Access to internet may not always be available in the different settings in which you will conduct your data collection campaign. Compiling data from ODK Collect on the various mobile devices you are using for data collection will therefore not be possible through online connection with an ODK Aggregate server or other ODK-compatible servers such as Formhub, SurveyCTO, ONA or Kobo Toolbox. It is in these settings where ODK Briefcase comes in handy.
ODK Briefcase is a Java application developed to easily gather and aggregate data from ODK Collect without need for internet connectivity. ODK Briefcase is also an alternative for those who do not want to setup an ODK Aggregate server or other ODK-compatible servers indicated above. ODK Briefcase can therefore either be a complementary tool to an ODK Aggregate server particularly during periods of poor internet connectivity or as a replacement for ODK Aggregate altogether.
This tutorial describes how to install ODK Briefcase onto your computer. This tutorial assumes that you have a computer with Java 7 or higher installed. If you don’t have this installed, go here to download and install it.
1. Download and install ODK Briefcase
First you need to download and install the ODK Briefcase application.
ODK Briefcase is a Java application so it can be used on a computer with any operating system (Windows, OS X or Linux) for as long as Java 7 or higher is installed. If your computer doesn’t have Java 7 or higher installed, download and install it.
Follow these steps to download and install ODK Briefcase.
1.1 Go to the Open Data Kit website
Point your web browser to https://opendatakit.org.
1.2 Go to Download
Click on ‘Download’ on the website menu.
1.3 Click on ODK Briefcase executable
In the Briefcase section of the Download page, click on the ODK Briefcase executable link.
1.4 Download ODK Briefacase executable
Click on the ‘Download’ button on the ODK Briefcase download page.
1.5 Go to Downloads folder on your computer
Find the downloaded ODK Briefcase file on the Downloads folder of your computer. The donwloaded application is in JAR (short for Java Archive) file format and the file name is in the following format:
ODK Briefcase vN.N.N.jar
where N are the numbers indicating the version number of the ODK Briefcase version you have downloaded.
In this example, the most current ODK Briefcase version that can be downloaded was v1.4.6 and it was further labeled with the word ‘Production’ before the JAR file extension. So, the full name of the file is ODK Briefcase v1.4.6 Production.jar as shown below.
1.6 Move the ODK Briefcase executable file to a specific directory
It would be recommended to move the ODK Briefcase executable file to a directory in your computer that you can remember and access easily. For the purposes of this tutorial, the file will be moved to the computer’s Desktop.
The ODK Briefcase executable file is now on the directory you have specified which in this example is on the Desktop. ODK Briefcase is now easily accessbile for use.
2. Open ODK Briefcase
ODK Briefcase is an executable file so it doesn’t really need to be installed after it has been downloaded. It is ready to be used by simply double-clicking on the executable file (for as long as Java 7 is intalled in your computer). So, double click on ODK Briefcase to start the application.
Sometimes when using the application for the first time after download, the file will not open when double clicked. If this happens, open the application by typing the following commands on the command line:
java -jar "Desktop/ODK Briefcase v1.4.6 Production.jar"
as shown below.
You will notice that after the command "java -jar" you need to write down the path in your computer’s to where the ODK Briefcase executable file is located which in this example is in the Desktop. This is the reason why it is recommended to place the ODK Briefcase executable file in a location in your computer that you can easily remember and access.
3. Specify the location of the ODK Briefcase Storage
When you are opening ODK Briefcase for the first time (either by double-clicking the executable file or through the command line), you will be asked to specify the location of the ODK Briefcase Storage.
The ODK Briefcase Storage is the location where ODK Briefcase holds all your forms and submission data.
To specify the location of the ODK Briefcase Storage, click on the ‘Change’ button.
A dialog box will then open where you can select which directory in your computer to locate the ODK Briefcase Storage. In this example, the Desktop (1) has been selected as the ODK Briefcase Storage location.
Once selected, click on the ‘Choose’ button (2).
You will now see that the ODK Briefcase Storage location is at the specified directory you have selected. In this example, it is at the Desktop.
Click ‘OK’ to confirm.
The ODK Briefcase Storage location has now been specified (1) and and ODK Briefcase Storage folder has been created in your specified location which in this example is in the Desktop (2).
ODK Briefcase is now ready to be used to compile data from mobile devices with ODK Collect.