Knack Blog

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

 

New Feature – Map Details

12/11/2013 Posted by Brandon

We’ve added the ability to add Google maps to your detail views.

Note: this feature is available to our Pro customers and above who have geo-coding enabled.

Just edit any address field in your view and you’ll have options for showing the map and configuring the map size:

This will then show a Google map and link the address to the directions feature in the map:

If you are currently a Pro subscriber or above and want to add map details, please get in touch to request geo-location for your addresses.

Next up: a searchable map list!

Continue reading...

New Feature: Add Custom Multiple Choice Options

11/26/2013 Posted by Brandon

We’ve added a nice feature for multiple choice fields so users can add their own custom option on the fly.

You can set this option for any multiple choice field in your forms. Just click on the field to edit and check the option to “Allow users to add new options”:

This will then add a “Plus” icon next to the field where users can add their own options:

These options will be added to the field’s format, so they will be listed as an available option for any future forms.

Continue reading...

Custom Designs with Knack

11/22/2013 Posted by Brandon

One of the major features we like to show off with Knack is the flexibility you have to use CSS and jQuery to completely customize the design of your online database app.

Developers can use jQuery to respond to application events, like when a scene loads or when a form is submitted. Designers can use CSS to update colors, fonts, icons, and virtually every aspect of the app’s design.

We’ve seen some great use cases of Knack customers modifying their online databases –from minor design tweaks to complete overhauls– and we wanted to show a few examples:

South Padre Island

The official government site of South Padre Island needed a custom calendar solution that would allow them to receive event submissions from multiple sources, and display those events in a variety of different ways, all in a format that could easily be customized for multiple websites.

Here’s how their calendar looks on their main site, with custom icons, button styles, and colors, all easily added with CSS:

Visit: http://www.myspi.org/calendar/

TriStar Plastics

TriStar Plastics uses Knack for a searchable online database for their thousands of engineering materials they work with. These materials needed very precise search options that could be combined and navigated easily.

CSS and jQuery was used to create and position dynamic filters for searching and tabs for more easily viewing the results:

Continue reading...

New Feature: Calendar List

11/21/2013 Posted by Brandon

We’ve added a new option for our Calendar View to display your events in a list instead of a graphical calendar.

You can active the list option when editing a calendar view:

This will then display your events in a simple compact list:

The list option retains all the additional features of the calendar view, like custom colors, navigating through months and weeks, and having repeating entries.

Continue reading...

New Feature: Custom Colors

11/12/2013 Posted by Brandon

Now you can customize your online database apps with your own colors!

We added a section in the App Settings where you can add colors for the header, tabs and buttons, and link colors.

Here’s an example we used to create a “Knack” theme:

This updates the app to look like this:

We’ll be adding the ability to upload your own logo next.

Please share your app with us if you add a great color scheme, we’d love to see it in action!

Some notes:

  • Any colors will be applied to both the hosted and published versions of your app.
  • Let us know if any colors look terrible and we’ll take a look. It’s tough to test all the combinations!

Continue reading...

New Feature: Update Scene URLs

11/08/2013 Posted by Brandon

We’ve added the ability to modify the URL used by each scene when viewing your Knack app.

Knack builds a URL for each scene by including a special part for each scene, as well as some record identifiers when necessary.

The problem was that if you changed the name of the scene or object you could have a URL that seemed completely off.

You can now change the URL part that each scene uses by clicking “Rename Scene” in the right menu:

This will update the part of the URL for this scene. Any links from other menus and views will be automatically updated to use this new URL.

Notes:

  • You’ll need to update any links manually that you’ve typed in or entered outside the app.
  • Scene URLS need to be all lower case and can only contain alpha-numeric characters.

Continue reading...

New Feature: SEO Indexing for your Online Database

11/07/2013 Posted by Brandon

We’re excited to announce new search engine indexing features for your Knack database app!

When you add your Knack app to your own website Google has a hard time finding and indexing the records from your database. This is because even though they are displaying on your site the records are stored on Knack servers.

Our new Knack SEO features allow Google to find and index that content.

We’ve added these SEO features to our business directory example app here:

https://www.knack.com/business-directory-user-demo/

If you search for keywords listed with some of those business details, you’ll find links to those scenes in the Google results.

For example, here’s a search for “craft beer”:

https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Aknack.com%20craft%20beer

This search will show this scene in the results:

https://www.knack.com/business-directory-user-demo/#home/view-business-details/501d871ade8cf3201400002e/

You can find out more about Knack SEO features and implementation here:

https://knack.com/seo

SEO features are currently included with Corporate plans and above.

Continue reading...

New Field: Phone Numbers

10/29/2013 Posted by Brandon

We recently added a new field for formatting phone numbers.

You can select a format that will mask the user input to ensure they are entering numbers correctly:

These phone numbers will also display as links. When clicked in smartphones they will automatically trigger the phones call function:

When editing a phone field you can also indicate if you want to allow extensions.

We added some common formats for both US and international numbers. Let us know if there are specific formats that will work better for you.

WARNING:

Please back up any phone number records before converting from a short text to the new phone type. Because phone format are strictly enforced, some data loss may occur in a transfer.

Continue reading...

New Feature: Scheduled Tasks

10/22/2013 Posted by Brandon

We’re pleased to announce a major new feature we’ve been working on for a while: scheduled tasks. Tasks can be scheduled to run for each object in your database.

This feature is available now with the Pro plan and above.

You’ll now see a “Tasks” link with each of the Objects in your Database:

You can add a task by giving it a name and schedule:

You can then add rules to define what actions the task will take, and which records the task will include. This follows the same setup we implemented for form rules:

The following are some examples of how we are seeing tasks used:

  • Checking Expiration Dates: combined with date equations you can easily check if a “Days Active” has exceeded an expiration duration, and set a status accordingly.
  • Send Email Notifications: check a new status field for “pending notification” to send emails. After the email is sent update the status so it’s not sent again.
  • Scheduled Maintenance: add scheduled tasks or events for the upcoming week every week.

Please note that this is a major new feature and in beta.

This means that we need you to get in touch with us immediately if you see anything that doesn’t look like it is working as expected.

We also started with a somewhat limited feature set. So please get in touch if you are unable to run the task that you envision so we can consider your task for future upgrades.

Continue reading...

New Example Apps

10/16/2013 Posted by Brandon

We recently added 3 new apps to our example library! To help you explore these example apps we’ve also made it easy to add them directly to your account.

Project Management

The Project Management app can be used to manage projects, tasks, hours, and milestones.

We wanted to show a good example of a more complex app you can build with Knack. This app has a bunch of moving parts and takes advantage of a lot of Knack features:

  • Each project can track multiple connected records for milestones, tasks, hours, costs, and more.
  • Total expenses for a project are calculated by adding total costs and hours multiplied by the project hourly rate.
  • Employees can log in and add hours for any tasks that have been assigned to them.
more on the project management example app

Multi-Step Application

This an app that works well when you need multi-step applications or registrations. New users can register and then fill out an application across multiple tabs. Some tabs handle connected records, like employment history, where multiple employment records can be added.

Their registration is automatically saved and they can work on it over time. The last tab is used to complete the application and submit for review. This sets a “Status” field which makes it available for admins to review.

Perfect for:

  • Complex job applications
  • Camp or Conference registrations
  • Grant, contest, and school applications
more on the multi-step application example app

Events Calendar

We wanted an application to show off the calendar view, so we added this events calendar. It’s relatively simple but does have a nice feature of allowing the community to submit events. Admins can review these and approve to display in the calendar.

More on the events calendar example app

Add example apps to your account

You can now add any of the example apps directly to your account. Just go to your dashboard and click the “Add App” button below your list of apps. Then select the “Pick a Template” option:

Continue reading...