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Community Tip Jar: Keeping your App Fit

  • 1.  Community Tip Jar: Keeping your App Fit

    Posted 01-21-2020 14:18
    Edited by Evan Martinez 01-21-2020 14:18
    January is here and it has everyone thinking about New Years resolutions to eat healthy, get fit, go on more adventures, and shake up their every day habits. For January we here at Quick Base are wondering what tips and tricks do you use to help keep your Apps fit? How do you make sure your apps aren't eating up too much bad data, are staying well organized, and aren't just staying the same while your business is changing?

    As a Community there are so many awesome ideas floating around and great techniques that builders come up with to help them be even more efficient and it is great to see what everyone has to share. Take a quick minute and share a tip below from your experience building an app. Now if you are eager to share your expertise this is where you can stop reading if you like and jump right into the reply box to share your own tips, scroll down to the other replies to see others tips, or keep reading to see my tip below.

    My Tip for Keeping Your App Fit

    I'll start off with a few tips I use pretty regularly in my own apps (and used quite a bit back in my Care days) to help keep my apps organized. Sometimes the first thing you need to do to get your App fit is to put it on the scale and see how it weighs in so you can figure out where you want to focus. 

    App Management Tools

    Using the built in App Management tools for your applications you can find out important details about your app including when tables were created, how many records they have, what your app structure looks like, and even see an overview of all of your notifications and file attachments. These tools can be great when you are trying to get more familiar with your app or when it comes time to start building your app out and trimming out tables and relationships you are no longer using. 

    Finding your App Management tools is pretty easy, from your Home page for your app you can clicking on the app settings and then in the far left column under 'Advanced Features' you can find App Management. From there you can get all kinds of information on your App Statistics and Manage Your App Content. If you haven't spent time getting familiar with these tools now is a great time to explore the info that you have access to!

    Relationship Diagram

    For my tip I am going to focus on the Relationship Diagram option under your App Management Tool. The Relationship Diagram is a drag and drop diagram that shows you the tables on your application and how they all relate. When you first open it if you have a big app it can be a little intimidating as all the tables and the lines between them appear but with drag and drop you get pull your tables around to get them in an order that makes sense and then save the layout for the future. Now you have a birds eye view of your tables and their relationships that you can come back to and reference whenever you need to plan for changes. 

    You can also use the options in the right to remove all the relationship lines or reference fields while you are organizing your tables. For a lot of you experienced builders you might be thinking you already make use of this and with a really big app this can all get a little cluttered to use. One handy tip is if you click on a specific table you can get some details about how many fields are in the table (including how many are lookup, summary, and formulas), the number of records, table size, and more. You can also turn off the relationships for that specific table. This can help you when you want to focus in on a specific set of relationships by turning off the extra relationships cluttering up your view helping you to focus. Clearing up the extra info can help give you a new perspective as you plan for keeping your App in shape. 

    Happy New Year and good luck builders! I'm looking forward to seeing your awesome tips. 

    Evan Martinez
    Community Marketing Manager
    Quick Base

  • 2.  RE: Community Tip Jar: Keeping your App Fit

    Posted 01-22-2020 10:34
    I use the Relationship Diagram to keep the tables and relationships organized. Since I didn't build most of the apps I help manage now, this is a huge help to understand the madness :)

    Something new the team is doing this year, is collaborating with the users to simplify our processes and how QB is used in the workflow. I look forward to making QB even better for our team!

    Jenni Murray

  • 3.  RE: Community Tip Jar: Keeping your App Fit

    Posted 01-22-2020 11:00
    I like to keep the Reports & Charts area neat and tidy, by deleting reports that aren't being used. If you click the gear on a table and go to Reports & Charts, you can look at the Last Used date and the Used Count to see when each report was last used, and how many times it's been used.

    If you're not sure whether reports that haven't been used much are still important, you can always send a note to the users of the app to check with them first.

    Brian Cafferelli

  • 4.  RE: Community Tip Jar: Keeping your App Fit

    Posted 01-22-2020 11:44
    My opinion on reports and charts is that any reports that the users need should be buttons on their dashboard.  Ensure that those reports are vetted and not put on the dashboard until they are deemed vetted and useful.  That's been my only practical solution to organizing and vetting useful reports.

    Mark Shnier (YQC)
    Quick Base Solution Provider
    Your Quick Base Coach

  • 5.  RE: Community Tip Jar: Keeping your App Fit

    Posted 01-22-2020 16:55
    I like to have bimonthly meets with the user of the apps, that way i can sit and discuss any thing needed or stuff thats not needed and can be removed.

    Kenny Holsey

  • 6.  RE: Community Tip Jar: Keeping your App Fit

    Posted 01-27-2020 15:29
    I usually do two things when cleaning up my apps with are both in the App Management Tools.  First, I go into "Manage Reports" and make sure that all the reports are still relevant and then I go into the "Manage File Attachments" and delete files that are no longer needed.

    Stephen Arnold

  • 7.  RE: Community Tip Jar: Keeping your App Fit

    Posted 01-27-2020 22:19
    Some things we do to keep apps fit:
     - Overall we sort through all the apps by date and contact the owners of ones that haven't been touched in a long time to see if they are still being used.
     - Within apps, I remove any 'red' users who have been deactivated but never removed from the app
     - We created "QA" reports that we run every so often that look for red flags of items that haven't been kept up to date, cleaned out, or appear to be erroneous in some way. 
     - Next on my To Do is to set a character limit to some of our "brief update notes" fields that are anything but! We've threatened to do this for years but haven't pulled the trigger. It's time.

    Debra Cote

  • 8.  RE: Community Tip Jar: Keeping your App Fit

    Posted 01-28-2020 10:35
    We are starting to utilize two key new items to help. In our footer of every page we have a linked form to log issues, enhancements, changes, ect... We also have a code page that is ran that collects our realm schema data, Tables, Fields, Reports, User and puts it into a quickbase application so we can monitor changes and activity. I forsee putting notification inplace to track for inactivity once we have defined that criteria.

    Derek Hutchinson
    Business Process Manager
    PSG Dover
    Grand Rapids, MI

  • 9.  RE: Community Tip Jar: Keeping your App Fit

    Posted 01-28-2020 11:03
    One thing I try to do is carefully go through tables and get rid of any fields that were created during development/enhancements/maintenance that were never used in production.  I also try to add comments to the fields if they are not there already.

    Patricia Reinhardt

  • 10.  RE: Community Tip Jar: Keeping your App Fit

    Posted 01-28-2020 16:08
    I like to keep a user request backlog and have the users assign priority. Then we review the list on a monthly/bi-monthly basis. In this way I also get to hear about what is working or not working.

    I developed a "filename generator" for little used files (archive; e.g. invoices) that are associated to records so that users file them in consistent way to the company file server. That way they don't take up precious Quick Base space, users don't decide where to file things as they get them and they know how to find them later.

    Trevor Textor