Supervisor Commands

Survsupr is the program that can be used to supervise interviewers on the Survox® study server.

Running Survsupr

To enter Survsupr type “super” at the command prompt, or add super to your login script to go into the supervisor upon login.  An LDEV number is required and if one is not assigned you will be asked to provide one.

Below is the initial menu, this menu will not be displayed every time the screen is repainted. The menu is displayed when “survsupr” (supervisor) is first executed and subsequently when “help” is entered at the command prompt.


There is no limit to the number of supervisor sessions running at the same time. Each supervisor “owns” any stations they start, but otherwise all study information and changes can be done from any supervisor station.

The command line supervisor is in one of two modes at all times, run mode or command mode. You must be in command mode to issue any commands. Use Ctrl-Y or your assigned system break key to get the command prompt.

All commands typed by supervisors are logged to the server LL log files. Also, changes to quotas and phone parameters are logged, so you can retrace what happened during a shift if there is a problem.


The supervisor commands are broken out into the following categories.  For more information on each, visit their respective pages.

Type of  Supervisor Command Description
Data Commands Commands that work with the data or log files.
Dialer Commands Commands that pertain to a dialer.
Interviewer Commands Commands that pertain to an interviewer like break or DAI screens.
Monitoring Commands Commands that pertain to monitoring via a supervisor session.
Other Supervisor Commands All other commands not listed in one of the categories.
Phone File Commands Commands that work with the fone file like the PHONE_ commands or hide/reveal.
Quota Commands Commands that show quota information from the quota screen like a QSS screen.
Stations/Server Commands Commands that work with interviewer stations or the study server; starting or shutting down.
Study Commands Commands that work with each study like activate or clearstudy.

Run Mode

Dots scrolling across the bottom of the supervisor screen and a spinning cursor indicate that the supervisor session is in run mode. While in run mode, the supervisor is communicating with the Survox® study server and the interviewing stations.

Pressing Enter at the command prompt or Esc while in the supervisor session, will return the system to run mode. If you don’t return to run mode, the system will return to run mode after 120 seconds of inactivity. The timeout can be change using the “pause” command. It is best to be in run mode when not actively giving commands.

Command Mode

Pressing Ctrl-C or your system break sequence key while in run mode will put the supervisor into command mode. When in command mode, run mode operations are put on hold and the supervisor returns to the command prompt for user input.

When entering a command, if the option requires a study to be specified and or station numbers, enter them after the command or press Enter after the command to be prompted for the required information.



If the command requires an interviewing station or stations to be specified, enter it after the command and use the following syntax:

 #1,3,5         do the command on stations 1,3, and 5
 #1,10-13       do the command on stations 1 and 10 through 13

NOTE: If you enter the command with no study or station(s), you will be prompted for the missing information. You can specify either stations or interviewer IDs in many places. Since both of these can be numeric, you put a # before the station number to tell them apart.


STOP #27-29

Quit the Supervisor Session

The supervisor cannot quit (QUI) until all interviewer stations started by it show an inactive status (not RUNNING, MONITOR, ACTIVE, or ENDEDINT; see DAI for description of statuses), indicating that the station was either terminated by the supervisor or that the interviewer quit and exited to the operating system or if there is a background process either currently running or queued up that was started by it.   If you are running interactively and the only thing pending for that station is a background process, the program will prompt if you really do want to quit.   If you are running in a “batch” mode you can use the command ALLOW_QUIT_WHILE_BACKGROUND_PROCESSES_ARE_ACTIVE to immediately quit out, however, in both cases, any pending background process will eventually run.

Using Command Files

Commands can be executed via a pre-written command file. The command file is invoked with an ampersand (&) followed directly by the command file name.


Enter a SURVSUPR command-->&start.spx
To execute the command file without seeing the command lines, say “&-start.spx”

You can also set up a defined keyword to execute a command file or set of commands. In this case, the supervisor would type an AT sign ( @ ) to invoke the defined command.


Enter a SURVSUPR command-->@start

Using Meta Commands:

You can use “meta” commands to do operating system functions while in Command mode. Just preface any command or program you want to run with a “>” and it will do the function. All of these commands of course are also available at the operating system prompt. Here are some commands you may find useful.

Function System Level Command
List questionnaire files >ls –l ../*.qff
List data files >ls –l ../data/*.tr
Edit/view a file >vi <filename>
Copy a file >cp <file1> <file2>
Run mentor to do reports >mentor spec –list

You can use full filename conventions to access files in other directories or groups on your computer. You can, of course, run the editor of your choice to edit files. When running Mentor, “spec” refers to the specifications file and “list” to the listed output file of your choice.

Receiving Messages

When in the supervisor session, the supervisor will see any interviewer BLOW messages or OUT OF NUMBER messages. If the interviewer types “HELP”, a help request message will appear.

There are also messages when stations are started and stopped or for other system activity.

You can have the programmer set !SPECIAL,SEND_TEXT_LINE,SUPERVISOR_DISPLAY statements throughout the questionnaire and the supervisor will be able to see where the interviewer has interviewed up to based on the messages, either on the run mode screen or in the DAI interviewer activity screen and monitored interviewer list, depending on the option you choose.