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In the normal CommCare model, each CommCare user has their own list of cases.  If David registers the pregnant mother Monica on his phone, the case "Monica" appears in his case list.  Monica will appear only in David's case list – no other mobile user can follow up with Monica.

Case Sharing allows mobile users to share case lists.  Some common use cases:

  1. David works with another community health worker, Maria, who has the same CommCare application on her phone.  David and Maria visit the same community members. Sometimes David will register a new pregnancy, and Maria will follow up with her later.

  2. David refers sick clients to a local clinic.  A nurse at the clinic has a phone with a different CommCare application for sick community members.  The nurse will want to see why David referred the patient, as well as all the data that David has collected about the patient in the past.  David will want to know the outcome of the visit.

Here is how to enable case sharing:

Make sure your application(s) are located in the same project space. 

  1. Turn on case sharing for your application(s)
    1. Click on Settings
    2. Check the "Case Sharing" checkbox

  2. Add your users to case sharing groups.  Users in the same case sharing group will share cases with each other
    1. NOTE: all users must be in exactly one case sharing group.  Users not in a case sharing group will cause erros.  Users in more than one group will cause errors if they ever create a case. You can add a user to more than one case sharing group if they are only reviewing or modifying existing cases, never creating new cases.  For more on this use case see: Assigning cases to one of multiple groups
    2. Go to the "Settings & Users" page
    3. Click on "Groups"
    4. Add a group
    5. Click "Edit Settings" and turn on Case Sharing
    6. Add all users who will share cases with each other to this group.

  3. Multiple Applications: If you're sharing cases between two or more different CommCare applications, make sure the "case type" matches between all the modules you want to share case lists.


You can structure your case sharing groups such that a "supervisor" user is in multiple case sharing groups.  For more information, see Assigning cases to one of multiple groups

To read about how to assign subcases to a particular user, read about Delegation Subcases


Often if you have an error in case management (i.e. you did not follow one of the steps above) you will see this message: 

          Internal error handling request: <type 'org.javarosa.xpath.XPathTypeMismatchException'>: org.javarosa.xpath.XPathTypeMismatchException:

          XPath evaluation: type mismatch Location instance(groups)/groups/group/@id was not found

If you see this, go back and check your case sharing settings. It is likely that your user is not in exactly one case sharing group.

Case Sharing FAQs

Q: If a case was created before case sharing was turned on and the case sharing group was created, does that case get reassigned automatically to that group's owner id or does the case retain its original owner id?

A: The case should retain the original case owner ID

Q: What happens if two mobile users are sharing a case, are both working offline, and both make changes to the case?

A: Once the forms are submitted they will update the case in the order in which they are received (according to the server received time). If one of the forms closed a case and a subsequent form attempts to update that case, the case will not be reopened but the (now closed) case will be updated.

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