Software Overview

Survox Phone which was formerly known as webCATI or Survent and Survox Online which was formerly known as webSurvent are web browser-based interviewing software packages which allow data collection via the Internet.

Survox Phone is designed for telephone interviewers using some form of sample, dialer, or quota control and Survox’s advanced phone sample management system. Interviewers enter data into their browser as they interview respondents. The accessibility of web-based interviewing allows call floors from multiple sites or shops to work cooperatively on a centralized server, greatly simplifying quota and sample management.

Survox Online is designed for respondents to access the study using a computer that can access the Internet using browsers. Respondents are e-mailed an invitation or sent to the site via a link on the internet.  Respondents access the URL and log into the survey.

Both Survox Phone and Onlilne are an extremely versatile and open-ended software, and can support most W3C languages, including HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery, XHTML and XSL. Advanced users can easily style and brand surveys with the third party software of their choice by way of our template system, as well as embed user-friendly web applications designed via Java, Flash, Flex, Ajax and others.

Studies can be hosted in both Phone and Online with the same system files, allowing for a true multi-modal environment. Formatting, quotas, phone/sample, and data files are shared in this environment, so respondents can conduct the survey via phone or web seamlessly. Programming syntax is identical for Survox Phone and Online so minimal extra code is required to build multi-modal surveys.

How does it work?

Our software uses a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) (See below for more information) to communicate between Apache (the web server) and the Survox Study Server. Once your survey is loaded to our server, interviewers can log in via their interviewer ID. From there, the CGI converts each question to the appropriate web equivalent and posts it to the interviewer’s web browser. For example, a single response question will translate to radio buttons, while multiple response questions will use check boxes. Questions requiring numeric or text responses get an appropriately sized text box. Since our CGI works directly with Apache, any formatting, markup, script or embedded web application that can be hosted by your Apache web server should work within our surveys as well.

Once the interviewer has recorded the answers and the form is submitted, the data is passed through the CGI to our Study Server, where our software checks for validity, based on the survey programming. If conditions are not met or answers are not valid, customizable errors will be displayed, to assist the interviewer in recording the correct answer. Unlike other packages, which use only browser-based error checking that can easily be disabled by the user and bad data can be passed, our software enforces both security and conditional logic from the server level.

Once the survey is completed, quota, fone and data files are stored in a proprietary format in the secure Survox environment. No data or information is ever stored in your server’s public web area.

NOTE: We recommend using the most up-to-date browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari.

What is the CGI?

Common Gateway Interface, or CGI, is a communication protocol between servers and/or external software. A good way to describe the CGI is a translator between different types of software that cooperate to perform a task.

Where is the CGI located?

When you install Survox Online or Phone on your web server, the cgi file is copied to the cgi-bin directory at the base of the server domain. In a standard Apache installation, this directory would be:

Your path may differ depending on server configuration, particularly if your Apache server uses virtual hosting. The name of the Survox CGI depends on which version of the software you run and your configuration, but v8.8 users have websrv88.cgi.

On your Linux server, the CGI should have read and execute permissions (octal 755).

How does the CGI work?

As stated above, the Survox CGI is a translator between your web server (Apache) and the Survox Study Server, which collects data, monitors quotas, and updates the fone file. In this instance, once you compile and load a survey on the Survox Server, interviewers or respondents can log into that survey via the index page that points to our CGI via a web form:

<form name="cfmclogin" method="post" action="/cgi-bin/cfmccgi/websrv88.cgi">

When this index page form is submitted, the CGI uses the information in that form to start the appropriate study. From there, the study server sends the first page of the survey to the CGI, which translates the page to a web form, so the user can answer questions with their browser.

Once the interviewer or respondent has recorded the responses, they submit the form, which again is translated by the CGI and sent to our Study Server. At this point, logic is checked and any requests made of the fone or quota files can be executed. If there is a logic problem, the server sends feedback to the user explaining the issue. If all is well, the next page is sent and the user continues the survey until suspending or completing, at which time the data is stored appropriately as a suspend or completed interview, and the fone and quota files are updated.

All survey data is stored in the Survox environment in the active quota/fone/data directories; at no point in the fielding process is data stored in the web area on the server. The CGI only interfaces between the two servers.

Can I modify the CGI?

Our software undergoes considerable quality control tests and certifications to ensure data integrity, and the Survox CGI is a crucial part of how our software operates. We cannot support and strongly discourage changes or modifications to the CGI file. If you have a specific request for a change in how Survox Online or Phone functions, please email our support staff with your feedback.