Mac OS X Tiger has layers of power built in and at low cost. Pronto Survey uses the Mac’s built-in PHP to add professional surveys and market research options. Spelling PHP and MySQL has never been easier.
These layers of power allow children and new computer users and Windows switchers to use a Mac within minutes of starting up.
A few layers down are powerful applications such as the popular PHP scripting language engine. Also free is the very popular and capable MySQL relational database.
Both combine to create amazingly useful applications; some of which power this website and many others.
BeBoSoft’s Pronto Survey let’s Mac and Windows users create surveys, polls, and do market research on any Mac with OS X Tiger.
While there are a number of such applications available in PHP, including one we use on Mac360, Pronto Survey does a superb job of creating professional survey applications without programming knowledge.
Creating applications in PHP and MySQL is not an exercise for the faint of heart.
However, most PHP applications simply need to be installed to function on your Mac. Combined with the power and flexibility of a MySQL database, your Mac becomes an excellent tool that goes well beyond word processing, spreadsheets, photos and music.
Pronto Survey starts with a simple installation on any Mac running PHP and the Apache web server (all Macs with OS X Tiger or Panther have these tools built-in).
The MySQL database can be installed as a free download from the MySQL web site (Mac, Windows, and various Linux and Unix flavors, too).
Polls, surveys, and market research usually start with a series of questions. The questions need to be set up in a web page interface, and the data collected goes into a database for retrieval and display.
That’s what Pronto Survey does. It lets you create a survey with a straightforward interface; then allows you to add more survey pages, more questions, and, as needed, rules that affect the flow of the survey.
You don’t have to be a web page designer to understand how Pronto displays questions and results. That’s all handled by Pronto, though it’s obvious the application was created with web designers in mind.
Pronto has a number of different question types for each survey which can be mixed and matched. These include single choice open questions, multiple choice questions, matrix questions (answer dependent).
Surveys are literally dynamic in nature and questions can be changed depending on the answers received to previous questions.
Simple rules can be added which direct the survey taker to an appropriate page after entering specific answers.
Make no mistake about it, web-based polls, surveys, and market research options can get very complicated very quickly.
That’s what makes using Pronto Survey such a joy. Start with simple polls, move to a more comprehensive survey, then step into qualified questions for market research.
It’s the same application, same interface, and same tools on your Mac.
Viewing results used to be the territory of PHP application programmers. Pronto captures data in the MySQL database and allows you to create attractive reports using the Pronto Survey Analyzer.
As expected, there’s even graphic chart capability.
Even better is Pronto’s Status as ‘shareware’ you can try before you buy, with the only limit being 10 questions on each survey (and no export).
BeBoSoft includes some basic instructions so you can set up your Mac using PHP and MySQL (not difficult, but the steps are specific).
This is not a basic ‘poll’ application. Pronto Survey handles many relatively complex survey situations, including multiple questions per page, multiple pages by survey, text answers (stored in the database), answer validation, and a handy diagram of the whole survey.
The only negative is the average Mac user may balk at getting Apache, PHP, MySQL up and running on OS X (mostly point and click).
Click Here for the Pronto features list and download link.
Jack D. Miller
More and more I see Mac users setting up their machines with PHP applications. Many are powerful and free.
Carol Mary Miller
Fortunately, I already have PHP and MySQL set up on my Mac, so getting Pronto going was, well, pronto. This is an attractive and impressive application.
At $60 it’s not exactly my ‘low end’ kind of application. However, looking around, most of the commercial applications that are similar in feature set are more expensive.