Tag Archives: iphone


This release is primarily about adding support for iPhones and iPads when they are using Web Forms.  You can now take photos, and videos with your iPhones when completing smap surveys.  I’d like to thank Zarkman for donating an iPhone to Smap Consulting in order to help with the testing of this new capability.


A user changing their settings on the Smap Server using the Zarkman donated iPhone

New Features

iPhone and iPad support

You can now complete surveys on your iPhone and iPad using WebForms. These surveys can included images, video and GPS coordinates.

If you conduct surveys that don’t take pictures then they can be submitted offline and will be stored until you have a network connection. However, when using an iPhone, if you take pictures as part of your survey then you will not be able to save the results as draft.  Also if you are offline when you submit, then the results will not be stored to be submitted when you are back on line.  You will need to stay in the web page until you get a network connection and then re-submit.  You can open multiple pages in order to complete multiple surveys, with images and offline, while using an iPhone.

To complete a survey on your iPhone, use Safari to go to your server. Then select WebForms and finally select the big blue button for the survey you want to complete.

This capability was in large part enabled through upgrading to the latest version of enketo-core as well as being assisted by the sponsorship of Zarkman.

Grid layout for Web Forms

Thanks to the the new version of enketo-core you can layout your web forms in a grid.


An example grid layout from enketo running in web forms

To turn your survey into a web form grid you need to:

1. Add a settings sheet to your xlsform containing


2. Add w1, w2 etc to the appearance columns of questions that you don’t want to appear full width.

This example form from enketo has more detailed information.

Email Notifications

The email address to which to send a notification can now be obtained from the survey results.  When creating a notification specify the question from which to get these addresses.  This can be a select one, select multiple or text question. They question can be in a repeating group in which case all the emails entered will be used as the “to” address for the notification.

To specify multiple email addresses in a text question separate each email address with commas.

Getting email addresses from a select_multiple question

The names of choices in a select multiple question are used to create the data base table that stores the results.  These database column names cannot contain ‘@’ or ‘.’.  Hence for select multiple questions you have to modify the way the email address is specified.

  • Replace ‘@’  with ‘_amp_’
  • Replace ‘.’ with ‘_dot_’

Choices sheet to specify notification emails addresses chosen by select_multiple

In select_one and text questions you can simply write the email as normal.

Email Message Text

You can now specify the text to be included in an email notification.  This can be specified for each notification.  Alternatively a default email text can be specified in the organisation settings.

Specifying the email domain

The email domain to be used for emails can be specified at the whole of server level in the “server” table.  Alternatively it can be specified for the organisation in the organisation settings.

PDF Generation

You can attach a PDF of the results to an email notification.  A PDF will be automatically generated using the same grid layout as is available for WebForms.  However in this release its still very much beta code.

More usefully a template for the PDF can be specified in the surveys settings.  Go to the survey editor and click on the “File” menu and then “Settings”.  Fields in the template that have the same name as a question will be populated with the results of the question.

PDF’s  can also be downloaded from a table view of the survey results. Goto the analysis page and create a table containing the survey results.  A menu button will be shown to the left of each record.  If you click on that you have the option to download a PDF or open a WebForm containing the record.  Note this feature is only enabled if the ability to edit surveys is specified in the organisation settings.


  • Files in the /smap/temp directory are now deleted each time you upgrade
  • If you rename a survey or delete it and then restore it then you can still download the XLS form that was used to create that survey.

Bug Fixes

The following issues have been fixed.

  • The default language could not be specified in the settings for the survey.
  • If you had two levels or more of repeating groups then when you exported results an unnecessary row containing data from the main form would have been added to the results.
  • Could not add media to questions using Firefox
  • Images of type “ico” were shown in the dashboard with an audio thumbnail
  • Filter values used in cascading selects were not allowed to have spaces.
  • When exporting surveys with more than one “/” in their name then the export failed.

Update (Version 15.03.02)

I have updated the released code to address some relatively minor bugs.

  • Notifications for soft deleted surveys were still being shown in the notifications list
  • The xls template for editing forms has been updated to include the settings tab and a column for the “style”.  You can use this to format web forms in a grid.
  • The link to this blog from the server home page was pointing to the release notes for version 15.02

Update (Version 15.03.03)

Updated for a very significant bug.  The web forms code was not included in the previous release!  So if your web forms was looking a bit flat and not responsive to relevant conditions then this would be why.  Installing this the .03 version should fix it.


Release of Smap HTML / iPhone Evaluation Tools

Announcing Smap Evaluation Tools Server version 13.09.  New functionality includes:

  1. Support for completing surveys on a web browser. Browsers need to support HTML5 and can be on a laptop, iPhone, Android or Windows Mobile .
  2. Automatic dropping of duplicate surveys.  Previously the duplicate would have been marked as “bad” so that it did not appear in exported results or graphs however these duplicates could still be seen in table views.
  3. Calculate questions are now shown in the exported spreadsheet in their correct position relative to other questions in the survey.  So if you add a question to calculate the age in months after a date of birth question, then age in months will appear after DOB in the exported results.
  4. If you explicitly specify a “start time”, “end time” or IMEI question in your survey then these are no longer automatically added by Smap as well

WebForm Evaluation Tool


Screen shot of web form in Chrome browser on a  Mac laptop


  • Uses the open source Enketo forms engine
  • (Should) work in any HTML5 capable browser
  • GPS coordinates
  • Multi- choice and single select questions
  • Integer and text questions
  • Uploading of photographs (on some browsers, those with better HTML5 support)
  • Repeating groups
  • Relevance
  • Works offline and saves results for submission later when there is a network connection


The web forms feature is really a beta release so you can expect to find some issues.  Report any you find and we will try to get them fixed in the next release.  Known issues include:

  1. Some odk 1.4 functions that depend on javarosa do not work.  For example the new date time functions.
  2. Surveys that have images in their questions or options will not work with webForms
  3. Large surveys may be slow particularly when downloading or expanding a conditional group
  4. Safari on iPhone has some additional restrictions:
  • File uploads are not supported on Safari / iPhone
  • Expansion of conditional groups that are made relevant based on responses to prior questions do not work

Phone Browsers


Situation Assessment using Safari on an iPhone


Situation Assessment using Chrome on Android








Applications for the web forms feature

The ability to complete forms on web browsers adds a lot of flexibility to your data collection. For example it is now possible to send out an email or tweet with a link to a survey that the recipient can complete on their browser.


This is straightforward and very similar to previous installation.  Updated instructions are in the README file.  If you have an existing smap installation you should be able to just run the webformsInstall script to update the platform to support webForms (MySQL and PHP).  You can then deploy the updated application code as before.  Contact me if you have any issues.

If you are installing your own server you can get it from here.

Deployment onto Smap Managed Servers

I will progressively deploy this release onto the servers managed by Smap Consulting over the next few days.  However the ability to complete surveys using WebForms may not suit everyone.  Hence I will disable this functionality by default on each server unless you request that it be switched on.


Web Forms uses the excellent Enketo toolkit. This toolkit has been integrated into Smap by the following undergraduate students from RMIT who have done an excellent job.

  • HeeSien Ooi
  • Kar Ming Clement Kam
  • Kiman Sze
  • Mohamad Bahaa Maarouf
  • Shishir Chawla
  • Teck We Kee