New in Fulcrum: QA Data + Data Event Additions

30 August 2016 by Bryan McBride

On August 24th, we rolled out some significant updates and additions across all of the major components that make up the Fulcrum platform — iOS, Android, and the web application. You can always find a summary of the updates on our Release Notes page, but since this is a big one, we wanted to take some time to review some of the new features that are now available.

August updates

Record Auditing

Locations and timestamps have always been key components of Fulcrum and we’re excited to introduce new metrics for tracking who’s doing work, where they are doing it, and how long it’s taking them. We’ve added 5 new fields at the record level to capture location and duration information in support of record auditing. These new audit fields are automatically captured on every record and child record in Fulcrum, so you don’t need to do anything to enable the new fields.


Records collected with Fulcrum now include the following duration fields:

  • created_duration: time in seconds spent creating the record
  • updated_duration: time in seconds spent updating the record (the most recent update)
  • edited_duration: total cumulative time, in seconds, spent editing the record (creation + all updates)

This metadata will enable you to track how long it’s taking your field crews to get their work done. Duration metrics, stored at the record level, can be rolled up by form, member, status, or any custom field to gauge productivity. With these productivity metrics, managers can now make more informed decisions we regards to form structure, data collection workflow, training, and personnel.


In addition to the new duration fields, we’ve also added two new location fields:

  • created_location: the location where the record was created from
  • updated_location: the location where the record was updated from

These new location fields capture where the device was when the edit was made. They can help you determine whether data is being edited on-site or off-site and do general Q/A to make sure field work is being performed as expected. These new fields will enable you to quickly determine if a record location was changed at any point during the data collection process.

More Configuration Settings For Quality Assurance

As the Fulcrum platform has matured over the years, we’ve added loads of new features and learned a lot about how folks are using the product. One big challenge with adding new features and functionality is how to make all this stuff available to users without overwhelming them or cluttering up the user interface with complicated settings configurations.

Every Fulcrum use case and implementation seems to have its own specific set of requirements, from general user access and field visibility/requirement logic, to highly specific workflow considerations. We have to contend with settings at the organization, user, form, and device levels, and have had to establish some general assumptions along the way.

Fortunately, we’ve made tremendous progress over the past year providing better mechanisms to control the user experience for your field users. Our newest feature, Data Events were introduced back in March and have provided a foundation to build out a variety of customized workflows. This latest update includes several new form level settings and Data Event functions.

Optional Projects & Assignments

Projects can be used to separate your data into different groups. Prior to this latest update, projects were an “all or nothing” feature. If any projects were available, users would be presented with the “Select Project” button on every Fulcrum form. You now have the ability to enable/disable projects at the form level. Similarly, Record Assignment settings can now be controlled per app as well.

New Data Event Functions

SETSTATUSHIDDEN & SETSTATUSREADONLY: Allow you to programmatically set the visibility & editability of the status field.

INVALID: can now be used inside the add-photo, add-video, and add-audio events to prevent the media from being attached to the record. This allows you to script specific requirements for media attachments and reject those files that do not meet your requirements.

SETFORMATTRIBUTES: Allows you to configure specific device functionality and behaviors at the form level. These configurations help you control what features the user has available, improving the workflow and data quality for that particular form. You can currently control the following:

  • Disable adding photos from the camera roll
  • Force the record to be sync’d upon save
  • Control the minimum accuracy required for the GPS location
  • Disable the ability to manually move the record location
  • Disable the “Save as Draft” feature
  • Control photo and video quality settings

Continual Improvement

While we may not release updates every week, you can be assured that our team is working hard every day, listening to our users, building new features, squashing bugs, and polishing up our apps to remain your go-to field data collection platform! Drop us a line if you’d like to learn more about how Fulcrum can help streamline your data collection processes.

About the author

Bryan is a software engineer with Fulcrum, and works with our web and backend platform.

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