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 2:10 pm

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Global Grid and Mobile Apps Bring Big Data to Small Businesses

Thanks to mobile apps and other technologies that ease access to massive amounts of information, small businesses can reap the highly touted benefits of big data.

A new report commissioned by Intuit predicts that small business owners and consumers will take advantage of emerging trends to leverage large, complex sets of data, dubbed “big data.” No longer the exclusive purview of big business, big data is becoming available to smaller organizations, the study researchers maintain, providing the intelligence they need to make informed business decisions.

The Intuit report focuses on three trends that will affect both small businesses and consumers over the next ten years, as big data continues to proliferate:

  • The New Data Democracy – Data will become a vital raw material, taking on a role comparable to capital and labor. Small businesses will enjoy increased access to huge volumes of information, as well as the tools needed to analyze and employ it the way large enterprises do.
  • Data Empowers Consumers – Consumers will also take advantage of big data. As people are increasingly connected, through the global grid and mobile devices, “data will shape decisions both large and small, inform purchasing decisions and create communities and relationships,” according to the Intuit report.
  • Data Provides Main Street – Access to the types of data once available only to major corporations will empower small businesses. Like their larger counterparts, they will find ways to use big data to run their business more efficiently, attract new customers, and ultimately, drive growth.

Today, using ViziApps, businesses of all sizes can create mobile business apps that access valuable data, whether it’s stored in Google spreadsheets, SQL databases or on websites.  The DIY mobile app development tool enables people with intermediate computing skills to create apps that incorporate the data their users need to work productively, whether they are in offices or on the road. The recently announced ViziApps support for Intuit QuickBase allows QuickBase users to build mobile business apps that access data to support business processes on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. And like QuickBase, ViziApps requires no coding.

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.

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.

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.

Mobile App Creators Can Enhance Their Apps With JavaScript

ViziApps enables creation of enterprise mobile apps without coding. However, it also lets app builders enrich their mobile apps and user experience using JavaScript.

Now, a new video provides users a step-by-step tutorial on how to use the ViziApps drag and drop designer and JavaScript to create visually appealing, data-rich, robust mobile apps.

The video demonstrates how to build a mobile app for business use in the ViziApps Studio and incorporate custom scripts, libraries, and plug-ins to provide functionality beyond what can be done without coding. Some examples of enhanced functionality that use of JavaScript can provide include:

  • Using the accelerometer
  • Enhanced media capture (media files)
  • Managing connections (checking network state and cellular network information)
  • Enhancing camera operations
  • Using the compass
  • Accessing on-device contacts (work with the contact database)
  • Managing file transfers
  • Integrating geo-location mapping
  • Playing media (record and play back audio files)
  • Sending notifications
  • Accessing storage (hook into native storage options)

For help with other ViziApps capabilities, consult a complete listing of tutorial videos for app builders here.

ViziApps Now Allows Use of JavaScript in No-coding Mobile Apps

ViziApps is first and foremost a platform that allows users to create robust, data-centric mobile apps without coding. But for app creators who want to use their programming skills to further customize their apps, new JavaScript support in ViziApps makes that possible. With the addition of custom JavaScript, a wide range of additional features can be included. For instance, by incorporating unique “glue logic”, ViziApps app builders can include more complex app operations in their mobile apps.

(If you haven’t tried ViziApps yet, start now by signing up for a free account.)

This new JavaScript capability opens up new ways of making mobile apps even more innovative. For example, a user could incorporate JavaScript as a way to record a message in a ViziApps hybrid app.  Another use for JavaScript might be to populate maps using a mobile device’s GPS geo-location capabilities, then provide that information to Google Maps. In the ViziApps Studio, where our users build mobile business apps, we have provided the option of using custom JavaScript as a way to extend ViziApps functionality and distinguish our users’ mobile apps in a highly competitive marketplace.

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