CommCare Feature Update: New App Manager

We’re unveiling some big changes to the CommCare app builder this month! The CommCare team is releasing a new app manager format, which will streamline the app building process by incorporating case management right into your apps. We’re always looking for ways to improve your app building experience, and we hope this latest update will make app building in CommCare even easier for you.

The new app manager will change how you interact with the CommCare app builder in three key areas: (1) navigating inside the app builder, (2) building a new app from scratch, and (3) accessing the settings pages.


1. Navigation

Once the app manager update is enabled, how you navigate the CommCare app builder will change. Specifically, the update will change how you access your app, how you interact with the form builder, and where you publish and deploy your app.

Getting Started:

Once the app manager update is enabled, navigating to your app will change.

  • What’s new? Now when you select an app, you are brought directly to the deploy page. Previously, you would head to app settings first, which is now accessible in the app manager menu via the gear icon next to the app name.


How You Access and Interact With the Form Builder:

When you select a form, you now go directly into the form builder! Here are the biggest updates you’ll see within the form builder that will change how you interact with and navigate your app within the form builder:

  • Form settings are accessible in the app manager menu via the gear icon next to a form’s name.
  • You can now delete modules and forms via trash can icons in the menu, instead of buttons on the module/form settings pages.
  • The app manager menu will no longer contain multimedia or languages; you will now use the app settings page for this.
  • You will no longer copy or delete your app in the app manager menu; these features are now part of the app settings page.
  • Additionally, the app manager menu no longer contains your app summary there’s now an app summary button in the top right of the app settings page.


Publishing & Deploying your App:

Finally, instead of clicking the “deploy” button to create a new version of your app, a “publish” button at the top right of all app manager pages is now available.

  • You can navigate to the deploy page by clicking on your app’s name on the top-left corner.


2. Building new CommCare Apps

The next big change you’ll see with the app manager update will impact how you build CommCare apps from scratch. When you start building a new CommCare application, instead of clicking on a template app to add a new application, you will now have the option to add either a “Case List” or a “Survey.”

  • Case lists: Case lists are similar to a module that already includes a case type, while surveys do not have a case type. When you add a case list, two forms will automatically be added: a registration form and a follow-up form.


  • Surveys: When you add a survey, a generic form for one-time data collection will be automatically included.


By clicking the “+Add” below the final form of a “Survey” or “Case List,” you will be able to add an additional case list or an additional survey. To add a new form to a survey or case list, simply click the “+” icon next to the survey or case list. When you add forms to a case list beyond the first two, they default to being forms that update the case. When you add case lists beyond the first one, they default to being the same case type as your existing case list.

You can rename a form from inside form builder, by clicking the icon next to the form’s name.


3. Settings Pages

The third and final update you will see in the new app manager will change how you access your app’s settings. In form settings, “Case management” is the first tab and “Settings” is the second. Note: forms in survey modules (e.g. forms that do not use a case), will not have a case management tab.


  • The settings page for surveys (formerly the module settings page) does not have any tabs: no case management, case list, case detail, or actions tab.
  • The settings page for case lists (formerly the module settings page, accessible by clicking on the case list – in this case, “Pregnancy”) does not have a “Case Management” tab. Case type, the case list menu item, and registration from case list have all been moved to the settings tab.


How can you enable the new app manager?

The next time you log-in to your CommCare account, you will be prompted to update your app. To turn on the new app manager, select: “Yes, Turn on New App builder!” Note: you can turn them back off by toggling the “off” button on the left side of the app builder, next to “New App Builder.”

After hearing from you, either directly or through our support channels, we think that the changes we made here will improve the efficiency of building new apps. We hope that with these changes, new members of your team will be able to learn CommCare more quickly, and you can spend less time building apps, and more time managing your projects and programs.

We want to give you and your team time to adjust to the new app manager over the next two months. However, we will turn off the option to switch back to the old app manager in mid-July. Once the option is turned off, we will move all project spaces over to the new app builder.


Questions about any of these updates?

Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to email if you have any questions or concerns. Happy app building!

– The CommCare Team



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