Updates to user permissions in ODK Collect

Ona Staff
March 29, 2016

One of the major new features that we introduced with the release of our new platform last fall is the ability to assign role-based permissions to projects. This had been one of our most requested features from the previous Ona version, and we’re excited to support this now for all users on ona.io.

Users can now create projects on Ona and add project collaborators who have separate Ona accounts. You can add as many collaborators as you need, and each collaborator can access the project and the forms using their own account login and permissions. To learn more about managing projects, visit our help site and you can also read more from this blog post.

This greatly improves account security, as there is no longer a need to share your login information with everyone who needs access to your project. You can also control who can submit data to your project and who can view and access your data.

For example, if you are managing a large data collection project that involves a team of enumerators, you can create a separate Ona account for each enumerator and give them Can Submit permissions to your project. Each enumerator can then access the forms from the project and submit data by authenticating with their own account information in ODK Collect. When data is submitted to Ona, you can be able to view submissions by enumerator as each submission is tied to an enumerator.

To do this, configure the platform settings in ODK Collect to: https://odk.ona.io

Each project enumerator can enter their own Ona account information to download the project forms to their phone and submit data to the Ona project.

When viewing data in Ona, the user who submitted the form appears in the metadata section of each form submission, as well as in the exported dataset.

Using a single url (https://odk.ona.io) along with a unique login makes it much easier to configure phones and tablets for data collection. You no longer have to re-configure devices every time they switch hands in the field. The new user simply enters their username and password assigned to them and can access all of the forms that are shared with them on Ona, even across projects and organizations.

Tips on creating Ona accounts for multiple project collaborators:

Ona requires a unique email address to be provided when opening a new account. If you’re a project manager that needs to create 10, 20, 50, or even 100 accounts for the data collectors in your project, then obtaining email addresses from each collaborator or creating new email accounts for users without one is a challenging – not to mention a time-consuming – task. A quick and easy solution to this is to use email address tags.

Most email address domains use (+) to add tags to the base email address. For instance, if your project email address is project@gmail.com, then you can use project+enum1@gmail.com, project+enum2@gmail.com and so on to create individual Ona accounts for each enumerator in your project.

Give it a try!