Automating data transfer from ODK Aggregate using ODK Briefcase

Aug 25, 2014

ODK Briefcase 1.4.4 introduces a new Command Line Interface (CLI) that will help you automate downloading forms from ODK Aggregate (or ODK Collect) and exporting the forms to an Excel-compatible format like CSV. It can even decrypt those forms if they are encrypted.

Because the CLI is fully scriptable, you can now script Briefcase to download all new data from Aggregate in the middle of the night, export that data to CSV for analysis, and have your reports waiting for you every morning!

The CLI also adds four great new features that you won't find in the Graphical User Interface (GUI) that you've used in the past. You can specify a date range for export, speed up export by excluding media, append or overwrite an existing CSV, and specify separate storage and export directories.

Try the new CLI in ODK Briefcase 1.4.4 by downloading it from To run the CLI, go to your command line (sometimes known as the Terminal), and run the following.

java -jar ODK\ Briefcase\ v1.4.4\ Production.jar --help;

The CLI in ODK Briefcase was funded by the PMA2020 project at the Gates Institute and they have generously contributed the code to the ODK community as open source. If you need customization of ODK tools for your campaign, open source or not, Nafundi can help. Contact our ODK experts to get started.

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