Manually Uploading SSI Web 8 Surveys to the Hosting Server

Last Updated: 28 Sep 2020Hits: 760
How do I upload my SSI Web 8 survey to the Sawtooth Software hosting system?

As of October 1, 2020, Sawtooth Software will discontinue support for automated hosting in SSI Web 8 and consequently users will need to upload their servey(s) to the Sawtooth Software hosting system manually through an FTP client. This process is outlined below.

Step 1: Create a new hosting project 

Navigate to the Sawtooth Software hosting portal (hosting.sawtoothsoftware.com)login with your hosting account credentials, and create a new hosting project as you normally would.  

Screen shot pointing out the "Add Project" button in the Sawtooth Software hosting system.

Youll need to wait until the server setup/configuration process is complete (typically less than 5 minutes, but potentially up to 60 minutes depending on system activity). You will receive an email when this is complete.  

Keep the hosting portal page open on your browser. You will need to access it in the steps below 

Step 2: Prepare survey files 

Open your SSI Web 8 project and navigate to Field > Prepare for Manual Upload 

Screen Shot pointing out the "Prepare for manual upload" menu option in SSI Web 8.

Click Add under the “Account” box on the left 

Screen Shot pointing out the "Add" button and the "Database Settings" fields in SSI Web 8.

Fill out the information on the right.  The “Account Name” is for your reference and is not critical for hosting configuration.   

The database information can be found in the Hosting Account portal (hosting.sawtoothsoftware.com) under the project’s settings link.  Keep the database server as MySQL.  Make sure to enter the database host found under the “Advanced” button. 

When finished entering the database information, click the Prepare Survey Files button. This will create the “Web Upload” folder with all the files necessary to run the survey on the web server. The file path to that folder will be displayed for your convenience.   

Screen Shot pointing out the "Prepare Survey Files" button in SSI Web 8.

Step 3: Upload survey files 

For step 3, you will need to have an FTP (file transfer protocol) application installed on your computer. For the purpose of this article we will be using a free FTP client called “FileZilla.” It can be downloaded at FileZilla's website. 

Open FileZilla (or your FTP client of choice) and connect to the server by entering the FTP server credentials (host, username, password, port). 

For projects hosted with Sawtooth Software Survey Hosting, you can find the FTP server information in the Hosting Account Portal (hosting.sawtoothsoftware.com) under the project’s "Settings" link. 

 Screen Shot pointing out where to enter the FTP server credentials in FileZilla

Once you are connected to the server, you’ll need to locate and open the Web Upload folder (generated in the previous step) on the left side of the FileZilla interface 

You can easily find the path to the survey files on your computer by pressing the Explore Study Folder icon in the SSI Web 8 toolbar. 

 Screen Shot pointing out the "Explore Study Folder" icon in SSI Web 8.

Next, simply highlight the contents of the Web Upload folder and right-click then select Upload or drag and drop the files from the left to the htdocs” folder on the right side of the FileZilla interface 

The files will now start uploading to the server. The activity/progress of your upload is indicated by the log at the top of the FileZilla interface, as well as the bottom “Queued Files” tab. 

The “Web Upload” folder contents includes: 

  • “admin” folder 
  • “cgi-bin” folder 
  • “graphics” folder 
  • “admin.html” file 
  • “login.html” file 

Screen Shot pointing out the "Upload" right-click menu option in FileZilla

--- or --- 

 Screen Shot illustrating dragging and dropping files in the FileZilla interface.

Note: On a self-hosted (on-premises) server, the web root directory might not be named htdocs, but this document will refer to that as “htdocs” and assume that the FTP user account can upload to that directory. 

Additionally, if you want to have multiple surveys in a certain directory, a sub folder for that survey will need to be created in the htdocs folder, then the contents of the Web Upload folder will need to be uploaded to that subfolder.  

Step 4: Set file permissions 

After the files have been uploaded, you must ensure that file and folder permissionare configured properly. 

Setting file permissions can be easily done within FileZilla.  

Within the htdocs folder or respective survey subfolder: 

  1. Right click the uploaded “admin” folder in FileZilla and select the File Permissions option. Enter 703 in the Numeric value field and press OK. 
    Screen Shot pointing out the "Numeric Value" field in the "Change file attributes" menu in FileZilla
  2. Right click the login.html file, select File Permissions, enter 644 in the Numeric value field and press OK. 
  3. Right click the admin.html file, select File Permissions, enter 644 in the Numeric value field and press OK. 
  4. Double click the uploaded admin folder to enter the folder. Right click the db_setup folder, select File Permissions, and enter 707 in the Numeric value field, then press OK. 
  5. Right click the <survey name>_ssi.cgi file, select File Permissions, and enter 755 in the Numeric value field, then press OK 
  6. Double click the db_setup folder to enter it, then right click the <survey name>_questionnaire.cgi file, select File Permissions, enter 755 in the Numeric value field, then press OK. 
  7. Click the folder icon with the two periods next to it to go up one folder level. You should be back in the survey admin folder. 
  8. Right click the <survey name>_config.cgi file, select File Permissions, enter 755 in the Numeric value field, then press OK. 
  9. Click the folder icon with the two periods next to it to go up one folder level. You should be back in the htdocs folder or respective survey subfolder. 
  10. Right click the cgi-bin folder, select File Permissions, enter 701 in the Numeric value field, then press OK. 
  11.  Double click the cgi-bin folder to enter it, then right click the admin.pl, select File Permissions, enter 755 in the Numeric value field, then press OK. 
  12. Right click the ciwweb.pl, select File Permissions, enter 755 in the Numeric value field, then press OK. 
  13. Click the folder icon with the two periods next to it to go up one folder level. You should be back in the htdocs folder or respective survey subfolder. 
  14. Right click the graphics folder, select File Permissions, and enter 707 in the Numeric value field, then press OK. 
  15. Double click the graphics folder to enter it. For each folder in there, right click and select File Permissions, and enter 707 in the Numeric value field, then press OK. 

This should be all you need to do for the critical step of setting permissions. If you have trouble, we can help you. It is possible that you will need to verify that permissions are set in this way each time the files are uploaded.   

Step 5Update an existing survey (optional) 

Should you need to update your survey, repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 with two key  differences: 

  1. Overwrite the current (old) files with the new ones in step 3  
  2. Log into the Admin Module to apply any changes to the database  

--- Part 1 --- 

To update your survey you’ll need to overwrite your current (old) files with the new (updated) files in the htdocs folder of the FTP server. 

In general, you should not need to update the cgi-bin folder as those files only change when you update SSI Web (not a survey). 

In FileZilla if you highlight the new files on the left then right-click and select Upload or drag and drop the new files over the old files on the right, you should be prompted to confirm that you want to overwrite the files.  

Screen Shot showing the "overwrite" dialog box in FileZilla. 

--- Part 2 --- 

To complete the update process, you’ll need to perform the second critical step; log into the Admin Module to apply any changes to the database. 

To do this, login to your admin module. Your admin module link can be found in the Hosting Account Portal (hosting.sawtoothsoftware.com) under the project’s "Get Links” link.  

 Screen Shot pointing out the "Get Links" link in the Sawtooth Software hosting portal interface.

The username and password can be found in the SSI Web 8 Hosting Management > Admin Module tab. 

 Screen Shot pointing out the "Web Server Management" dialog and "Admin Module" tab in the SSI Web 8 interface.

Upon logging in you will be prompted to "Apply Changes.”  

Screen shot pointing out the "Apply Changes" link in the Admin Module interface. 

Applying changes should be performed after every upload. After the initial upload process, some minor changes may not require applying any actual changes to the database; however, it is best to always verify updates to a survey by logging into the Admin Module.