Knack Blog

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

 

New Feature: Batch Updating

12/03/2012 Posted by Brandon

We recenctly released a new feature that will

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Current Web Apps: November

11/12/2012 Posted by Brandon

This is the latest entry in a series describing different web apps and online databases that Knack users are building:

  • ERP: A parts supplier uses Knack to manage orders, quotes, products, and shipments in an easy online database.
  • Inventory Management: A rental company uses Knack to manage invoices, work orders, and contracts for renting storage units and trailers.
  • Job Manager: A satellite installer uses Knack to manage multi-page job applications and rate and note applicants.
  • Member Database: a church is using Knack to track all their members, small groups, attendance, and more with multiple logins and access:
We’re really excited about each of these great web apps and online databases. We can’t wait to see what you will build with Knack next!

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New Feature: Global Tab Menu

11/08/2012 Posted by Brandon

Our latest feature for Knack is a global tab menu. This is a great way to structure a complicated app and give your users an easy way to navigate.

A global tab menu is a big menu that will appear at the top of your app. The menu will contain a link to each one of your entry scenes and it will stay visible regardless of which scene is being viewed.

View our help tutorial on adding one to your app.

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Feature Highlight: Users

10/29/2012 Posted by Brandon

We recently completed a mammoth tutorial documenting our Knack user features. When were done we realized that we had to blog about how fantastic they are!

Adding users to your app is what can turn it from a simple online database to a dynamic web application.

The following are examples of how some of our customers are incorporating users into their web apps:

  • Sharing data with clients so they can log in and only see their specific data. You can set up whether they can only read the data or if they can update it as well.
  • Assigning data to employees so they can log in to access information for jobs, deliveries, installations, and more.
  • Creating member directories where each member can login to view every member’s data and update their own data.
  • Assigning roles for different users of the app. For example, everyone can read data, but only admin roles can log in to update the data.
The following are some of the core features:

  • Registration: you can add users manually or they can register themselves right from the app. When they register they can get immediate access or wait for your approval.
  • Logins: you can protect the entire app with a login or only specific scenes. For example, you can publish an unprotected scene to your website to view your app, and then use a protected scene to update it.
  • User Roles: You can create multiple user roles that have different access. So you could create an “Admin” role and protect a scene so that only Admin users can view it.
  • User Data: You can connect users to other object records so when they log in they can only see their own data, and not any data connected to other users.
We think these features allow Knack users to build a wide variety of powerful online database and web apps. Please contact us if you’d like us to help set up a user-driven app for you.

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Example App: Catalog

10/19/2012 Posted by Brandon

Today we released a new example web app: a customizable catalog app that can be embeded right to your site.

A catalog is a great example of how you can have different apps and publish them for different audiences of your online database.

For example, you could have the following apps for the same product database:

  • An admin app where staff can update all the product data.
  • A sales app for your salesforce that could include sales materials and PDFs to download and leave for customers.
  • A catalog app you can publish to your consumer site for customers to view and purchase.

Knack makes it easy to create separate web apps and publish them to different websites like this.

The example catalog app includes features like:

  • Grouping products into categories for easy browsing.
  • Adding payment solutions like PayPal.
  • Including custom options for each product that might be unique to your company.

Check out our customizable catalog app and let us know what you think.

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New Feature: Calendars

10/15/2012 Posted by Brandon

We’re pleased to release a major new feature for Knack- a calendar view!

A calendar was one of our most requested features. It can enable great online database and web apps like online scheduling.

Now you can easily display any date-driven data in a calendar, just like you could in a table or search:

The calendar follows a look and feel very similar to a Google Calendar, so it will be very familiar and easy to use:

The calendar comes loaded with some great features right out of the box:

  • Easily navigate between dates and month/week/day views
  • Allow users to add events by clicking on the calendar
  • Allow users to edit events by dragging to new times
  • Click on events to view and edit details.
We’ll also be continually improving the calendar with some great features coming soon:

  • All day events
  • Repeating events
  • Scheduling by available slots
  • RSS and Google Calendar export
Let us know if you use the calendar in your own online database or web app. We want to see it in action!

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Using Knack for Government Web Apps

10/05/2012 Posted by Brandon

Today we released a new example app: an online database displaying government funding.

We think this is a great example of how local, city, and state governemnts can use Knack to make more government data accessible to their constituents.

Knack has a few key features that work particularly well for e-governemnt apps:

  • Knack apps can be embedded directly on government websites and look completely integrated.
  • Knack apps can handle millions of records and still be extremely fast. Databases of this size are difficult to keep speedy in traditional non-cloud IT systems.
  • Knack apps are simple to build for non-IT staff. This way IT staff can spend their resources on more critical
  • Knack apps are extremely cost efficient and can unlock data for constituents that might otherwise not be available.
If you’re considering adding online database apps for your government, please contact us and let us know how we can help.

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Feature Roadmap: Equations, Calendars, and Triggers

09/27/2012 Posted by Brandon

We’re always super excited about the new functionality we’re working on to make Knack even better. We’d thought we’d share a few of the features you’ll be seeing soon:

  • Custom Equations: we’ll be adding a new field type called Equations. You’ll be able to create custom equations using other field values and simple math. This way you can easily create fields to track totals, averages, sales commissions, etc. And it’s all in an easy point-and-click editor.
  • Calendar View: we’ll be adding a new view for displaying events and date records. This will operate very much like a Google calendar. Users will be able to shift between month, week, and day views. You can even set options for users to add events to the calendar, so scheduling and event apps will be simple to build.
  • Form Triggers: we’re taking our time with this one because we want to get it right. The idea is that after a form is submitted, you may need that submission to trigger an action. It might send an email, update another record, or simply post the form data to an API.

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Current Web Apps: August

08/21/2012 Posted by Brandon

This is the latest entry in a series describing different web apps that our current clients are building with Knack:

  • Records Search: a tax advisor from India is using Knack to enable users to search for critical bank and tax codes in an online database with over 80,0000 records.
  • Volunteer Management: a hospice agency is using Knack for a volunteer database app. They track the locations and hours for each volunteer and run reports on total hours and estimated value.
  • Inventory Managment: a restaurant and club is using Knack to manage their food inventory. They track inventory levels for each product and generate reports for products that need to be re-ordered.
  • Book Search: a synagogue uses Knack so members can use a tablet to search all the books in their library.
As always we’re astounded by the variety of these great apps!

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New Feature: Inline Editing

08/14/2012 Posted by Brandon

We are thrilled to announce a major new feature we’re really excited about: inline editing for tables.

What’s inline editing?

Inline editing enables any table to work more like a spreadsheet where you can click on a cell and edit the value of that cell. This all happens without having to load any scenes or refresh:


Clicking on a cell immediately brings up a form to edit it.

Why use inline editing?

Inline editing is a perfect match for certain web applications. Think of any inventory app where someone is updating inventory with a tablet. You’ll have to continually be clicking on a product record, having it load an edit form, updating the inventory, hitting submit, clicking back to select another record…. that’s a lot of steps.

With inline editing you can directly edit a cell with just a few clicks and with no reloading. This can really add up for certain applications.

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