In another lecture we needed to write a business plan. A core aspect of this was to estimate the size the potential market for our product. So we needed a tool to conduct an online survey but we were not willing to spend any money on it. We could use the resources of the university. The survey tool should allow us to create a survey and test it first. Then we wanted to be able to adapt the survey to the feedback we got. The user interface should be easy to use, both for the people who create the survey and those who answer it. Since the survey was quite complicated and some questions build on others it is not necessary that everyone answers every question. The tool we were looking for should allow for some rules that describe who has to answer which question. Furthermore we needed to get the results of the survey. So the tool should have an export function to save the collected data in a useful file format. It is also helpful if incomplete or implausible data can be filtered. Other features like creating charts from the data is considered a bonus.


2 answers

use google docs

You can also use Google Docs for this. Simply create a form and make it public available.

An easy way how to do this is described here:
or shown here:


One tool to solve this task is Limesurvey. It is open source and written in PHP.
The survey data is saved into a MySQL-database.

*) To install Limesurvey on the webspace provided it is sufficient to unpack it into the appropriate folder and run the setup script.
*) Then you have to create a MySQL-database, the TU provides a web interface for that.
*) The username, password for the Database have to written into the configuration file of Limesurvey. The easiest way for that is to log in via ssh and use a text editor like nano.
*) Limesurvey also needs to keep track of user sessions. Usually it creates temporary files for that but the permissions on the server don't allow that. Therefore you have to change this so Limesurvey saves the session data into the database.

You can create your survey now.