Survent Operational Options

Frequently Used Options



Shortform: ID

Places the case ID in the specified column location, with the specified width. The default is to put it in column 1 for a width of 4. The allowable range for the width is 3 to 10. Unless CARD_ID_FORMAT is set, the case ID will appear only once.



Shortform: COM

Allows up to a 49-character comment which will display when an interview is started. The text must be enclosed in quotes. The comment can also be specified as a quoted string directly after the study name and case length without a keyword.


[DEMO,15000,”April Wave 2”]

Other Options


Shortform: AUTOINC

Use –AUTOMATIC_CASE_ID_INCREMENT to not have SURVENT automatically provide case IDs for the data file. Interviewers will be prompted to assign an ID.



This keyword controls the processing of backwards GOTO or SKIPTO statements.  By default the number is 500.  This is to keep interviews from getting into a “loop” situation where they go backwards over and over.  When the max number of backward skips is reached, the questionnaire will get a blow error.  We have the keyword because some applications need to allow more backward skips.


Marks a webSurvent study as being available as a closed study, so that it cannot be accidentally gotten into without a username and password.




Determines how to handle changed questionnaires when they are resumed and the changes cause the information stored in the suspend file to not match the new questionnaire. This overrides the parmfile option of the same name and tells the program what to do when it tries to resume the interview.

The option can be BLOW, STARTHERE, or RESTART. BLOW causes the program to blow when a suspended interview does not match the current interview; this saves the data collected so far in a separate data file to be reviewed later and aborts the interview. STARTHERE will restart the interview from the point that it found a discrepancy. RESTART, which is the default, will re-start the interview from the beginning.



Shortform: FORCEII

Specifies the number of seconds an interviewer may sit at the “between interview” screen before being forced into the next interview.  A minus sign (-) before the value will send a message to the Supervisor when it happens.  This can be overridden by the Supervisor FORCE_INTO_INTERVIEW command.



Shortform: FORCEOOS

Specifies the number of seconds an interviewer may sit at the “between interview” screen before being logged completely out.  A minus sign (-) before the value will send a message to the Supervisor when it happens.  This can be overridden by the Supervisor FORCE_OUT_OF_SESSION command.



Shortform: LOG

INTERVIEWER_LOGGING with no option or set to “YES” will cause every interview on that study to be logged. Normal logging will save the log file after the each interview is either completed or terminated.  Interviewer logging is turned on by default.

Specify INTERVIEWER_LOGGING=AFTER_EVERY_QUESTION to save the log file immediately after every question, so that if you are trying to find a problem (where the program is aborting abnormally for some reason), you can save responses up to that point and try to reproduce the problem. Note that this may slow down your system as it causes a write to the disk drive after every question is entered.

Specify INTERVIEWER_LOGGING=NO OR –INTERVIEWER_LOGGING to turn logging off for this study. You can control this from the supervisor by using the “LOG” and “STOPLOG” commands. You can control this from the interviewer station by using LOG at the “Return to interview” prompt. Logging after every question can be invoked at the “Return to interview” prompt by entering “LOGDEBUG”. Logging may be turned off at the prompt by specifying “–LOG”.



Shortform: MAXQWOASK

This keyword sets the maximum number of questions that can be executed without a screen being displayed before the program thinks it might be in an infinite loop and gets a BLOW error. The default is 10,000.  If you are doing a complicated choice procedure you sometimes need to increase this as you may need to loop through the same set of questions over and over again.



Shortform: NEXTID

Sets the initial case ID in the data and quota files, or sets the next ID if the data file already exists. # must be an integer number and be greater than the current value, and must be the requisite number of digits.  The default is always 1, zero filled to the number of digits specified on the CASE_ID option.


Specify “NO_DIALER” in the study header so that this job never tries to run with a dialer.  This can act as a safeguard if you have a coding questionnaire that you never want run on the dialer.


Shortform: ONEINT

Causes SURVENT to start the interview without the standard interviewer prompt and to exit after one interview is completed. Useful for sending out diskette mailings that require one interview as a response.



Controls whether to check the quota file for a valid names block. The default is to check that the quota file’s quota name block matches the block that was compiled with the questionnaire. Say -QUOTA_CRC_CHECK to override this and not check. Use this option with caution as you can end up with the wrong quota names being updated.  The only safe use of this option is when you have multiple questionnaires using the same quota file and the questionnaire with this option set has NO quota information in it.



This is the default; it controls whether to re-execute the “SPECIAL” block when resuming the interview. If you are using the “SPECIAL” block to do actual work like edit questions, you will want to do this; otherwise you may not.  For instance, you are using the special block to call a specific telephone number or as a help block. Use –REDO_SPECIAL_BLOCK_ON_RESUME to not re-execute the “SPECIAL” block when resuming an interview.


This creates questionnaires that can be tested by SURVENT and used for REFORMAT or other programs, but it will not generate data. This is particularly useful so that Survox can provide all clients with the ability to compile questionnaires in WINDOWS to send to their clients for evaluation, without requiring a security dongle be connected to the computer. It can also be used to put questionnaires up for testing and guarantee that users will not generate test data by mistake.


This will record the time between questions in the server log file. The format of the log record saved is:

Column            4         5         6
LL record format: 012345678901234567890123
                  time on qq: qstlabel ###
01-04 LL16
05-39 Standard LL record info (time/interviewer/study)
40-50: “time on qq:“
52-59: question label
61 : time on question in seconds

You could then run reports on these values to get the average time between questions.


Requires that the QUO file built or updated during this compile be used for interviewing. See QUOTA INCREMENTING STATEMENTS, Updating the Quota File for more information. If this parameter is used and the wrong QUO file is used, SURVENT will not run.


Required if the questionnaire will be using the “Dummy interviewer” feature to post-process phone numbers returned from a predictive dialer.