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Start, End time and today's date

Using 'now()' for start time and today's date

If we use the special syntax 'now()' in the default value we can get a date and timestamp of the date and time "now"

Note the single quotes around 'now()', these are necessary.

'now()' is used in two common ways:

  1. Start time - sometimes we want to capture the time that a user started to enter data into a form. This can be hidden from the user by making the question Enabled but not visible. Used with endtime this can be very helpful for monitoring field workers. To just capture the time, set the question type to time. Note that this is better than submission time, because it is perfectly legitimate for a user to only upload all their forms at once in the evening - perhaps because they are now back in cell phone range. It is less likely, for example, that it is appropriate for them to be collecting all their data in quick succession in the evening.
  2. Default date - to reduce errors and reduce data entry time, we may want fill in today's date for a user. 'now()' can also be used for this. If you only want the date, set the question type to Date


Endtime is used to capture when a form is saved.

To capture endtime, you must specify the question binding as endtime - no quotes