Finalized forms can't be edited starting in Collect v2023.2

In Collect v2023.1 and prior, forms that are finalized are accessible from "Edit Saved Form" and can be modified. In Collect v2023.2 and later, finalized forms will no longer be editable. Additionally, the end of form experience has been simplified to make this change clear. This release will come out in early July.

You can read more about the updated user interface and the research that supports these updates in this thread. You can also try this out in beta.

This change also applies to applications that integrate with ODK Collect. Finalized forms will continue to be available through the content provider but will not be editable.


Not being able to change finalized forms is a step backwards.

Is there anyone else who thinks the way I do? Recently I updated my odk-collect app to v2023.2.3. When saving a form I noticed that the end page has changed. In itself I have no problem that there are now two buttons “save as draft” and “Finish”. But what I find problematic is that from September 30, 2023 it will no longer be possible to open a completed form to change something before sending it to cloud storage.

We use ODK-collect to make vegetation recordings. It often happens that one comes to the conclusion that a previously noted plant species turns out to be a different species. In that case, the user has already set the form to “finalized”. But no problem – the form can still be opened and changes can be made. In the new workflow we now have to save all our forms as a “draft” first, then open them one by one when we want to send them, move to the last page, save them as “finalized”, and only then can they be sent .

Our forms are very heavy and slow to open, contain many pages with many calculations and therefore the described extra steps slow down the process.

The old workflow where marking a form as “finalized” really just meant it could be sent to the cloud was a really useful and easy to use feature. Drafts could not be sent, finalized forms could – and both could still be edited. It prevented that forms that were really in concept phase, could be accidentally sent to the cloud.

In my opinion, removing the possibility to modify finalized forms is a step backwards. A disappearance of a useful function, and I don't understand why this is done.

We know that this is a disruptive change for some workflows and are sorry to hear this has been the case for you. We do try to cause as little negative disruption as possible but it some cases like this we believe the benefits of the change will outweigh the negatives for most users.

We encourage anyone negatively impacted to share their workflows and forms as you have so that we can find other ways to improve things for them.

There were three major drivers: user confusion around whether or not finalization was final, inconsistent states when a submission was auto-sent and edited at the same time, and the need for a truly final form state to support the new entity concept which allows for sharing information between forms. Those three combined led us to the current solution. Again, we don't expect that it's perfect for everyone, but we do think that it solves many different problems that users were experiencing.

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