Knack Blog

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

 

Feature Highlight: Inline Editing

06/08/2017 Posted by Odalis

Inline editing allows users to edit fields directly from a table, without using a form. So instead of jumping between edit forms to update different records, all changes can be made from the same page.

For example, admins of this business directory app can quickly make updates to businesses by clicking on any field on the table they want to edit:

You’ll see that fields that are editable with inline editing will be highlighted. When clicked, a small pop-up window will show up so an update can be made.

Note: Changes made through inline editing won’t trigger record rules or emails. Those are only triggered by updates submitted through a form.

How to Add Inline Editing to a Table

Now that you’ve seen how inline editing works, here are the steps for adding it to your tables.

1. In the Pages section of the builder, select the page that holds the table you want to add inline editing to.

2. Click on the table on that page to open the editor.

3. Go to the Options section and select the box next to “Inline Editing”:

Note: When inline editing is enabled, it will affect any editable fields. However, if there are fields where you don’t want to allow inline editing, you can specify that.

For example, in the table below, all fields have inline editing enabled. But we don’t want the Business ID field to have inline editing enabled.

To remove inline editing from that field, we’ll go to the Columns section of the editor. We’ll hover over the Business ID column and click the edit “pencil” icon:

Then we’ll set the “Allow Inline Editing” property to No:

That process can be repeated for any fields that shouldn’t have inline editing enabled.

Feature Highlight: Row Summaries

06/01/2017 Posted by Odalis

Tables can be great for reporting and gaining quick insights into your data. Especially with a feature like row summaries. With row summaries, you can add numerical summaries to your tables.

For example, we have an Order Items report that includes the amount spent on each order item. To see the total amount spent on all order items, we’ve added a sum row summary called “Total” to the table:

To get more insights, we then added row summaries to see the average, minimum and maximum amounts spent on order items:

For more features on using tables as reports, try out grouping or display rules that add color and icons to your tables.

How to Add Row Summaries to a Table

Now that you’ve seen how row summaries work, here are the steps for adding them to your tables.

1. In the Pages section of the builder, select the page that holds the table you want to add row summaries to.

2. Click on the table on that page to open the editor.

3. Go to the Options section and click the “Add Summary” link next to Row Summaries:

4. Select whether you want to summarize the sum, average, maximum, or minimum of the values and rename the label on the left as you like:

5. To add more row summaries, click on the green “plus” icon. You can add as many row summaries as you need:

Note: When row summaries are enabled, any numeric columns will automatically be summarized. However, if there are columns that you don’t want to be summarized, you can specify that.

For example, in the table below, there are three columns being summarized: Qty, Price, and Total. But we only want the total column to be summarized.

To remove the summary from the Qty and Price columns, we’ll go to the Columns section of the editor. We’ll hover over the Qty column and click the edit “pencil” icon:

Then we’ll set the “Allow Summary” property to No:

That process can be repeated for any columns that shouldn’t be summarized.

Feature Highlight: Automatically Capture a User’s Location

05/25/2017 Posted by Odalis

Forms work well for capturing information from any user. But mistakes can happen when entering information that creates more work for you!

For example, let’s say you offer your customers on-site services for the equipment they’ve purchased. You’ve noticed that in the last few requests the service location has been incorrect. For one request that resulted in your team getting to the customer 2 hours later than expected.

You could set up a new process for verifying service locations, or you could capture those locations automatically. No user input required.

Here’s what the process would look like for your customer:

How to Automatically Capture a User’s Location

Here’s how you can set this up in your own form using a Record Rule:

  1. In the Pages section of the builder, select the page that holds the form you want to use to capture the user’s location.
  1. Click on the form on that page to open the editor.
  1. Go to the Form Rules section and then click on the Record Rules tab:

  1. Click the “Add Rule” button and use the following settings for your record rule:
  • Action Update this record
  • When leave blank, unless you only want to capture the location under specific circumstances
  • Values Set {select your Address field} to the user’s current location

Note: This will work for Address fields with either the Address or Latitude/Longitude input type:

Feature Highlight: Table Grouping

05/18/2017 Posted by Odalis

Tables are an excellent way to display information in your Knack apps.  Especially since they offer many features to further organize your data for easy understanding.

For example, let’s say you want to create a table that quickly shows which donors are making the most donations. So you start with a table that shows all donations:

2017-05-09_15-41-57

It’s not a bad start, but it’s not easy to tell who your best donors are. That’s where a feature like grouping can make all the difference.

Grouping allows you to group records by a common value in selected table columns. Here’s what your table will look like when it’s grouping the donations by donor:

2017-05-09_15-41-32

 

With a header row for each donor and their donations listed below them, you can see who’s in the giving spirit, at a glance.

Plus, since the “Amount” column was already totaled using a Row Summary, the grouping now shows the total per donor. Though there’s still a complete total for all donors at the bottom of the table:

2017-05-09_16-15-01

How to Add Grouping to a Table

Now that you’ve seen what grouping can do, here are the steps for adding it to your tables.

  1. In the Pages section of the builder, select the page that holds the table you want to add grouping to.
  1. Click on the table on that page to open the editor.
  1. Hover over the column you want to add grouping to and click the edit “pencil” icon to edit that column.
  1. Enable the grouping option by checking the “Grouping” box:

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Note: Any columns that are grouping records will automatically move to the front of the table. A small “group” icon will appear on that column to indicate it is grouping:

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For a quick video walkthrough of this process, see below:

Introducing Dropdown Menus

03/02/2017 Posted by Brandon

We’re pleased to introduce a feature that has been on the request list for a while: dropdown menus.

Knack makes it easy to build large, complex apps: you can create multiple pages for different users to access in different ways.

This can lead to some crazy page menus, where dozens or even hundreds of pages all try to cram in to a single menu (and good luck trying to use them on mobile).

Dropdown menus are a great way to organize and simplify complex page menus like this. Now you can group pages into dropdown menus to simplify your overall menu:

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You can add menu pages to your page tree that can group other start pages together into a dropdown menu:

These menus also play great on mobile.

View the full documentation here in our Knowledge Base.

New Feature: Form URL Vars

01/18/2017 Posted by Brandon

We recently added a feature to help expand and re-use your forms: URL Vars.

URL vars enable you to add values directly to the URLs of your app that can be used to pre-populate insert forms.

URL vars can be used to make forms easier to use and track information from multiple sources:

  • Reduce the friction of registrations or lead forms by pre-populating the names and emails in the URLs you email out.
  • Reuse forms on your websites and apps by setting values based on the source of the links.
  • Track referrals and origins by giving different URLs to different referrers.

We’re currently using URL vars with demo forms on our own site. We use the same demo form but pre-populate the type of app the user wants to demo based on which page the user came from. So each page get’s a slightly different link with that value set in the URL vars.

You could even dynamically create URL vars in links that are sent in custom emails when your Knack forms are submitted.

Setting up URL Vars correctly is a somewhat technical process. We’ve put together this support article to walk you through it:

https://support.knack.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000997068-How-to-Use-URL-Variables-to-Pre-Populate-a-Form

Let us know if you find a great use case for URL vars. We’d love to learn how they are being used.

New Feature: Page Rules

01/11/2017 Posted by Brandon

One key feature you need to effectively create an application is the ability to employ logic.

Logic is what lets you execute different actions based on criteria you define. This enables your app to do much more than simply display and update information.

Logic is at the core of any programming language, but can be trickier to execute in a low-code product like Knack. We’ve added multiple areas to help: record rules, display rules, conditional fields and more. These all present opportunities to add logic to your Knack apps.

We’re thrilled to announce a major new addition to our logic features: Page Rules.

Page Rules allow you to define criteria on the page level to execute specific actions:

  • Show a notification
  • Hide a view
  • Redirect the user to another page
  • Redirect the user to another URL

Here are a few examples of how you could use page rules:

  • Hide a form to edit a record if the page role is not an “Editor”.
  • Hide a form to register for a class if the class attendance has exceeded a specific size.
  • Redirect to a registration form if the logged-in user hasn’t registered.
  • Warn the user if they need to update their data or complete some information.

Pages now have a new tab link at the top called “Rules” where you can define these:

Notifications have additional options to indicate priority. You can designate a notification as a confirmation, warning, or alert, which will color code the message accordingly.

Hiding views allow you to hide one or more views on the page:

We've added some articles to our Knowledge Base with more information on page rules:

Introducing the new builder

10/04/2016 Posted by Brandon

A new version of our Knack builder has been live for a few weeks now and we couldn’t be more excited!

We’ve learned a ton during the 2 years since our last release, and we’ve applied that learning to further optimize and simplify the process of building data-driven web applications.

We put together a new intro video to walk through it (we also dramatically improved our video skills).

Now that the dust has settled we wanted to provide some insight into the goals of this new builder and what changes those led to.

Continue reading...

Upgrading our Text Combo to Text Formula

04/28/2016 Posted by Brandon

We just gave our text combo field so many new super-powers we had to rename it.

Introducing the new Text Formula: it’s a magical combination of our old Text Combo field and the recent equation updates.

You can combine any text values like before but now you can also include a great library of text-based functions.

Continue reading...

Better Data with Validation Rules

01/28/2016 Posted by Brandon

Your database is only as good as the data it contains.

In most cases this is obvious. If you are calculating order totals, you’l need each order to have a number that can be added together. If you are running monthly reports you’ll need some valid dates to group by month.

Other cases are more subtle. You may want to only accept dates that are in the future, or define allowable ranges for a number.

Data that breaks these types of rules may not crash your database, but getting those values right can be just as critical to ensuring your data is meaningful and correct.

Knack has always helped by ensuring field types and providing options for values to be required or unique.

We recently added a feature that dramatically expands Knack’s validation capabilities: validation rules.

Continue reading...