Does it work offline/without Internet?

A colleague has asked me an ‘easy question’:

Does it work offline/without internet?

The question is not as easy as it may sound.

  • One first has to outline what “it” is. The Survey Solutions software includes several tools and each of them has their mode of operation, with varying demands. Narrowing down to a particular tool can change the answer from an enthusiastic YES! to a categorical NO!.

  • We also should define what “works” is. For example, it may still work, but work differently. Or it may work for one purpose, but not be acceptable for a different one.

  • Finally, “offline” is not identical to “without internet”. While many users exchange data using Survey Solutions over the Internet as a vehicle between their server and their tablets, this is not the only way. For Survey Solutions it is important that there is network connectivity, but it doesn’t have to be necessarily the public Internet, but it could be a secluded privately controlled network, and some organizations are using it in exactly that way.

Overall, a feasibility assessment of a data collection with Survey Solutions (or any similar tool for that matter) requires a detailed description of the planned activity, including the technical details, as well as the modes of operation, etc, etc and is not a quick/easy question. Depending on the tolerances and flexibilities, it could be quite a project of its own.