Retrieve data from previously submitted form

Further to my question on calculating time elapsed the other day, it seems my problem relates to the fact that I want to retrieve data from a previously submitted form. All the information I can find on this relates to dynamic linking of 2 separate files/forms in a project, where a field in one is updated to reflect the answer previously given in the other. My problem is that I want to backwards-search incidents of the same submitted file/form until I find the one where a certain field (date) was changed - and this is the field I want to now appear pre-filled in my new form. Back to my trap situation, I set a trap lure (week 0), and fill out a date field for when the lure was placed. I return every week to collect insects, using the same form to collect other data. Each week, I want the date that I entered entered in week 0 to show up as the date that the lure was last changed. If in week 4 I change the lure, and record that date, then each of the following weeks, I want week 4’s date to show up as the date that the lure was last changed. And so on, each time I change the lure.

Is this possible?

If so, then I think I can do the calculation to work out how many weeks have elapsed since the use was changed…which is what I was asking in my previous post on elapsed time.

Many thanks,

Hello @Kal_Lam, what are our options for overcoming this type of system limitation if they are important blockers or mission-critical?

@taniak, could you describe your situation with a dummy question and the response you fill up every time to link your data dynamically? It seems I half understood your issue but could not understand your requirement for the other half.

@Kal_Lam, as you indicate, I think I wasn’t very clear. Sorry. What I would like to do is to submit data in a form, with a date stamp to mark when a specific action happened (this is easy to do, using a calculate field). Let’s call this field Date_1. Then, using the same form, when I go back every week, I want to calculate the time difference between today’s date and the date previously recorded in Date_1 (i.e., today’s date minus the date in Date_1). Let’s call this new field Time_1. So the 1st week I go back, I want Time_1 to say that 1 week has passed; in the second week, Time_1 will tell me that 2 weeks have passed; and so on. In week 4, I will repeat this particular action and collect a new date stamp for Date_1. When I return in week 5, I want Time_1 to now tell me that 1 week has passed since this action was completed (i.e., today’s date minus the new date in Date_1).

After lots of reading of posts in the forum, and trying this out using a time field rather than a date field (whilst I could wait minutes to test this, I couldn’t wait weeks!), I think that perhaps this is not possible. Each form submission is a new “record”, and when you open the form again, it cannot search older records in order to retrieve data previously submitted. I think that this can only happen when you have 2 forms dynamically linked, and then the child form can retrieve data from the parent form. This works well when some data in the parent form doesn’t change.

I don’t have sample forms & responses with dynamically linked data, because I did not think that this solution would work for what I am trying to do.

The only work-around that I came up with is to have the time of the initial action (Date_1 ) recorded in a parent form. Then, in the child form, I could calculate the difference between today’s date and Date_1 each week, and use a note field as a reminder that if the time difference is a multiple of 4, then the action should be repeated.

But this relies on dependable and good internet access, if the child form has to access data from the parent form. As some of our field sites may not have good internet access, this may not be a good solution…which also means that my original idea was possibly also not going to be reliable.

However, it would be nice if you could confirm if my original goal is at all possible. I suspect not, but I would appreciate knowing if I have indeed worked through the logic of this problem correctly.

Many thanks,