Accueil > Rubrique de services > Archive Equipe > Minh Ha Duong > Opinions > Choosing a web questionnaire suite or a survey script

Choosing a web questionnaire suite or a survey script

lundi 18 avril 2005, par Minh Ha Duong

What’s a researcher to use to conduct small-scale opinion surveys professionally ? I look at the following open source options :
- phpESP
- phpsurveyor
- mod_survey
- opensurveypilot

Note that phpSurvey is not included since it uses PostgreSQL and we don’t and it seems dead.

I also passed over Marketing Survey Tool, although its developper seems to be back working on it.

Feature matrix

phpESP phpsurveyor UCCASS mod_survey opensurveypilot
Environment Apache, PHP 4.2.1, adoDB, gettext Apache + PHP 4.1 Apache, PHP 4.3.4, smarty, adoDB Apache (2 by default, 1 possible) with Perl GCI PHP 4.2
DB mySQL mySQL mySQL DBI (optional) mySQL
Installation drop-in, create tables, edit .ini edit config.php, drop-in drop-in, configure form perl installation script, add an Apache module drop-in, go to configure url
Documentation Good. Good (sourceforge docs area) Excellent Excellent. Packaged separately. Scarce - some in German
History 1.7.2 0.98 corporate in-house start, recently jumped 1.0.6 to 1.8 Academic start (1998). Presently in version 3.2. Focuses on features. 1.2. Ships bundled with commercial addons
Integration export to CSV evaluation (teaching business layer), IO text, CSV, Excel CSV XML survey files, Cough (management layer), YaaCs (CATI) export excel. Commercial modules to export to ASCII and SPSS.
Branching  ? Y  ? Y  ?
Statistics basic chartdirector
French Y no

Conclusion :

mod_survey stands out above the others, but I don’t have root on the webserver, so I will try phpsurveyor first.

So far, I am very happy with phpSurveyor. I found the codebase very clean and the template system is simple and easy. In a couple of hours this afternoon, I changed my survey’s table-based layout to a CSS one. Changing the layout of the 5-point question from horizontal to vertical was also a pleasure (at least for a non-internationalized hack). They are walking fast toward 1.0, and I’ve read that with .99rc3 the other half of the French langage file has been contributed. A few wishlist items :
- Record HTTP headers (at last the referrer)
- Easier to integrate with Google and Overture tracking system
- Better documentation
- The icon-based interface is cryptic