Questionnaire forms can be published onto a server that has been specifically designed and configured to communicate with ODK Collect installed in your tablet devices. This then allows you to distribute the forms to all ODK Collect installed in tablets that you are using for your data collection campaign wirelessly through the internet (for servers that are publicly accessible or cloud-based) or the local area network (for locally-deployed servers). This offers the advantage of getting your questionnaire forms to multiple devices simultaneously and almost instantly. The main disadvantage of this is that it either requires a working internet connection or a local area network setup. For cloud-based uploading and distribution of forms, see the sites of various service providers such as Kobo Toolbox, SurveyCTO and ONA to name a  few. Offline options of distributing questionnaire forms onto ODK Collect installed in mobile devices can be viewed here.

This tutorial describes how to publish forms onto a locally-deployed Formhub server. This tutorial assumes that you:

  1. Have a locally-deployed Formhub server setup. Instructions on how this can be done can be found here.
  2. Have created forms using the XLSForm standard. Instructions and guide on how to create forms using XLSForm standard can be found here. If you have created forms using XForms standard, consider using ODK  
  3. Have internet access or a local area network configured.

Now it’s time to publish a form into your locally-deployed Formhub server.

1. Log in to your locally-deployed Formhub server

Go to the local IP address for your Formhub server and then sign in as a user. For this example, the local IP address of the server is at (1) and the user is logged in as validmeasures (2).

The following web page will be accessible which will allow you to publish your form.


2. Select XLS or XLSX file to publish

Click on the ‘Choose File’ button.


A file explorer dialogue box will come out which will allow you to choose from your computer’s directory the XLS or XLSX file that you want to publish. For this example, the XLS or XLSX form is located at the Desktop and the filename is ‘incidenceV0.03a.xlsx’.

Remember that the Formhub server only accepts XLSForm saved in XLS or XLSX format.

Once you have selected the form you want to publish, click on ‘Open’.


3. Publish the form

Once you have selected the XLS file you want published, the filename will appear alongside the ‘Choose File’ button (1). Use this opportunity to check whether indeed the file that you have chosen is the one that you want to publish. Once verified, click on the ‘Publish’ button (2).


Once you have published a form, you will see a message on top of the page saying that you have been successful in publising the form.


Also, when you scroll down the page, you will then see a section called ‘Published Forms’ (1) in which the form you have just published is listed (2).

You have now published your form on a locally-deployed Formhub server.


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