Selecting the Appropriate Tool Suite

Generally, we suggest starting with the ODK tool suite. If it does not fulfill your requirements then move on to the more flexible, but also more complex, ODK-X tool suite.

Note

It is tempting to look at the version number and assume the latest is the greatest, but this is not always the case. The ODK-X tool suite was designed to co-exist with the ODK tool suite and does not replace any 1.x tools. In general, the ODK tools are easier to use, require less setup, and are widely adopted. However, if you have a complex longitudinal study and possess some technical skills, then the ODK-X tools may be better suited to your needs.

The feature comparison table below illustrates the differences between the ODK and ODK-X tools.

Feature Comparison Table
Feature
ODK ODK-X
Stage of technology lifecycle
Maturity Introductory
Collect data with mobile device
x x
Widely adopted
x  
Drag and drop tool to create forms
x  
Transmit collected data from device to server
x x
Ability to capture rich data types (e.g. GPS, Images,
Audio, Video)
x x
One to one mapping of a question to database fields
(except for GPS)
x x
One to many mapping of a question to database fields

x
Static input contraint checks
x x
Dynamic input contraint checks
  x
Ability to control basic layout of question prompts on the
Android device
x x
Fully customizable layout of prompts on the Android device
using HTML/JavaScript
  x
Bi-directional synchronization of collected data across
devices
  x
Visualizations of collected data available on the device
  x
Link longitudinal data to collected data
  x
User permissions for row filtering of data available on the device
  x

Trying Them Out