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SeanPadian's avatar
Qrew Trainee
4 years ago

Blueprint - Building for Success

Blueprint - Building for Success

  • Data Modeling
  • Building the Basic Framework of Your App
  • Cleaning Up Your Forms
  • Creating Reports


Data Modeling


Please see my earlier post for a general understanding of data modeling.


As you begin to think about your application and how it should be constructed, list out the terms that pop into your mind when trying to articulate your vision.  If you're thinking about building a project management application, terms like projects, tasks, project managers, start and end dates easily come to mind. Brainstorm for a while and simply list out every term that you can think of – at times you may be struggling to think of them, but keep listing them out, even over the course of several days as you daydream about your app.  Over time this process will become easier and more fluid, but for now try to imagine everything you could possible use the app for in terms of your use case.  If it's a CRM application, then clients or customers or accounts, how they found you (a.k.a. a "lead source"), or even main contact will suffice for now.


With these terms in hand, start to group them in an organized way, so that you can see the flow of the application as these data metrics are collected by you and your staff.  When you start to see the most important groups or terms, think of them as what will become your tables in your app.


After gathering your tables, go through them one by one and think of all of the fields that you need to keep track of.  List EVERYTHING, no matter. How trivial they may seem. You can always pare these back and reduce the list later.


Building the Basic Structure of Your App


With your tables and fields listed out, come back to QuickBase and begin building the basic structure of your app using either the Visual Builder or by simply creating an empty app with no tables from within Visual Builder.  The idea is that you want to create each of the tables you listed in step one, followed by creating each of the fields you have listed for each separate table.  Don't worry about order right now, just create the fields and make sure to save your work.


Once you have the tables and fields created, then you should start to think of the relationships that need to exist between the tables in order to share linkage.  In the popular use case of project management, it's easy to see that projects and tasks need to be related.  When you create the relationship, the system will prompt you to select the direction of the relationship.  In this example, each project can have many tasks, so the direction is easy to follow.  It helps to speak these choices out loud (as silly as it may sound, it truly has been known to help) in order to "see" which one is correct.  You can always go back and delete an incorrect relationship once it's created, so don't get too worried about making a mistake here.  The important point is to make a selection and then go into a form view to see what's been added to your application.


When you build the relationship, QuickBase will automatically create a section heading, a button to add child records to your child table, and an embedded report link to your form so that you can then begin adding sample data.


Cleaning Up Your Forms


As you start to add relationships and sample data to your app, you may notice that your forms look like they need a little cleaning up, or reorganizing.  What you should do is take some time to visualize how your data should look to an end user of your app – what does someone need to see in order to accomplish a tasks or to simply do their job?  You click on the customize your form link in the upper right hand corner of the form view and now you will be able to move form elements up or down, in addition to putting elements in the same row.  It is suggested to play around with the look and feel of your forms in order to get them to your liking.


Creating Reports


The last stage of getting your up and running is creating reports.  There are several report types to choose from, but I would suggest you start with the table reports first in order to get familiar with how QuickBase lets you configure your data and how it's displayed.  Table reports are a great way to learn how to display data, filter out data, sort and group, as well as colorize rows or areas based upon a formula.


In application exchange, see the app titled "Charts are Fun" for an excellent tour of the various graphic reports we offer and how they can display different sets of data.


As create your reports, begin to arrange them on your dashboard so that you can see your data as soon as you log into your application.  You will most likely be creating many reports for all of your dashboards, as each role in your application will be assigned to a specific dashboard page.


As always, have fun as you go through this process, and as your application grows, begin to think about the roles and their permissions that you will soon need to define.  Governance is an important part of your application's rollout.



Sean Padian
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