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Surveys

Everyone wants to know what their constituency thinks. Some notes on XOOPS modules for surveys.

There are a few options for Surveys. Yes, you can use polls, but those are very simple surveys and don't meet the needs of many surveys. The best open-source survey toolset I've found out there is LimeSurvey (formerly phpSurveyor). For XOOPS, I've found:

Both these listed survey modules don't allow changes once the survey is active as they create individual tables for it. Neither allows for branching nor other advanced features that LimeSurvey has.

I'll note that Formulize is better but the learning curve is high compared to other modules as it's an application development framework in it's own right. Also, you could be looking for Contact Us modules which can also do the same thing for simple forms.

The best survey module overall for XOOPS seems to be Survey by Bluemoon (website defunct). It's based upon phpESP (php Easy Survey Package). These notes focus on the Survey module by Bluemoon as it's the most robust overall at this point.

Features

  • 10 Question Types: Yes/No, Text Field, Text Area, Radio Buttons, Checkboxes, Dropdown, Rate (1-10, none, not defaulted), Date (no selector), Number (integer or real), File upload
  • Informational Fields: allows HTML but not xCode or smilies
  • "Other" Field - fill-in-the-blank responses (for Radio Buttons, Checkboxes); remembers (but doesn't display) for Dropdown, Ratings
  • Multi-page (definable page breaks)
  • File uploads
  • Database storage
  • Reports: simple, cross-tab
  • Test mode
  • Archive (de-activate)
  • Purge/Delete data
  • Cloning (of surveys or questions)
  • Themes (see admin help and /modules/bmsurvey/examples/classes.html)
  • Data exporting (CSV)
  • Backup - to Previous Pages/Answers (requires logging in)
  • Response Limiting (if requiring login)
  • Save/Restore survey session (requires logging in)

Features I Haven't Figured out yet:

  • Email Surveys - allows emailing un/registered users
  • Bulk Upload of unregistered users (tab-delimited only) - couldn't figure out how/where

Oft-Requested but not available:

  • Branching (changing questions based on previous answers)

Installation

If this is your first install, then install like any XOOPS module (when unzipping the module, you'll want to find the bmsurvey directory and move that to the modules directory of your installation).

Upgrades

It's been so long since I used this module (version 0.62), that I don't really have any to upgrade. However, there are some special upgrade instructions in the module. Read the update information.

Notes

Uploaded files are stored in the /uploads directory as username_xx_originalfilename.ext.

Testing a survey (in admin) requires that it be put into test mode, which, similar to active mode, no longer allows changes.

Deleting/Purging of surveys is available via a "hidden" function (according to the Admin FAQs) but is available in the Change Status area.

Bugs/Defects

T_STRING Errors

English language file main.php is missing a quote on line 137 that causes an error. I didn't check the other languages included (french and japanese).

Purge file admin/include/where/purge.inc requires fixing a couple of definitions (missing underscores): lines 33, 90.

Purging Data Doesn't

When purging a survey, not all data for the survey is actually removed. It does removes the survey definition info and its related question info (including choices for choice questions), but not the other response data nor access permissions,

Enhancement Requests

Group/User Display in Admin

In various locations (including selecting a survey to edit, or to purge), it shows the Group and Owner (user) by ID instead of name. It would be better to show username and group name.

No MultiSelect Field

There is no multiselect box. Check Boxes can fulfill this, but users may like it.

Date Selector

There is no date selector available. It can be integrated, but....

Link to Module Admin Home

There isn't a link back to the module's administrative home once the administrator gets into the Survey Management aspects.


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Comments are solely the opionion of the author and not to be construed as the opinion of anyone else.
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