The feature works via a cookie instead of a web address (e.g., TCP/IP address.) Cookies are typically managed on a personal computer's user login ID basis. So, SurveyGold online surveys that have this feature enabled work fine even when multiple computer users share the same computer.
Technical Overview of How the Feature Works
Step 1 - Read the Survey ID from the Survey Form Being Submitted
When a response is submitted to an online survey form (when the respondent clicks the “Submit Your Responses” button), a response processing program on the surveygold.com website reads the survey ID hidden field in the online survey form.
|Note: Each SurveyGold online survey form contains a unique survey ID number encoded into the online survey form as a hidden field.|
Step 2 - Read the Existing Survey IDs from the SurveyGold Cookie
The response processing program then reads the SurveyGold cookie on that particular computer.
|Note: The SurveyGold cookie is a system file on the submitting computer. It contains the survey IDs of all SurveyGold online survey forms that have been submitted via the submitting computer by the currently logged-in user.|
Step 3 - Allow/Prohibit the Online Survey Form from Being Submitted Based Upon Matching Survey ID
The response processing program then compares the survey ID of the submitted survey against all of the survey IDs in the SurveyGold cookie.
If the response processing program does not find a survey ID in the cookie that matches the survey ID of the online survey form, it records the survey ID in the cookie. This produces an audit trail via the cookie that this user has submitted responses to that survey. Then, the online survey responses are processed as usual.
If, on the contrary, the response processing program finds a survey ID in the cookie that matches the survey ID of the online survey form being submitted, the online survey responses begin submitted are disallowed. A polite message appears to the respondent indicating that they have already submitted responses to this survey, that they cannot submit subsequent online survey responses, and that their first responses will be used.