ArcGIS Survey123

What is new in Survey123 for ArcGIS 2.2?

[Source: Survey123 for ArcGIS GeoNet Group Blog)

A new Survey123 update across all supported platforms is now available. This minor release includes important fixes and various enhancements.

Here are the highlights for this release:

Critical Fixes and Enhancements

Survey123 field app and Connect:

You can download the latest version of Survey123 Connect and the Field app from our Survey123 Download page.

Survey123 website:

It is always recommended you clear  your browser cache to make sure you get the latest updates on the survey123 website.

Survey123 configurations from Esri Solutions

This update coincides with four new ArcGIS for Local Government Esri Solutions configurations using Survey123:

All the configurations above have also been made available in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS under the Community surveys.

New Decimal Date Time Format

As described in the Dates and Time in Survey123 for ArcGIS blog post, you can manipulate date and time objects in Survey123 working with their EPOCH representation, also known as Unix Time. Starting with this release, you can also work with Dates using the Decimal Date time format, also known as  French Revolutionary Time.

We initially incorporated support for Date and Time handling via EPOCH format because that is how DateTime objects are encoded in ArcGIS. Other products out there using the XLSForms specification work with Decimal Date time, so we decided to bring support for this format as well.

The new Decimal Time format will be of your interest if you want surveys authored in Survey123 Connect to work in a web browser.  Our next-generation Web Form engine, which we plan on making available this summer will support surveys authored in Survey123 Connect, but it will expect you to define DateTime calculations using the Decimal format.

Just to be clear, your existing EPOCH calculations will continue to work as usual in the Survey123 field app. Now, if you want in the future to have your Connect surveys also work within a web browser you will want to consider a change to French Revolutionary Time.

In truth, this change should be absolutely irrelevant to most of the surveys you may have authored. Using either EPOCH or Decimal Date calculations is only necessary in a handful of situations. For example:

For the most common uses of Date and Time objects in Survey123, you do not need  to do any EPOCH or Decimal Date Time calculations.  For example:

For those of you that you will be using Decimal Date Time calculations, here is a quick guide to time, according to the French:

The following table describes what different expressions look like using the EPOCH and Decimal formats:

EPOCH Format Decimal Date Format
2 weeks into the future now() + 14*24*60*60*1000 date(decimal-date-time(now()) +  14)
Calculate age from birthday int((today() – ${birth_date}) div (1000*24*60*60* 365.25)) int((decimal-date-time(today()) – decimal-date-time(${birth_date})) div 365.25)
Minutes spent for lunch int(${LunchEnd} – ${LunchStart}) div (1000*60) int((decimal-date-time(${lunchends}) – decimal-date-time(${lunchstarts})) * 24*60)
15 minutes from now now() + 15*60*1000 date-time(decimal-date-time(now()) +  0.0104166675)

In general, if you really have to use Time calculations as in the table above, I would recommend that  you go with Decimal Date Time as opposed to EPOCH milliseconds. The reason is that working in this manner you will  ensure your surveys work in both the native and web flavor of the Survey123 app. You never know when using a web browser may be handy, so getting things done in Decimal Time will prepare you for the web right away.  Of course, you can continue using EPOCH if you feel more  comfortable, but just remember that your calculations will not work on the web in the future.

As you play with the new Decimal Date Time format, I also wanted to point you to a couple of resources:

Next Steps

First, getting ready for the Esri User Conference 2017! In this blog post you will learn info about all Survey123 related events at the UC.

The next release with functional enhancements will be 2.3 in late July or early August. Some of the features we are working on include:

Expanding support for editing with repeats is planned for 2.4, which will most likely come in September.

If you are eager to try the above  features and others  planned for the 2.3 release, you can access  them as Beta through our Early Adopter website.

We will continue looking closely at your comments in our GeoNet Group.

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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