Question about complex case sharing

Hello all... I have a question about our pretty complex case sharing situation.

Some of you might remember :slight_smile: ... my thailand HIV app has case sharing called the "flower petal" method, where each outreach worker has his own single case sharing group, and then some clinics are members of each individual case sharing group. That's how each outreach worker can refer to the clinic.

My question is: We might want to adjust our sharing to combine SOME of those individual users into a combined "flower petal" so they could also see their colleagues' cases also. BUT I am worried that if we try this and don't like it, then the cases might have been CHANGED when we did that experiment and when I try to switch back to an older, saved version of the old-style users/groups table, the cases would be lost or missing.

1-- please look at the following link that shows two easy PPT slides that illustrate (1) our current case sharing setup and then (2) the way we are considering changing to a combined case sharing group for SOME of our users.
Dropbox - question about converting case sharing methods....pptx - Simplify your life

2-- As you can see, we hope that, for this small set of 10 of our users, throw away the older individual case sharing groups, and place them all in one single case sharing group. (but we may find that this places so many cases into a phone, that they get slow.)

3-- My question is: If I make this change using the excel users/groups table... and then we find out that it does not work well and we want to revert back to the original way... is there a chance that all those cases will have changed their ownership, and I will be unable to get the cases back to their original way of being each in their individual group?

4-- To me, this raised the question of if each of those cases was currently "OWNED" by the actual users that created them, or if they were currently owned by the little groups. if they are owned by the users, then I vaguely think that someday if we try to revert back to the original method, it would be OK because the users are still there and so they will nicely flow back to the individual original case sharing groups. but if they are actually owned by the existing mini case sharing groups, then my thoughts about changing to the shared method and then possibly changing back seems more scary.
----> But, when we downloaded the full case list, and looked in the OWNER column for each of the cases, it simply says, for example, 2011103 ... and unfortunately 2011103 is the name of a user AND it is the name of his individual case sharing group! So I can not tell if the true owner is the individual or the group!

Let me know your thoughts on my questions above...


We did some testing with test accounts, and I realize now that when I place those 3 users into the new bigger case sharing group, (I did not “delete” the old smaller case sharing groups) the users did not “bring” their cases with them. I think I learned that the cases were owned by those groups. So I guess I would have to do a big download of the case list, and then edit certain fields on the case list, and upload it again… to re-assign the cases to the big new case sharing group to begin with? (This is just setting aside for now the question of how we would “revert” to the earlier method later if we wanted to.)


Oh, now I see that there is a feature in the commcare HQ app that will make it easy for me to “reassign cases.” so I would not do all that using Excel. I would do that reassignment using that reassign cases function on the app.

SO, this brings me back to the original question:

1-- Let’s pretend that I use this reassign cases feature to combine the cases from 3 individual case sharing groups into one large new combined case sharing group. 2500 cases from A, 3000 cases from B, and 750 cases from C. All go into the new shared case sharing group.

2-- Then, let’s say that I find that the phones can not handle this large number of cases and I want to revert to the previous method of having 3 totally separate groups.

3-- Do you have a sense of how I would been smart to actually “remember” which of those cases had originally come from A, so they would go back to A? and the B ones would go back to B, etc? Any other thoughts on how I would do this while avoid this doing “damage” of any kind when I try to revert later?

Hi Eric,

Your case reassignment action, once triggered, will perform the action by creating an Form Submission inside of the backend which will assign the cases to the new owners. That form will be visible in HQ and can be subjected to the same “Archive Form” rules as other forms, meaning it can be undone, reverting the state of all of the cases to their configuration before the action was triggered. Like other “Archive Form” actions, however, I think there may be restrictions on when that form can be archived. IE: if the cases are changed by forms “downstream” (IE: After reassignment), I think those forms need to be archived before the big bulk archival form can be, so if users are collecting data live this may be a dangerous way to perform the action.

The only other option I can think of is to perform the owner_id change through an excel upload which simultaneously creates a case field with the previous owner id in it so it can be adjusted back in a subsequent upload. The bulk reassign cases feature may create such a field for you, but even if so there’s no automated way (other than the archival action I mentioned initially) for this property to be applied back in bulk other than an excel upload.