Designing a Form

The following section describes how to design a Form to start collecting data (Records) from your users. It presents the available Field types and the common and individual properties. It also shows how to add, edit, delete and move fields in the Form.

Do you prefer to import an existing questionnaire instead of designing a Form from scratch? Follow this guide.

After you added a database, in order to gather the information you need, you must design a Form that collects the correct data. Your data is collected using various types of fields. A user then fills in a Form, entering data into the defined fields. This is then stored in your Database as a Record.

Forms are very flexible, and allow you to mix-and-match fields to capture a variety of data types. For instance:

  • A unique identifier for a beneficiary can be generated using a Serial Number field.
  • The amount of a specific type of good delivered to a beneficiary can be captured using a Quantity field.
  • The total of amount of goods delivered to an individual beneficiary can be captured using a Calculated field.

You can also link your Form to another Form or to the built-in Geographic database of ActivityInfo. This can be done with Reference fields.

Instead of designing a Form from scratch you can copy a Form by exporting its fields and importing them to a new Form  or  you can duplicate a Form.

You can also make sure that users won't add duplicate Records to a Form by using a combination of Key fields.

With relevance rules you make sure only relevant questions appears to users and with validation rules you ensure that an answer will be accepted only if it follows some rules.

Working with Partners?

If you are working with a Database that includes Partners make sure to: 

This allows: 

  • Users to select a Partner from the list when adding Records. 
  • You to assign Permissions based on the users' Partner.

Working with Case Management?

If you are working with a Database that includes Supervisors and Case workers make sure to:

This allows:

  • Users with the Role of Supervisor:
  • to assign Records to users with the Role of Case worker
  •  to access the Records of their assigned Case workers.
  • Case workers to access only their own Records.

Collecting data over a period of time?

If you want to collect data on a repetitive basis, you can design a Form with a Subform

Subforms can make your Form very flexible.

For example, you can create them to collect data on a regular basis (e.g. a monthly delivery), or on an irregular basis (e.g. every time a beneficiary receives goods).

  • You can add up to 500 Forms in a Database.
  • You can add up to 500 fields in a Form.
  • You can add up to 30 Subforms in a Form.
  • The maximum number of Records that can be added in a Form is 200,000.

Before designing your Form, consider its structure and ways to ensure data quality. Take a look at the "The ultimate list of tips for ensuring data quality in ActivityInfo" and get familiar with features that help you increase data quality.

Name your Form
  • In the Form Design page give a name to your Form.

Maximum length of a Form label: 1024 characters

Add Fields
  • Click on "Add a field" to start adding fields.


  • Maximum length of a Text field record value: 1024 characters
  • Maximum length of a Multi-line Text field record value: 65536 characters
  • Maximum length of a Calculated field formula: 1024 characters
  • Maximum Attachment size:  10 MB
  • Maximum number of Attachments per field: 20 attachments

If you want to collect data on a repetitive basis, you can design a Form with Subform using the Subform field and define the frequency using the Month or Week field.

  • From the  Fields palette, click on a field to add it.

You can also add one or more  Section headers  to create sections in your Form.

Define the Fields' properties

When you add a field you can define some of its Properties to make your Form even more flexible.

  • Click on the Field you want to work with, to open the Field Card editor.

Here you can:

You can also manage the Settings for the field.

You can:


  • Maximum number of options per Single/Multiple Selection field: 100 options
  • Maximum number of options in total for all Single/Multiple Selection field in a Form: 1000 options
  • Maximum number of Relevance rules per field: 10 relevance rules
  • Maximum length of a field Label: 1024 characters
  • Maximum length of a field Description: 2048 characters
  • Maximum length of a field Code: 20 characters
  • Click on "Done"  to add the field to the Form.
Add, move, edit and delete fields
  • Click on "x" to close the fields tab and click on "+" to reveal it again.
  • To add a new field click on "+" to reveal the Fields palette and click on the field to add it.
  • To move a field click on it to select it and drag it to the place you want to place it.
  • To add a field between two existing fields, hover your mouse between the two fields to reveal the "x" button and click on it.
  • To edit a field's Properties click on it to open the Field Card editor, apply the edits and click on "Done".
  • To delete a field click on it to open the Field Card editor and click on "Delete field".
Duplicate fields

Duplicating fields allows you to quickly create forms with many similar fields.

For instance, when creating survey or questionnaire forms, you can duplicate a single- or multiple-select field to copy over a large number of selection options and quickly set up your questions.

  • When editing a form with an existing field, click on the three dots beside the field label to open the context menu, and select "Duplicate field". 
  • Alternatively, click on the field to open the Field Card editor and select "Duplicate field" from the footer menu.
  • The field will be duplicated including all field settings, options, relevance rules and validation rules.

Codes are copied from the original field, but must be changed manually to ensure all field codes are unique within a form.

Validation rules which reference their own field must be changed manually to reference the new field label/id.

The following field types cannot be duplicated:

  • Serial Number
  • Subform
Save the Form
  • When the Form is ready, click on "Save" to save your Form.

Click on "Cancel" to go back without saving the Form.

  • The Form is added to the Database.

Next, you can invite some users and start data entry.