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TOPIC: "Front end" to Limesurvey for user, token, and account management

"Front end" to Limesurvey for user, token, and account management 2 years 7 months ago #71431

  • Fred
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Long question, but maybe food for thought for the smart folks in this forum...

First the background:

We are building a sort of panel of participants who will participate in multiple surveys. The surveys will not be anonymous but we want to keep each participant's information confidential and make it easy for them to see their survey "workflow," including new invitations, surveys they started and didn't yet finish, and surveys they previously submitted. There will also be some other "bells and whistles" required of course :)

It doesn't seem like we can make this work through the normal mechanisms of survey URLs, tokens, end URLs, "tokens on the fly," etc. The "Central Participants Database" module that may be coming in v2.0 would help a little, but still has some shortcomings, particularly regarding account security, etc. For one thing, we don't like relying exclusively on tokens which are exposed in URLs.

Therefore we are thinking about the feasibility making a "front end" or "wrapper" around LimeSurvey. We would maintain our own tables of user accounts and survey history and build a small portal for panel participants to enter through. When a user logs into our system and elects to begin a survey a token would be issued through our application and written to the Limesurvey database. These tokens would have a short lifetime, so if the user needed to access the survey again later, they would return to our portal and be issued a new token and directed to the survey. The survey itself could be enclosed in an iframe, but will probably not be.

It's possible we would start with something like Drupal or Wordpress or another CMS and use that as the basis of the new application. Or we may just do it from scratch.

Now for the questions...

1) Has anybody done this before? Is anybody interested in doing it?

2) We would like to do little or no modification to the Limesurvey application itself so that we don't have to worry as much about things breaking when there is an upgrade. But there are a couple of places where we would want to change the flow of Limesurvey and redirect them back to our portal rather than to a Limesurvey page. For example when a participant selects "Resume Later" we would like to exit the survey and direct them back to a particular URL including the token (like an alternate version of the ENDURL). Or in the email that Limesurvey sends with the link to resume, we'd like to change the URL. And so on. Is this sort of change something that people are doing successfully?

Thanks for your ideas!
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Re: "Front end" to Limesurvey for user, token, and account management 2 years 7 months ago #71450

  • DenisChenu
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Hello,

A wrapper in php aren't very difficult : but there a lot of security issue to look at. It depend of your security issue you want.
You have some file example here : bugs.limesurvey.org/view.php?id=2982 , but it's just some SQL request in the token table, and you can use attribute for foreign key.

For url modification, i think you can use some javascript for public page, and for the mail : you can put your own url ( like identify here : yoururl/login.php )

Just some idea :)
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Re: "Front end" to Limesurvey for user, token, and account management 2 years 7 months ago #71476

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Thanks Shnoulle.

Yes, the security of the "wrapper" is important. One reason I was advocating using something like Drupal where we can rely on the community for some of the security.

Are the messages for the email and the dialog in the language files?

Also, now when you select "Resume later" it saves it but it stays in the survey, whereas we'd like it to leave and return to our URL. In that case we'd probably have to get into the code and change it, yes?

Fred
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Re: "Front end" to Limesurvey for user, token, and account management 2 years 7 months ago #71503

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Are the messages for the email and the dialog in the language files?
You can edit all the email, if you want to edit default message, then you hav to modify the language file or the code for the url : but it's the default message, again, you can use what you want in the message , you can remove the {SURVEYURL} if you want.

For the return after a saved survey : a way seem to change the modify the source in save.php, maybe tehre are a javascript possibility, but need more look :). Same for the email sending after a saved survey.

Did you know you can deactivate saved survey function, and use "Enable token-based response persistence?" for ato-saving/loading of the survey ?

Denis
Last Edit: 2 years 7 months ago by DenisChenu.
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Re: "Front end" to Limesurvey for user, token, and account management 2 years 7 months ago #71568

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Fred wrote:
1) Has anybody done this before? Is anybody interested in doing it?

2) We would like to do little or no modification to the Limesurvey application itself so that we don't have to worry as much about things breaking when there is an upgrade. But there are a couple of places where we would want to change the flow of Limesurvey and redirect them back to our portal rather than to a Limesurvey page. For example when a participant selects "Resume Later" we would like to exit the survey and direct them back to a particular URL including the token (like an alternate version of the ENDURL). Or in the email that Limesurvey sends with the link to resume, we'd like to change the URL. And so on. Is this sort of change something that people are doing successfully?

I have worked on similar solutions for different customers. The common approach is - as you described - to let a script write the details you need into the Limesurvey database (mostly the token table).

As for the resume later option it should be possible to create a customized template with a new "resume later" link. Within the survey you can use some Javascript to define/overwrite the URL of this link and add a token (if the survey is set to be non anonymous).

The email invitation/reminder text templates are stored at the database as well so it should be no problem to define a standard text at your application, change some variables in it and store the text at the Limesurvey-DB. another approach is to simply copy the Limesurvey email function, then adjust it and send emails using your own app instead of Limesurvey.

If you are interested in more details you can ping me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Best regards/Beste Grüße,
Dr. Marcel Minke
(Limesurvey Head of Support)
Need Help? We offer professional Limesurvey support
Contact: marcel.minke(at)limesurvey.org'"
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Re: "Front end" to Limesurvey for user, token, and account management 2 years 7 months ago #72067

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Thanks. Yes, I'm using the token-based response persistence and do want participants to be able to save and return If we deactivate the "save" option, that eliminates the save button so it would be a little confusing I think. We could change the message in the language file, although it will still send an email EVERY time they press save (that could get a little annoying). Prefer not to get into the PHP code because then we'd have to fix it every time a new Limesurvey version comes out, but that may be the only alternative.
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Re: "Front end" to Limesurvey for user, token, and account management 2 years 7 months ago #72068

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Thanks Marcel. I'll send you a message.
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Re: "Front end" to Limesurvey for user, token, and account management 2 years 7 months ago #72116

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Fred wrote:
If we deactivate the "save" option, that eliminates the save button so it would be a little confusing I think. We could change the message in the language file, although it will still send an email EVERY time they press save (that could get a little annoying). Prefer not to get into the PHP code because then we'd have to fix it every time a new Limesurvey version comes out, but that may be the only alternative.
I also recommend to not touch the survey code. Therefore having your own "save" link which shows a pop-up like "Your data will be saved each time when you click 'next'. You can use the link from the invitation email to resume this survey."

Best regards/Beste Grüße,
Dr. Marcel Minke
(Limesurvey Head of Support)
Need Help? We offer professional Limesurvey support
Contact: marcel.minke(at)limesurvey.org'"
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Re: "Front end" to Limesurvey for user, token, and account management 2 years 7 months ago #72162

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In a (mostly) similar setup where security was not a big deal I simply generated a single pseudo random token in excel for every participant, and used the same token table for each survey of the set.

We kept a separated public spreadsheet document (~google doc) to show publicly the status of answers gathered... kind of a "progress report"... to motivate the less diligent.

hope this helps.
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Re: "Front end" to Limesurvey for user, token, and account management 2 years 7 months ago #72205

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At the upcoming Limesurvey 2.0 version there will be a new "Central Participant Database" feature (see docs.limesurvey.org/Central+participants...el%29#User_Interface) which can be used to centrally store participant data and then copy it to different surveys.

Best regards/Beste Grüße,
Dr. Marcel Minke
(Limesurvey Head of Support)
Need Help? We offer professional Limesurvey support
Contact: marcel.minke(at)limesurvey.org'"
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