Knack Blog

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

 

New Feature: Custom Calendar Event Colors

09/18/2013 Posted by Brandon

We’ve added the ability to add custom colors to your calendar events:

You can now set the default background color and add multiple rules to apply different background colors to your records.

This feature is in beta so please get in touch if run into any issues.

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Custom Javascript & CSS

09/05/2013 Posted by Brandon

We're pleased to announce an exciting new feature: the ability to add custom Javascript and CSS code directly to your apps!

One of the strongest features about Knack is that designers and developers can easily use jQuery and CSS to customize each app.

Until now, this was only possible by first publishing your Knack app to your own website and adding the code there. Any code you applied wouldn't be available on the hosted Knack apps at knack.com. So if you weren't interested in publishing your app to your own site you were out of luck.

We've now added the ability to add this code directly into your app, so it can be applied to both hosted and published apps. We've combined it with the API tab under Settings:

There are separate editors for both JavaScript and CSS. Each editor is color-coded and will follow common syntax highlighting for those languages.

Some notes about this custom code:

  • Any code added will be called after all Knack code and styles have been loaded.
  • You don't need to wrap the JavasScript code in window.KnackInit().
  • JavaScript code has access to the Knack $ jQuery object.
  • The code is called for every load regardless of which scene is first viewed.
  • You can still add code and CSS to your site if you want to limit customization just to your published apps.
Please note that although we're providing these tools we can't debug or add code for you. If you'd like us to provide these services please consider filling out a request here:

https://www.knack.com/custom-development/

Feature Upgrade: Date Equations

07/26/2013 Posted by Brandon

We’ve upgraded our Equation field type to include date calculations.

Date calculations will allow you to create dynamic equations combining date fields, the current time, and your own time values.

Some common examples of date equations are:

  • Calculating age by subtracting birth date from the current time
  • Calculating expiration dates by adding days to a start date
  • Calculating time spent by subtracting a start date from an end date

How does it work? When you add or edit an Equation field you can determine if it’s a numerical or date type:

Selecting Date will display any eligible date fields you can add to your equation. There’s also a special Current Time field you can use to represent the current time when the calculation is run.

You can control the Date Type. This will convert any numbers used in the equation into the selected date type. In the example below the 30 will add 30 days to the start date since days is selected as the type.

Date Equations are in beta so please let us know if you run into any issues.

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New Feature: Repeating Calendar Entries

07/22/2013 Posted by Brandon

We’ve upgraded our Calendars to now allow repeating calendar entries.

You can format any Date-Time field to use Calendar Options:

This will add two options to your Date Inputs:

  • All Day
  • Repeat
All Day will remove any time inputs and display the event as an all-day event in the calendar.

Repeating will allow you set various repeating options:

These events will then display as separate repeating entries on a Calendar.

When editing or deleting a repeating event you’ll have the option of updating the entire series of events or just the event you’re working with.

Repeating calendar events are currently in beta. If you run into any issues, please let us know so we can investigate.

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Feature Upgrade: Filtering by Logged-in User

07/15/2013 Posted by Brandon

We added the ability to filter records by the logged-in user to your Knack views.

This is useful in a scenarios where you want to display child records that are connected to a parent object and to the logged-in user:

  • Show tasks for a specific job that are assigned to the user.
  • Show comments about a specific project the user added so they can edit them.
You can add a rule to the Data Source by setting a connection field to the logged-in user:

Combined with the form rule to assign a logged-in user to a record, you can now easily add user functionality to any child object in your database.

If you just need records directly connected to the logged-in user you can click “Add View” to any Entry Scene for all your options.

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Feature Upgrade: Reusing Scenes

07/11/2013 Posted by Brandon

Today we released a feature that was commonly requested: the ability to reuse scenes.

For complex applications you may be listing the same records in a variety of ways in many different places.

When a user clicks on one of those records, you can create scenes to view more details about that specific record, edit it with a form, or even show connected records.

Sometimes these scenes can get quite complex, so re-creating them each time you list those records can be cumbersome and inefficient.

We’ve added the ability to link to another scene so you can now reuse these scenes. These links are available in the Links and Special sections of most views:

Currently there are a few limitations:

  • Only scenes that are directly connected to an Entry (top level) scene are eligible. We’re working on selecting any scene.
  • Only scenes displaying the same object as the view are eligible. We’re working on adding scenes displaying connected objects.
We’re excited about this new feature. Please let us know if you run into any issues or have any suggestions on how we can improve it.

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June Online Database Examples

06/28/2013 Posted by Brandon

Another huge month for Knack with great apps built by Knack customers! Here are some examples of the apps and online databases they’ve been building.

  • Volunteer Management: a non-profit uses Knack to manage volunteer efforts for fund-raising, tracking assignements and tasks.
  • Faculty Tracking: a college uses Knack to track faculty contact info, workshop and event participation, and consultation scheduling.
  • Corporate Planning: a brewer uses Knack to manage strategic planning by assinging members to planning groups and assigning tasks and events.
  • Camp Management: a summer camp uses Knack for child registration, parent contact info, payments, donations, and more.
  • Product Catalog: a wholesaler uses Knack to enable customers to log in and view a private catalog. Different customers can see different prices based on their classification.

As always we’re thrilled to see the huge variety of amazing online databases and apps being built by Knack customers.

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Knack for Designers

06/22/2013 Posted by Brandon

When we first launched Knack we weren’t exactly sure who our target audience would be. Knack is a flexible product that can be used by anyone to manage all sorts of online databases.

We had some guesses, but we deliberately kept our marketing neutral. We wanted to throw Knack out there and see what happened!

One use case we’ve enjoyed seeing develop is web designers and front-end coders who use Knack to integrate online databases with client websites and their own applications.

In many cases it’s a perfect fit, as designers are able to take advantage of many core Knack functions:

  • Knack apps can be embedded seamlessly right into a website, so designers can add online databases directly to their client websites.
  • Knack apps can be customized with CSS, so designers can control the look and feel of the app. We hear designers love this.
  • Knack apps can be customized with jQuery, so designers can add features and do even more customization of the UI if needed.
  • Designers can set up a special client user roles, so clients can view and update database records without affecting the look and feel of the app.
  • Designers can use the API if they ever need to add special functionality.
The bottom line is Knack enables designers to build online databases and web apps for their clients and still focus on what they do best: the look and the feel.

We’ve created a special page for designers at:

https://knack.com/designers

Know any web designers? Send them to the link above, we’d love to know what they think about Knack!

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New Feature: Table Summaries

06/11/2013 Posted by Brandon

This feature has been in beta for a while but we never announced it.

You can now add summaries to a table to run formulas like sum and averages on all the rows in the column:

To add a summary simply edit any table and click on the Options section. You’ll see options to add summaries at the bottom:

Any label you add will be placed in a left column if available. You can add multiple summaries to a table.

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New Feature: User-based Global Tabs

06/06/2013 Posted by Brandon

We added an additional option to our Global Tab Menu. You can now set it so that the tabs will show based on User Roles:

This means that when a user logs in they will only see tabs for scenes that share a user role they are assigned to. They will also see tabs for any scenes that are not protected with a login.

This should allow for more flexible apps where you can design for the user without worrying about hiding or showing the right scenes.

This feature is currently in beta, so please let us know if you run into any issues.

Continue reading...