Monthly Archives: May 2017

version 17.05

Here it is finally. There was no release of the Smap server in March or April.

New Features

  • Integer and decimal results exported to XLSX files are now in number format in the spreadsheet.  Dates are in date format.
  • A “display_name” parameter has been added to questions.  This allows you to override the question name with something more user friendly for exports.
  • The “Unique Key” that you can specify for a form is now included in PDF exports.  You can also set the key value to be a serial number starting from an offset. For example:
    • serial(100)  will create keys of 100, 101…
    • REFserial(10) will create keys of REF10, REF11…
  • The charts on Browse Results and Managed Forms have been substantially modified, (this is still beta code)
    • Maps can now be added
    • Charts are added by the user and then saved with the survey.  This is in contrast to the previous approach where charts were added automatically for all questions causing performance problems on large surveys.
  • When exporting data to PDFs, for location questions you can specify an appearance of pdfzoom_xx, where xx is a number between 1 and 21.  This will show a map of the data at the specified zoom level.  The higher the number the smaller the area covered by the map.
  • Notification emails can now include survey name, instance name, unique key, user and device anywhere in the subject or body of the email, use:
    • ${surveyname}
    • ${instancename}
    • ${hrk}
    • ${username}
    • ${device}
  • Email notifications.  If you set up a notification in managed forms then an email will be sent to the address of the user to be notified

Bug Fixes

  • Updating of user ident is now prevented.  If you tried to change your logon id in the past you would not have been able to logon.  This is because the logon id is combined with the password to create the real encrypted password.  The only way to change your user ident is to create a new user and delete the old one.

Smap at AWS Summit – Berlin 18th May 2017

Yes Berlin which I am very excited about, even more so as I am attending the AWS summit there.   This will be an opportunity to get inspiration for Smap 2.0, the second generation of Smap software. I will be updating this post regularly up until the end of the Summit to record some of my thoughts on where the Smap architecture is headed.

Smap 2.0

  • A new system that will work with the existing Mobile Data Collection Servers and Phones
    • Runs in cloud
    • React.js front ends
    • GraphQL services where possible
    • Serverless back ends
    • Single sign on across mobile devices and servers
  • Will be used to deliver notifications and process management capability to the existing servers
  • Manage notifications to and from mobile phones.  For example notifying a phone that a new version of a survey is available
  • Plus much more

AWS Summit

None of the following comments represent design decisions for Smap 2.0 they just take the concepts from a topic and construct some potential scenarios.

Summit Demo: MXNet on the edge.  How to build a deep learning model that works on edge devices

A Smap server could be considered an edge device.  The data collected could feed a machine learning application to provide real time insight into data and quality assurance.

The data processed by the machine learning could include the time taken to answer each question in order to  identify poorly complete surveys.  The collection of question timing data is currently being added to ODKCollect and fieldTask in a joint Smap / ODK project.

The demo at the AWS summit is going to use a Raspberry Pi as the edge device to recognise art objects.   A mobile phone running fieldTask could also be an edge collection device interacting with Smap 2.0.  This is how the phone will get notifications to refresh forms etc.

MXNet is a neural network application from Apache which can be trained in order to recognise patterns.

Summit Demo: Utilize Powerful Visual Search and Discovery Capabilities with Amazon Rekognition

Rekognition is one of several AI services provided by AWS

  • Rekognition: Image recognition
  • Polly.  Text to speech
    • Lex.  Speech and text recognition and language understanding

It looks like there are quite a few sessions on AI at the summit and adding AI capabilities to Smap is something we are considering so this could be useful.