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Answer Option GroupOption Group: Each question may have multiple answer groups assigned to it. For instance, the question, "What is the city and state in which you reside" may have two fields – one text field for the city and one dropdown list with the state codes. There is, however, one limitation: there can be but one of each option group type. Therefore, two "Frequency" option groups are not allowed. Also, note that you may select a text input, which is also considered an option group. However, each question may only have a single text input assigned to it.

DisableDeactivate: A deactivated (unchecked) option group will not appear as a response type for the selected question on the survey form. If the survey was submitted while the option group was active, the results will still appear in the generated reports though the option group no longer appears in surveys currently viewed and submitted by survey takers.

Control Type: When Text Input is selected for Option Group, the available Control Types are:
  • Date Control – a textbox that verifies the data entered is a valid date, and when clicked, the date control pop-up appears to allow the user to easily select a date.
  • Email Control – a textbox that verifies that the data entered is a valid email address (i.e., formatted correctly)
  • Multiline text box – for questions that elicit longer responses than just a couple words.
  • Textbox – the standard single line text box (about an inch and a half in length)

When any other Option Group is selected, the available Control Types are "DropDownList", "CheckBoxList" and "RadioButtonList". CheckBoxes allow for multiple responses from a single submission while RadioButtons and Dropdown Lists allow for single selections only.

Note that there are two date controls from which to choose. This selection is a global setting and therefore is set for all surveys and all date controls in the admin pages. This setting is therefore specified once in the Web.config file. One calendar control uses a popup (dialog window), while the other uses DHTML (a layer on the same page). Many will find the latter preferable to the former; however, it should only be utilized if you know your users will be using the latest browsers (IE 7.x, Firefox 2.x or Opera 9.x – these are the latest browsers at the time of this writing). There is a known issue with DHTML layers in legacy browsers insofar as dropdown lists always appear on top of other layers. Thus, if your users utilize legacy browsers, you can set the application setting CalendarPopup in the web.config file to either "true" or "auto" – "true" will always serve up the popup calendar, whereas "auto" will force the application to try to determine the best calendar control for the user's browser. The default is "auto".

Vertical Direction (not pictured above): If "RadioButtonList" or "CheckBoxList" is selected in the Control Type dropdown list, the direction can be formatted to display options vertically or horizontally. If this checkbox is left unchecked, the radiobutton list will appear in a horizontal direction on the survey form.

Client Script: You may add custom JavaScript to the Option Group controls. For textboxes, and radiobuttonlists, you may add the script to their onclick events. For dropdown lists, you may add the script to the onchange event. The sample surveys included in the database contain an example of how to use this functionality. All custom JavaScript functions must receive two parameters: the source element ID, and a reference to the source element (i.e., the control itself). To use the example in the sample database, the HTML produced for the control event appears like this:

…onclick="NeverSelectNeutral('rptSections__ctl0_UcSectionQuestions1_dgSectionQuestions__ctl2', window.event.srcElement);"

The custom JavaScript function "NeverSelectNeutral" says that if the answer to "How often do you call our toll-free telephone support line?" is "Never", then select "Neutral" as the response to all the questions concerning the customer's feeling about the toll-free support line.

The custom function follows:

// the following is sample javascript called from a drop down list
function NeverSelectNeutral(id, val) {
if(val.value=='16') {
for(i=0; i < document.Form1.elements.length; i++) {
// compare with this control
          compareId = document.Form1.elements[i].id;
if(compareId) {
if ((compareId.indexOf('rptSections__ctl0_UcSectionQuestions1_SectionQuestionsDataList') > -1) && (compareId.indexOf('ddl') > -1) && (compareId != id)) {
var breakout = false;
for (x=0; x < document.Form1.elements[compareId].options.length; x++) {
if ((breakout == false) && (document.Form1.elements[compareId].options[x].value == '10')) {
                                   document.Form1.elements[compareId].selectedIndex = x;
                                   f_breakout = 

This function was added to the FormValidator.js file in the includes folder, since this file is included in the default survey page's HTML. To fire the control's custom function, enter only the name of the function in the Client Script textbox in the Answer Options form.

Required Field: By default, input fields are required; i.e., if the survey taker attempts to submit the survey without providing a response, a message will alert the user that not all required fields have been filled out, and a red asterisk will appear beside the incomplete required field(s). Check "False" if the Answer Option group or textbox is an optional field.

Important: When generating reports, you have the option to view Section Averages. Suppose a section named "In-Store Service" contains four questions requiring a response from the "Quality" optional group (consisting of the options "Poor", "Fair", "Good", and "Excellent" with numeric values of 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively). The survey taker will rate the sales representatives on various points. Because the questions are logically grouped together into a single section, we can now get meaningful reports with section averages; i.e., we can get an overall average rating for the sales reps.

However, if there is a fifth question in the section that has a different Answer Group with a numeric value assigned to it, for instance, "Frequency", instead of "Quality", the results might become confusing. There will now be two overall averages for the "In-store Service" section, one averaging "Frequency" responses, and the other averaging "Quality" responses. For this reason, it is recommended that when designing surveys, you try to use only one Answer Group that is Used for Averaging (i.e., whose options have numeric values). This will ensure more meaningful, more intuitive reports.

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