ArcGIS Survey123

Survey123 for ArcGIS 2.0 Beta Program is now open


.Survey123 for ArcGIS Icon

Survey123 for ArcGIS version 2 is in the making and we invite you to actively participate through our Survey123 Beta Program. Our plan is to release version 2.0 in April 2017, but this program gives you early access to the software for testing purposes.

Here are some of the most exciting features coming up with version 2.0:

Survey Editing

Starting with version 2.0, you can use Survey123 to update existing features in a Feature Service.  There are two main use cases where this is handy:

Amend previously submitted data: As you know, every time you submit data with Survey123 for ArcGIS, we keep a record of your submitted surveys in the Sent folder.  With version 2.0 of the Survey123 app you can open surveys from the Sent folder, modify them and resubmit the edits to your feature service. This is useful in case that folks in the field want to correct submitted data. We all make mistakes, so this should be handy!  This is also useful for people who wanted to submit incomplete surveys early, and then resubmit with the completed survey.  You can use this functionality right away against surveys published with version 1.x as long as your feature service allows updates to features.

Provision and Edit:  In Survey123 version 2 we are introducing the concept of an Inbox. The Inbox is meant to help you fetch surveys from a feature service, so you can work with them from your device. Depending on how the security is set  in the feature service, the Inbox will let you work with surveys submitted by the logged-in user, or by other people.  The Inbox, actually like other folders such as Drafts, Sent and Outbox, allows you to look at surveys as a List, but also through a Map view.  This is very useful when you want to look at surveys captured by other colleagues or in the past.  You can activate the Inbox in surveys published with version 1 by imply enabling the Inbox in Survey123 Connect and re-publishing your survey. For new surveys published with version 2, the Inbox will by default be disabled, but you can enable it just as easily.

As of Survey123 2.0 editing functionality as described above will be limited to Surveys without repeats. We will not support editing attachments either in this first round. Editing surveys including repeats will come later in a 2.x update.

Better Web Forms

At the moment, with version 1, you can use a simple web browser to submit data to surveys authored from the Web Designer. The Web Designer in Survey123 is very easy to use, but it provides limited smart form capabilities.  With version 2 we want to elevate support for Survey123 smart forms on the web by expanding support to surveys authored in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS.  The ability to render your Survey123 Connect work in a web browser was made available as a technology preview in version 1.10, but it continues evolving with version 2.0.

Our intent is to support the vast majority of the XLSForm specification supported in Connect from these new Web Forms, although we anticipate some limitations. For example, barcode scanning and input masks will not be available on the web, but many other things will: Groups, Repeats, Styling with images and much more!

Better Groups and Pages

If you load your existing version 1.x surveys into the Survey123 v2 application you will notice that Groups are collapsible in version 2.0.  You do not have to do anything to enable this feature… you will get it for free. Additionally, if you publish your survey again you can also make your Groups appear collapsed by default using the compact appearance.  This can help you organize large surveys much better.

Also through the Beta program you can try an early implementation of Pages. Pages let you break down your survey into sections to help people navigate complex forms.  We are not quite sure if we will be able to get Pages for the initial v 2.0 release, but we included this in the Beta so we can capture your feedback early.

We are very excited about being able to use Pages because it is really going to help with some of the largest forms you have.  In the Beta Program you will find a handful of examples so you can see how Pages make a difference!

Support for Integrated Windows Authentication

As of 1.x you can work with Windows Active Directory users with Survey123 for ArcGIS if you configure your Portal for ArcGIS with Enterprise Logins from Active Directory. This involves the configuration of ADFS on top of your Windows Active Directory. As of 2.0, we also want to support Integrated Windows Authentication. The advantage of using Integrated Windows  Authentication is that not only you can use your Active Directory credentials, but also benefit from a single sign-on experience when working in Windows.  For example, if you run Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS on Windows, you will no longer need to login, because the Windows credentials of the logged in user will be used  automatically by Survey123 Connect. If you run your Survey123 field app on Windows, a similar behavior will trigger.  In other operating systems like iOS, Android or Mac, you will still need to enter your Windows Credentials manually as usual due to limitations of the underlying operating system (After all  true IWA is just for Windows… ).

Other enhancements

The Survey123 app is loaded with many handy enhancements. We will let you explore them one by one but here are my favorites:

We are also working hard on other aspects that may not be so shiny but are  critical. Some of you are  reporting that the mobile app hangs sometimes while attempting to submit data with the dialog ‘Getting Service Information’. The workaround is to restart the app and click on submit again, but that is not fun… This is a serious issue that is currently under investigation and we want to fix for 2.0.   In Survey123 Connect, some of you are having difficulties connecting to Portal for ArcGIS… this is already addressed  in the Beta and will be part of 2.0

Other things you should know:

Planned release date: Our initial intent is to release a first cut of 2.0 in April 2017.  We will drop features that are not ready and keep the Beta Program running so you can help us get to 2.1, 2.2 etc.  We will progressively add to the Beta Program many features that are still in the works such as:

Feedback: For now, all we want to do is to encourage you to try out the Beta and provide us feedback through the Beta Forum. Please be disciplined with this because we do not want people in GeoNet getting confused with Beta features and those that are released: All Beta feedback should go into the Beta Forum!

Backwards compatibility: If nothing else, the Beta is a great opportunity for you to try your existing surveys to make sure that they will not break in the next release.  We always try to do our best with our regression tests, but having the Beta available to you should help us capture more cases together.

Side by side: It is not possible to run the released and Beta versions of the software side by side. You will need a separate machine and devices to install the Beta safely.

iOS users: If you want to install the Beta into your iPhone or iPad please keep in mind that you will need to sign-up for Apple’s Test Flight program. It should be easy: all you need to do is to request to be added to Test Flight in this Forum Thread.


About the author

Ismael Chivite joined Esri in 2002. A geographer by training, he loves helping people leverage GIS to improve the way they work. As a Senior Product Manager, Ismael is always looking for ideas to create new and improve existing Esri products. Outside working hours: Legos, rock climbing, Romanesque architecture and jamon iberico. On occasion, he enjoys jamon during working hours too.

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