ViziApps

ViziApps Expands Intuit QuickBase Support – Now includes Sub-Account Authentication and Query Response Limits

Companies worldwide use QuickBase to create cloud-based business process applications, without doing any coding.

Those businesses often require access privileges to company data at different levels of authorization.These QuickBase apps can run on iPhones, iPads, and Android smartphones and tablets.

For example, a Sales VP may have a higher level of authorization than regional sales people have. While the Sales VP may access sales results in all regions, an individual sales person might have access to sales results only in his/her region. When an end user logs into their QuickBase ViziApps app, their login credentials will automatically determine which data to select depending on their level of authorization.

Here’s how it works. When you register QuickBase as a data source for your ViziApps app, you will see a dialog box like the figure below. Add the field names in your app that will be used for end users to login and access your QuickBase data. Then, when the app runs, your users just login and the data query you designed in ViziApps uses the authorization from their login.

Also, the ViziApps Studio now enables you to specifiy a limit to the number of responses for any data query, since large data sets may have much more data than is needed by a mobile user.

Posted at 4:43 pm

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Building Mobile Business Apps for Tablets

Enterprises and small-to-medium-size businesses tend to first think of smartphone apps when considering a new way to increase user productivity or strengthen customer bonds. And of course, smartphones apps can address those needs very effectively.But now it’s time to also provide apps for tablets, to accommodate business users who enjoy working on the iPad or an Android tablet.

Smartphone use for business is exploding. Users view them as essential personal devices that can easily handle work as well as personal tasks.  As a result, smartphones often are selected and purchased by individual users and supported through their employer’s BYOD program. Tablets for business apps, on the other hand, are more likely to be selected and supplied by employers.

According to Gartner, the number of tablets sold in 2012 will hit the 119 million mark. That’s nearly twice the 2011 level of 60 million units. Tablet sales will continue to rise, the research firm predicts, with 450 million tablets sold annually by 2016. By then, enterprise purchases will account for 53 million units.

As the popularity of tablets in the enterprise skyrockets, employees, customers, partners and suppliers will need apps specifically created to run on tablets, taking advantage of those devices’ formats and superior presentation features. So businesses will have to find a way to build new custom tablet apps quickly and cost effectively. They will also need to be able to quickly update and maintain them throughout their life cycle at low cost.

The ViziApps mobile app development tool meets those requirements. With its drag and drop approach to design, ViziApps enables business people without coding experience to create apps for iOS and Android tablets.  Moreover, the tool’s visual design capabilities allow app builders to create graphics once for use in a tablet app and deploy those graphics across multiple mobile platforms. As a result, business people can plan and implement tablet app development projects in days or weeks, rather than months, and use expense reports to handle app subscription fees.

Posted at 3:52 pm

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ViziApps Mobile App Development Tool Gets Another Strong Review

Create Own Apps, a website that reviews DIY mobile app development tools, has awarded ViziApps a 4-star rating. The site was created to help mobile app builders compare different solutions and find the right one for their mobile app development projects.

We’re delighted to receive this recognition for the ViziApps drag and drop tool, which is used by enterprises and small business to build mobile business apps for use in a wide range of industries. Read the full review here.

ViziApps Supports QuickBase for Mobile App Data Integration

Now, using the no-coding ViziApps mobile app development tool, enterprise and small business users can easily create QuickBase mobile apps.

Companies worldwide use Intuit QuickBase to create cloud-based business process applications, without doing any coding.  With ViziApps, they can build mobile apps that support the processes vital to their business – for the iPhone and iPad, and Android smartphones and tablets.

ViziApps provides several features for creating QuickBase mobile apps:

  • A drag and drop process for creating QuickBase database operations, using familiar database commands such as select, insert, update and delete. Adding QuickBase database operations to your mobile app takes just minutes.

  • A graphical test for verifying that database commands work properly right in the ViziApps Studio.

  • The  ability to view a hybrid mobile app in preview mode to ensure that it is running correctly before it is published.
  • The ability to see your app design running, with QuickBase access, on a mobile device in seconds, without wires.

Because ViziApps provides a no-coding process for mobile app development, business and IT professionals can quickly and cost effectively use the ViziApps tool to build mobile business apps that empower employees, partners, and customers. With the new support for QuickBase, ViziApps provides organizations of all sizes the mobile app data integration their users need to perform effectively virtually anywhere and anytime.

Speed Your Mobile Apps to Market in a Major App Store

New, disruptive technologies are enabling business and IT people to create robust, visually appealing, data-centric mobile business apps quickly and cost effectively. Using a tool like ViziApps they can build mobile business apps without acquiring new technical skills, hiring expensive outside consultants, or trying to justify a large mobile development budget.

But after a mobile app is completed using DIY app tools like ViziApps, app creators must contend with the app publishing process, which can be intimidating and time-consuming. Fortunately, ViziApps has streamlined and simplified the publishing process to help eliminate much of the confusion app creators need to complete, publish and speed their apps to market. Online help documentation and videos in the ViziApps Studio provide step-by-step directions on how to get a ViziApps-built app published in the Apple App Store or in Google Play.

To publish an app in the Apple App Store using ViziApps, for example, you just need to complete three steps:

  • Prepare the data, icons, images and other items that will be used to promote your app in the App Store with iTunes Connect
  • Brand and build the code for your app using ViziApps
  • Deploy your app to iTunes Connect with the Application Loader.

Deploying An App to iTunes Connect

The process for deploying an app to iTunes Connect has changed over time, so be sure to download and refer to the current iTunes Connect Developer Guide for the latest information.

Knowing what you will need to take your completed mobile business apps through the build and app publishing process will help you plan your time at the onset of your mobile app development project to make your apps available to your users on schedule.  By clearly understanding the steps you will need to complete to meet the unique requirements of the Apple App Store and Google Play, you will avoid unnecessary delays and ensure that your mobile apps will be ready when your users expect to start using it.

Incorporate Google Spreadsheet Data in Your Mobile Business App

Check out the latest ViziApps video for step-by-step instructions on how to set up, access, and manage Google spreadsheet data as an easy to use a database when you design and build a mobile business app. Using ViziApps, you have the advantage of being able to connect your app to a full-fledged database across the Internet while avoiding many of the hassles of managing a dedicated database system.  You can follow the instructions the video provides when building iPhone, iPad, and Android apps.

 

In the 4-minute video, you will see how to use the ViziApps drag and drop tool to create a database for your mobile business app, then build and test a query that enables your app to interact with that database. The video demonstrates a step-by-step approach for integrating Google spreadsheet data using Google Docs. Alternatively, you could follow the same approach using Google Apps for Business to integrate Google spreadsheet data in your app.

For guidance on using other ViziApps’ capabilities to create data-rich mobile business apps, see the full portfolio of ViziApps tutorial videos here. They cover topics such as creating your mobile business app layout; designing tables; using the camera, picker, and GPS field; and adding JavaScript to further enhance your app.

 

IT’s Move to Mobile Worldwide Means Greater Need for Mobile Apps

Mobile business apps will assume a larger role in the enterprise, as the IT industry relies more than ever on mobile devices, cloud services and other technologies.

In a new report, IDC Predictions 2013: Competing on the 3rd Platform, International Data Corporation predicts that the coming year will witness the IT industry’s accelerated move to “the 3rd platform” – built on mobile computing and cloud services, as well as social networking and big data analytics.

“The IT industry as a whole is moving toward the mobile/social/cloud/big data world of the 3rd Platform much more quickly than many realize: from 2013 through 2020, these technologies will drive around 90% of all the growth in the IT market,” said Frank Gens, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst at IDC. “Companies that are not putting 80% or more of their competitive energy into this new market will be trapped in the legacy portion of the market, growing even slower than global GDP.”

In 2013, IDC expects IT spending to surpass $2.1 trillion, up 5.7% from 2012, with smart mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, and eReaders) experiencing nearly 20% growth. “Mini tablets” will enjoy wide acceptance during that period, IDC predicts, and will represent as much as 60% of the 170 million tablets expected to be shipped.  Other analyst firms also see a bright future for tablets, forecasting that global sales of those devices will span from $49 billion to more than $77 billion in 2015.

(For a concise overview of tablets in the enterprise, see James Kendrick’s ZDNet article, which points out the benefits and challenges those mobile devices present for IT.)

For all the different mobile devices that will be deployed for business use in the coming months and years, enterprises will require well-crafted, data-rich mobile business apps. The most effective mobile apps will afford enterprise users access to the data they need to work effectively wherever they are. DIY mobile app development tools like ViziApps, which streamline the app building process and hold down mobile app costs, will help enterprises build the apps they need. The no coding data management capabilities of ViziApps make it especially well-suited for this business need. Any company planning for the transition to the 3rd Platform needs to include a plan for providing employees, customers, partners and others with mobile business apps that give them easy access to information wherever and whenever they perform their jobs.

Posted at 9:10 pm

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Create Mobile App Graphics Once For Different Screen Sizes Platforms

ViziApps allows mobile app builders to incorporate graphics such as photos, logos and icons in their mobile applications without tailoring those images for different platform screen sizes. For example, a business manager could create a logo for use in an iPhone 5 app and use it in ViziApps to build apps for that Apple platform, as well as the iPhone 4 and iPad. That logo could also be used undistorted in select Android smartphones and tablets, as well.

As a result, mobile business app creators can use ViziApps to quickly and easily use graphics in their app designs to brand their mobile apps for different devices and incorporate images in a way that enhances the user experience on several platforms. This capability is just another way that ViziApps eases and streamlines the mobile business app development process.

For help building mobile applications for smartphones or tablets, see our tutorial videos. They include tips on topics such as designing tables; incorporating HTML panels; using the camera, picker, and GPS field; and adding JavaScript.

Mobile Apps and Websites Have a Big Role in Holiday Shopping

In the busy holiday shopping season just around the corner, mobile apps for smartphones and tablets provide a good way to boost sales.

To help retailers prepare for the end of year rush, American Express Open Forum points out 10 common mistakes that can hurt holiday sales, and provides one piece of advice that recognizes the value of mobile business apps.

Avoid not being “findable” on the web or by mobile applications.

It only makes sense for retailers to go out of their way to be discovered at a time when consumers are doing some serious shopping. For that reason, American Express reminds them to make their brands searchable and memorable and “get involved in the conversations about shopping and gift giving that are happening over social media.”

New study data suggests that shoppers will be using mobile devices in unprecedented numbers this holiday season to conduct research before purchasing products, compare prices and buy gifts.

IDC Retail Insights, for example, predicts that 48 million U.S. consumers will use smartphones in stores, or “showroom” (use those devices to compare prices and features as shop for their holiday needs). That staggering figure represents a 134% increase since last year, when 20.5 million holiday shoppers showroomed.

In the report “Business Strategy: At Hand Versus In Hand — Will Consumers Have the Upper Hand in the 2012 Holiday Showroom Showdown?”, IDC Retail Insights forecasts that showrooming behaviors will influence $0.7 to $1.7 billion in holiday retail purchases this year.

The report also points out that across technologies about 70% of shoppers who plan to showroom this season indicated that they will be “more likely” to purchase from retailers that offer full-featured mobile websites and mobile apps for smartphones, among other amenities.

The 2012 edition of the Mojiva Holiday Mobility Advertising Guide, citing results of a survey of U.S. and U.K. consumers, also suggests a strong role for smartphones and tablets in the upcoming holiday season. In both countries, consumers indicated plans to use their mobile devices to collect information on products, compare prices, look for sale information and coupons, and make purchases.

In fact, nearly 80 percent of U.S. respondents stated they would feel comfortable spending more than $20 on a single item using their smartphone or tablet, while 42 percent of U.K. respondents imagining they could spend £25 pounds on one item using their smartphone or tablet. The Mojiva Holiday Mobility Advertising Guide also provides research data on the different types of products consumers would be comfortable buying using a mobile device.

There’s still time to create a retail mobile app for smartphones and tablets using ViziApps no-coding, drag and drop approach. Sign up for a free account here and get started building a mobile business app for your customers.

Snap To It! How ViziApps Supports Mobile App Screen Layout

By Neil Perlin, Hyper/Word Services (www.hyperword.com)

One of the hardest parts of creating mobile apps is to align all the screen objects – labels, text entry boxes, and so on. Aligning the bottom of a field label with the bottom of the corresponding text entry box, for example, can be difficult to do. Checking the result by eye or by holding a ruler up to the screen sort of works but is inefficient. ViziApps offers two ways to address this problem, a built-in alignment tool and the ability to use an external alignment grid. This post describes both methods.

The Built-In Snap to Grid


Selecting this button in the ViziApps Studio makes screen objects automatically align themselves on predefined grid lines. (Using this feature is like using a sheet of graph paper that can automatically move your drawings to specific grid lines.) Say, for example, that you insert a label and move it to a position with X and Y coordinates 14 and 74, as shown below.

You set the grid spacing to 10 pixels, by clicking the icon on the right side of the Snap to Grid button as shown below.

That label’s X and Y coordinates now default to 10-pixel positions, such as 20 and 70. By doing this, you are limited to moving the label in 10-pixel units.

This feature not only lets you put objects precisely where you want them but also helps align multiple objects. No more tedious pixel-by-pixel movement to align two labels. Just position the first label at an X coordinate of 20, for example, then move the second label until its X coordinate also snaps to 20, as shown below.

The External Alignment Grid

The Snap to Grid feature is very useful, but there are two design considerations to keep in mind.

  • You can’t see the grid position. You have to assume that the objects are moving where you want them. They are, but you may want to see what’s going on.
  • The grid positions are absolute, but you may want to use them as guides. For example, you may want to customize where the descenders of letters like “y” touch the grid baseline rather than use the predefined snap-to grid settings.

To address this, you can create a graphic the size of the canvas and draw your grid on the graphic, as shown in the example below.

This graphic is easy to use – make it the app’s background image during development, then replace it with the real background image once you finish placing all your screen objects. (Thanks to Dan K, in ViziApps Support, for providing this graphic.)

Either approach works fine. Just don’t use both on the same mobile app development project or you may find that the objects you so carefully aligned using the visual grid suddenly shift position if you turn on the Snap to Grid option.

Features like the alignment tools make mobile app development much simpler and more efficient than coding by hand. You’ll find other helpful features in the ViziApps Studio, and there are more features for building mobile apps in the works.

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