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.

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.

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.

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.

Build Apps Optimized for the iPhone 5′s Larger Screen

The new iPhone, with its taller screen, provides a larger canvas for the mobile business apps you’re building with ViziApps. To help you make the best use of that space, ViziApps now provides iPhone 5 support.

Rest assured that apps you’ve already built with ViziApps for the iPhone 4 and 4S will run just fine on the iPhone 5. Now you can build an app for the iPhone 5 and know that when your users download it from the App Store, it will automatically be resized to fit their screen, whether they run your app on an iPhone 4, 4S, or 5.

For more on how to build an iPhone app, take a look at the ViziApps approach to mobile app development and sign up for a free account.

Posted at 4:44 pm

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Don’t Overcomplicate Mobile Business Apps

Facing a highly competitive market, mobile app creators may welcome advice from successful entrepreneurs. Often the type of advice they hear is designed to help them navigate their way through complex business issues.  But sound counsel can also suggest ways to eliminate unnecessary complexity.

Fierce Wireless attended Web Summit 2012 in Dublin earlier this month and summarized advice speakers and panelists offered to mobile app developers. That advice included ideas that go beyond the typical guidance conference attendees might have expected to hear.

In an article titled “Seven mobile developer success strategies from Web Summit 2012,” Shane Schick highlighted one strategy might surprise mobile app creators:

Don’t ignore the one-off apps. 

That’s a very straightforward suggestion, but it might not be obvious to everyone planning to create a mobile business app.

From Schick’s article:

“Tomer Kagan, the co-founder and CEO of Quixey, focuses on a discovery service that helps users find other apps. He told the Web Summit crowd that not all developers need to wrack their brains thinking of ways to get users coming back to an app over and over again once they’ve installed it. He gave the example of a consumer app created by a grocery store chain, whose goal was to increase sales by 10 percent by offering information and discounts to customers that were already spending money in the store. It worked.”

Another recommendation from the same event: Leave room for non-social behavior.

For some other interesting ideas for mobile app developers, read the entire article.

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.

Posted at 3:27 pm

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By 2017, 2.4B Workers Will Use Smartphones

Forecasts on the use of smartphones in the enterprise highlight the need for mobile business apps – to meet current and future demand.

In 2013, smartphones will comprise 54% of all global cellphone shipments, according to the IHS iSuppli Wireless Communications market tracker report. That will mark a significant milestone: for the first time smartphones will account for more than half of cellphone shipments worldwide. And that milestone will be reached two years earlier than was previously estimated.

The growth of smartphone shipments can be attributed to several trends in the market over the past year. Specifically, IHS iSuppli reports, smartphones have become increasingly affordable while the availability of a wider range of models has provided consumers greater choice. In Asia-Pacific, those trends have translated into growing sales of low-end smartphones, while in the U.S. and Europe sales of midrange and high-end smartphones have jumped.

The popularity of smartphones has, and will continue to have, repercussions in the enterprise, where employees have enthusiastically adopted mobile technology.  ABI Research, for example, predicts that smartphones will continue to be important to the global workforce, and that by 2017, 2.4 billion employees worldwide will use those devices for work. That type of growth, says ABI Research Enterprise Practice Director Dan Shey, underscores the need to provide all employees with tools, apps and services they can access and use with their smartphones.

As reported in an earlier ViziApps blog post, most companies are supporting BYOD in some form, and according to the results of an AppCentral report, employers are making one or more custom mobile apps available to their workforces. In addition, non-employees, such as partners and contractors, are also being supplied with mobile apps tailored to a particular business need.

Today it’s no longer necessary to single out “mobile” employees. Smartphone users in all areas of the enterprise can now be considered mobile since they carry considerable computing power wherever they go. That’s why all employees could benefit from mobile business apps. They need a full range of mobile business apps to meet their needs – from simple productivity tools to more complex apps that can access and deliver critical business data. Those are the types of mobile apps our customers are creating with ViziApps.

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