REDCap upgrade August 14 adds new features; expect downtime from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Published: August 1st, 2018

Category: News

On the evening of August 14, 2018, the CTS-IT will upgrade REDCap from version 8.4.2 to 8.6.4. You can expect a downtime for REDCap from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. while we complete the upgrade.

The new version of REDCap scheduled for release on August 14, 2018, has some new features and several improvements to existing features, including:

Stats & Charts page

  • On the “Stats & Charts” page, the variable name is now displayed next to the field label for each field displayed on the page.

PDF Customization Options

  • Users may change or remove the “Confidential” text displayed in the header of all PDFs in a project. Also, instead of displaying the REDCap logo and REDCap website URL at the bottom right of all PDF pages, they can instead choose to display the text “Powered by REDCap” in small font. These two settings are project-level, so they will be applied to every page of a PDF for all instruments in a project (for both forms and surveys). These settings can be found in the Additional Customizations popup on the Project Setup page.

Repeating Instruments and Events feature now supported on mobile

  • The REDCap Mobile App v3.0 and later supports the Repeating Instruments and Events feature in REDCap projects. This version of the mobile app was released on 6/22/2018 in the Google Play Store, and will also be released in the Apple App Store shortly (pending approval).

Improved data export for biomedical ontology fields

  • If fields using the biomedical ontology auto-suggest feature are being exported to a stats package, it will now render those fields as multiple choice fields (rather than as free-form text fields) in the resulting stats package syntax file, in which all the cached choices for those ontologies will be output as separate choices (values and labels) for those fields in the syntax file. Note: Since some ontologies contain thousands of choices, all possible choices will not be output in the syntax file, but instead only the cached choices that have been saved in that REDCap project for those ontologies will be output as choices in the syntax file.

Survey preview

  • When composing a survey invitation and clicking the “Preview” tab, instead of displaying the survey link as “Sample Survey Link” or “SURVEY TITLE”, it now displays the actual survey title as the link text. Additionally, when clicking the “Send text email”, this same thing now occurs in the email that is received.

Training video

  • The training video on Instrument Development was updated

Smart Variables

  • Smart Variables are now able to be utilized in Data Quality rule logic. Note: In many cases, Smart Variables in the logic may cause Data Quality rules to take much longer to complete, which is due to the fact that the logic has to be re-evaluated for *every* item being processed by the Data Quality rule, whereas normally the logic only needs to be evaluated just once at the beginning of when the DQ rule is executed.
  • Data Quality Rule H (i.e., “Incorrect values for calculated fields”) and auto-calculations (i.e., the process of calculated fields being triggered by data imports or cross-form/cross-event calculations) can now handle Smart Variables that are used inside calculated field equations. In previous versions, such calculated fields could only successfully run while on a data entry form or survey page.

Data Access Group

  • A Data Access Group can no longer be deleted if one or more records are still assigned to it. If a user attempts to delete a DAG that contains records, it will prevent such and display an error message.


  • When displaying the filename of an uploaded file on a File Upload field on a form or survey, if the filename is very long (>34 characters in length), it now truncates the filename with an ellipsis closer to the middle of the filename rather than at the end. This allows the file extension to be visible, whereas in previous versions it was impossible to tell what type of file it is without downloading it if the filename was long.

Color-coded responses

  • When viewing a partially completed or fully completed survey response on a data entry form, the text color and background color of the red box near the top of the page have been changed to reflect the state of the response more accurately (i.e., it is no longer displayed as a red box, which often evokes a sense of there being an error). If the response is partially completed, it is displayed as an orange box, whereas if it is fully completed, it is displayed as a green box. The box color is thus consistent with the color instrument status icons used.
  • When viewing a partially completed or fully completed survey response on a data entry form, the process of displaying the number of contributors to the response in the red box near the top of the page was resulting in very slow page loads in many circumstances. To provide a better user experience for this, it now displays a “View all contributors” link instead, which can be clicked to reveal the users who have contributed to that response.

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