2009-08-03
QPL Reference Manual

Warning! This page is in the process of being rewritten for QPL Version 6. It may still have references to QPL Version 5.

After you have written and tested your questionnaire locally, you are ready to deploy it on a web server. This is a fairly straight forward process but does require access to a properly configured web server. See the Server Set Up page for details on how a web server must be set up to support a QPL questionnaire application.

1. Plan Your Deployment

Before you can begin copying your files to your web server, you must make a number of decisions how it should be set up for each particular project. For example, you need to choose a URL, decide how users will log in, whether other respondent information should be loaded, etc. All this information about your project must be communicated to your web site administrator who will be installing the project on the web server.

2a. Build the Web Version of Your Questionnaire Using HomeSite™

Using the QPL HomeSite HTML editor add-in tools greatly simplifies the final configuration of your project files for your web server.

2b. Build the Web Version of Your Questionnaire Using the
Console Tools

When using the console tools to build your project, you must manually configure several project files for your web server.

3. Write SQL Scripts to Load User Accounts and Preload Respondent Data

If you will be running an anonymous, or semi-anonymous project (see Deployment Issues: Security), you don't need to create any user accounts.

If you will be requiring respondents to log in using user names and passwords that you defined, you will need to load this information into your project data base. If you only have a few respondents, you can simply use the QPL administrative page to add new accounts. If you have many respondents, its usually easier to write an SQL script to load this information.

You can also preload respondent-specific information in the much same way. If you only have a few respondents, you can log in as each of the respondents you just created and enter the data items into their questionnaires. If you have many respondents, its usually easier to write an SQL script to load this information.

4. Write Notification Email Message

If you will be notifying respondents via email of your survey, you will need to prepare a template message. The web server administrator can use this template to send individual messages to your respondent that contain the URL of your survey and the respondent's secret user name and password.

5. Send Project Files and Instructions to the Web Administrator

Once your package of files and instructions are complete, you will need to deliver them to your web site administrator. There are many ways to do this, such as copying them to a floppy disk, zipping them up and emailing, FTP, or using a shared network directory. At GAO, we use a version control system, Microsoft SourceSafe, to share project files. This has the added advantage of automatically keeping track of any changes to files.

The web server administrator will follow your instructions and install the files, build the data base, load the accounts, and send out the notification email messages.