2010-07-12
QPL Reference Manual

By selecting certain options on the Default Project Settings page, you can set up a project where your respondents create their own user accounts. They can use these accounts to log into their questionnaires as often as they wish until the survey period expires.

Further, to reduce the administrative burden on you to help respondents who have forgotten their account information, such as their user name and password, you can make the QPL web site automatically send each respondent an email message that contains his or her account information immediately after they create or update their accounts. A message will also be sent to the respondent if someone tries to log in using his or her user account name but using the wrong password.

This page summarizes the collection of settings you need to make to make your web site behave this way.

Default Project Settings

Option Setting Comment
Login "User may create an account" Must be selected to let users create their own accounts
Authentication "Normal" Must be selected to let people enter their own account information. If LDAP is selected, account information will be taken from the LDAP database if authentication is successful. (No email messages of any sort are sent if LDAP is selected.)
Sender information for account update message
Friendly name Name of project administrator This is the administrator's normal name.
From: email address This is the administrator's email address.
Reply-to: email address Address where replies from from the respondent should be sent.
Return-path: email address Address where warnings about undeliverable messages should be sent.
Title Ex. Title Goes Here The project title is used for the email Subject:
Expiration date for user-created accounts Ex. 2011-01-22 This date will be used when creating the user account to specify how long a particular account is active. (Changing the date on this page only affects accounts that are created after you made the change, not existing accounts. To change existing accounts, see Reset Expiration Date for Normal Accounts.)
Assistance note for error pages Ex. Please contact the project administrator for assistance. The assistance note is appended to the bottom of the email message. Generally, it should say who should be contacted if the user has questions.
Minimum number of characters required for 5 characters for the user name and 5 characters for the password You may adjust these settings to define the minimum size of user name and password that will be accepted when creating or updating an account.

New Account Creation Fields

When the above settings have been used, a respondent will be prompted with "Update User Information," page if he enters a user name on the log in page that is not in the user account list or checks the option on the log in page to update his account information.

User Name

The user name that the respondent entered on the login page may not be changed. A hold is placed on this user name for up to 5 minutes so that no other new user may steal the name while the first user is completing the Update User Information form. The name may only contain letters and numbers (no punctuation or spaces) and must be at least as long as the "Minimum number of characters" setting on the Default Project settings page.

Full Name

This is intended to be the user's real name. An account will not be created if this field is left blank. No other tests are made for reasonableness.

Password

The same password must be entered on the "Password," and "Repeat new password" fields. If the passwords match, and if they contain only letters and numbers, and are at least as long as the "Minimum number of characters" setting on the Default Project Settings page, then the password is accepted. A valid password must be entered in order to create an account.

Email Address

The user's email address is required. Two tests are made on the email address for reasonableness. First, a syntax check is made using the regular expression:

/^([_a-z0-9-]+)(\.[_a-z0-9-]+)*@([a-z0-9-]+)(\.[a-z0-9-]+)*(\.[a-z]{2,4})$/

If it passes this test, then the domain name is checked on the Internet to see if it exists.

If it passes both tests, then it is accepted an account can be created.

Day-Time Telephone Number

The phone number is optional. No tests for reasonableness are made.

The expiration date for the account is taken from the Expiration date setting on the Default Project Settings page. And a note is inserted into the Comments box on the user accounts page that says when the account was created or updated. Only Normal user accounts are created this way.

An administrator may see and edit the account information that users create for themselves using the Edit user accounts function on the main administrative page.

Confirmation Email Messages

Email messages can be automatically sent to users that confirm the account status. If this functionality is enabled, an entry is also added to the History Log table. All of the History Log entries will begin "Sent account update..." in the Comment field.

1. New Account Created

From: myaddress@mysite.com
To: smithj@hissite.com
Date: 12/20/2004 8:16:25 AM
Subject: Title Goes Here

Thank you John Smith, your account was created on Monday, December 20, 2004, at 8:15 am. 

User name: smithj
Password: 3agl3
Email address: smithj@hissite.com
Day time telephone number: 123-456-7890

Please contact the project administrator for assistance.

2. Existing Account Updated

From: myaddress@mysite.com
To: smithj@hissite.com
Date: 12/20/2004 8:17:40 AM
Subject: Title Goes Here

Thank you John Smith, your account was updated on Monday, December 20, 2004, at 8:17 am. 

User name: smithj
Password: 3agl3
Email address: smithj@hissite.com
Day time telephone number: 123-456-7890

Please contact the project administrator for assistance.

3. Unsuccessful Login Attempt

From: myaddress@mysite.com
To: smithj@hissite.com
Date: 12/20/2004 8:19:15 AM
Subject: Title Goes Here

John Smith, 

An unsuccessful attempt was made to access your account on
Monday, December 20, 2004, at 8:18 am.

The correct password was not used. If this was you, please 
log in using your account information below.

User name: smithj
Password: 3agl3
Email address: smithj@hissite.com
Day time telephone number: 123-456-7890

Please contact the project administrator for assistance.