Knack Blog

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

 

Customer Success Stories

05/23/2013 Posted by Brandon

In case you haven’t noticed we launched our new web design last week!

One of our main goals with the new design was to integrate more of our passionate Knack customers. We included some testimonials on our homepage. We also have plans for featured case-studies coming soon.

We’re most excited about our customer success stories. These are short question and answers from Knack customers about what drew them to Knack and how they’re using Knack to build online databases and web apps that solve real problems.

Because Knack can be used for so many different use cases we really like showcasing actual apps our customers are building. We’ll have lots more coming soon.

We want to include you!

To be in an upcoming success story or case study please fill out our customer success form here.

We also want to showcase more tweets, so follow us on twitter and mention @knackhq in a tweet so we can include it on the site.

Continue reading...

New Feature: Scene Printing

05/10/2013 Posted by Brandon

You can now print any of your Knack scenes!

You can add a “print” link to the top of your scene that will automatically send the scene to your browser’s print preview.

We remove everything except the views so the printed version is nice and clean. We also remove links and submit buttons where it makes sense.

To activate the print link, edit a scene in your interface and click on “Scene Options” in the right column.

PDFs are next. We’re still looking for decent options for that.

Continue reading...

Featured Knack Apps: April

04/29/2013 Posted by Brandon

This is the latest entry in a series describing different online databases and web apps being built by Knack users:

  • Plant Database: a forestry network uses Knack for an online database of plants and ecological data in their network.
  • Homeless Information System: A non-profit used Knack for an online system to manage data about local homeless populations
  • Feature Request Management: a software developer uses Knack to solicit and manage feature requests for their software. Developers can convert suggstions into active development.
  • Bike Fitting: a bike shop used Knack to create a bike fit app where customers can come in for measurements and store their all their data online.
  • Realtor Network: a real estate agent used Knack to create a network for agents to list buyers and sellers and search for matches.
As always we’re thrilled to see the variety of custom web apps and online databases bult with Knack every day.

Continue reading...

Example App: Purchase Orders

04/24/2013 Posted by Brandon

We’re starting to add more compex apps to our example catalog that show off some of Knack’s advanced features.

First up is a purchase order app. Staff can log in and manage vendors and products and submit purchase orders. Reports can be run on weekly totals and vendor and item totals.

Some features the purchase order app is using:

  • Equations: Item totals are automatically calculated from the quantity and item price
  • Formulas: Totals are summed for each product and vendor.
  • Form Rules: The logged in user is assigned via a form rule as the author of the purchase order
  • Reports: Reports are run for weekly totals and vendor and item totals.
We’re planning on starting on some project management and CRM apps next.

Continue reading...

New Feature: Using Remote Images

04/22/2013 Posted by Brandon

Knack image fields now have the ability to use images hosted on other websites. You can set this option when editing an image field in your database:

This means you can now easily use images hosted on your own site, CDN or asset library with your Knack app. It also means these images can be imported by including the URL in the CSV.

We also included the ability to add thumbnail versions. It still needs to load the full image but you have the option of using different sized thumbnails of your images throughout you app.

Continue reading...

Example App: Equipment Tracker

04/11/2013 Posted by Brandon

Our latest example app is an Equipment Tracker. This is an online database of available equipment that employees can log in and view. They can then “check out” an item, which sets that item as unavaliable for anyone else to checkout.

We used “Equipment” but this app would also work well for libraries, rentals, and any resource tracking where items need to be removed from availability.

This is a good example of using form rules to add connected records. In this case, whenever an item is borrowed or returned, it adds a log of the transaction to the item’s history.

This enables Admins to view a complete checkout history of each item, tracking when it was checked out and returned:

This is type of logging could be used for a variety of scenarioes including versions, history, change logs, and more.

It’s also a good example of establishing “work flow” in Knack, where you can use a form rule to set a “status” field and then filter your views to only show records with certain status values.

In this case, we’re only showing equipment items where “status” equals “available”. Checking out an item uses a form rule to set the status to “unavailable”.

You could use form rules to set a status from new to pending to approved and have different user roles see the records for each status.

Continue reading...

Filtering and Limiting Connections

04/02/2013 Posted by Brandon

We recently added features to filter and limit the records that show in connection inputs.

Filters

You can now add filters to any connection input to filter which records will display.

For example, let’s say you have a form to add a new Rental. Each Rental is assigned to a Product, which has an “available” field. You can now add a filter to only show those Products where “available = true”.

Showing records connected to another form input

Multiple connection inputs can be added to a form so that the records of a child connection input will display depending on which parent connection record is selected.

For example, if you have connections to both companies and employees, you can edit employees so that only records connected to the currently selected company will display. When the user selects a different company the employee records will automatically update.

Limiting child records connected to the same parent

You can also limit connection records that have a parent that has been selected in the app or connected to the logged-in user.

For example, let’s say you select a Company from a table and then have a form to add a Project to that Company. Projects can also be assigned to an Employee. When selecting Employees, you’ll only want to show the Employee records that are connected to the selected Company.

You can now edit that Employee input in the form and have

Please note: these features are in beta

Please note that these features are in beta. Please contact us immediately if you notice any issues with these features.

Continue reading...

Featured Web Apps: March

03/25/2013 Posted by Brandon

This is the latest entry in a series describing different online databases and web apps being built by Knack users:

  • Materials Database: A Plastics Engineering company uses Knack for an online database of materials so users can search and download engineerings specs.
  • Price List: A Commodoties Buyer uses Knack to list precious metal prices for their customers using daily changes and equations for different measurements.
  • Recruiting Database: a College uses Knack to manage the recruiting process for football student athletes.
  • Job Placement App: a University Administrator uses Knack to manage a Job Board for students and employers.
  • Advertisement Tracker: a Media Company uses Knack to manage available advertising locations and the customers and revenue generated for each.
We’re still amazed by the variety of custom web apps and online databases we continue to see. This only gets more interesting as we continue to add great features. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

Continue reading...

Announcing the Knack API

03/06/2013 Posted by Brandon

We’re thrilled to announce the release of the Knack API!

The API was designed to provide access to your Knack online database, as well as tools and documentation for extending your Knack apps:

  • Root Data Access: a secure API is provided for full access to your raw data. You can use this for integrating your data with other services and APIs, running maintenance tasks, inserting and updating records…the opportunities are endless.
  • Scene Access: a scene API is provided for working with your app’s Scenes and Views. This is much more limited and follows any rules defined by your application, like logins and user roles. This API can be used with JavaScript to respond to app events and further extend the functionality.
  • JavaScript Events: you can add JavaScript listeners to respond to specific events triggered by your app. For example, when a view renders you may want to insert your own button or set the color of a specific element. Or when a form is submitted, you may want to insert that record into Salesforce.
  • CSS Customization: when you publish a Knack app to your own website you can use your site’s CSS to modify the visual look and design of the app.
We’re really excited to see how it’s used:
  • Front-end coders can use Knack to easily build a custom online database, set up a basic interface, and completely control and customize the app with jQuery and CSS.
  • Mobile developers can create apps where the data is stored in the Knack online database. You can create Knack apps that can enable admins to update or view the data the mobile app is using.
  • Designers can publish Knack apps directly in their client websites and completely control the look and feel to match their designs.
You can access documentation for the API here:

http://support.knack.com/knowledge_base/topics/working-with-the-api

Please try it out and let us know what amazing creations you come up with!

Continue reading...

Example App: Employee Hours

03/01/2013 Posted by Brandon

We released a new example web app: an employee hours app. It’s using a new timer field we’ve been developing.

Employees can log in from any device or computer and add their hours for the day. They can also view their past hours.

It could be extended to track any additional info you may want to record. One example is a hospital volunteer app where volunteers track both time and the number of patients visited.

Supervisors can manage employees and run reports on hourly totals as both pivot tables and line charts.

This is another great example of combining User Roles with an online database to make a really funtional app. Knack makes working with user roles really simple.

Please get in touch if you’d like to add this employee hours database app to your account.

Continue reading...