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App Overview

SurveyCTO is a versatile data collection platform designed to streamline the process of gathering field data for research, evaluations, and monitoring purposes. SurveyCTO operates in the cloud, providing users with convenient online access to its suite of tools and features.

At its core, SurveyCTO offers a comprehensive solution for creating and deploying customized surveys, forms, and questionnaires, enabling organizations to collect data efficiently and accurately. In addition to its primary data collection functionality, SurveyCTO boasts a range of advanced features, including robust data validation, real-time monitoring capabilities, and seamless integration with external data systems. This versatile platform caters to a diverse array of needs, serving researchers, NGOs, government agencies, and other entities seeking reliable data collection solutions.

Integration Use Cases:

As SurveyCTO is primarily a mobile data collection tool, often that data needs to be extracted, managed, summarized, and analysed in another system (e.g., database/data warehouse, analytics tools, and "MIS"/data management software like like DHIS2, Salesforce, etc.).

Example user story:

  • As a program or M&E manager, I would like my field officers to collect data in places with limited connection availability using SurveyCTO. I want the data collected to automatically sync to my Tabluea dashboard for visualization and further analysis.

Integration Options

SurveyCTO provides a REST API which can be accessed via the OpenFn surveycto adaptor. In SurveyCTO, admins can also configure webhooks to push data to OpenFn/other external systems in real-time in CSV or JSON format.


1. Webhooks (for real-time integration):

SurveyCTO has a webhooks service which allows you to publish data to your OpenFn workflow (or any endpoint URL). Note that as submissions come in to the server, SurveyCTO will automatically publish your selected fields to your chosen webhook but there will be a brief delay of up to ten minutes from the time the submission occurs and the time SurveyCTO sends this data to OpenFn. (Therefore this integration is near real-time, depending on how quickly SurveyCTO forwards the data.)

To configure a webhook to push data to OpenFn:

  1. Login to SurveyCTO and navigate to the export section of the form setup
  2. Scroll down to "Your data" section and make sure "Advanced Mode" is enabled
  3. Click the Configure button and Add Webhook
  4. Add a Name for the webhook and paste your OpenFn Webhook URL (copied from your OpenFn Workflow trigger)
  5. Select the fields you want to publish/forward to OpenFn and click on Save

See this docs page for more on SurveyCTO webooks.

Configuraing the webhook for OpenFn

2. API integration (for scheduled and/or bulk data integration):

SurveyCTO provides RESTful APIs that we can use to pull data on a scheduled basis using OpenFn cron triggers. For connectng with these APIs, OpenFb has developed an API adaptor for a quicker integation setup - see the `surveycto' adaptor source.

Via the REST API, data can be extracted in JSON or CSV formats. Example APIs endpoints include:[D]

  • JSON is the desirable format for API-to-API integration and when working with OpenFn
  • Replace the formId parameter with the formId of the survey you want to extract
  • If you want to filter form submissions by the survey submission date, replace the [D] parameter with the survey submission date value you want to filter by and see SurveyCTO docs on data format requirements

When using the OpenFn surveycto adaptor to connect with the /formid API endpoint, your job expression might look as follows. See the functions and examples in the sidebar for more.

'form123', //replace with the form id
date: 'Apr 18, 2024 6:26:21 AM', //if submission date filter not specified, the function will fetch submissions from ALL-TIME
status: 'approved|rejected', // add to filter by status; if not specified, the function will fetch submissions of ALL statuses

Configuring a Credential with API Access

To authenticate with the SurveyCTO API, your OpenFn Workflow will require a user credential where the setting Allow server API access has been enabled. This setting controls whether or not users in a given role can use the API to fetch forms and data from the server. See SurveyCTO docs on managing user roles.