Form coding clarifications - Server crashing/overload


I have an XLSForm form which is taking down the Central server when I try to upload it (server goes into 100% CPU and no response for at least 10 minutes, and either throws an error 504 or does not recover until rebooted). Upon checking the form for errors, I have found following unconventional coding phrases in it. Can someone confirm if these might be causing issues?

  • In CHOICE_FILTER for location, I see ${region_birth}=region instead of region=${region_birth}. This is happening in at least 20 questions.

  • The excel sheet has a shortcut embedded, whereby the CHOICE_FILTER variable is being picked up from NAME column through the use of a formula, i.e. ="${"&B19&"}=region". This is also happening for around 20 questions.

Do you think any of these things are a bad syntax programming, and may be the reason why the server is crashing?


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What version of Central are you using? Does the form convert quickly when you load it in

Hi Yaw,

Could you attach that form so that we can test it @Saad?

In my experience, this is has not been an issue, I have forms with thousands of rows that create field names / labels, choice labels, etc using excel formulae and this doesn't cause issues on upload.

Additionally, recent changes to Central are processing forms from upload to test availability in an instant, previously these forms could take a minute or two.

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Thanks for that feedback, I'm so glad you're seeing such a significant improvement! (CC @eyelidlessness and @Matthew_White)

One thing that comes to mind is that we've seen that type of behavior with spreadsheets that come from OpenOffice or that have lots of extra rows or columns. You could try copying just the part of the spreadsheet that contains your form into a new document to see if that would help.

I knew I had seen a mention of improved form processing elsewhere but I couldn't quickly find it again to provide any feedback. I haven't seen the grey + once since the change.

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