Collect manual instance naming will be removed in v2023.2

:warning: If you already specify an instance name in your forms or your workflow does not include editing filled forms from ODK Collect, no action is needed.

Note: The last saved time will only show up if the form was previously saved either because this is an edit or because the user did a save during form entry, using the draft language.

When a form definition does NOT specify an expression to name filled forms, Collect users filling out that form see an open text field on the last screen of the form (see v2023.1 above). They can use that field to specify a name that will be displayed in “Edit Saved Form”. The value entered there is NOT submitted to a server.

In our research around form finalization, we heard that this is a confusing experience. Analytics show us that it is used by about 6% of users.

The plan is for manual instance naming to be removed early summer 2023. We recognize that change is hard and may require training and updating your workflow. Our goal is to improve the user experience for everyone and minimize impact by making decisions based on analytics and user needs.

We’ve outlined below a few ways to prepare for the change:

  • How to update your form - We recommend updating your forms to use an expression to name filled forms.

  • If you use the instance name for notes - If you use the field to keep notes about actions to take on a filled form, we encourage you to move this to a form field. For example, the instance_name expression could be: concat(${lname}, " household: ", ${draft_notes}). You can find an example here.

  • If you do not add an instance name - All filled forms will use the form title as the name. The only way to differentiate the filled forms in filled form lists will be by the last saved date. We plan to introduce feedback in 2023.1 to let the users know that manually setting the name will be removed in the next release.


This is great feet. Could you consider changing the action button name to 'Send as finalized form' instead of 'Send form'. Either way is not bad at all.

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Thanks so much for your feedback! We are working towards simplifying the language because we've heard from our research that people are confused about the call to action button and understanding what state the form is in. We will continue to share our design iterations as we go :slight_smile:

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