Here are some points to consider when designing your application

How can your user edit data?

If, for example, your user enters the wrong village name or misspells a name, how will they correct that case data?

It is best to add an "edit details" form to your application. This can be a very simple process:

  1. Make a copy of a registration form (or whichever form has most of the details you want to be able to update)
  2. Change the name of the form, delete any questions you don't want to update, and add any additional questions
  3. In the case configuration, pre-load all of the questions with the values from the case, and make sure that everything updates the case. By doing this, when the user opens the form all of the fields will be pre-populated with the previous values. They just need to change whichever value they want to correct, and all of the case properties will be updated with the most recent value.

Things to note about this:

 Check out our guide on how to create the above edit form -  Edit Form Tutorial

How will a user close a case?

In a single application there may be many ways to close a case. For example, from the user's perspective a case may be closed automatically when an event occurs, such as giving birth or recovering from an illness. However, sometimes it is important to account for edge cases where a case may have been registered twice or by accident.

There are a couple of ways to deal with this:


How should I organize all my forms related to a single case type?

If you have a lot of forms related to one case type (i.e. registration, follow-up, home visit, counseling, edit/close, etc.) it may be useful to put them in more than one module with the same case type. Specifically, it is often useful to put registration forms in a separate module. This is because how the presence of a registration form affects the way in which the user accesses the forms.

If your module has a registration form in it, the workflow is: module -> form -> case list (if relevant) -> open form

If you module has NO registration form (all forms update or close a case), the workflow is: module -> case list -> form -> open form

The latter workflow is generally preferred because it allows for effective form filtering.


How can I reference the number of times a given form has been filled out?

You can do some creative work with hidden values to keep track of the number of times a given form has been completed by a specific user. Let's imagine you have a form that is used to take height and weight data every week, but every 10th week you also want to take some additional measurements. Or perhaps you want to show the number of times a form was filled out in the case details screen. Either way you will need hidden values structured like this example:

You can then display the value of visit_count or reference it in a display condition. 


How can I make a form disappear from a form list once it has been filled out, or make forms appear in sequence?

Sometimes you only want a form to be filled out one time for a case. The definitive way to do this is to use case management and form filtering, such that the form is only available until it has been filled out once.

First, you have to make sure that the form is in a module that only has forms that require a case. This means that there cannot be any registration forms in the module. That way the case list will display before the form list. Let's take an example where you have a Literacy Test form that you only want to fill out once for each of the pregnant women that you are monitoring in your app.

Set up the form:

Now you will need to set up a Form Display Condition for the Literacy Test form. Set the display condition so that the form only is displayed if literacy_form_complete DOES NOT equal complete. It would look like

./literacy_form_complete != 'complete'


For each new case the literacy_form_complete property will be empty, so the form will be displayed. But whenever the Literacy Form is filled out for a case, the case property value will change to "complete" and the form's display condition will never be met.

How can I make forms appear in sequence? 

Sometimes there are a number of different forms for a case and you want only one to be filled out at a time. You can set up an application so that at first it only shows "Home Visit 1" and then after that so it only shows "Home Visit 2," etc.

The basic structure is very similar to the instructions above for making a form disappear, and again this will only work in a module where all forms require a case (this allows the case list to show up before the form list)

Set up your forms:

Set a Form Display Conditions for each form that references the value of next_form. The display condition for Home Visit 1 would be ./next_form = '' or ./next_form = '1' (at first the case property next_form will be empty, and that is when we want to show Home Visit 1) and for Home Visit 2 it would be ./next_form = '2'.

To complicate this workflow a bit, suppose you have a form in the list that should only appear if certain conditions are met.  In that case, you can update the hidden value which updates the case property next form based on which form should appear next.  For example, let's say you only want display home visit 2 if the home being visited has a front yard, if not you'll want to skip firstly to the form Home Visit 3.  Your question (#form/front_yard) would be:

Does this home you're visiting have a front yard

a) 'yes'

b) 'no'

Then the hidden value which updates the case properties would then calculate to - #form/next_form = if(#case/front_yard = 'yes, '2', '3').

One thing to consider about these workflows is that they are very inflexible. So if for some reason a form needs to be filled out again, it is not going to be possible without having forms able to affect the next_form property in more complicated ways.

A solution to this is to have a 'reset forms' form which is always visible within the module.  This form can contain just one single-select question and each choice should correspond to a form in the list.  The value of each choice should correspond to the number of the form represented.

Eg - Which form would you like to reset to?

           a) Home Visit 1

           b) Home Visit 2

The value for choice a would be '1' and the value for choice b would be '2'.  The answer to this question should then update the case property next_form.


How can I prevent a case property like ID from being the same for two cases?

Sometimes you have a field like "ID" which you want to prevent users from giving to two different cases. This is advanced and requires minor editing of the xform.

Step 1: Add the following instance to your form (NOTE: you only need to do this if your form is registering a new case, and do not need to do this if your form is modifying an existing case): <instance id="casedb" src="jr://instance/casedb"></instance>

Step 2: Use the following as an example of a validation condition: count(instance('casedb')/casedb/case[@case_type='MYCASETYPE'][case_property_for_id=#form/my_question_with_participant_id]) = 0

count(instance('casedb')/casedb/case[@case_type='participant'][participant_id=#form/participant_id]) = 0