Create multiple entities/datasets from one form

1. What is the issue? Please be detailed.
I have a form with repeat groups. Tried to create 2 datasets, one from the main form and another from the repeat group. Uploading the form to central gave me an error saying only one entity can be produced

2. What steps can we take to reproduce this issue?
Create form with repeat groups and 2 datasets in the entities sheet

3. What have you tried to fix the issue?

4. Upload any test forms or screenshots below.

Not actually an issue. But more of an inquiry if creation of multiple datasets from one form will be available in the future.

Btw, thank you for adding this feature to central. Server datasets are really very helpful in designing and implementing more effective and efficient workflows. Congratulations! You are the best! Making these powerful features available to self-hosted installations, we can't thank you enough.



Yes, that's the plan! No timeline yet but we know it's also something @mathieubossaert tried and is interested in.


Hi @LN !

Would just like to report that creating an entity/dataset from a repeat group (3 fields from a repeat group and none from the parent form/table) does not work well in Collect. Central was able to accept and publish the form without any errors in validation. I was able to download, open and accomplish the form in Collect, but it crashes when sending the form, as soon as you tap "Save Form and Exit". ODK Collect closes and when you relaunch it, it gives this error (please see attached image).

Thank you. Again, we appreciate all your great work!


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Hi @Vinia_Marciano
Could you attach that form so we can test it and see what really happens?

Hi @Vinia_Marciano,

On the Central-side, I'd also suggest taking a closer look at what data was included in the entity. It's likely not showing any errors right now, but only taking data from the first repeated element. We have not properly handled repeats within entities yet! I'm also interested in seeing the form you're using to understand how we can get it fully and correctly working in the future!

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hi @Grzesiek2010 and @ktuite , sorry I just saw the messages. I will send xlsform. Can I send it privately?

Thank you,

Yes, you can do that if it's a form that contains private data that you would rather like not to share with everyone.

Hi! Sorry for not being able to get back to you sooner. I created a simple xlsform. When I tried to upload to central (we have updated to the latest version v2023.1.0), it's already giving a message that creating entities from repeats is not yet possible. Just the same, here's a copy of the xlsform.

Thank you!

exportrepeat.xlsx (12.1 KB)


Hi. I hope this is still in the pipeline :slightly_smiling_face:


hi everyone! thank you for the great work with ODK Central and entities, it is so useful. I have a somewhat related use case, in my case it is a update inside a Repeat, so previously we were thinking to use a multiselect to pick 10 entities, and try to update it in the Repeat, it might not be the best option, we have 4 data collectors that would require to do that, currently it will be one by one entitie. Looking forwart to what it is gonna look multiple entities in one form in Central.