Why Are My Forms Delayed?

Taking a while to receive your forms?  This article explains some possible causes and advises on how to minimise delays.

When a Form entry is uploaded to our platform, it is sent in two key parts:

  • The answer data entered by the app user in the data fields
  • Any media files (photos, videos, audio) captured during Form entry

The answer data from the Form is generally very quick to upload and does not require a fast network connection.

Media files however are much larger files and thus take time to upload.

Form Connectors that are based purely on the answer data will normally run almost immediately after the Form entry is uploaded.

Examples of these include Google Spreadsheet and HTTP POST Connectors.

However many other Connector types generate output files in PDF, Excel and Word formats.

These Connectors require that all the media files (photos in particular) must be uploaded before they will run.

This is to ensure that the output files generated do not have missing images.

As such, Form Connectors are not guaranteed to be “live” or “immediate” activities.

The more photos involved, the longer a Connector may delay since these can take a while to upload.

This is especially true if your app users are working in areas with poor mobile data connections that have slow/intermittent upload speeds.

To complicate matters further, we must also consider the mobile operating system (OS).

Every mobile OS tries to stop/kill the app as soon as possible once the app is no longer displayed.  This is because a key priority of a mobile OS is to make sure that apps don’t drain the device battery.

Reducing Delays In Form Connector Run Times

Since media file uploads are the key bottleneck, here are several ways to reduce delays:

  • Make sure all your users are running the latest app version from the relevant app Store.  We are always working to improve uploads and general performance of the app.
  • Ask your users to try to keep the app open and in the foreground for a while after completing Forms.  This will allow the app to have a longer, better chance to upload all the images.  If they are not in an area with connection, then they will need to open the app again once they enter an area with connection in order for the app to resume uploading.
  • Use fewer photos in your Forms.   This can be as simple as advising your users to take less pictures, though you can also update Form designs to impose a maximum number of repeats in the repeatable photo capture pages.
  • Change your Connector settings to force the sending of emails after a given timeframe.  You can do so by setting the “Wait No Longer Than” option found under the Run Condition section of every Connector.   This will force the Connector to run after your given maximum wait period, regardless of whether all pictures are uploaded.