Build your own app
Get your Simitless app working the same way you work.
Working efficiently with any system requires you to understand and identify you own way of working. Each step of your process requires various data to be input. All this data, once grouped and structured will give you the information you need to make the right decision for your activity.
In a Simitless app, you can hold in a single place all the information you need to inform your decision, based on your own way of working. Let’s look at how you work and how it can be translated to an app.
1. Define your goals
First, let’s define your goals and their contexts. Then, we’ll be able to draw some steps that will formalize your own way of working. Let’s consider the following statement:
I need to [...] when [...] so that [...].
This sentence is used to explicit 3 things:
- What you need to do
- When you need to do it
- How you will observe the result of your action.
2. Identify your information need
Once you know what you need, it’s much easer to identify the information you need to work on that task. For your need, identify the main information topic that you need.
Then, for that topic, identify the key data that defines this topic.
3. Make it a structure
To build a structure for your data, you start with your main topic. In your Simitless app, it becomes a data type object. From there, you are going to build a tree-like structure to define your data structure.
Objects in Simitless are data types that contains more data types, fields or objects. Each new field or object becomes like a branch, generating a tree-like structure.
4. Expand your structure
You may notice this is a definition work. You start with an object and you try to define what part of it should be defined in term of smaller bits of information. You should continue to define your objects in a tree, until you have a single data value for each of the as final leaves.
At this point, try to still focus on the information you need to complete the job this structure is designed to keep track of. The entire focus is still on your own way of working.
In Simitless, a single value is held in a data field type. A data field type is typically some data that will hold in the form of a line of text, a number, a date. For example, a name can be represented by a text so it is a single value. A subscription date is also a single value.
You can find a list of objects data types as well as fields data types in the data structure platform documentation. You don’t need to identify your data field types settings yet. For now concentrate on your own structure.
5. Make it a practical structure
You have defined your structure, now it is time to think of the information that will be reusable or used in a single place. Let’s have a look at any sub-object in your data trees. For each of them, are they re-usable? Or duplicated across multiple structures? Is it going to changing its details over time? In those cases, the object may be pulled up to be a main data type in its own right and simply linked.
Another element to consider while choosing between a selection list and a main object is who will be editing the information. If the users editing the information need to be able to change the data, a main object may be more suitable. If the list of choices in the list should be only modifiable by an app administrator, someone that can change the structure of your information and has the authority to change the ways your organization works, then it should probably be a selection list.
There are no wrong answers. All the choices are mostly tradeoffs based on how you decide you want to work.
6. Choose you data types
For each of the data types you have defined in your tree, you can now go ahead and choose what kind of data should be stored in that field. The data type will create help present your data in a more easily usable way in your app.
Fields data types can take many forms. The main types of fields data types are either text, textblock, email, phone, number, date or value selection. You can find a full definition of every data types in the fields data types documentation page but it is probably enough for now to define what globally is the kind of data for your field.
7. Create your data structure in Simitless
8. Add bells and whistles
Now, you can start using your application already, the basics are there. However, to go further, you can also spend a bit more time on your app design and refine its functionalities.
Data quality, data type settings
To enhance your application behavior, improve on the interactions you have with your app as well as reduce the potential for input errors, the Simitless platform provides the following tools:
- Constraints: Constraints help you make sure that the data that is input into your app is matching what is expected. It helps improve your app data quality and consistency. Simple constraints are like a search filter that helps you make sure that the data that is input into your app is valid. The required fields constraints disable data fields when other fields don’t meet pre-defined conditions. The value requirements constraints let’s you define specific requirements for specific values.
- Calculation formulas: Some times, fields don’t have to be manually input into you database. If you can think of any way to automate the calculation of their value, you’ll gain even more time. Calculations formulas can be triggered through an automated calculation on each data change, or as a default value for the field, calculated only when creating a new record, or again, as a manual operation by a user.
- Data Types Settings: Each data type has a specific purpose and requires, then, a specific behavior and presentation. The platform gives you multiple options for every data types. The data types settings include Listing Behavior, Input form Header settings, Data Listing Display settings, Data Quality options, Display Behavior settings, and Form Positioning parameters, to finely tune how your applications behave.
- Email sending: If you want to send emails from your app, you can set the Email Sending settings in your app and enable a SMTP server to handle your outgoing emails for your application. This is used for the example of the Coach. Our Coach is able to broadcast their newsletter directly to all of their customers without having to send messages one by one or even by using the bcc email field (which reduces deliverability of your messages). For that there is the bulk email sending tool, directly built in your application.
- Transform templates: Transformation templates lets you define document templates for transforming records into prints, documents or exportable text. This is used in our Seller and Business examples. Each of them is able to create printouts of their company activity and deliver it to their accountant every month.
9. Identify your information flow
Finally, you can go even further, especially if you are building an application for multiple people to use. If you do everything yourself, alone, you may not need to do any of it but as soon as multiple people joint, it will be useful to define roles to strengthen security and improve on data quality.
Who does what?
You can identify the roles of people working on your app by defining your information flow. Typically, in an application, there are distinct times when data is either input or consumed.
To proceed and inform this step, you could take the following sentence, and, for each step of the information processing flow, repeat it:
[...] records are [created, used, updated, exported, imported, deleted] by [...] when [...].
Invites your users
Once you have defined the data structure and the roles for the information flow through your application, it’s time to start working with it. Send invitations to other users to join your application by creating and verifying their account.
Each user gets their own account in Simitless. Sharing account is discouraged as it prevents the full security of your systems from working correctly. Unlike many of the software system existing today, the cost associated with the applications quotas in Simitless is not related at all to the number of accounts you create. You only pay for simultaneously connected users. We call them “seats”.
10. Views, Perspectives
You can go further and create a main screen for your application. Our documentation explains on the App main screen goes over all the possible options, but, in short, you can assemble as much or as little information on the main screen. We call these Views. You should try to find a balance between displaying most of the information you need directly to enable accessing the most urgent information fast, and longer loading time because you’re loading too much information at the start, which will slow down your app main screen.
Each user can tune their data type display screens by using Perspectives. Perspectives are saved searches definitions and overridden settings for creating a custom view: a new perspective on your data.
Done: Modify, Rince, Repeat.
You now have a custom application that should fit your need. However, you do not need to have made no mistakes. The platform is very forgiving. At any point, you are free to modify the structure of your application, to update the rights or roles of any user, to modify the name, colors, presentation options. Nearly everything can be updated when you need it changed.
With your new collaboration system, you can hold in a single place all the information you need to inform your decision, based on your own way of working.