Monthly Archives: November 2017

Version 17.11

Time for November’s release!

The changes are

  • Filtering of notifications and Exported Results
  • Can now set default value for questions in the online editor.
  • Can now specify the number of rows used by text questions in fieldTask
  • Improvements to form monitoring (See below)
  • Added option to do a full survey export without including its media.  Some surveys can have many gigabytes of images and other media submitted.  Just on the off change that you want to export the data and import it into a different survey but don’t need the images then you now have that option.
  • Set a new notification to “enabled” by default.
  • Show most recent data received first in table views in the analysis module
  • More spanish translations

Filtering of Notifications and Exported Results

When creating a notification you can now specify a filter so that this notification is only sent when data is received that matched the filter.  You can also use the same sorts of filter when exporting data from the analysis module.


  • ${age} < 10      – Where the answer to the age question was less than 10
  • now() – ${_upload_time} > {2_days}     – Export data uploaded more than 2 days ago
  • ${name} not like ‘%om%’    – Any name that does not have the letters “om” somewhere within it

More information on specifying a filter can be found here:

Improvements to Form Monitoring

Actually the main improvement is that this now works again!  The old approach relied on fieldTask notifying the server of the forms that the user had after they had done a “refresh”.  However this did not reflect changes when the user had downloaded a form using the ODK menus and without doing a fieldTask refresh.   Anyway recent releases of fieldTask no longer sent this notification.

The updated form download monitoring now records all form downloads whether as a refresh or when the form is selected explicitly.  One limitation of this new approach is that the device that did the download won’t be identified unless you are using version 5.14 of fieldTask.

Bug Fixes

  • Error shown when a user registered a new organisation has been fixed.  This message did not stop the registration proceeding but would have been pretty disconcerting to new users
  • Allow data to be imported when the question type is “range”

A Million Submitted Results

Its official!  the number of results submitted to servers managed by Smap has gone past 1 million.

It is fantastic to think that this tool has been useful to people and I hope it continues to be useful and to grow in usage.  Thankyou to everyone using Smap and everyone who has contributed over the years to making it all possible.

version 17.10 part B

Two releases in one month!

The changes are:

  1. Add ability to override fieldTask settings
  2. More flexible task creation (Enhancement #118)
  3. Add reviewing of task group settings
  4. Add downloading of PDF Templates
  5. Issue #126.  Dynamic choice names not shown with generated values in PDF exports
  6. Issue #125.  Hyperlinks in PDF templates are all put on page 1.
  7. Issue #82. User is permitted to try and create a task when there is no task group

The new features listed above are described in more detail below.

Overriding FieldTask Settings

There are a couple of changes to make this more useful

Firstly you no longer require organisational administrator privileges to set set fieldTask settings on the server.  Because of that they have been given their own tab in the user management page next to users and projects.

So now any administrator can specify the fieldTask settings but these changes still affect all phones that synchronise with the server.

Secondly, where there is a corresponding setting that you can specify on the phone then these will be overridden in a more consistent way.  This affects automatic synchronisation and the automatic deletion of instances from the phones after they are submitted.  For each of these you can now specify a value of “Set on phone”.  The phone user will then be able to configure these as they wish. Any other value will override the setting on the phone which will be disabled so the user cannot change it.

Hence for Automatically Synchronise the options are:

  • Set on phone.
  • Off.  The phone will not automatically synchronise.
  • Wifi.  The phone will synchronise only over a wifi connection.
  • Wifi and Cell.  The phone will synchronise over a cellular and wifi connection.

For deleting submitted results the options are:

  • Set on phone
  • Off.  Results are not deleted.
  • On. Results are deleted.

For this to work as described above you will also need to be using fieldTask 5.11

More Flexible Task Creation

Previously you could create tasks from survey results and you could select which tasks to create by specifying a value for one question in that existing survey.   You can now do more sophisticated selection of tasks using the same approach that was added to notifications.

When creating a task group from existing results select the “Advanced Filter” option.  You can then specify the filter you need. For example in the following dialog I am organising a follow up survey for all results where the age was less than 25.

Reviewing Task Group Settings

You can now review the settings you used to create a task group.  In the task group menu select “Edit Task Group”.  The settings will be shown.  However as of 17.10 this feature is still in development.  Its main aim is to show the user what filters they used to create tasks from existing data.  The limitations are:

  • You are not allowed to change any of the settings so at the moment it is really “View Task Group”
  • Some of the settings, such as address parameters, are not shown

Downloading PDF Templates

If you have uploaded a PDF template for a form using the settings dialog then you can now download that template, also from the settings dialog.  To do this select the downward chevron next to the template name.