I know this is an older thread, but thought I'd post in case someone else comes across it and is curious.
I am a relatively new Quickbase user; we have also been using Smartsheet for a little over a year. The biggest difference for me is that QB is a relational database; Smartsheet is not. You can do cross-sheet lookups (via a formula), but no record picker functionality. Also, the Smartsheet forms are somewhat limited.There are definitely some things I like about Smartsheet; for certain things it is easier to accomplish than in QB. I'd say for the average non-technical user, Smartsheet is easier to pick up on. It is much more like Excel, although with much enhanced capabilities in certain areas. Sounds like Power Apps is on one end of the spectrum, Smartsheet on the other, and QB in the middle. We are going to continue to use SS for some functions.I come from a database development/programming background; I am working on an app now that definitely needs the relational database capabilities of QB. I had originally hoped to develop it in Smartsheet but quickly realized it wasn't going to work.
One advantage of Smartsheet is that you don't need a paid license for users to access your "apps"; they can add data and make changes with just a free license. You only need a paid license for anyone who is going to create workspaces/sheets (the SS version of apps & tables).
As a Citizen Developer, I've tried many different "low-code" platforms including Salesforce, Power Apps, Quickbase, and a few others. With the goal of creating applications that make it easy for the end user to be better at their job. In order for me to do this effectively as a citizen developer, it must be easy to organize the data based on how "my business does business".
I found it easy to build an application on the Salesforce platform - but found it impossible to create an app that allows me to organize the data based on how "my business does business". Salesforce applications make me feel like I'm wearing a "straight jacket" when it comes to organinzing/working with the data in a meaningful way.
I'm a big Power BI user (Desktop and Online service) so I tried Power Apps. I found it very hard to create an app – there are alot of moving parts (canvas apps, model-driven apps, dataverse, etc) - and all the moving parts may have additional costs - if you want to take advantage of the of the more advance "no code" features….then you may have to have the "premier" level capability – then any end users who need to view the data must also have the "premier" level.
I found that it is actually easier to embed a Power BI report within an Quickbase record form vs a Power App record form. Just like my Salesforce app building experience - "don't color outside the lines", use about 15% of the functionality and get about 10% user adoption. (remember I'm cititizen developer - more advance coder could increase the numbers).
I started using Quickbase around 2004 - as an alternative to Sharepoint. I'm a big fan of Quickbase - Very easy take to build an app that has gives context to data. "Color outside the lines" -
The area I would like to see improved is reporting. Quickbase reporting is good – for an app that is built to solve a "specific business problem" or even a Project Management app – reporting that hovers around the 1,000 foot view. But for the business reporting that focus at the 50,000 foot view – Reporting that may require querying data from multiple Qbase Apps or even external sources – becomes more of a challenge. Power BI has helped and the Quickbase connector within Power BI works great. I'm sure that for a platform that allows its customers to "Color outside the lines" - to build apps that are effective and actually get used – comes at the cost of how much and how fast changes can be made.
It would also be great to see more blog posts and videos that focus on "Ideas to help make your app awesome!" Promoting and sharing "some great tricks on customizing the forms but the dashboards and homepage will always be lacking."
The Quickbase platform provides a solution to build simple or complex apps that your end users will actually use.