Knack Blog

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

 

Send Webmerge Documents Back to Knack

12/06/2017 Posted by Danielle

We are really excited to share a new integration built by our old friends at Webmerge!

While we have previously offered a few options for integration using Zapier or custom code, we are excited to share the new update from Webmerge: Knack Delivery

Knack Delivery is a feature that allows you to automatically deliver generated Webmerge files to your Knack app.

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E-Commerce Updates!

11/28/2017 Posted by Carson

We’re very excited to announce some upgrades to our e-commerce functionality! Accepting payments with your Knack app just got even easier.

Saving Payment Methods

In the past, payments were submitted exclusively via checkout forms where users had to manually enter their payment information each time. Now your app can save a user’s payment method, so future payments are quicker and simpler.

Securely storing payment information in Knack means that users can log in to submit payments at any time, or you can charge their payment method as you complete services:

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E-commerce is a great way to set your app up to make donations, purchase tickets, or place orders. Now that user’s payment methods can be saved for future use, activities like online bill pay, submitting invoices, and call-in payment services are easier than ever.

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April Updates

05/25/2017 Posted by Carson

Okay, so we know this is an April update going out in mid-May. Our only explanation is that for most of us the weather has finally turned nice so we’ve been distracted by the lovely outdoors! So if it’s nice outside, take a moment in the sun to catch up on what’s been happening at Knack.

Recent Upgrades

This month brought helpful improvements to how you navigate your way through the Knack builder. Using the builder should be as simple as possible, and we think these changes will help.

The improvements include changes to easier access to the dashboard from your apps, a new app settings menu and an updated help menu to better enable you to find the assistance you need:

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Read the full write-up or watch a video overview of the new changes on our blog.

Product Updates

We’re constantly working on updates and improvements. Here’s what’s recently happened.

Builder Upgrades

  • When importing, any new fields that are being created are now highlighted with a green background so they are easier to track.
  • We added links to embed and view start pages directly from the dropdown menu in the pages menu.
  • We added “view live app” text to the eyeball icon to make it more obvious.

Mobile Upgrades

For Apple devices you can now use the “add to home screen” feature and it will retain some native app behavior. We’ll be adding similar functionality for Android devices.

Check out our weekly product updates here: https://support.knack.com/hc/en-us/community/topics/200819147-Knack-Announcements

Roadmap

Follow the latest on what’s coming next with the Knack product here: roadmap.knack.com

New to the Roadmap

Security Features – Active

Adding a series of security features, starting with better password validation and enforcement.

Import Updates – Active

General improvements on importing data into your database.

PDF Integrations – Planning

Add new actions to map fields to PDF templates and then email or store those created files.

Customer Story: Shalley & Murray

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Sometimes the simplest app can be the most effective. For Don Murray and James Shalley, criminal defense attorneys in New York City, this meant replacing “spreadsheet madness” with a call tracker app that grew to completely streamline their operations.

Read the full case study here.

Want to share your story? We’re always looking for Knack customers who have an amazing story to share. Click here to get started.

In Case You Missed It

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Commuting is a little different with a remote team, so we took a look at how our team does it. For most of us, we can measure the distance in feet. The shortest measured in at 3.5 steps.

Hint: our biggest delay was for coffee.

View the full post and infographic here: https://www.knack.com/blog/team-knacks-commute-by-the-numbers

Thank You!

We wanted to thank everyone that has tweeted about Knack, referred Knack to a friend, or taken the time to provide a testimonial or share your story.

We rely on our awesome customers to continue to grow and build the platform, so thank you for helping us do that!

Cheers and happy building!

-Team Knack

Introducing User Pages

05/17/2017 Posted by Odalis

We’re happy to announce our new user pages. These pages are designed to help your users complete admin tasks, like updating their account information.

User pages will show up in their own user menu in the top-left corner of your live app:

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You can create and access user pages from their own section of the Pages tab in the builder:

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Like standard pages, you can make user pages accessible to all users or only certain user roles.

So you can have an Account Update page for Customers to update their personal details and view their recent orders. While Vendors can have an Account Update page to update their contact information and product offerings.

A full summary of user pages can be found here, and you can watch a video overview below:

Improving the Builder Navigation

04/06/2017 Posted by Carson

We’re happy to announce some small but helpful improvements to how you navigate your way through the Knack builder. Using the builder should be as simple as possible, and we think these changes will help.

A new Knack button in the top left will now take you to your account dashboard from anywhere in the builder:

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 11.23.27 AM

The settings menu has been reorganized and is now found next to your app’s name:

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 11.24.01 AM

And the updated help menu in the top right corner has more support and help-related links, to better enable you to find the assistance you need:

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 11.24.58 AM

It’s also easier than ever to open a chat — just click the message button in the bottom right corner to connect with a Knack success member!

And last but not least, we updated some field icons. We switched our link field to use the old connection icon, and added a fancy new icon for connections:

connection icon

We’re dedicated to making your app building experience as smooth as possible, and will continue to make regular improvements, big and small, to that end.

A full summary of the Knack dashboard and builder can be found here, and you can watch a video overview of the new changes below:

March Updates

04/05/2017 Posted by Carson

Sharing is Caring One of our big goals for 2017 is to double-down on our customer communication. We want to share more about how we work, what we’re working on, and what’s coming soon. This means more tweets, more product updates, more insight into our roadmap, and more blog posts. New Features This month’s major Read More

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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.

Developer Docs Upgrade

01/24/2017 Posted by Brandon

One of our major goals for 2017 is to make Knack even more friendly for developers and designers.

We designed Knack from the beginning to be easy to customize and control. JavaScript, CSS, and our API can be used to do some amazing things to extend the features and design of an application.

We’ve also learned a ton along the way about how developers and designers are working with Knack, including where the struggles are and what can be improved.

We’ve taken that learning to begin a major wave of improvements, starting with our new and improved developer documentation! These dev docs are now live at http://docs.knack.com.

These docs are a massive improvement over our old articles:

  • Better navigation: we’ve separated these docs from the rest of our knowledge base to build a site optimized for navigating, searching, and viewing documentation.
  • Improved organization: documentation is now organized around the major areas of focus: API, JavaScript, and CSS. Sub-navigation makes it easy to find what you need.
  • Consistent formatting: each API request is clearly defined and labeled, with supporting examples and code when applicable.
  • More code examples: we’ve grouped all code examples together and are continuing to add to our library.

This is just the start. We have big plans for continuing to improve our documentation and add additional features and functions for developers:

  • We’ll be adding more utility functions for manipulating the Knack user interface and the application data, with better documentation and examples.
  • With our pending theme upgrades our CSS styles will be greatly simplified and much easier to manipulate. Modifier classes will be available to add standard UI and layout changes.
  • We’ll be incorporating more triggers and events to respond to.

Let us know what other improvements we can make!

Are you a developer or designer interested in getting paid to help build and customize apps for Knack customers? Sign up to be a certified Knack builder. Once approved you’ll be able to view and respond to project submissions.

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: