Knack Blog

Building online quizzes with Knack

02/27/15  Posted by Brandon 

With our recent form upgrades it's now possible to create multi-step processes using forms and other views.

With each form you can redirect to a child page that works with the same record. You can continue to create a path to work with the same record using as many forms or other views as you need.

This is perfect for quiz apps where you can ask a single question on one form and then redirect to a child page to show whether the answer was correct or not.

A menu can then link to question 2. You can cycle like this through all of your questions until you eventually hit a "results" page to show a final score.

We built an example quiz to show you how it can work.

We also added a walk-through with some animated GIFs of how we built it:

Knack now makes it easy to build simple quizzes like this. Throw in all the extra features Knack provides and you can start to build some very complex multi-step processes.

Introducing the new Knack Help Desk

11/11/14  Posted by Brandon 

We recently decided to migrate our help desk to a new provider and it's now ready to use! You can see it at:

Some of the advantages of the new help desk include:

  • Better organization: we can group article groups into sections.
  • Ticket management: if you create an account you'll be able to view and manage your pending tickets.
  • Chat integration: we can now convert chats to tickets and more easily track those.

The only downside with the new help desk is that you'll have to create a separate login in order to submit tickets (we're looking at automatically integrating with your Knack login).

Now that the new help desk is in place we'll be working on lots of more articles, cookbook recipes, code examples and how-to's!

Knack User Forum

The biggest addition to the help desk is a new user forum! The forum is located here:

We're dividing the user forum into 4 main groups (trying to keep it simple):

  • Feature Requests: replacing more the "proposed" list here. We'll then move ideas from the forum to this Trello board that we're "considering" before "in development".
  • How do I...?: if you aren't sure how to do something or if something is possible or not, ask here. Odds are, someone else in the community has already tried or implemented it.
  • Tips & Tricks: discuss design patterns, best practices, and other creative solutions that may not be obvious in the documentation. We're really excited for this one!
  • API & Customization: post code examples, ask questions, and discuss strategies for using the API and customizing your apps.
We feel the time is right is to open up more communication between our users and we hope this becomes a tremendous resource for everyone.

We'd love to see your participation and feedback!

Single Sign-On Refresh

09/02/14  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.

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.

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

New Help Desk

08/12/13  Posted by Brandon 

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

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.

How To Videos

07/09/13  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.

Support Videos

05/28/13  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:

Create Custom Mobile Workforce Apps

02/05/13  Posted by Brandon 

We recently added a new example app called job tasks.

It's a fairly simple app, but it presents a framework for easily building distributed and mobile workforce apps with Knack.

The idea is you have a workforce that is either distributed across multiple regions or just doing most of their work on mobile devices away from the office.

Companies that do work activites off site often are using incredibly cumbersome paper systems to transfer information from the job to the company. We're seeing the following as just a few examples for migrating to mobile apps:

  • installations
  • repairs
  • appraisals
  • inspections
  • contract estimates

Knack makes building online database apps for your mobile workforce really easy.

You set two user roles: "Supervisors" and "Employees" (or similar). When a Supervisor adds a new job or task, he connects that record to one or more Employees.

The Employees can then log in from any mobile device to view and update their assigned tasks. So right from the field they can enter their inspection data, or view installation instructions, or set a task as completed.

The key is Knack's great User Authentication features. We'll soon be releasing a video tutorial on setting up a mobile workforce app from scratch.

In the meantime please let us know if you're working on a mobile workforce app or need help with setting up your online database.

New Features: Form Actions & Display Rules

02/03/13  Posted by Brandon 

It's a feature extravanganza! We've released so much new functionality we need multiple sections to cover it:

Form Submit Rules

You can now set rules that trigger actions when a form is submitted. Here's what it looks like to set a custom email:

Each form can have multiple submit rules, and each rule consists of criteria and an action.

The criteria allows you to define when the action is triggered. For example, you may only want to send an email when a status field is updated to "pending confirmation". The default is to trigger the action for every form submission.

Each rule can perform one of the following actions:

  • Send an email: Send custom email reciepts, notices, and other email templates. You can use inputs from the form to populate the template.
  • Update the form record: useful for setting status or workflow fields on submissions. You can also assign logged-in users so you can track who submitted comment, rating, or ranking forms.
  • Insert a connected record: add a new record connected to the form record. Your form object must be connected to other objects for this option to be available. Great for adding history, version, and archived records based on the submission.

Field Rules

Field rules are triggered when a form is initially populated or updated by the user. These are useful if a certain input response should hide or show additional inputs

The classic example is a multiple choice input where one of the options is "other". If they user selects other you can show an additional "comments" input to explain.

Based on a criteria you can trigger multiple actions:

  • Show or hide an input: as discussed this will show or hide inputs based on the rule criteria.
  • Rename label: This can change labels of other inputs. For example, if you had a multiple choice for "language", you could change the labels of the other inputs based on that language selection.

Details Field Rules
Similar to Forms, you can hide and show fields based on criteria in a Details view as well.


Please note that these are both in Beta. This means that you may encounter some bugs or unexpected behavior while using them. Please contact us immediately if you do.

Help: Video Tours

12/04/12  Posted by Brandon 

We just added the first of what will be a series of video tours walking through the entire process of building an online database app with Knack.

You can view them all on our support page.

This is our first video introducing Knack.