Connecting to a Server¶
ODK Collect is used to complete surveys with participants. Filled surveys then need to be aggregated in a central location for review and analysis. Generally, organizations do this by configuring Collect to send forms to a server. For those working in environments without any internet connectivity, there are other options for entirely offline or SMS-based workflows.
When you first install Collect, it connects to the ODK Aggregate Demo server. This allows you to try out the app by downloading blank example forms, filling them out, and uploading completed forms back to the demo server.
Once you are done "trying out" Collect, and you start actually using it, you will need to decide on a plan for managing forms and data submissions.
The two most common options for form and data management are:
ODK Aggregate provides a robust data repository with tools for data visualization, querying, and export. For complex data collection and aggregation tasks, it is usually the right choice. However, setting up and maintaining an Aggregate server is not a trivial matter.
Using Google Drive to manage form submissions is simpler and, in most cases, cheaper. With this simplicity you sacrifice a richer feature set. Additionally, using Google Drive may not meet your privacy requirements.