Mobile survey, questionnaire and forms solution for PDA data collection.

A system for offline data capture on windows mobile devices.

Desktop PC Form Designer

 This is powerful Windows based form designer that enables you to create forms and collections of forms for the windows mobile platform. The designer includes a WYSIWYG interface.
Designing a form does not require any programming knowledge and can be performed easily.

13 Control types are supported, facilities for capturing GPS coordinates, Signatures, Photo’s, Videos and Audio are all supported as well as a basic drawing tool.

A powerful macro facility if provided for form navigation.


Designed and completed form data is stored in the XML format which is widely supported by a wide range of applications.


Using the Designer


You design a collection of forms as required, you drag the controls onto the form and set the properties.



This form rendered on a mobile device.


Once complete you save the form (collection of forms) This is a single XML file.


Control Types


Form navigation to move form selection to another forms


Previous Form , Navigation to the previous form


Navigation to another form based upon the current forms user entered data.


Add an file attachment


Add an Audio Clip


Add an Video Clip


Take a photo and store in the current form (as a bitmap)


Enter text


Read Only text


Windows checkbox


Display an image or store a taken picture.


Windows radio button, allows one selection

DateTime Picker

Allows the user to select a date from a calendar control


Windows Listbox


Windows Combo box


A control that captures a signature.


A label control that can be used to link to a web page or file.


Allows simple drawing to be performed and saved.



Mobile Application


This application runs on windows mobiles devices and displays the designed forms and handles form navigation and handles the data capture (including signatures, photo’s videos, audio, GPS data)


It has two modes of launching, by opening a designed form file the forms are automatically selected and launched.


If the application is launched from the shortcut the user is presented with a list of available forms/questionnaires. Forms are split into categories to help manage the available options.




The form named Main is displayed first


Examples of Forms:-
























Once the forms have been completed the application zips up the completed XML form data and any attachments such as Video files, Audio files or file attachments

The completed zip file is then forwarded as selected in the designer.

a)    Via Windows Mobile Email. The completed form is emailed automatically to the user identified as the forms were designed.

b)    Uploaded using HTTP upload to a pre designated Web server or stored locally for later transmission via http upload to a web server.

Form distribution.

Forms can be manually copied to devices or emailed out to users as they are a single textual based XML files.

A system is available for automatic distribution of new Forms/Questionnaires to Mobile devices this system manages synchronisation of files to devices using a simple HTTP/s web server and small client application.

Files to be distributed a loaded into a SQL Server 2005 Express database using a simple to use tool. Windows mobile devices automatically periodically download the file list, any new files are downloaded to the device.

The system manages changes and deletions automatically.

Completed form Data

Completed form data can be processed as required, the data is stored in XML format which can be imported by most Office Applications Excel etc.

A tool is provided to display the completed data in HTML format , IE it can be viewed in Internet explorer en example is shown:-




HTTP completed form upload

Completed forms and attachments are uploaded via HTTP post to a webserver and stored into a SQL Server 2005 database. From here the forms can be processed or accessed.







Designed Forms




Distributed Forms Synchronised to devices

Completed Forms








Design a Form Tutorial

Using the CreateFromApplication.exe on a desktop PC.

1)    Start a new form set


2)    You will be prompted for a file to save the form set into.

3)    Set up the Form data as required
if you select http upload you must enter a valid address to post the result to. You will be prompted for a file to save the form set into.

4)    Add a new form by selecting add a form Icon

5)    The form designer will then be displayed.
The first two things to set are the
Form Name – This is a name used by the application and cannot contain spaces, it is used for internal form navigation etc, duplicate form names are not permitted

6)    Add controls as required
a) I have set the background colour
b) I then dragged a label into place.

c) I edited the Text using the right hand pane.
d) I manually edited the Size to 200,23 rather than using the mouse to stretch the control. (The mouse can be used)
e) I also edited the X coordinate to 10 rather than drag it into position (the control can be dragged)
f) I now add a Textbox

g) I resized and dragged it into position
h) I now remote the default text (from the right hand pane) so no text is displayed, I also changed the name property from frmTextBox5 to frmcomments (control names must start frm) , this is so when viewing the completed form data I know exactly what the entered text represents. I also selected Multiline so the text can have multiple lines.

I) I have also added two radio buttons and a checkbox

j) I have also added a List box. To add an item to the list box above the add button on the property’s pane , enter the text you wish to add and click the Add button, the text is added to the list control. (List box’s can be single or multiple selection.
l) I have finished this form so I select save to return to the main window.

7)    I now add another form. This form will be used to demonstrate capturing Photo’s, Audio and Video.

a) I have added
Picture box
Button renamed to frmPhoto with the text ‘Take Photo’
Button renamed to frmVideo with the text ‘Add Video’

Button renamed to frmAudio with the text ‘Add Audio’
Label renamed to frmVideoFilename

Label renamed to frmAudioFilename
b) I now need to set up each button in turn.
Take a Photo Button
First I select the Take Photo button, and select the Action button from properties.
This displays the selectlink form, as were configuring a button to take a photo we select  the Link Type of ‘Take Photo’ and we select the frmPicturBox1 to receive the photo once taken,  I click ok to save my choice.

The selected action is then shown in the form designer.


Record Audio Button
I now select the ‘Add Audio’ button and select ‘Action’

From the selectlink dialog I select ‘Record Audio’ and select the label frmAudiofilename, this control will receive the wav file name once a recording has been made.

Click OK to return to the from designer.

Record Video

I now select the ‘Add Video’ button and select ‘Action’

From the selectlink dialog I select ‘Record Video’ and select the label frmVideofilename, this control will receive the wav file name once a recording has been made.

Click OK to return to the from designer.

And in the form designer I select Save to save the form changes.

8)    Edit Main Form

The Man form is always displayed on the PDA First
Double click on the Main form.

Ive added a selection of controls including the signature control which is used to capture signatures on the Mobile device.
Click Save


9)    The Draw Control

We will add one more form to demonstrate the Draw control.
a) add a new form
b) in the form designer drag a draw control onto the form
c) You will see the draw control takes up the complete form so no other controls can be added. This control allows the user to save a basic drawing into the completed form.
c) Click save to save the form.

10)  Form navigation.
We now have a collection of forms but we need to define the navigation between each form. As I mentioned the Main form is displayed first.

a)    Load the Main form into the Form Designer.

Each form by default has two buttons at the bottom of the screen, these are associated with the two Windows Mobile Hardware buttons (if fitted). Additional buttons can also be added to the Form surface if required.

To change the text displayed on each button update the Text field under each button.


To change the button action select the button its self.

First we will configure the Help button to display the Help Form.
Click the Help button and the Selectlink screen will be displayed.


Select a link type of ‘Link to Form’ from the forms select the form you wish selection to change to (MainHelp). The form will be displayed underneath so you can check this is the correct from.

Click OK to close the SelectLink window.


Now select the ‘Next’ button

Select a link type of ‘Link to Form’ from the forms select the form you wish selection to change to (Form2). The form will be displayed underneath so you can check this is the correct from.

Click OK to close the SelectLink window.



Click Save in the Form Designer.


Now Load Form 2 into the designer

Change the button text to next and previous as shown.


Select the previous button and select ‘Previous form’ in the select link window, then click ok.

When a previous form is detected on the Mobile device the mobile device will move back to the previous one that was displayed.


In the form designer select the Next button

This time we will not be selecting a simple link but use the logic control.

Select the ‘Descision’ type

 We can have upto three navigations evaluated for each form , these are evaluated in order. If they all three fail a Pop up message is displayed on the windows mobile device and they cannot proceed to the next form until they correct the data.

We have set up a simple Formula here

The formula checks the data in the control frmjobcomplete

If its true ( as a check box can only be true –checked  or false-not checked ) then change selection to form3.

To save typing errors the control names can be copy’d from the ‘Controls for formula’ list box and pasted into the formula field. This also shows what type is returned from the control.

When you select a Form from the associated Form combobox it is displayed at the bottom of the screen so you can check you’ve selected the correct from.


Click OK in the selectlink window and then save in the form designer.


Finally we need to set up Form4 . So load form 4 into the designer.


Set the button text to Previous and Done.

Set the Link Type for the previous button to ‘Previous Form’

And set the Link Type for the Done button to ‘Close forms’ to indicate we have finished.


Click save in the Form Designer  and save the form in the main window.





We have completed the form design.








Example data collection on a Windows Mobile device.
Screenshots from a real device.

1)    Select our Demo Form              2) Main Form


3)    Main Form showing expanded   4) Signature


4)    Form 2                                        5) Form2 ‘Next clicked without

                                                        Complete checked displays

                                                        Error message.


5)    Clicking the Take Photo              6) Clicking the Add Audio button
launches the devices camera          launches the AudioRecord.
when you have taken a photo         Click the Record Icon to record
its displayed in the form                   audio.
Clicking Add Video button
launches the devices camera.
The recorded video is added
as a file to the zip file.

6)    The RED record button is           7) Press the play button to listen
shown during audio recording         to the recorded audio.
Click the Red button to stop            Press the record icon to rerecord.
the recording.


8) During playback press             9) Click the form to start the Drawing

Stop to stop playback.                      tool
Selecting Done saves the audio
and returns to the form.

11) The user can now do basic drawings. Clicking Save saves the drawing in the
form in place of the ‘Click to draw’ image

12)  As http upload was selected in the form design, we are prompted for a pin that us used with a user name to gain access to the web upload site.
the zipped form data and attachments are uploaded.