Knack Blog

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

 

Knack is Growing!

03/13/2014 Posted by Brandon

Wow, what a start to 2014! We’ve seen a huge increase in activity lately and we wanted to share a little about this growth and what it means for Knack.

In the last 3 months we’ve seen a big increase in new customers, as our total customer count has more than doubled in that period!

We’re frequently getting more new customers in a day than we did for our entire first month.

We’ve also doubled our server capacity to keep up with all the new traffic. This includes re-structuring our architecture so it’s much easier to continue to add new servers whenever speeds get anything less than super snappy.

The Knack team just got bigger

Best of all, we’ve made our first hire!

Steve Palmer has joined the team and will be helping with both customer support and diving into some bigger projects.

Steve is from the same Central Pennyslvania area as Eric and has great experience with both operations and the start-up world. When he’s not knee-deep in Knack projects Steve is blogging about wine, consulting on social media, and mentoring other entrepreneurs.

We’ll be hearing more from Steve soon as he continues to get involved in all of Knack’s projects.

We’ve already told him that Knack customers are the best, so make sure you give him a friendly welcome!

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Happy New Year!!

01/02/2014 Posted by Brandon

Wow, what a year!

2013 saw Knack grow from a tiny launch to a fully matured product powering thousands of apps.

We added some major features last year, from new views like maps and calendars, new fields like equations, and advanced features like our API, scheduled tasks, and SEO indexing.

We have big plans for 2014 as well, like single sign-ons, translations, E-Commerce and more.

But most of all, we want to continue to serve you — our Knack customers.

It’s been such an honor to help so many of you build great apps that help you run your businesses and organizations.

We’re looking forward to doing more of the same for 2014!

-Brandon & Eric & the Knack team

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New Help Desk

08/12/2013 Posted by Brandon

We’re pleased to announce the launch of our new help desk:

http://support.knack.com

Our support desk has been lagging for some time and was long overdue for an upgrade.

Why did we wait so long?

  • The Knack product was evolving so quickly that maintaining support was cumbersome. With the product now becoming quite stable we felt it was a good time to tackle support.
  • We do a lot of personal support with chat and email and knew the support experience wasn’t being compromised.
  • We were too busy adding new features!

So why now?

  • We wanted to improve the support experience for those users that weren’t interested in personal support. We take a lot of pride in our email and chat support, but realize many users still just want to review quality support materials on their own pace.
  • With our website redesign it became even more obvious that our help desk was the glaringly behind in the quality department.
  • We recently completed some major projects and had the resources to commit to it.

So what’s new?

It was a complete overhaul so there are a lot of new touches:

New Design:

The new help desk has a clean simple design that stays out of your way. All the tutorials are grouped into major sections and divided into shorter articles.

Help Widget:

The builder has a new help widget that is tied into the help desk:

You can browse all the content right from the builder. There’s also buttons for starting a chat or submitting a help request.

Support Tickets:

All requests through the widget, the website, or email now go to a centralized ticket system. This will ensure that nothing gets lost and your requests get handled in a timely and thorough manner.

New Content:

We’ve written dozens of new articles and covered every aspect of the builder. Every section has been reviewed. Each article will link to other relevant articles when referenced.

We’re excited that this new support system will help Knack be even easier to use and help us support you even better.

Please let us know how we can continue to improve the support experience.

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How To Videos

07/09/2013 Posted by Brandon

We’ve released two new videos in a series where we are walking through how we built some of our example apps. First up: our Member Directory and Purchase Order apps.

Purchase Orders

view app

Member Directory

view app

Let us know which apps you want to see videos for next.

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Support Videos

05/28/2013 Posted by Brandon

Now that we’ve completed our new web design, we’re going to be spending more time on support videos.

For each of our example apps we’ll be adding a video on how we built it. We’ll also be completing our video tour of building an app from start to finish.

First up, a new video for our video tour on connections:

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What is Knack?

07/02/2012 Posted by Brandon

Knack is a web application platform that makes it easy for anyone to build widely distributed, highly customized, data-driven web applications.

Ok, that was way too technical, so let’s break down exactly what we mean by that.

Making it easy

Web applications and online databases can be hugely complicated. There’s a reason that most web apps are built by computer geeks (wait, that’s us!) with computer science degrees. You need to design the database, code the interface, host the data, and make sure this all works together. It’s not simple.

Making this easy is our primary vision. We are distilling this process into digestible steps, wrapping it all in natural language and a simple interface that anyone can understand.

Along with simplifying this, we want you to enjoy using Knack. We will not require you to learn a programming language and we will not allow you to get frustrated with a 10 step process.

Widely distributed

Today’s web apps need to do a lot of heavy lifting, both in how they are delivered and who they are intended for:

  • Delivery: Apps need to work on multiple devices and have the flexibility to adapt to the advantages of each.
  • Users: different users can access applications in different ways. Apps need to be able to respond to different intentions of each user group.
Knack enables you to distribute your web application across multiple platforms and use cases:

  • You can publish different versions of your app to different websites. One version can be designed for web, and another simplified version for mobile.
  • You can design different versions for different users. For example, an admin version for managing data on your intranet, while a mobile version might be for employees to quickly update project data.
  • You can even set up user roles so each user must login and only has permission to see their own data.

Highly Customized

Today’s internet is offering more and more solutions for virtually every niche possible. And yet you will still struggle to find that perfect match for your exact requirements.

When you can build your own app you can match it to your exact specifications rather than trying to fit into someone else’s solution.

Knack was designed from the beginning to be highly customized:

  • Data Flexibility: You can define your data from scratch to perfectly match your exact needs.
  • Design Flexibility: Your apps can be embedded directly on your websites and blogs and adapt perfectly to the surrounding design. Designers can easily update each app with custom themes and styles.
  • Customization: Developers can completely customize the application using an open API and JavaScript events.

Data Driven

Today’s web apps are largely driven by data. You need to be able to easily add data, manipulate it, share it, and understand it. It needs to play well with social media and other apps and APIs.

Data is front and center when building Knack apps. We make it simple for anyone to create online databases and build web applications based on that data.

And that’s just the start. We have an amazing road map in place to capiltalize on the future web where data is all-pervasive. Sign up to get started building your own web apps today.

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