Knack Blog

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

 

Updates to Date Filters

09/12/2014 Posted by Brandon

We’ve added a new date filter for “current” date increments:

We’ve also updated our during the next and during the previous filters. These are now exclusive of the current increment.

So a filter for “during the previous 2 weeks” would not include the current week.

“during the previous 2 weeks” was originally labled as “during the last 2 weeks” which was causing some confusion.

If you were using these filters for rolling increments use days instead. For example, the next rolling year could be the next 365 days.

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Make Copies of your Apps

09/11/2014 Posted by Brandon

You can now make copies of your apps directly from your dashboard!

One of our most common requests is to copy apps that have been built, for a variety of reasons:

  • Test out new features without affecting a live app.
  • Create a copy for another user.
  • Copy a “template” app as a starting point to modify for new apps.
This is now possible from your dashboard:

https://builder.knack.com

Just click on the “gears” settings icon by any app:

Eventually we’ll be adding further settings functionality.

For now that triggers a Copy App window where you can set the new app name, and determine whether you want to copy the app and records, or just the app only:

Your copied app will be immediately available in your list of apps.

Please note:

  • Copied apps still count towards your plan’s app limit.
  • Large numbers of records or assets could take a while to copy. You can use the app while that is completing.

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Single Sign-On Refresh

09/02/2014 Posted by Brandon

We’ve recently refreshed the Single Sign-on (SSO) options for Knack logins.

SSO options allow your users to authenticate their login with other services like Facebook and Google:

Google Plus

Due to changes from Google, we’ve recently had to migrate to the new Google Plus model. You’ll have to now set up a Google Plus app and update the credentials in your login views to reflect that:

Note: as long as the user emails have not been changed the same Google Plus account should connect to any user accounts that were created using the previous Google login.

Twitter

We’ve also added Twitter as an additional SSO option.

The big caveat with Twitter is that the email is not provided for the authenticated user. This means it can’t be used to connect to existing accounts and that the email must be added as an additional registration step.

HelpPlease click here for more info on setting up SSO options:

http://support.knack.com/knowledge_base/topics/logins-and-registrations#sso

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Knack Design Refresh

08/04/2014 Posted by Eric

Wow how time does fly. 4 years ago we started developing Knack with a small handful of eager customers so they could start building their own online databases and web apps.

Since that time we've added a ton of new features, redesigned our website, tried countless experiments, and even changed our name.

The one thing that has not received much attention was the design of the Knack builder. It's always taken the back seat to other priorties. It's even using our old color scheme of blue and orange!

That all changed this year as we've been working on a design refresh. The timing was right because of how much we've learned from you – our customers! You've shown us what needed to be better and we wanted to implement those improvements.

We're currently planning on making this new builder design live in the near future. We want to walk through some of the changes and improvements that you can expect to see:

Improved Design

  • An open and larger design, with more room to work.
  • More of that great Knack fuschia color!
  • Less clutter – app settings have been moved a small icon in the far upper left.
More Intuitive
  • Adding scenes now has a wizard to greatly simplify the process. This is a big one and combines many steps that had to be done separately before.
  • “Scenes” are now called “Pages” because pages just made more sense.
  • User Logins can be added straight from the database or interface if needed.
Easier To Use
  • Available options are more obvious and eaiser to access.
  • Editing views will use the full browser instead of just a small window.
  • Fields can be added with drag and drop.
New Features

  • Storage limits can be viewed and managed in your dashboard app list.
  • Search views can show results by default.
  • Lists can optionally hide empty fields from displaying.
Screenshots for the new design after the break:

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New Example App: Custom CRM

07/01/2014 Posted by Brandon

We are excited to share our latest addition to the Knack example app library, a Custom CRM app:

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

Customer Relationship Management has become a staple in sales driven business environments, providing sales reps and managers an all-in-one tool to manage a sales pipeline.

This app provides several key utilities that CRM users have come to expect for tracking customers within the pipeline:

  • Lead Management – Contact info, LinkedIn profiles and ratings
  • Proposal/Bid Management – Budgets, deliverables and deadlines
  • Won Customers – Book revenue, track success and archive for future contact
  • Notes and Tasks – add relevant notes and meetings/tasks to each contact
  • Calendar – share all follow-up meetings, presentations and conferences with the team

Managing the Sales Pipeline

The key to the CRM app is categorizing each customer by their stage in the sales pipeline:

CRM Tasks

This enables sales reps to easily track each customer as they go through the pipeline from lead to proposal to customer. Each stage of the pipeline has the information and actions tailored to that stage so reps know exactly what tasks and updates each customer needs.

Sales Managers gain additional management tools with a pipeline dashboard and the ability to assign tasks to Sales Reps.

Why Now?

We initially thought that the glut of existing CRM options meant we should focus on other apps. But we’ve consistently seen great CRM apps built with Knack and it’s obvious there’s still demand for a simple, focused, custom CRM solution.

The timing also works with many recent Knack features that are perfect for a CRM:

  • Robust calendars for managing tasks and meetings
  • Scheduled tasks for sending reminders
  • Form rules for automatically updating customers
The recent integration with Zapier is also perfect. Not only will you be able to collect leads via a Knack form on your website, you can integrate your app with several services, like sending new leads to an email list in MailChimp or adding new customers to Freshbooks or Xero.

Want your own custom CRM app? Get in touch and we’ll help set one up tailored to your exact business needs!

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Knack Zaps: Webmerge

06/08/2014 Posted by Brandon

knack-webmerge

In our last post we talked about the Zapier Email Parser and the utility it extends to your Knack apps. Another Zapier integration that works really well with Knack is the Webmerge Zap. Webmerge is a web service that allows you to convert your records into a PDF or Office Doc in minutes.

The Webmerge Zap

When you connect Webmerge to Knack, you can send records to Webmerge to create custom PDF’s and Docs for things like:

  • Invoices
  • Receipts
  • Order Confirmations
  • Reports
  • Real Estate Listings

Webmerge works similiarly to the Zapier Email Parser in that you can map fields from your Knack database plus any additional text or content you choose to include to Webmerge creating your own custom PDF’s or Docs.

This has been the most frequently requested integration by our customers for quite some time. Now you can begin using this service immediately by clicking the ‘learn more’ link below.


Pro Tip: Be sure to share the Zaps you use from the Zapier Dashboard. For every person that you share a Zap with that signs up, both of you will earn 100 extra tasks per month.

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Zapier Email Parser

06/01/2014 Posted by Brandon

We recently announced integration with Zapier.com which allows you to connect your Knack app with hundreds of other services. We’ll be highlighting a few key services and how you can use them with your Knack online database.

One of the more powerful services available is the Zapier Email Parser.

So what’s an email parser? Good question – it allows you to identify fields and content from an email and map them to match fields in your Knack app.

In other words, you can convert any email into a new record in Knack.

Why is this useful?

Email parsing opens up a variety of great options to extend your Knack apps:

  • Add records from contact and lead forms by parsing the form submission emails.
  • Track expenses by parsing invoice and receipt emails.
  • Allow users to submit records to your database by sending an email. Great for simple records like tips, comments, suggestions, or even calendar events.
  • Add records with emails from your phone when you’re on the road or have limited internet access. Great for tracking receipts, mileage, or expenses.
  • Parse social media emails to record testimonials, comments, or quotes.

Let’s take a closer look

If you are like me you often receive random emails that should be captured as a warm lead. The email parser makes it easy to pull the information you value from the email and create a structured record in Knack.

With the email parser you can extract data like the contact name, date, company they work for, email address, phone number and even some body content within the email.

To send this data to your Knack CRM app, you simply forward the email, unchanged, to your parser email address. Zapier matches the parsed fields and inserts a new contact record into your app.

How do you setup the email parser?

Start by creating a new “Zap” in zapier using Zapier Email Parser as the Trigger and Knack as the Action. Once you choose your trigger and action, you will need to setup the parser. Zapier prompts you by directing you to a link:

zapier-parser-trigger

This actually creates an email address you can use to auto-forward email or set as the address for your website form submissions.

You then highlight sections of the sample email you send to zapier and assign those sections to the fields of your choice. Here is a test email I used from our account signup form:

zapier-parser-fields

Where you see firstname, an actual name existed just prior to highlighting. Then it parsed this into a field name that you can now match to your fields in your Knack app.

You can see more “Zaps” like these here.

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Connect your Knack database to hundreds of other services with Zapier

05/20/2014 Posted by Brandon

We’re pleased to announce that Knack is now integrated with Zapier – a website that makes it easy to connect different internet apps and services together to share data from service to service!

Zapier opens up powerful possibilities to extend and enhance your Knack app with other services like Gmail, WebMerge, MailChimp, Twilio, and many more.

Here are a few examples of how you can integrate Knack with other services on Zapier:

The beauty of Zapier is that since Knack is now available in their app library, you can connect Knack to ANY other service they have available. The possibilities are truly endless!

The following is our page on Zapier that describes in more detail how it works:

https://zapier.com/help/knack/

We’ll be outlining a few of our favorite services and “Zaps” in future blog posts. Keep us posted on any you’ve created so we can share them here!

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New Example App: Inventory Manager

04/11/2014 Posted by Brandon

We’ve released a new example app for managing inventory:

https://www.knack.com/inventory-manager/

This app really shows off Knack’s equation and formula fields, as well as a conditional field.

Here’s how it works:

  • Both incoming purchases and outgoing orders are added to the database. Formula fields are used to sum the totals of all purchases and orders for each product.
  • An equation is used to subtract orders and add purchases from a “starting inventory” to calculate the “current inventory”.
  • A conditional field compares the current inventory with a “minimum required’ number. If the current inventory dips below that minimum required, “needs reorder” is set to “Yes”.
Knack users can add this new app directly from the dashboard.

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The Knack Cookbook

03/26/2014 Posted by Brandon

One of the main strengths of Knack is the flexibility. Rather than force you into doing things a certain way, we like to provide different tools you can use to create the app you want.

The downside is that it may not be obvious at first just how all these different tools can best be used.

In order to help we’ve created a Knack Cookbook, which contains different recipes of using Knack functionality to implement specific features.

Each recipe will explain the scenario and then offer step-by-step guides on how to implement that feature into your online database app.

We’re starting small but hope to continually add new recipes as we go. Here are our first recipes:

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