Guide to case management part 3: Collecting data using case management

This article is part 3 of our series on case management. See the bottom of this article for the other parts in this series. You can also check out our webinar on case management; skip to 17:39 to learn how to use case management in the field to collect data.

In this article, we discuss how to fill out forms associated with cases on mobile and web forms.

On a mobile device

In SurveyCTO Collect, the Manage Cases menu does not appear by default, so it needs to be set up to appear:

  1. Within the app, tap on the three dots in the top-right.
  2. Select Admin Settings.
  3. Under USERS CAN ACCESS MAIN MENU ITEMS, check the box for Manage Cases.
    1. If your enumerators are only using case management, you can also uncheck the box for Fill Blank Form.
  4. Select the device’s back button.
  5. On the app’s main menu, the Manage Cases button should now be available.
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In the Admin Settings in the left image, notice how Manage Cases at the top has been selected. Now, Manage Cases appears at the top of the main menu.

Enumerators can tap Manage Cases from the main menu to access their cases.

You can also have devices be set up with Manage Cases automatically using default device configurations. To learn more, check out our support article on best practices for configuring and securing enumerator devices.

Using web forms

The Manage Cases menu option will be automatically visible to logged in web form users if a case management dataset is deployed on your server. To use web forms, go to the following URL:

Be sure to replace "servername" with the name of your server. To go to the case management menu directly, go to:

If you log in as a web form user, and you do not see the Manage Cases option, even though there is a server dataset with the ID "cases", that user may have a different cases dataset assigned to them, or they may not have any cases assigned to them. To learn more, check out part 6, section Troubleshooting.

Web collect's Manage Cases menu in "Table" view.
You can also use a unique URL to go directly to the web form as if it was opened from a case. To learn more, check out our guide to unique links for web forms. The form can even be set up so respondents do not have to log in to complete the form by setting up anonymous access; check out our documentation on using web forms to learn more.

Case management views

There are two types of case views in the Manage Cases menu: tree and table. To change the case view, on the Design tab, go to the cases dataset, click Settings, select the view you would like to use, and click Save.


"Tree" is the more basic case view.

Tree list. In this example, each case label (see below) is in bold.

In the tree view, each case label will be displayed in bold, and underneath, it will list the forms assigned to that case. To open a blank form for that case, tap on the form you would like to complete under the case label under Fill Blank Form.

Forms that have already been finalized will be in green, and it will say if the form instance has been submitted to the server (it will say "Sent on" instead of "Finalized on"). If there is a warning in red, it means the form definition needs to be downloaded; if you tap on it, you will be brought to the Get Blank Form page, and you can download the needed form definition(s) from there.

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One form is finalized

One form needs to be installed

If you tap on a finalized form instance, you will be brought to the Send Finalized Form menu to submit it. If you do not want finalized or sent forms to be shown, in the server dataset Settings on the Design tab, un-check Include finalized+sent forms, and click Save. This cannot be turned off in table view (see below).


In the "table" view, cases are listed in rows that display information about the case. You can add as many or few columns as you'd like to the table. To add or remove columns, go to the server dataset's Settings on the Design tab, and under Include which columns, move the columns you would like to be displayed from Available fields to Selected fields.

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Table. This example shows just two columns, but you can set it up to have as many or few columns as you would like.

You can even include columns that are not part of case management in the table. To learn more, see part 4, section Cases dataset as a server dataset.

When the enumerator taps on a row, it will show a view very similar to the tree view, except there will be just one case.

Tapped on a table row. View is similar to the Tree view, but the details of only one case are shown.

More on case management

Be sure to check out the other articles in this series on case management.

  1. Introduction: Why it is a good idea to use case management, and examples of where it can be used.
  2. Creating and managing cases: How to create a server dataset that can be used for cases, and how to add and edit your cases.
  3. Collecting data using case management (this article): How to fill out cases forms on both a mobile device and in web forms, and creating automated workflows with case management
  4. Case management workflows: How to identify form instances as being part of a case, and how to publish to and pull data from the cases server dataset.
  5. Multiple cases datasets: How to assign different server datasets to different user roles for case management.
  6. Tips, tricks, and troubleshooting: Additional tips about what can be done with case management, as well as how to troubleshoot when something is not working.
  7. Example - Publishing to a case, and retrieving from that case: Walking you through a case management example, including pulling from and publishing to a cases server dataset.

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