Commcare-export map multiple questions to same database column

Hi!

We are currently using the commcare-export tool to do nightly synchs of the
data in CommCareHQ. Recently we realized that a few of our forms could be
cleaned up with the use of question lists, so we were planning on making a
change until we realized that the queries we are using would break if we
changed the full xpath to the questions we cared to export from CommCare.

For example what used to be ‘/data/fires_burning_inside’ will now be
’/data/fire_questionlist/fires_burning_inside’

Ideally, we would like to be able to make this improvement to question
lists so that the form entry is cleaner, and structure our commcare-export
queries such that both the old /data/fires_burning_inside and the new
/data/fire_questionlist/fires_burning_inside both get mapped to the same
database field. Is there any way to elegantly do this? If not, are there
any workarounds such as creating two query files representing the old and
new structure and grab all form submissions from app_version < xyz with the
old and app version >= xyz with the new query?

Thanks for your help!
-Caleb

Hi Caleb,

I can think of two ways you might be able to achieve what you’re hoping to
do:

  1. Editing forms only

In the form, create your new question list and move questions into it. For
each question moved into the question list, create a Hidden Value question
outside the question list with the same Question ID as the question that
was moved into the list, and set its Calculate Condition to the question in
the list. For example:

  • Create question list: /data/fire_questionlist
  • Move /data/fires_burning_inside into the list so its new path is
    /data/fire_questionlist/fires_burning_inside
  • Create hidden value: /data/fires_burning_inside
  • Set the Calculate Condition of the hidden value to
    /data/fire_questionlist/fires_burning_inside

This way the updated app should be completely backward-compatible with the
old app, but forms stored on the phone may take up a bit more space
(probably not noticeable) since you’ll have an extra hidden value for every
question moved into a question list.

  1. Editing forms as well as the query file used by the commcare-export tool

In the form, move all questions into question lists as desired. In the
query file, add a new field mapping for each moved question so you have
both the old field mapping (Source Field: form.fires_burning_inside) and
the new field (Source Field: form.fire_questionlist.fires_burning_inside)
in the same query file sheet. When you run commcare-export, one field will
have a value and the other will be blank, depending on the app version.
This second solution will not quite achieve what you want by itself since
you now have old app data in one field and new app data in another. You can
write queries or views in your database to choose the one that is not blank.

Hope that’s helpful.

~ Daniel

··· On Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 4:42 PM, wrote:

Hi!

We are currently using the commcare-export tool to do nightly synchs of
the data in CommCareHQ. Recently we realized that a few of our forms could
be cleaned up with the use of question lists, so we were planning on making
a change until we realized that the queries we are using would break if we
changed the full xpath to the questions we cared to export from CommCare.

For example what used to be ‘/data/fires_burning_inside’ will now be
’/data/fire_questionlist/fires_burning_inside’

Ideally, we would like to be able to make this improvement to question
lists so that the form entry is cleaner, and structure our commcare-export
queries such that both the old /data/fires_burning_inside and the new
/data/fire_questionlist/fires_burning_inside both get mapped to the same
database field. Is there any way to elegantly do this? If not, are there
any workarounds such as creating two query files representing the old and
new structure and grab all form submissions from app_version < xyz with the
old and app version >= xyz with the new query?

Thanks for your help!
-Caleb


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Hi Daniel,

I had not thought of solution #1, and that is a fantastic idea! Thank you
for the input, and thank you for your work on CommCare. We have found it to
be a very capable software solution for our project.

Thanks,
Caleb

··· On Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 9:24 PM, Daniel Miller wrote:

Hi Caleb,

I can think of two ways you might be able to achieve what you’re hoping to
do:

  1. Editing forms only

In the form, create your new question list and move questions into it. For
each question moved into the question list, create a Hidden Value question
outside the question list with the same Question ID as the question that
was moved into the list, and set its Calculate Condition to the question in
the list. For example:

  • Create question list: /data/fire_questionlist
  • Move /data/fires_burning_inside into the list so its new path is
    /data/fire_questionlist/fires_burning_inside
  • Create hidden value: /data/fires_burning_inside
  • Set the Calculate Condition of the hidden value to
    /data/fire_questionlist/fires_burning_inside

This way the updated app should be completely backward-compatible with the
old app, but forms stored on the phone may take up a bit more space
(probably not noticeable) since you’ll have an extra hidden value for every
question moved into a question list.

  1. Editing forms as well as the query file used by the commcare-export tool

In the form, move all questions into question lists as desired. In the
query file, add a new field mapping for each moved question so you have
both the old field mapping (Source Field: form.fires_burning_inside) and
the new field (Source Field: form.fire_questionlist.fires_burning_inside)
in the same query file sheet. When you run commcare-export, one field will
have a value and the other will be blank, depending on the app version.
This second solution will not quite achieve what you want by itself since
you now have old app data in one field and new app data in another. You can
write queries or views in your database to choose the one that is not blank.

Hope that’s helpful.

~ Daniel

On Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 4:42 PM, creinkin@nd.edu wrote:

Hi!

We are currently using the commcare-export tool to do nightly synchs of
the data in CommCareHQ. Recently we realized that a few of our forms could
be cleaned up with the use of question lists, so we were planning on making
a change until we realized that the queries we are using would break if we
changed the full xpath to the questions we cared to export from CommCare.

For example what used to be ‘/data/fires_burning_inside’ will now be
’/data/fire_questionlist/fires_burning_inside’

Ideally, we would like to be able to make this improvement to question
lists so that the form entry is cleaner, and structure our commcare-export
queries such that both the old /data/fires_burning_inside and the new
/data/fire_questionlist/fires_burning_inside both get mapped to the same
database field. Is there any way to elegantly do this? If not, are there
any workarounds such as creating two query files representing the old and
new structure and grab all form submissions from app_version < xyz with the
old and app version >= xyz with the new query?

Thanks for your help!
-Caleb


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