Connecting to a Server

ODK Collect is used to fill forms with participants. Filled forms then need to be sent to a central location for review and analysis. Generally, organizations do this by configuring Collect to send forms to a server. For those working in environments without any internet connectivity, there are other options.

We recommend using ODK Central as your server and configuring Collect by App User QR code. The easiest way to get a Central server is by using ODK Cloud. If you have technical skills, you can also self-host on your own infrastructure.

If you'd just like to try out ODK Collect without setting up a server, you can use sample forms on the demo server. You can set this up by tapping Try a demo at the bottom of the screen when you first launch Collect. The demo project can be deleted later.

If you'd like to connect Collect to more than one server (or to the same server using different users) you can add a new Project for each server (or user).

Configure server from QR code

ODK uses QR codes for distributing settings and as a form of passwordless authentication. Using QR codes to configure authentication between Collect and a server can provide security benefits over traditional passwords but only as long as the QR code is treated securely.

  1. When you first launch Collect, tap on Configure with QR code.

  2. Position the QR code in the center of the camera field, under the red line. When the camera focuses on the code, it will beep and scan the code.

  3. Collect will apply the settings from the code and move you to the Main Menu.

Configure server manually

If you're not using a server that uses QR codes you can still connect using a URL (and username/password if required):

  1. When you first launch Collect, tap on Manually enter project details.

  2. Enter the URL (and username/password if required) for you server.

  3. Click Add.

Other options

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