Survey123 for ArcGIS is a complete, form-centric solution for creating, sharing and analyzing surveys. It is used to create smart forms and can be submitted from a web browser or dedicated Survey123 for ArcGIS native app by a defined audience.
Surveys can be designed on the Survey123 website or via the desktop with Survey123 Connect. Once designed, the survey is published, and in this process a survey form and service layers are created in the designer’s portal (ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise). The survey form item represents the questions and survey settings, and the survey layers storing the submitted data.
After publishing you can collaborate with other users via the Survey123 website. Collaboration options apply to Submitters and Viewers, giving control on who can submit, what they submit and then also who can view the results. As these collaboration settings are applied in the Survey123 website the settings on the items in portal are updated. In the example below, updating ‘Who can submit to this survey’ to ‘Everyone (Public)’ changed the sharing on the survey form and fieldworker service layer to ‘Everyone (Public)’:
This highlights several things:
- Survey123 leverages the storage, sharing and security model of the ArcGIS platform
- You can access the content directly to apply granular settings or use the layers in other maps and web mapping applications
- The Survey123 platform is reliant on these items. Care needs to be taken not to make sharing or item setting changes that would break the platform’s ability to function.
In general it’s best to configure settings through the Survey123 website, as this will ensure that all items are updated as necessary while retaining platform functionality. A somewhat common mistake is sharing only the ‘form’ via the portal Content screen. This allows users to access the survey form but will fail on submission as they don’t have access to view/edit the associated feature layer. Sharing through the Survey123 website ensured that both items were shared at the appropriate level.
When working with public surveys, greater control is often desired over who can submit and view survey data. If not secured, public survey results containing private or sensitive information could be viewed or manipulated. By configuring the securing options for the underying survey layers that support the survey, you can allow public users to submit surveys without exposing previously collected data. Other stakeholders can be provided access to the data, in part or its entirety, through Feature Layer Views.
Esri recently released two key resources to help you with securing your survey data:
- A document on Discovering and Limiting Access to Public Survey123 Results. It describes the security considerations, best-practices and step-by-step guidance for identifying and mitigating potential survey security issues.
- A new Security Advisor tool to help explore existing pubic surveys and identify potential security mis-configurations
If you’re a Survey123 publisher or organization administrator, you’ll want to take a look at the above two resources to ensure that you understand the level of access to your survey data. It’s important to remember that some surveys intentionally share their results publicly. If you have any additional questions about implementing these best practices, please contact Tech Support.
- ArcGIS Blog: Getting started with hosted feature layer views
- StoryMap: Hosted Feature layer Views – A practical example
- ArcGIS Online documentation: Create hosted feature layer views
- Survey123 Blog on GeoNet: Getting Started with Public Surveys
- ArcGIS Online documentation: Manage editor settings