FrontlineSMS let users send, receive and manage SMS over a mobile network.

Greetings everyone!

Navigating in and out of the internet I've found out about a kind-of-similar project for data collection with mobiles, called OpenRosa (and it's child-software, like Dimagi, EpiSurveyor, GATHER, Open Data Kit, and openXdata).


The standard is almost completely focus in data collection and analysis (that is, forms and reports), so it has its strengths. One of the functions in which I'm extremely interested in is the java applet for collecting data, which allows you to provide instructions to the Community Worker and guides him through the interview process, and provides with advance forms creation (multiple answers, "child questions", etc.).


However, for the applications I've seen (please keep in mind I'm not a IT guy, but a Psychologist) OpenRosa is not so flexible and easily expandable as FLSMS. Therefore, I'm not 100% convinced in replacing FLSMS; some of the functions I really need are missing out of the box (e.g. reminders, external commands, etc.).


I'm wondering if someone in the community has tried to bring the best out of these software together, and/or if they have an idea on how to do this.  For what I'm thinking, training the TextForms plugin to recognize the SMS-sent forms and/or modifying the collecting data Applet for allowing only SMS sent from FLSMS may work, but since I'm no coder, I have no idea how to do this :) (however, if someone has an insight, I'm more than willing to start working with this).


Waiting eagerly for your thoughts,



PS: here are some links re: the software I've spoken of

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Hey all,


Answered myself partially with this: though I would love to hear other developments and experiences.




Hi Pedro


Thanks for starting this thread. With increasing numbers of projects using FrontlineSMS for data collection, there's clearly interest and demand for flexible, appropriate tools out there.


At the moment we're working on a major new release of FrontlineSMS, due later this year. Part of our strategy going forward is to review the data collection landscape, and see where FrontlineSMS and FrontlineForms fit into that going forward. Clearly we don't want to reinvent wheels, and there are an increasing number of very solid data collection tools out there already, many of which you've listed.


We don't have much to add to this discussion right now, except to say that we have a revamp of our data collection tool on the radar. We'll know more later in the year.


Thanks, and by all means feel free to share any of your research or conclusions in the meantime!




Can you say more about data collection now?  It seems to me that it is such a big world, and there is so much to be done. I really hoped that data collection will be on the list for 2013 and v2.

Hi Alex

Structured data collection is something we have all designed and ready to go, and are fundraising for actively. Thanks for the interest - we really want to build this too!


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