Data Management

  • $25,000 Prize for Best Mobile App Tackling Homelessness

    The Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless (REACH) Challenge will award a $25,000 grand prize for a mobile app for smartphones and tablets that can help the homeless, as well as caregivers and caseworkers who serve them, locate resources in their communities. In addition, the top five finalists will each receive $10,000. The contest is sponsored by the U.S., Department of Veteran Affairs, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation.

    According to Veterans Affairs, 636,017 people in the United States were homeless in 2011, and about 14% of homeless adults were veterans. To address problems the homeless face, the winning app will help outreach workers and volunteers track down information on resources such as health clinics, shelters, food kitchens, legal assistance and other social service resources and share it with the homeless in their communities.

    To assist contestants in developing robust applications, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is making available applications and data in its Homeless Management Information System. With easy access to information on local resources, caregivers and social workers will be better able to serve the large numbers of homeless who need assistance.

    Non-programmers looking to enter the contest could use the ViziApps mobile app development tool to design and test their application free. The tool’s drag-and-drop approach requires no coding, making it easy to build mobile apps that provide data access on iOS and Android devices.

  • A Custom App Can Boost Realtor Productivity

    Realtors have always been part of the mobile workforce. Checking out new property listings, hosting open houses, and meeting with prospective home and office buyers and renters are just some of the activities that keep realtors on the road.

    To help address the challenges of managing a realty business for people who sometimes spend more time in their cars than in their offices, ViziApps has created a template that makes it easy to build a mobile app designed especially for this market. Providing a drag-and-drop approach to designing and creating mobile business applications, ViziApps lets realtors quickly and easily build a custom mobile app they can carry everywhere – on an iPad, iPhone or Android device.

    ViziApps eliminates the need to do any coding, so anyone familiar with office productivity tools like PowerPoint can produce a mobile app that accesses business data. For realtors, that might include property listings, tax tables and information on neighborhoods. With a broad selection of icons, images, and colors to choose from, realtors can build a highly customized app they can use on a smartphone or share with customers on a tablet.

    Over the past several years, the real estate market has been especially challenging worldwide. Some bright spots are appearing, however. A survey by Ferguson Partners Ltd, a global executive recruitment consultancy, reveals that 61% of real estate firms worldwide plan to increase hiring in 2012. The survey also shows that nearly 70% of U.S. real estate companies plan to increase hiring this year.

    “The hiring demand is much stronger than most people in the real estate industry anticipated. It looks like most of the growth will be in middle management and entry level positions, which is a reflection of firms rebuilding infrastructure after the 2008 meltdown,” said William J. Ferguson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ferguson Partners Ltd.

    As real estate companies look for ways to keep their growing workforces productive, they have an option that would bring their brand and their real estate databases on the road with them: a custom mobile app built with the ViziApps online tool. With easy access to the information they need, realtors can work effectively wherever they are.

  • Add RSS Feeds in your mobile app

    ViziApps now supports direct integration of RSS Feeds from your app with no coding. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a web standard for publishing frequently updated information in a standardized format using links. For example, you can use RSS to display a list of news items with links to web pages.

    RSS is now a new ViziApps field that you can add to any page. In the property sheet, give it a name, RSS title, the feed URL and one of two ways to display the RSS items:

    RSS Display with Title and Date
    RSS Display with Image, Title, Date

    Then, when your app runs and the RSS feed is displayed, the user can tap on one of the rows, and the associated link in the RSS feed is used to popup a web page.

  • Adding Social Media To Your Mobile Business Apps

    Neil Perlin, Hyper/Word Services

    Many mobile apps let users add material to the app’s database. Think notes apps, reminder apps, or photo albums, for example. Can you do this with ViziApps? Yes.

    I took advantage of this capability for an app that listed BBQ restaurants around Austin, TX, which I created for a conference in the Texas capital. I started with a list of restaurants in the database, in a Google Docs spreadsheet. Conference attendees could list the restaurants by name or city by tapping the appropriate button on the app page. Then, assuming that no Texan would trust a Yankee’s assessment of BBQ restaurants, I added a social media element that let attendees add their own listings. How did it work?

    Tapping an “Add Your Own” button opened a page where users could insert a restaurant’s name, city, and web page. (I could have added additional entry fields like address or rating but wanted to keep the app simple.) Users could fill out some or all of the fields and tap a Submit button to send the entry to a “restaurants” worksheet in the Google Docs spreadsheet and get a “thanks for your entry” response in return.

    Any user could then tap one of the “list…” buttons to see the new entry, and all the entries, in the list – a two-column table. Tapping any entry in the table opened a Details page listing all the information for the restaurant. (For your mobile app, you could narrow the choices by requiring users to log in and then only show their specific listings, but that could losethe social media benefit.)

    Several thoughts about designing an app this way…

    • This social media component is generalizable to almost any category of thing – BBQ restaurants, museums, golf courses, etc.
    • Social media lets you tap into the “wisdom of the crowd.” For example, residents of Austin knew more about the local BBQ scene than I did. I took advantage of that knowledge by letting them add to the database.
    • The social media capability lets contributors show off by adding a “Referred by” field that includes the contributor’s name on the details page. It may seem silly but it can be very appealing to contributors.

    Some thoughts about design…

    • Typing on a virtual keyboard isn’t easy. Try to offer alternatives to text entry, like a tappable table, picker, or wheel (for mobile business apps for iPhone or Android smartphones).
    • Using a table, picker/wheel also has the benefit of “bounding” user entries. For example, ask users to type a city name and you may get the right name, the wrong name, a misspelled name, or no name. But giving users a preset list in a picker, for example, helps focus their entries.
    • On the downside, these features use a lot of screen space that you may not want to spare. You could split data entry across several pages, but users might view the app as more complex than it really is and not use it. You’ll need to strike a balance among ease of use, comprehensiveness of data, and screen space.
    • The app’s owner will have to periodically remove junk entries like “xxx” or MyTest” from the database, but this is pretty simple.

    In summary, think about adding a social media component to your app. You’ll get user participation and engagement, and, with ViziApps, it’s pretty easy to do.

    Neil Perlin is the president of Hyper/Word Services, a mobile and online help development, consulting, and training company. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., www.hyperword.com, @NeilEric.

  • AT&T posts Tutorial for using ViziApps to Rapidly Build Mobile Apps for IoT Connected Devices

    AT&T M2X (https://m2x.att.com/) provides time-series data storage, device management, message brokering, event triggering, alarming, geo-fencing, and data visualization for Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) products and services. ViziApps has worked with AT&T to integrate ViziApps with M2X to provide Visual Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD) for industrial IoT. Check out the Tutorial AT&T just posted in the AT&T M2X blog: https://m2x.att.com/developer/tutorials/viziapps

  • 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.

  • Connecting your Workflow Databases with ViziApps

    So what databases can ViziApps mobile apps work with?

    Databases including SQL Server, MySQL, 35 other SQL databases, and QuickBase, and even Intuit QuickBooks, Google Sheets and Salesforce can all connect to your mobile apps built with ViziApps with no coding.

    So, why this is important?

    Databases are where all of your key business process information is updated and stored. But most databases (even SaaS databases) are not very mobile friendly. With mobile changing the way your workforce, partners, and customers do business, it is vital for you to connect to these databases in your business mobile apps.

    Now, with mobile apps, there are some functions that can only be performed by the phone (e.g. taking a photo of a damaged product). Without ViziApps, if you need to store that photo as a database record, you need to write code to the API for the database. The beauty of ViziApps is that it has already created the connection between your mobile app and the record in the database with no coding. Just take the photo, and it will be there in your database.

    Now, you might be a company that is in that hybrid phase, where some information is in the SaaS environment and some critical information in an on-premise Oracle database. Wouldn’t it be great if you could connect the two databases together via the ViziApps mobile app – keeping all of the information required in their respective places but sharing it too? An example of this, say you have to maintain a vacation calendar of you employees so that you can pay them accordingly. In QuickBase, there is an app that allows for an employee to update their vacation dates. In Oracle, on premise database stores all of the PII and pay information. That needs to be updated when an employee requests time-off. QuickBase and Oracle are not connected. Wouldn’t it be great that an employee could just enter their info on a mobile app that updates the calendar in QuickBase and then that updates the info in Oracle, as well? With ViziApps you can do that. Create an app that points to QuickBase info. When info in the QuickBase connected app is updated, it triggers a sequence of events that tells another app in Oracle to update the vacation dates. All of this connectivity and the triggering are done by ViziApps.

    As always, the ViziApps Visual Rapid Mobile App Dev Platform gives you the User Experience flexibility, security, database support, and ease of customization to make your mobile apps a big success with your users.

    ViziApps makes it work. Give it a try!

  • Create A Compelling Mobile Business App

    In an interview with Information Week, ViziApps CEO George Adams recommended 5 steps SMBs can take to ensure that their mobile apps will get used.

    “You need to have an immediate value or hook to the app,” Adams said. In other words, what’s going to make this app stand out from the dozens or even hundreds of others you’ve downloaded?

    It’s critical that you “show a compelling reason to have that other app.”

    This advice holds for SMBs, as well as enterprise business groups developing their own mobile apps.

    Providing the ability to make in-app payments and geo-location services were just two of the features Adams suggested for engaging app users. He also advocated ways to take advantage of the versatility of tablets like the iPad to reduce paperwork and enhance customer presentations.

    This is the same advice Adams offers users of the ViziApps online tool, which enables anyone with minimal computing skills to create a data-rich mobile app. Without doing any coding, ViziApps lets you create a mobile business app online, providing the type of functionality users – whether they are customers, employees, or partners – require to work productively or engage with a business. ViziApps allows non-programmers to build apps that are not only visually engaging, but also allow apps to access data from backend sources such as Google Docs spreadsheets and SQL databases to enable users to make timely, informed business decisions. ViziApps can be used to build apps that run on iOS and Android devices.

    As you plan your next mobile business app, make sure that it offers a compelling user experience. According to research by Localytics, 26% of mobile apps are used just once after they are downloaded. So if you’re planning to build a mobile app for your business, getting users to download it will be just the beginning.

    The importance of engaging your target users cannot be overstated. Localytics found that users who are highly engaged with an app are more likely to make in-app purchases. In fact, 44% of the study sample who made an on-app purchase only did so after interacting with the app at least ten times.

  • Create Custom Mobile Apps for QuickBooks Online

    QuickBooks Online is the rapidly growing cloud version of the world’s most popular accounting program. But when it comes to mobile apps, QuickBooks Online has been constrained to a standardized one-size-fits-all mobile app, and a few special-purpose solutions available through Intuit App Center.

    QuickBooks Screenshot

    Now ViziApps removes all the constraints! You can build the mobile app that exactly suits your business processes, or for your QuickBooks online clients. ViziApps enables you to directly read data from and write data into your QuickBooks Online account. You can use data from other sources to eliminate the inefficiency and mistakes that can occur when a user has to access multiple apps to use different systems. You can empower your workers to be highly productive anywhere, anytime, using exactly the workflow needed to get tasks done quickly.

    And using ViziApps Studio, which doesn’t require coding, you can build your custom app quickly, inexpensively, and without involving a large team of developers. And you can update your app at any time, immediately pushing the new version to your users.

    Find our more about Building Custom Mobile Apps for QuickBooks Online.

    Secure Mobile Apps

    When you create a custom mobile app with ViziApps for QuickBooks Online, every user must log in to the app with their QuickBooks Online account and password – a process that happens directly with Intuit, bypassing ViziApps and your app. Your app communicates directly and securely with Intuit’s servers, keeping your data safe.

    Mobile-First Workflow

    Mobile device users need to get specific tasks done quickly, and with small screens and touch input, demanding the user experience to be optimized in a different way than for web applications. ViziApps Studio uses a page-based organization with free-form layout, enabling you to express the exact workflow for workers to get their tasks done quickly and accurately.

    Mashups with Your Backend and Cloud Data

    In addition to QuickBooks Online, ViziApps can connect your app to Google Sheets, Salesforce.com, Intuit QuickBase, and SQL servers. Need to pull product pricing or inventory data from a Google Drive Spreadsheet, SQL database, or QuickBase? Need to check customer data from Salesforce.com? ViziApps makes this all possible within a single mobile app, and much more.

    True Mobile User Experiences

    ViziApps gives you access to critical smartphone features including GPS, camera, and audio recording, but also extends with important mobility features such as barcode and QR scanning, signature capture, and push notifications. So your custom mobile app becomes a true productivity tool that can transform your business.

  • Differentiate Your Customer Service With A Data-Rich Mobile Business App

    If you’re looking for a low-cost way to enhance the service you provide your customers, consider a mobile business app. With ViziApps, it’s free to design, build and test a mobile app. Then, for modest fees for cloud-based services to maintain your app, your company can provide a branded mobile app that provides customers valuable information wherever they need it.

    And because many companies don’t yet have mobile apps tailored to meet their customers’ data needs, you have the opportunity to clearly differentiate your business.

    That’s right. Today you can still make your business stand apart from your competitors with a data-rich mobile app. But that climate is changing. Offering a mobile app for the iPhone, iPad, and/or Android devices is rapidly becoming more than a nice-to-have option for companies. Soon mobile apps will be mandatory for a successful business.

    Forbes contributor and CRM consultant Gene Marks makes a strong argument for the value of mobile apps for businesses of all sizes in his recent post titled “Your Business Checklist: A Website, A Phone Number, A Mobile App.”

    “It’s time to stop playing games,” Marks writes. “Smart, boring, conservative companies are getting serious about mobile applications. Slowly but surely, they’re waking up to the potential..no, the need…to utilize these applications to develop more business and keep their customers coming back.”

    A cornerstone of his argument is the fact that businesses can provide mobile apps that provide access to the types of data needed to do business – and with minimal investment.

    “Think about it: we can all save whatever files, music, videos and photos, for next to nothing on Amazon, Dropbox, or other such services… [People are asking] Why can’t I view product specs, safety information and environmental releases about the products I’ve purchased” on my choice of mobile device?

    It’s a fair question. But not every mobile app development platform provides easy robust data access. ViziApps does. With ViziApps, you can easily create a mobile app that provides the data your customers need. And it won’t require an expensive, months-long engineering project.

    ViziApps provides a drag-and-drop approach to building a data-rich mobile app for free. (Ongoing maintenance starts at $29 per month for web apps and $49 per month for native apps. See pricing details here.)

    What makes ViziApps different from other app development platforms is the way it allows the integration of databases, web services and Google Docs spreadsheets for mobile apps. Without doing any coding, people with minimal computer skills can create mobile apps that make use of backend data resources to provide a rich user experience. The online ViziApps tool can be used to create mobile apps for the iPhone, iPads, and Android phones and tablets, and to build web apps for any device with a full browser.

    Start thinking about building a mobile app for your business now. Because, as Gene Marks says, “every business should be thinking about building mobile applications today. It’s not a fad or a passing trend. It’s customer service.”

  • Easily include Interactive Charts in your apps

    Highcharts is now integrated into ViziApps. It enables a huge variety of data-rich and responsive charts and graphs with many display options. Used by tens of thousands of developers and 61 out of the world’s 100 largest companies, Highcharts provides the simplest yet most flexible charting solution on the market.

    Using ViziApps Studio, IT teams, business users, and their IT suppliers can now quickly build mobile apps with robust interactive charts without coding.

    Here’s an example chart.

    Chart Image Newsletter Blog

    Numerous Chart Types and Powerful Options

    ViziApps with Highcharts now supports easy integration in your mobile apps charts that include the following types: line, spline, area, area spline, column, bar, pie, scatter, angular gauges, area range, area spline range, column range and polar. Many of these can be combined in one chart.

    Adding charts to your ViziApps mobile apps is easy and fast. Just select the Chart field in the ViziApps Studio, set the name for your chart, and enter the chart options. Chart data can be statically stored in your app or dynamically set from your backend data sources using the Manage Data Dialog.

    Here are just a few examples of the powerful mobile charting options now available with ViziApps:

    Multitouch pinch zoom image

    Pinch-Zooming Your users can zoom in on a chart to more closely examine especially interesting data.

    Tooltip Image

    Tooltip Labels Tapping on a chart can display tooltip text with information on each point and series.

    Gauges Image

    Angular gauges Ideal for dashboards, angular gauges provide speedometer-like charts, easy to read at a glance.

    Polar Chart Image

    Polar charts Cartesian chart types like line, area, spline or area spline can be converted to polar or radial charts with one simple option.

  • Enterprise App Stores For Managing and Deploying Mobile Apps

    As the use of mobile apps in the enterprise grows, companies are implementing – or considering implementing – their own enterprise app stores. By adapting the highly successful app store model, companies can experience many benefits, including:

    • A convenient way to make approved corporate mobile apps and upgrades available to employees, partners and others
    • The ability to control mobile device users’ access to confidential corporate data
    • The ability to manage the types of apps employees use for business

    Marco Nielsen, VP, Services at < a href="http://www.enterprisemobile.com/" target="_blank">Enterprise Mobile, sees the growing use of corporate mobile apps driving the need to implement both mobile device management and mobile app management (MDM and MAM) on a large scale. Through professional and outsourcing services, Enterprise Mobile helps companies deploy and manage mobility initiatives across mobility platforms. Through work with global businesses, Nielsen sees enterprise app stores playing a significant role in how companies are managing both mobile devices and apps.

    ”Many of our global customers rely on an enterprise app store to rapidly deploy apps to iPads and other mobile devices,” Nielsen reports. “Their management solutions allow for deploying some apps worldwide but limit others to use in specific countries. That way, through carefully planned deployments, companies ensure that the mobile apps they have approved for use on their tablets and smartphones are used to their best advantage.”

    Today it’s estimated that only 10 percent of enterprises have their own app stores, but that number is expected to jump. At last year’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of research, predicted that “by 2014, private app stores will be deployed by 60 percent of IT organizations.”

    And in a recent article in Voice and Data, Gartner Research Vice President Brian Prentice wrote: “The dynamics that drive public app stores are consistent with those that will ultimately drive private app stores in the enterprises.” He recommends that enterprises provide access to more than their own mobile apps in their app stores. He also suggests including third-party apps, as well providing links to public app stores and enterprise content.

    Wired magazine blogger Scott Schwarzhoff suggests that an enterprise app store can provide a wide range of services. In a post titled “How IT Can Better Equip the Mobile Workforce,” he writes that an enterprise app store can be a “unified store for all apps and data, app availability based on role, app request workflows, self-service subscriptions, native app delivery for mobile devices in use, and ‘follow-me’ access to information across devices.”

    Managing mobile apps for the enterprise is challenging. An enterprise app store provides a proven means of controlling and managing them for a medium-sized business or a large global enterprise.

  • Financial Advisor Uses ViziApps Mobile App

    Professional Investment Advisors are looking to mobile apps as a way to deepen connections with clients. They are also employing them to showcase their brands, with current clients, as well as prospects.

    In a recent article in RIA Biz magazine (a publication for registered financial advisors), Bill Hayes, principal of Charles Carroll Financial Partners, described the ViziApps-built iPad application he uses to work more efficiently. Now, instead of carrying around lots of paper, Hayes uses the app to access the various types of documents that his clients need to complete or review and approve when he meets with them.

    “I travel quite a bit to meet with clients, and it was getting more difficult to get the necessary information and this makes it much easier,” Hayes told the magazine. “This allows me to show prospects all of the necessary documents that will need to be filled out if they become my client.”

    The app Hayes uses was created with ViziApps 2.0, which features powerful data management capabilities for accessing and managing information stored in Google Docs spreadsheets for use in both native mobile and web apps. ViziApps also supports accessing and managing information stored in SQL. ViziApps 2.0 is now available for download in Apple’s App Store and Google Play (formerly Android Market).

  • Financial Advisory Firm Chooses ViziApps Platform To Create Custom iPad App

    Charles Carroll Financial Partners, which manages over $30 million in assets, selected the ViziApps online tool over other mobile development solutions because of its simple, straightforward design process. The iPad app Charles Carroll created with ViziApps eliminates the need to carry a large set of documents to client meetings. In this way, it has streamlined business processes to the point where employees no longer rely on a paper-based approach to opening and closing discretionary management accounts.

    “The iPad app that we created with ViziApps has added value and depth to the services we provide to our client base,” said Bill Hayes, Charles Carroll CEO. “Not only does this app give us a more professional appearance, it also helps us do business faster and affords us control over who has access to the accounts and documentation necessary in our line of work.”

    Watch a video where Bill Hayes explains why he selected ViziApps.

    “At one point, we actually tried to hire a development team to work on this project,” said Hayes. “Given the high costs and long time-to-market of their approach, we sought another option to help us implement our mobility strategy. With ViziApps, the ability for us to create our custom app, without having sophisticated development skills, was huge. We were able to accomplish exactly what we wanted in a constructive way during the build-out because we, and not an outside development team, controlled that process.”

    • Using ViziApps, Charles Carroll was able to quickly create and publish their iPad app without the need for coding.
    • The company was able to test and can upgrade their app for free; they only pay a modest publishing fee once published.
    • With ViziApps, the app accesses data from Google Docs, and the necessary security and redundancy measures are provided to meet data protection compliance requirements

    “More and more businesses are realizing how easy it is to create, publish, and update powerful mobile apps using ViziApps, where they have direct control over the entire process,” said George Adams, Co-Founder and CEO, ViziApps. “Using ViziApps, financial services firms and other organizations can now create their own branded iPad apps to access business forms, brochures, client lists, videos and other data resources to make highly visual presentations, wherever their meetings take place.”

    Thousands of users are now utilizing the ViziApps platform, with its drag-and-drop approach to creating mobile apps that include enterprise-class data management capabilities not available with any other solution. ViziApps 2.0 features powerful data management capabilities for accessing and managing information stored in Google Docs spreadsheets for use in both native mobile and web apps. ViziApps also supports accessing and managing information stored in SQL databases and other backend resources via web services for native mobile apps.

  • 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.

  • How to Incorporate Camera and GPS Features in Your Mobile App

    The camera and GPS are two features of mobile devices that users particularly enjoy using. To help businesses use ViziApps to create hybrid mobile apps with those features, we have a new a tutorial video.

    Watch this video to allow users to take pictures within the app you’re creating with ViziApps. The video also demonstrates how to easily save photos for use in a mobile business app

    In addition to the camera, the GPS is another powerful function that many app creators want to make available to their users. The video shows how to insert a GPS field anywhere in an app and use the latitude and longitude variables to load a map. It also explains how to save location data to a web data source for address detection or distance calculations. The GPS field is particularly useful for displaying a list of nearby stores or other businesses, for example, or to store a user’s location for other purposes.

    For help using other ViziApps features to create mobile apps, check out the full set of tutorial videos here.

  • Include Push Notifications in your mobile apps

    You can use ViziApps to create mobile apps that can push the right messages to your employees, partners, and customers at the right time, in the right context, based on the stage of work flow they are in and/or the category they are in.

    Quickblock Logo

    Our new Push Notifications, using QuickBlox, enables multiple kinds of notifications. These include notifying a sub-group of users based on their category defined by your app. QuickBlox pushes over 2.5 Billion messages per month.

    Here’s all you need to do to include Push Notifications in your mobile app:

    1. Create your QuickBlox account and create a messaging app there. You can get a free account with up to 1 Million Push messages per month.
    2. Then, login to your ViziApps account, select the app feature for push notification and configure a few QuickBlox keys and set the JavaScript function you want to handle the messages when they come in.

    Now you’re ready to start sending messages to your test ViziApps app on your mobile device and include sending Push messages in your app.

  • 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.

  • Is your mobile app nimble?

    The bad news: no matter how well you plan and execute your mobile app, at some point after publication, it is going to have to be changed.

    The good news: Change is good. Change is beneficial. And with ViziApps, change is easy and free!

    Nimbleness is a key factor in the core development of any mobile app, be it business-to-business, business-to-consumer or business-to-employee, and it is a factor that needs to be considered from the very beginning of your development process.

    Why would you want to change your already published app? It could be for any number of reasons – maybe you want to change an offer or coupon to customers, or maybe your users suggested you integrate a camera or location-based functionality to you app. The decision to make a change may also have to do with your internal decisions. You may make strategic decisions that warrant a change, or your employees may make discoveries after using the app for a while that further increases productivity.

    But if you have had your mobile app custom built, such changes can be timely and costly. The change needs to go back to the development team, which needs to implement it into the overall architecture, and then needs the programmers to code the actual changes. Then, there are more costs for testing the changes.

    With an app that has already been quickly deployed using ViziApps, the process of change is far easier, and free. Just log into the ViziApps Studio, make your changes, and update the app.

    Truth be told, this is the way app development should be – like updating a blog.

    And aside from giving you flexibility in your app, this nimbleness also extends the life of your mobile app. There is no reason to release multiple apps over the years to keep up with change. This can eliminate the need to hold off on needed app changes.

    Flexibility also allows you to keep up with technological change. Any standard features that are added to the ViziApps arsenal of functionality will be available for use on your already published app, for free.

    So go ahead – publish your app with ViziApps. Don’t worry about what changes may come down the pike, as when you are ready, you can make the change quickly, easily and on budget.

  • 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.