How to create a server dataset

In SurveyCTO, you can use server datasets as a way to store and organize important data from both your SurveyCTO forms and outside of the platform, which can then be used as pre-load data.

These steps repeat the actions that were taken in the video above.


  1. Log into your SurveyCTO server console.
  2. In the Design tab, click on a [+] on the left.
  3. Click Add server dataset.
  4. On the tab New dataset for data, give the dataset a title and an ID.
  5. [Optional] Upload existing data (CSV, XLSX, or Google Sheets) from your computer or Google Drive.
  6. Click Create dataset.


What is a server dataset?

A server dataset is a repository of data on your SurveyCTO server, which is stored in a table, just like a CSV or spreadsheet, so it has rows and columns.

Why would I want to use a server dataset?

Server datasets are a powerful tool to support more complex data collection workflows. They can be linked to one or multiple forms, allowing a two-way data flow between them - you can publish form data and pre-load data from server datasets. This feature will be essential if you are looking to use data from one form to another or assemble data from multiple forms.

How can I edit server dataset data?

You can edit your server dataset manually or automatically by publishing form data into the server dataset. For manual editing, go to the Design tab of your server console and scroll to your server dataset:

  • For small datasets or minor edits, click Edit. You will be able to see your data, filter it and edit any row of your server dataset.
  • For large datasets or significant edits, click Upload. You can edit your server dataset data by uploading a new file (XLSX, CSV or Google Sheets). Then, you can choose whether the new file data should replace, append or merge with the existing data.
How can I pre-load server dataset data into my form?

To pre-load data from a server dataset you need to attach your server dataset to your form. In the Design tab, scroll to your server dataset and click Attach. Then, select your form and click Close. Once the server dataset is attached to your form, you can map the data to the form fields using the pulldata() function. You can also create choice lists for multiple questions using the search() function.

How can I configure publishing form data to a server dataset?

To connect a form to your server dataset so that new submissions update your server dataset data automatically, in real-time, go to the Design tab of your server console, scroll to your server dataset and click Publish into. Then, configure the field mapping, i.e., which form fields should publish to which server dataset columns. For more information, take a look at our Guide to dataset publishing.

Further Reading

Do you have thoughts on this support article? We'd love to hear them! Feel free to fill out this feedback form.


Article is closed for comments.