Monthly Archives: January 2016

Version 16-01

In this release the online editor is a little more stable, although still Beta.  We have also started to add some new features that make use of the potential of the online editor.

New Features

Multiple Forms updating a single table of data

With this feature you can have a single table of data and multiple forms contributing to it.   Each form can have unique questions so that it is the only form that provides answers to those questions but each form can also answer questions that are also answered by other forms.  To help you work out whats going on in your results there is a new “informational” column that shows the name of the form that contributed each row of data.

If seems a bit confusing then you probably don’t need it.  For assessments it is still good practice to only have one version of one form used by all data collectors.   However some potential uses for this new feature are:

  • Validating or annotating survey results.   In the validation form you can set the questions that also appear in the data collection survey as “read only” and then add some additional questions for the reviewer to answer.
  • Performing follow up surveys where an issue identified in the first survey is addressed.
  • Having a different survey for each region where most of the questions are common but some are specific to the region.  You can achieve something similar by using “relevance” on questions however this requires the user to enter correctly the region they are using.  If there was a separate form then they would not be able to answer questions for the wrong region.

The following You Tube video demonstrates how to use this feature.  The scenario is for a medical clinic where the patient first enters some of their details and then the doctor expands on the patient record with a diagnosis.

Key steps to share a table are:

  1. Create a form
  2. On the admin page select “Create New Form”
  3. Select the checkbox that says “Base on existing form”
  4. Select the form to share with
  5. Select the checkbox that says “Store results in a shared table”
  6. You can then modify the second form, deleting questions, adding new ones etc.

Basing a new form on an existing form

When you create a new form in the editor you can select a checkbox to base it on an existing form.  By default this form’s data will go into its own table, unless you further select the checkbox to “share results”.

Kobotoolbox API

Some of the services from the KoboToolbox API are now supported.  More information is available form the Smap koboToolbox API help.  If you are developing applications that have to work with both Smap Server and kobo then this API may be useful.  Contact us if there are specific API endpoints that you need for your application.

This feature enhances Smap’s conformance to standards.  The main standard we use is JavaRosa which specifies the services that a mobile device uses to connect to the server.  This means that you can use any ODK compatible device with Smap including odkCollect and GeoOdk as well as fieldTask.  The kobo toolboxApi specifies services to access collected data and administer the server.  Hence you should be able to use software built with these services with the Smap server.

Bugs Fixed

  • Scheduled Time was not included in tasks, only the date.
  • If you had a quotation character in a form name then when you exported the results for that form it would not allow you to include the question text in the first row of a results export.
  • If you had more than one “select” question with the same name then when loading from an XLS file the choices for one of the questions were dropped.
  • The order in which questions were shown was not consistent between the dashboard and the export.

version 15.12

Version 15.12 of Smap is here.  It contains the long awaited Beta version of the online editor.  You are welcome to try out this editor both for the purpose of creating new surveys and also to edit a survey that has already been loaded.  However it is beta software and, due to its complexity, more than usually buggy.  We will be working on these bugs over the next few releases and also adding some more advanced functionality.   If you find any bugs yourself send me an email with the details.



The new features are:

  • Smap Online Editor
  • Self registration of organisations on the server
  • Shared Resource page for files, pictures and maps used by multiple surveys
  • Names of column headings are now shown un-modified

Smap Online Editor (Beta)

Yes finally an online editor for Smap.  This will allow you to:

  • Create and test a quick survey
  • Edit a survey after data collection has started
  • Help get the questions translated into local languages
  • Export to an xlsForm editor
  • Import from an xlsForm editor

More details on the features are available here. The editor is a work in progress and there are still some things that either have to be done in the xlsForm editor or where its still simpler to use that editor. Using the export to xlsForm feature you can switch between editors depending on which is easier.

Self Registration on the Smap Shared server

You can now register your own organisation to use the Smap shared server.  Use of this server is free however it is restricted to “Not for Profit” organisations and individuals.  Support is available for $50 per month if you want it.  There is a “register” menu option on the home page.

Shared Resources

In previous versions of Smap you had to open the editor in order to add files that could be shared across organisations.  You still go into the editor to add files that are specific to a single survey but for all shared resources there is a menu in the admin module.

Here you can load:

  • Media (images, video, audio) that are used in question and choice labels
  • CSV files that contain data referenced from the survey
  • New maps that are used during analysis.  Refer to here for details.

Column names in results tables shown un-modified

In previous versions of Smap if you named a question using characters that could not be used in the database column name they would be changed.  So “q1.4” would become “q1x4”.  This no longer happens so you will see the question names unmodified.

Bug Fixes

  • Could not mark a record in a sub form as “bad”.  Thanks to Puskapa for finding this bug.
  • If you opened a webform by clicking on a sub form record in the analysis page then the wrong record was opened. Opening a web form on a subform has now been disabled.  To edit a record you now need to open it from the main form. Again thank you to Puskapa for finding this bug.
  • Exporting a PDF of a submission failed if the user had not changed their user settings, for example their title.