KnackHQ, an Online Database Builder

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Wading into the world of IT is not only challenging, it takes time. For some reason it can take weeks, or months to have that “Aha!” moment where everything becomes clear and you can graduate to another level of expertise. In the case of database administration and engineering, I am still waiting on my moment. While sql still seems a bit tricky, I have found a platform that is allowing me to develop database-centric applications for my customers quickly and with little to no debugging time. The platform is Knack, found at Knack allows you to use a UI with a very short learning curve to build a database hosted on their system. From the database, you can build a wide range of forms and then link your customer to a subdomain, ex. Coming from an access background, I felt extremely comfortable designing tables (objects in knack) and forms (views). If you have any experience in database at all, learning the platform will take hours, not months. Then, you can take it a step further by using jQuery or CSS to modify the forms and embed them on your site. Benefits of Using Knack

  • Extremely short development time.
  • Customer service that responds in minutes.
  • Amazingly fast user interface.
  • Relatively bug free.

Disadvantages of Knack

  • You cannot host the knack platform, only embed it.
  • CSS can be tricky because of the way knack uses classes and ID. You will be using !important a lot!
  • While I’ve only found one or two, there are still some bugs in the relatively new platform.
  • If you have a lot of data to store, pricing scales up very quickly. This is best for small deployments.

I am working on becoming a developer for Knack, and I would recommend it to anyone else looking for an easy way to wade gently into web programming. Basic development just requires knowing the interface. Beyond that you can use javascript or php to access the api and css to customize your app’s appearance. Note: I’m not affiliated with or payed by Knack. I just like it!


Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas is a “Solution Architect” for a small IT services firm in south Texas. He has been working around computers for over a decade, but has been performing network admin/systems admin tasks for about 2 year. Michael plans to move towards development and is currently learning a variety of platforms and languages. Originally planning to become an attorney, Michael went to the University of Houston-Victoria for a BA in both Psychology and English. Dissuaded by watching too many Law and Order:SVU episodes, he opted to pursue his passion of all things tech. When he is not at work, Michael is taking tech classes online, flying his quadcopter, remodeling his home and watching episodes of Eli the Computer Guy. Michael wants to learn more than anything else and welcomes comments or further information on topics he may discuss. Feel free to contact him through Geek Brain Dump or directly through email.

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1 Comment

  1. Don Lindsay July 27, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Thank you Michael for this quick review of Knack. I am looking for a DB solution for my wife’s nurse aid school, and so far Knack is in the lead. Since it has been 2 years since your post – do you have new news about this or other products?

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