sent folder, users can now choose if they wish to update that existing survey, or alternatively create a copy of it to create a new record.  This short video illustrates the workflow.

.

The ability to correct previously submitted responses using the Sent folder will be available to any user running version 2.0 (or newer) of the Survey123 field app. This functionality will work with surveys that were published with version 1.x as long as the underlying Feature Service has Update capabilities enabled (which is typically the case).

Introducing the Inbox

Editing existing features with Survey123 is even more interesting when a survey is configured with an Inbox. The Inbox is a new concept in Survey123, but the idea is similar to how the Inbox works in e-mail clients.  The Inbox is meant to be populated with incoming surveys that can be used later in the Survey123 app to look at or update information.

This video quickly illustrates how the Inbox works:

.

The Inbox concept is quite simple for field users to understand. For survey owners, the Inbox can also be very powerful if used creatively. For example, a query can be applied to the Inbox so field users will only fetch features that meet a specific condition.  Say for example that the Inbox is configured to only fetch features where INSPECTION-STATUS=’Pending’.  This will ensure that any new pending inspection is available to field users through the Inbox.

I believe that with the Inbox as is in 2.0, many of you will benefit greatly. However, you should be aware of several known limitations, which we have in our future development to-do list:

  • The Inbox as of 2.0 does not work with surveys that contain repeats.
  • The Inbox does not work against Portal for ArcGIS feature services using a combination of uppercase and lowercase characters in their field names.
  • The number of surveys in the Inbox will be limited by the maximum record count setting of your feature service (which typically is set to 1000 records unless you change it as described in this KB article)
  • Questions in your survey flagged as read-only or hidden will not be populated  with data in the Inbox.
  • Attachments (photos and signatures) will not be populated in the Inbox.

More languages

With version 2.0, we have completed localization of the survey123.arcgis.com web site for all languages supported with ArcGIS. We were missing Hebrew, Arabic and Hindi, and now we support them all!

The Survey123 field app now supports Hindi, Bosnian and Indonesian.

You will also notice that the documentation has been translated.  A new language menu present in the top-right corner of the help pages will let you change the language.

Specifically on Windows (Russian, Japanese and Spanish) operating systems, we have observed garbled text in some buttons in Survey123 Connect. This issue is under investigation and we will fix as soon as possible in a future update.

Survey123 for Developers

The source code of the Survey123 field app is available to developers through AppStudio for ArcGIS. The source code in AppStudio has been updated to version 2.0.

What happened to the Beta Program?

Much of the work above could have never been possible without the continuous feedback that many of you have provided through the Survey123 for ArcGIS Beta Program. Through the Beta Program you can access early copies of Survey123 and try features that are still in development.  Our Beta Program remains open so we can share with you progress towards the 2.1 release, which is scheduled for late May 2017.

There are several features that did not quite make it into 2.0, but you will soon see some progress through the Beta.

  • Survey Pages: A very rough implementation is available right now in 2.0. This functionality will be refined through the Beta program.
  • Better Web Forms: Our goal is to be able to display surveys authored in Connect within a web browser. A rough implementation also available right now in 2.0, but more work is required before we call this done!
  • Support for ArcGIS Server Federated Services: This is our very next task in the development to-do list.
  • Multi-factor authentication (PKI) support.
  • Setup for on-premises deployments of the Survey123 web site and its REST API.

If you would like to try the above features, I encourage you to join and monitor the Beta Program.  I estimate our next update to the Beta Program will come around May 15, 2017.

This entry was posted in App Developers, Apps, Editing, Electric & Gas, Health, Hydro, Local Government, Mobile, National Government, Oceans & Maritime, Petroleum, Portal for ArcGIS, Public Safety, risk assessment, Sciences, State Government, Telecommunications, Transportation, Uncategorized, Water Utilities and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

10 Comments

  1. timmerspk says:

    The Inbox is a nice addition, but what about the idea of removing the ability to submit new surveys. Only allow people to edit from inbox? You can’t do that currently can you?

    Also is there any doco on what is and isn’t possible within the Where expression? I have been experimenting with date queries in there with no luck.

    • ismael says:

      @timmerspk
      Disabling Collect: At the moment it is not possible to disable Collect, but it is a great suggestion. Will add to the back log.
      Where Expressions: Any WHERE expression supported by the survey’s feature service will work. Here is an example of a date query: ws_advisory_start_date > ’2009-01-01 00:00:00′

  2. johnmdye says:

    Yay for IWA!!! Great work, I k ow you guys had been working in that one for a while. Is the web app available for On-Premise deployment yet or are we still proxying to AGOL for that? Love the new rating questions too. Any chance we could get some additional configuration there such as providing our own SVG to use as the icon (maybe I want five apples) and also the ability to specify the fill color?
    I agree, Inbox is pretty interesting. I’d also like to see a “question transition animation” capability. Similar to how typeforms autoscrolls to the next question after it has been answered. This could just be a set of standard animations like slide left/right/up/down, fade in/out, etc. Lastly some validation styling and animations would also be cool (ie. Shake, show error icon and set outline red, show error message if input is invalid and show green check if input is valid).

  3. stephenz says:

    I recently updated the Survey123 connect app to version 2.0.35. Still, after I publish a new survey or look at my exiting surveys, I can not access the new “Design” feature. I have been looking forward to the “Design” feature for a while now in order to make sure my surveys are updated. Does anyone know why I still can’t access “Design” even with version 2.0?

    • jtedrick_survey123 says:

      The new edit survey design on the web site will only revise surveys that were initially authored via the web designer.

      • stephenz says:

        Does Survey123 expect the “Design” feature to be applicable to Survey123 Connect published entries? Allowing editing options for Survey123 Connect is absolutely needed in order for Survey123 to be a rolling survey. For example, as employees are added or removed to a specific project, the current Survey123 Connect is static, disallowing me to account the changes in personnel on projects.

        Is there any way that I can edit my published surveys from Survey123 Connect?
        Thanks for the help!

        • ismael says:

          @stephenz

          Survey123 Connect supports re-publishing surveys without losing data, but the number of changes you can make are limited to those that do not affect the geodatabase schema. Adding new questions, or changing the name of questions for example will force a feature service deletion. You can however, change many other things such as Labels, Hints, Choice Lists, Reorder questions, Update expressions in default, constraint, calculation and choice filter columns… You can change of all those on existing surveys without losing data.

          If your survey currently includes a list of employees, and you are using a select_one question to let field users choose, you can update the choice list and re-publish the survey. You will not lose any data in the feature service.

          We may look into enhancing the logic in Connect to handle more changes to published surveys, but it is a really challenging problem, particularly when there are people in the field working in disconnected mode. For surveys on the web the problem is easier because there is no local schema that may get out of sync.

          A more detailed discussion about overwriting surveys in Connect can be found here:http://doc.arcgis.com/en/survey123/desktop/create-surveys/faqcreatesurveys.htm#anchor17

  4. geosyntecboston says:

    Very nice enhancements. One question I have on the inbox: is there a way to set the fields that show for each record? In the video above demonstrating the capabilities, the ID (ID:3800 for example shows) came up, but on mine im seeing a mix of dates and values that are not helpful to help a user find a record. Is this configured somewhere in the form?

  5. hoytal says:

    When I set the default basemap to Topography in the Survey123 Web Designer and share my survey with Everyone and use the link that gives the option to open in the Browser or in Survey123 App, the Topography basemap stays for the browser version, but reverts back to the Streets basemap in the Survey123 App version. Is this a bug?

  6. jcaprio says:

    So I created a survey in Survey123 Connect and published it. When I test the survey it allows me to enter 1 record, then when I try to enter another record I get an error “Unable to get property ‘length’ of undefined or null reference”. I have been able to enter 2 records, and cant do any more. Any ideas?