Knack Blog

The Knack team on web applications, online databases, and beautifully designed products.

 

New Features: Form Actions & Display Rules

02/03/2013 Posted by Brandon

It’s a feature extravanganza! We’ve released so much new functionality we need multiple sections to cover it:

Form Submit Rules

You can now set rules that trigger actions when a form is submitted. Here’s what it looks like to set a custom email:

Each form can have multiple submit rules, and each rule consists of criteria and an action.

The criteria allows you to define when the action is triggered. For example, you may only want to send an email when a status field is updated to “pending confirmation”. The default is to trigger the action for every form submission.

Each rule can perform one of the following actions:

  • Send an email: Send custom email reciepts, notices, and other email templates. You can use inputs from the form to populate the template.
  • Update the form record: useful for setting status or workflow fields on submissions. You can also assign logged-in users so you can track who submitted comment, rating, or ranking forms.
  • Insert a connected record: add a new record connected to the form record. Your form object must be connected to other objects for this option to be available. Great for adding history, version, and archived records based on the submission.

Field Rules

Field rules are triggered when a form is initially populated or updated by the user. These are useful if a certain input response should hide or show additional inputs

The classic example is a multiple choice input where one of the options is “other”. If they user selects other you can show an additional “comments” input to explain.

Based on a criteria you can trigger multiple actions:

  • Show or hide an input: as discussed this will show or hide inputs based on the rule criteria.
  • Rename label: This can change labels of other inputs. For example, if you had a multiple choice for “language”, you could change the labels of the other inputs based on that language selection.
Details Field Rules

Similar to Forms, you can hide and show fields based on criteria in a Details view as well.

Beta

Please note that these are both in Beta. This means that you may encounter some bugs or unexpected behavior while using them. Please contact us immediately if you do.

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New Feature: Equations & Text Combos

01/18/2013 Posted by Brandon

We’ve recently released two new fields we’re really excited about: equations and text combos.

Both fields are used to create new values based on others.

Equations

Equations are used to perform mathematical functions on numeric fields. So like the example above, you can easily create simple math equations for doing things like:

  • totalling orders
  • calculating sales commissions
  • determining profit/loss
Equations can also be combined with the other formula fields like Sum, Average, Min, Max to create some complex equations.

Text Combos

Text combos are similar to equations except you can combine any field and text (not just numbers). Instead of math functions these are all simply combined together to form a new text field.

Text Combos are useful for:

  • combining fields to create a more informative ID fields
  • creating name or address fields from separate fields

Beta

Please note that these are both in Beta. This means that you may encounter some bugs or unexpected behavior while using them. Please contact us immediately if you do.

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Default Sort Order

01/04/2013 Posted by Brandon

We added a minor upgrade today: the ability to set the default sort order for your object. This sort order will control the order our records appear in the builder as well as connection lists.

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New Feature: Rating Field

12/28/2012 Posted by Brandon

We’ve been working on a bunch of new field types lately. The first off the shelf is our new Rating field. It’s a great way to handle voting/rating/preference data in a nice graphical format.

Options include controlling the number of stars and allowing half stars.

You can also use our formula fields (like sum, average, max) to calculate aggregate ratings. For example, our recipe app shows the average rating of all the comments for each recipe.

Let us know if you are using the rating field, we’d love to see it in action!

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New Feature: Batch Update Records

12/05/2012 Posted by Brandon

We recently added a convenient feature for maintaining your online database: batch updates.

This is really useful if you need to update multiple records (hundreds or even thousands) at the same time.

For example, if a company changes their name, you may need to update the hundreds of employees for that company. You can now easily do that in just a few steps.

View our help document for more details.

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New Feature: Batch Updating

12/03/2012 Posted by Brandon

We recenctly released a new feature that will

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New Feature: Global Tab Menu

11/08/2012 Posted by Brandon

Our latest feature for Knack is a global tab menu. This is a great way to structure a complicated app and give your users an easy way to navigate.

A global tab menu is a big menu that will appear at the top of your app. The menu will contain a link to each one of your entry scenes and it will stay visible regardless of which scene is being viewed.

View our help tutorial on adding one to your app.

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Feature Highlight: Users

10/29/2012 Posted by Brandon

We recently completed a mammoth tutorial documenting our Knack user features. When were done we realized that we had to blog about how fantastic they are!

Adding users to your app is what can turn it from a simple online database to a dynamic web application.

The following are examples of how some of our customers are incorporating users into their web apps:

  • Sharing data with clients so they can log in and only see their specific data. You can set up whether they can only read the data or if they can update it as well.
  • Assigning data to employees so they can log in to access information for jobs, deliveries, installations, and more.
  • Creating member directories where each member can login to view every member’s data and update their own data.
  • Assigning roles for different users of the app. For example, everyone can read data, but only admin roles can log in to update the data.
The following are some of the core features:

  • Registration: you can add users manually or they can register themselves right from the app. When they register they can get immediate access or wait for your approval.
  • Logins: you can protect the entire app with a login or only specific scenes. For example, you can publish an unprotected scene to your website to view your app, and then use a protected scene to update it.
  • User Roles: You can create multiple user roles that have different access. So you could create an “Admin” role and protect a scene so that only Admin users can view it.
  • User Data: You can connect users to other object records so when they log in they can only see their own data, and not any data connected to other users.
We think these features allow Knack users to build a wide variety of powerful online database and web apps. Please contact us if you’d like us to help set up a user-driven app for you.

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Example App: Catalog

10/19/2012 Posted by Brandon

Today we released a new example web app: a customizable catalog app that can be embeded right to your site.

A catalog is a great example of how you can have different apps and publish them for different audiences of your online database.

For example, you could have the following apps for the same product database:

  • An admin app where staff can update all the product data.
  • A sales app for your salesforce that could include sales materials and PDFs to download and leave for customers.
  • A catalog app you can publish to your consumer site for customers to view and purchase.

Knack makes it easy to create separate web apps and publish them to different websites like this.

The example catalog app includes features like:

  • Grouping products into categories for easy browsing.
  • Adding payment solutions like PayPal.
  • Including custom options for each product that might be unique to your company.

Check out our customizable catalog app and let us know what you think.

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New Feature: Calendars

10/15/2012 Posted by Brandon

We’re pleased to release a major new feature for Knack- a calendar view!

A calendar was one of our most requested features. It can enable great online database and web apps like online scheduling.

Now you can easily display any date-driven data in a calendar, just like you could in a table or search:

The calendar follows a look and feel very similar to a Google Calendar, so it will be very familiar and easy to use:

The calendar comes loaded with some great features right out of the box:

  • Easily navigate between dates and month/week/day views
  • Allow users to add events by clicking on the calendar
  • Allow users to edit events by dragging to new times
  • Click on events to view and edit details.
We’ll also be continually improving the calendar with some great features coming soon:

  • All day events
  • Repeating events
  • Scheduling by available slots
  • RSS and Google Calendar export
Let us know if you use the calendar in your own online database or web app. We want to see it in action!

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