Get familiar with databases, tables, data fields, and forms
Every Ninox project starts with a database.
To create a database:
- 2.Log in with your Ninox credentials.
- 3.Click the Start Ninox button. The Ninox app opens in your browser.
- 4.In the app screen, click New Database.
Ninox offers a variety of templates to work from depending on need, such as collections, inventory, or custom CRM. In this tutorial, we work with the example of an event management system.
To create a new database for event management:
- 1.In this case, let’s start with a blank slate, so click New.
- 2.Your new database needs a name. In the New Database pop-up, enter: "Event Manager" then click the Create database button.
- 3.Your new database is ready.
In this tutorial, we work with an Event Manager database. This database enables you to create a new event and specify the agenda, venue, attendees, and other information regarding event specifics.
In a database, a table holds information—in this example, about the event—in rows and columns. To identify a table in a database, the table needs a name.
To name a table:
- 1.First, select your new Event Manager database.
- 2.Then, in the next screen click New table.
- 3.A table screen appears.
- 4.In the Table name field, enter a name for your table. Since this will hold data about events, we’ll name it Events.
To build a form that collects data, drag & drop data fields from the Create field window on the right to the Fields window on the left.
In the example below, we use the following data fields:
- Text → Type the “Title” of an event
- Date → Date when an event occurs
- Number → Define the Number field with the word “Participants”
- Choice → Define the Choice option as a “Venue”
- Text (multiline) → A text block for information about an event’s “Agenda”
ENTER> after defining each field name to save changes.
Before saving changes, let's work on some more data customization.
If you already clicked the Save changes button, follow the steps below to return to editing:
- 1.After saving changes, you return to the table view.
- 2.In the top-left corner, click the Actions gear icon.
- 3.In the drop-down menu, select Edit fields… You return to the table editor.
Every data field can be customized based on your needs—select the newly-dropped field and configure it so it best suits your needs. For example, perhaps you are looking to make a field required or to add a minimum or maximum length, add a tooltip, set viewable permissions, etc.
With Ninox, you’re in complete control of how your form fields are displayed.
Let’s configure the Venue choice field, a drop-down menu, so that the field matches the criteria below:
- is required
- displays options via radio buttons
- has a tooltip
- includes 4 different selectable options
- 1.Select the Venue field name.
- 2.In the Required field, select Yes.
- 1.In the Show As field, select Radio Buttons (since only one venue can be selected).
- 2.In the Tooltip box, enter “Select event location.” A tooltip is a hovering text that appears when a mouse cursor hovers over the field.
Since this is a Choice field, you are able to select from different venue options.
Under Choice values, click the + Add value button to create as many options as you like for your choice field. In this example, we create 4 venues. Remember to click the OK button after making a change. When you’re happy with your field customizations, click the Save changes button. Remember to click the Save changes button, as your first form is starting to take shape. In the next section, we make minor adjustments to the form before inputting data.
Ninox offers multiple selection options: combo boxes, radio buttons, and switches. Continue to learn about each selection option and when to use which.
A combo box is best used in the following scenarios:
- When there is a recommended default option like the first option in a list
- When there are more than 7 choices
- When a user doesn’t need to compare items (choices are familiar)
- When you need to optionally provide a text-entry field when using an “Other” option
Radio buttons are best used in the following scenarios:
- When you’d like your user to read all available options
- When you have less than 5 choices
- When a user needs to compare items, like subscription choices
- When you want to emphasize a quick selection
A switch control is best used in the following scenarios:
- When there are two available options
- When there is a default option
- When a user needs to easily toggle between simple options, like On/Off, Yes/No, etc.
Since tables play a big role when creating your own databases, you'll find a visual reminder about the different parts of a table below:
To delete a table:
- 1.From the table view, click the Actions gear icon.
- 2.Select Edit fields…
- 3.In the panel that appears, on the bottom left, click the Delete table button.
- 4.A confirmation message appears. Click the Delete table button again to confirm deletion.
Ninox is designed to empower you to be your own decision-maker—no need to wait for others, you can start building your form right away. Forms can be completely customized and configured based on your requirements.
Let’s have a look at the form you just built:
- After saving your work, the Tables tab appears.
- Select the Events table to return to your form.
- In the table, click any cell within the first row.
- Your form appears on the right side.
Want your fields to look a bit different? Try clicking on a cell’s margins to enter edit mode, then grab an anchor point to resize as needed.
To move fields around, follow the steps above to highlight a cell and then drag and re-order as needed.
Every time you make a change to your work, a red banner appears on the top-right of the screen reminding you to save. We recommending saving changes frequently.
When the wrench icon in the right-hand corner i red, you are in admin mode. In admin mode, you can edit fields, like changing a field’s size or order, as shown above. While admin mode is auto-enabled, it turns off if you close the database. To return to admin mode, click the greyed-out wrench again so it turns red, then continue editing.
While Ninox offers advanced options for the import of data, for now, the easiest way to input new data is to simply enter information directly into your form.
There are two ways to input data:
- Select a row and—in the form on the right—complete each field as needed. For visual assistance, refer to the animated graphic below:
- Alternatively, double-click a cell and enter information directly, like you would in a spreadsheet. For visual assistance, refer to the animated graphic below:
The numbers on the left side of a table are called Row Numbers and ID Numbers:
- Row Number: These are row headers that are listed sequentially—from lowest to highest—and are used to indicate a horizontal row (e.g., “Row number 5…,” “Row number 1…,” etc.)
- ID Number: The numbers found in the ID column are called ID numbers and are used to indicate a record. These are automatically generated by Ninox (e.g., ID Number 2 above refers to the record with the title “YMCA Fundraising Gala”).
The ID column is used to assign a specific value to each record, but it may be confusing that numbers appear out-of-sequence.
If you prefer not seeing the ID column, hide the ID column from view. This does not affect your table's functionality.
To hide the ID column, click the ID column header, then click the Hide column button.
To show (un-hide) a column, select the Filter icon and drag the hidden field back from the Available Columns panel to the Visible Columns panel.
Ready to bring in your colleagues to show off your latest custom app?
Use Ninox Invite feature to add new users to the team and assign a role to them.
To invite a Ninox user to join a team:
- 1.Return to the team interface by clicking on the blue team name (“My Team 1” below).
- 2.Select Invite.
- 3.In the Email field, enter the invitee's email address.
- 4.In the Access rights field, select a role. You can choose between admin or editor. Alternatively, select Create new role.
- 5.Click the Send invitation button.
The invitee receives an email similar to the screenshot below. Once the invitee clicks the Accept Invitation, button, they become part of your team.
To change the order or type of field data that appears, click a column header and apply filters and/or sort data as needed.
For example, Grouping data is extremely useful when working with large data sets. The animated graphic below shows how to sort values in Ascending or Descending order.
Views represent a subset of data contained in a table. By implementing different Views in Ninox, you can look at the same information from multiple angles, gain more insight into your data, and ultimately make better informed decisions.
To explore Views, click the + icon and try out a few different view options.
You've just created a custom app with its own database, table, and customized fields. Continue with the intermediate tutorial to learn about table references, working with formulas, sharing your work as well as importing and exporting data.