Starting

Get your application running in a few minutes, with Simitless.

Definitions

Let’s start with a few easy definition to make sure we understand each others.

The basic elements

Platform The platform refers to the Simitless platform, a complete collaborative software that handles everything on Simitless. It hosts the Workspaces, Applications, Data, etc. Typically, the platform is accessed using its web address – otherwise called URL (Uniform Ressource Locator) – https://simitless.com/en/.
Workspace A Workspace is the container for one or multiple applications. It let users share multiple applications between themselves securely. The Workspace is also the container used to calculate quotas (data, files, seats) and handle the payment of subscriptions.
Application An Application (from application software, sometimes called App) is a piece of software intended to perform the processing of a specific task. In the context of Simitless, an Application is a container for a data structure designed to facilitate the processing of a specific task. It contains Data Records of a defined Data Type, linked together in a defined way to build a structure, with the addition of Constraints and Calculations to ensure data quality and effectiveness of processing.
Data Type A data type is part of the definition of the data structure. The data type points to a specific way of handling data. Typically in Simitless, a data type is either an object or a field.
  • Object
An Object Data Type is a data type designed to hold data fields. It groups a few information together to make it a logical group defining something specific. For example:
  • a table is the most well-known Object Data Type as it is comprised of Fields (or Columns);
  • a gallery is an Object Data Type built for handling data with an Image Field, and eventually a title and description;
  • a map is an Object Data Type built for handling data with a Position Field, and eventually a name of object.
  • Field
A Field Data Type is the definition of a type of information. A line of text, a number, a date or a geographical position are all example of a data type designed to hold one piece of information.
Data Record A Data Record is a unit of related information saved together to build a logical representation of an object. A Data Record is a groupment of data, defined by fields within an object. For example, a line in a table is a record, an image card in a gallery is a record, a marker on a map is a record.

The other goodies

Perspective A Perspective is a group of saved information representing a search or filters to narrow down the data displayed, a sort order, eventually a groupment definition and also a type of display. For example, a perspective lets you display data that would normally be a calendar and make it a table. If handling sales records, for example, you could make it a table displaying all the records for sales above $100 in the first 6 month 2020 instead of the default calendar view.
Graph A Graph lets you visualize numerical or categorical information. They show you a table, nice line or a shape enabling you to visualize information either from a given point in time or even dynamic information.
Dashboard A Dashboard is a colletion of Graphs assembled to provide more insight at once.
Workflow A workflow is a series of logical steps to automatize partially or completely data input and processing, one step at a time.
Marketplace The marketplace is a page on the Simitless platform where the public can search and access open applications and data products.

The advance concepts

Access control Access control is the collection of rights and roles you can assign to users. A user is typically an account on Simitless used by a person.
Transformation model A mecanism to transform a data record from data to a document or a text output. This is a feature in Simitless that lets you process data in an easy way once it has been defined. Very useful to generate printouts, documents, messages, …
Constraint A set of parameters to validate data input by activating or deactivating input fields conditonnaly or by setting a valid value range. This is a good way to improve on your data as it can catch input mistakes. For example, a year definition for your business activity should probably be between 2010 and 2050. A contract value should probably not allow negative values.
Calculation A set of instruction, or a formula, that is defined to calculate automatically a data field value in a record, based on on or more data fields or environmental factors.

How to build an app?

Use an app model

Selecting an application model is the easiest way to start. The platform proposes many models of application you can readily start to use for free. With Simitless, the amount you pay is based on the resources you use. Check the pricing documentation for more information.

On the application models page of the platform, browse and select a model. Check its demonstration data and if it looks like it is close to what you need, click Use this model to create your own secure copy. The demonstration app is a read-only copy of the app model set to be accessible to the public as a preview.

Once you use the model to create your own application (in one click), you can modify the structure and input your own data. Your new app will be empty of all data by default. Now you can make it your own. A workspace is automatically created to contain your first application or if no workspace was selected during the app creation. You can rename it and set payment details to enhance its capabilities.

Create an account

So far, the platform identified your browser and you didn’t need to create an account. The platform is using your browser memory and cookies to keep your data securely connected to your browser. If you clear the memory of your browser or use a browser that performs such a cleanup automatically, you may lose access to your work. Also, unidentified workspaces are automatically cleared about 2 days after the last connection of the browser that created the workspace and apps.

To save your work, you need to create an account with an email address and a password. You will be asked to verify your email address with a link you will receive in your email inbox.

Unless a payment is setup and you come back regularly, your account will be kept for a year after your last connection. The platform will email you about 2 month before deleting your account and its content but sometimes these emails are intercepted by the filter of your email system. Check your spam folder or monitor your account if you want to be sure.

If you don’t need any of your work anymore, deleting an account is easy as well, just delete all the workspaces containing apps and use your account management page to delete the account securely.

An app from scratch

How would you start towards designing your app from scratch?

Experience shows that the most user-friendly, affordable and least risky (in terms of time and budget) approach to any task, is to start simple. Unlike with big projects that require large companies to mobilize millions or dollars of investment and several months of setting up management processes and hiring specialized consultants, you are free from the constraints of having to define a start and an end of the mission. And I imagine you cannot devote several months to the setting up of a system!

It is enough to identify just one element you need or want to organize (like a customer files, a catalog, existing stock, responsibility distribution for the tasks of a project, communication plan, etc.). Once the lead element is identified, you can continue adding other elements to your custom application little by little.

Extract from our introduction articles series: Identifying your need

With Simitless, we advise that you “design-in-place”. That means that you should start simple (simple data structure, with few people) then add to the system as the requirements develop. This way, you can keep the amount of work to a minimum and focus on the areas of your business that are most important, when the requirement appear. Whenever a series of manual repetitive operation is required, in order to process your data effectively, this could be the starting point of your internal management app automatization efforts.

To help with understanding the design process, we wrote up an introduction series of articles. This entire series of 5 articles should take you less than one hour to go through in total, by small chunks of 6 to 11 minutes of reading.

Now, if you know exactly what you need in an app, just head over to the platform and start clicking away. The steps should be quite intuitive if you are familiar with web apps in general. However, we do have a starting guide in the blog’s introduction series that will show you the exact way: Build an app from scratch, click by click guide. And you can also search through this documentation site whenever you have a more precise query about one of the platform’s feature.

Get help

Simitless is working on setting up a network of independent consultants. Soon you will be able to get in touch with a consultant in your area who could guide you in the design of the custom software to automate your business operations. That does not stop you from asking for assistance from our team directly via the platform, of course. In various key places through the app, you’ll find buttons mentioning “Chat with us!”. We are available as much as possible, but being a small organization, we do have a very limited amount of people-power to put behind the free assistance of users. On the platform, you will also find a feedback form by using the menu in most page’s footer section. Finally, you can reach us through the contact form at https://contact.simitless.com or by email to help@simitless.com.