Version 26 (modified by Fran Boon, 14 years ago) ( diff )


Android Developer Guidelines

ODK Collect, an Android XForms client

Download Code

Install yet another SCM tool, HG Mercurial

  • defaults will suffice during setup

Get a local copy of ODK collect by checking out from Google Code.

Currently the best version to get is the NCSU branch:

hg clone vinbitr-odk-collect

This includes:

There is another version which includes support for SMS Form Submission

  • link pending


  1. Install Java JDK
  2. Install Android SDK
    • Download some platforms using the SDK Manager
  3. Install ANT, a cross platform Java build automation tool.
    • Download and extract Ant (1.8.1 at time of writing):
    • Create 'ANT_HOME' environment variable.
    • Add '%ANT_HOME%\bin' directory to 'PATH' environment variable (Windows syntax).
  4. Install Eclipse (tested with 3.6.1)
  5. Install Android plugin
  6. Import project into Eclipse (project name should avoid spaces)
  7. Right-click on folder & 'Build Project'

To deploy you'll need to create a self signed keystore and use the .apk packaging wizard (Right-click on project, menu Android tools, Export Signed Application Package), or use the configured Sahana Eden application downloadable from Android Market, enable accept self signed certificates to work with Sahana Eden demo site.

Editing Code

Follow the Build instructions above.

Can Run or Debug in the Emulator

Right-click on the project & select properties | Android to check the API revision used.

  • Base ODK Trunk can run on basic Android 1.5: API 3
  • SMS functionality requires Android 1.6: API 4
    • Does it fail gracefully on older API? (does compile at least still)


See jaxdroid's branch:

  • Edit /res/values/strings.xml
    <string name="app_name">Sahana Eden</string>
    <string name="default_server"></string>
    <string name="main_menu_details">Magnifying human resources with technology</string>
    <string name="main_menu_message">Sahana Eden</string>

SMS Structure

XForms sent via SMS are split into Multi-Part messages with a sequence header. This header is currently a custom 5-digit unique identifier for that particular form submission. That sequence information and unique identifier are prepended to the each part of the multi-part SMS transmission by the modified ODK Collect branch's SMS form submission code. It will look something like this:

  • (1/3)(12345)<?xml version='1.0' ?><pr_person>...
  • (2/3)(12345)last_name>...
  • (3/3)(12345)-08</date_of_birth></pr_person>

The unique identifier -- here, 12345 -- is actually significantly more random than that.

These messages are then reassembled by the tropo() function in controllers/ which calls concatSMS(lastMessage, fromaddress). The reason the tropo() controller method calls concatSMS() with each new part of a multi-part message is that the messages may arrive out of order. However, when the concatSMS() method detects that all message parts of that XForms submission have been received, it will stitch those messages together (while removing the prepend), and submit them to parserdooth() as for normal messages.




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