QPL has a rich set of configuration options that you can use to control how respondents can use your questionnaire web site. For example, you can let respondents answer your questionnaire anonymously or require each respondent to log in using with a user name and password that you provide. You may also let a respondent access only one questionnaire, multiple questionnaires, or share questionnaires with other respondents.

These options can be used together with your questionnaire form to tackle complex web survey designs, or to use QPL as a general purpose data collection tool. For example, you could use your questionnaire as a computer-aided telephone interview (CATI) by giving your interviewers accounts that let them access multiple cases (that is, one case for each person that they are supposed to call). You can use the group setting to let each interviewer access his or her own group of cases or let several interviewers share the same group of cases.

Option
Login Authentication Data entry New cases Groups
User must have an account
User may create an account
User may log in directly from URL
Normal
LDAP
One One No
Multiple One Yes
Multiple Yes
No account required None One One No

Login

The Login option lets you control who can access your survey.

User must have an account. This setting will only let people who have accounts already loaded into your project to access a questionnaire. These respondents may log in any number of times until the survey expires, according to the expiration date you set.

User may create an account. This setting lets a respondent create an account to use if the user name he or she entered when logging in was not already loaded. A respondent can use this same account to log into his or her survey any number of times until the survey expires. (The same respondent, however, may create any number of new accounts. And the respondent may or may not choose, to identify him or herself when creating the account.)

This option has been further enhanced with release 5.04.009 to add the ability to automatically send the respondent an email message confirming his account information. A confirmation email message is also sent if a respondent changes his account information or if someone fails to log in correctly using his account. And accounts are only created when a respondent enters a valid email address.

User may log in directly from URL. This login option modifies the first two options. If this is on, a respondent may be sent directly to the first questionnaire page if his account information has been appended to the end of the URL for your web site, bypassing the web site home page and log in page. This same respondent may still go to the home page and log in normally. This option was added with release 5.05.001.

No account required. This is the completely anonymous setting. Here, no log in page is displayed; the respondent goes directly to the first page of the questionnaire after clicking the "Start log in" button. (A new record is created each time someone clicks on the "Start log in" button, whether or not the respondent actually submits any answers. You modify the default tabulation report and data export settings to only use records with responses.)

Authentication

The Authentication option lets you control how you will check a respondent's identity (when you are requiring the respondent to have a log in account).

Normal. This setting causes the system to verify a respondent's user name and password against the accounts you have set up in your project (i.e., the accounts you have loaded into the "user" table when you set up the MySQL data base for this project.

LDAP. You can let respondents log into your survey using the user name and password assigned by their company or agency if you are (1) setting up a questionnaire project on the organization's intranet, (2) they maintain an LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) server with user account information, (3) LDAP support in PHP has been enabled on the server you are using, and (4) you have modified the QPL configuration settings in the qpl_config.inc file with the LDAP directory structure that they use.

The LDAP option also has special features that fit with the Login options above. When the LDAP option is used with the "User may create an account," Login option, a QPL user table account will be created automatically if a respondent's user name and password successfully authenticate against the LDAP server. The respondent's full name, telephone number, and email address will also be copied to the QPL user table. (If you are still following this discussion, you should now realize that this offers huge efficiencies for doing intranet projects in an organization, since LDAP lets you verify that known users have filled out a questionnaire or form, and that you have a ready list of email addresses to contact from inside your questionnaire project!)

When the LDAP option is used with the "User must have an account" Login option, a respondent may only log in if he or she has a previously loaded account in the QPL user table (with a blank password) and the user name and password he or she supplies successfully authenticates against the LDAP server. This lets you control who can access the survey and lets respondents use their normal user name and password, but does require that you preload user accounts with respondents' correct user names. You can override the LDAP setting for particular accounts by entering passwords for those accounts in the QPL user table. Here, the QPL account will be used to authenticate a respondent's user name and password, not LDAP.

Data Entry

The Data Entry option lets you control how many questionnaire records each respondent may access.

User may edit only one case. This settings ties one respondent to one questionnaire record.

User may edit multiple cases. This setting lets a respondent access more than one questionnaire record. Exactly how many records a respondent may access depends upon how you use the New Cases and Group options.

New Cases

The New Cases option is used the respondent Data Entry-Multiple Cases option to control how many questionnaires a respondent may access.

User may create only one new case. If no questionnaire records have been preloaded for respondents, this setting lets a respondent create one new questionnaire record the first time he or she logs in. The next time the same respondent logs in, he or she may only access this same questionnaire record.

If you have preloaded one or more questionnaire records for a respondent, this setting lets the respondent pick one of the preloaded records for editing, but does not allow him or her to create any new questionnaire records.

User may create multiple new cases. This setting lets a respondent create a new questionnaire record or access an existing record. The respondent may create any number of new questionnaire records.

Groups

The Group setting may be used to let two or more people share the same group of questionnaires. While you may establish any number of groups, each respondent may only be in one group.

Group settings are not actually an option setting, but instead they are an attribute of each respondent's user account. Putting two or more respondents into the same group (i.e., entering the same group name in each person's account) lets each respondent access any cases that were created by any members of the same group. The "User may edit multiple cases" setting for the Data Entry option must be used when you are using groups.

By default, the group setting for a user account is "NONE," which means that the respondent may only access records that he or she created.

The Group setting only affects Normal respondent accounts. Super user accounts always have access to all of the questionnaire records.

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