This guide introduces you to the SurveyCTO Hub, a collection of pre-built workflows that help you get up and running quickly.
There are many options for designing a comprehensive data collection workflow on SurveyCTO, and it can be hard to know what is the best way to design your forms and datasets. So we created the SurveyCTO Hub as a way to provide a central repository of curated, tested, pre-built workflows that can get you up and running quickly. Through an easy-to-use, searchable interface, you can quickly find a workflow that meets your needs, or provides the building blocks to use as you create your own solutions. With a single click, the forms, datasets, and data that comprise the workflow are installed in your server and can immediately be used for data collection. Or they can serve as a template that you can then adjust and customize as you need, only spending time on the elements of the design that is unique to your situation.
The Hub is included as part of every subscription and can be found under the Discover tab. If you do not see the tab, then contact your administrator about being granted access.
Each Hub item displays several attributes that help you understand what is included in the Workflow and how it is meant to be used. The elements that are listed are defined as.
Summary. A short summary of the purpose or focus area the Workflow supports. Next to this Summary is the Share link that is used to be able to share the reference to the Workflow with others.
Categories. The list of Categories that the Workflow is related to. Categories are a defined set of focus areas or solutions types that is managed by SurveyCTO and allows for grouping Workflow items in the Hub in logical sets that can then be used to quickly filter the Workflows. Clicking on a category icon will automatically update the Filter to include only those Workflows with the same category.
Long Summary. A more comprehensive summary of the purpose or focus area the Workflow supports.
Name. The unique name of the Workflow. This is mostly used internally to manage the workflow as well as in links used to share the Workflow with others.
Created. The date that the Workflow was first created.
Updated. The date that the Workflow was last updated.
Description. This is a full textual description of what the Workflow does, how it should be used, any restrictions or important elements about the Workflow. This will often be quite a long section of text that goes into details about the Workflow and may even contain links to other documents or related items. Since the data can be so large, it will be collapsed by default, and clicking on the arrow in the right upper corner of the Workflow card will expand the Description.
Using the Hub
The Discover tab provides a simple listing interface of all the Hub items that you can access. You can simply scroll through the listing and review each one. Or you can use the Filter and Sort options to narrow down and display the items that are most relevant to you.
Filtering Hub items
To narrow the list of Workflows shown, simply click on the Filter option, and you will be presented with an interface to enter various criteria that the system will use to filter the items in the listing. You can add one criterion for each Hub attribute, such as the Name or Category and then choose the operation to use to filter that attribute. The list of operations available will depend upon the attribute and the type of information that attribute contains. If you add more than one attribute to the filter, then the filter criteria will be combined so that only Workflow items that match all of the filter criteria will be shown.
For example, to filter the Workflow items to those that have a Summary that contains the string "cati" and was updated after Oct 2, 2023, one would create the filter using these steps.
Click on the Filter options to open the Filter dialog.
Select the name attribute in the first box.
Select the contains operation in the second box.
Enter the string cati in the third box.
Click on the + Add Filter option to add another Filter row.
Select the Updated attribute in the first box.
Select the is after operation in the second box.
Click in the third box to bring up the date-picking dialog and choose the date and select Oct 2, 2023.
Click on the Apply button to close the Filter dialog and apply the filter to the listings.
The list of Hub items will now be restricted to those items that match the filtering criteria that you chose.
Note: The filter operations contains performs a substring match of the attribute, not word matches. This means that the string cati will match all of these values: "Cati" and "Locating", since both contain the string "cati".
Sorting Hub items
You can adjust the order that the list of Hub items are shown by changing the Sort option in the listing. You can sort by one or more of the attributes in either ascending or descending order. And you can sort by multiple attributes if you so choose. The order of the attributes you enter into the Sort Order control is the ordering that is used. So for example, to sort the items by Created and then by name, simply choose the Created and then the name options in that order.
Installing Hub items
Once you find a Workflow in the Hub that you want to use, you may install it in your server console if you have permission to do so. Next to each Workflow that you are allowed to install, you will see an Install button. Clicking on that will initiate the installation process by opening a dialog to confirm your choice and guide you through the rest of the process.
When installing a Hub item, it is important to understand what is happening in your server console. The process will take the Workflow, which consists of forms, datasets, and supporting data, and create versions of those items within your server console. Once the process is done, the link to the Hub is not maintained, and the items that were installed operate like any other form or dataset that was created through any other means. If you were to choose to install the same Workflow into your server console again, a new independent set of forms and datasets will be created. This is by design and done to make sure that installing a Hub item will never interfere with or modify existing forms or datasets in any way. This also allows you to modify the form or dataset after it is installed to customize it to meet your needs.
One thing to be aware of is that in order to make sure that installing the Workflow doesn't impact anything, the Hub Installation process may change the imported forms and datasets in one key way. Any form ID or dataset ID that is used within the form or dataset definition inside the Workflow item will be updated to be unique. The system will simply take the existing ID value, and append a string of the form _1 to it, adding 1 to the number until it finds a value that does not conflict with any existing form ID or dataset ID in the server console. For the most part, this process just works and there is nothing to be concerned about. But if you have a process that relies on one of these internal IDs being in a certain format, you may need to review the forms and datasets that get created and adjust them to meet your needs.
When installing the Hub Item, after confirming that you wish to proceed with the installation, the system will prompt you to create or choose the group you want to have the forms and datasets created within. Choose the value that is appropriate for you, and then click Install. The installation process will commence and a progress bar will be shown tracking the progress. Depending upon the Workflow you choose to install, this process could take some time. Please be patient and wait until the process is finished. When it is done, you can confirm to proceed, and the system will take you to the Design tab with the group you choose for the installation at the top of the screen.