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Intermediate tutorial

Learn how to reference tables, work with formulas, share your work, import and export data
Note: The screenshots shown here might look a bit different from what you see in your application but the workflow is the same.

Let's continue!

If you need a refresher before starting this tutorial, the basics tutorial shows how to create a database, add, edit, and delete a table, use view, how to sort and filter, and how to save your work.
The intermediate tutorial covers the following topics:

Creating a table reference

As mentioned in the basics tutorial, a table is designed to hold data. In the intermediate tutorial, we cover how table references can enhance your tables.
In contrast to manually populating fields with choices like we do in the event management example, a table reference connects another, separate table to a field. In other terms, every single record in this separate table becomes a choice in a field. Linking tables to each other significantly expands your choices.

Creating a ”Company” table

To begin, we create a separate table called Company. Next, we want to connect all of the data in the Company table with a new field in the Events table. Once done, you can select a record from the Company table by clicking the newly-created field.
Refer to the basics tutorial if you need a refresher on how to create a table.
To follow along, create the following fields:
  • Company Name → Text
  • Industry → Choice: Combobox → List of industries
  • Event Sponsor? → Choice: Combobox → Yes or No
  • Address Line 1 → Text
  • Address Line 2 → Text
  • City → Text
  • State → Choice: Combobox → List of states, provinces, etc.
Next, create a section for a Company Representative with the following fields:
  • Full Name → Text
  • VIP Guest? → Choice: Switch → Yes or No
  • Birthdate → Date

Populating data fields

To download and import sample data for your new Company table:
  1. 1.
    Download the Company table data.
  2. 2.
    Follow the steps in the Importing Data section below to add the Company table data to your database.
Alternatively, if you prefer to manually populate fields with data, use your own sample data or copy some of the text below for inspiration.
Left side of the table view
Right side of the table view
Form view

Adding headers

Include Headers to better organize your tables.
Example headers ”Company Information” and ”Company Representative:”
To add a header:
  1. 1.
    From the table view, click the Actions gear icon and then choose Edit fields…
  2. 2.
    On the right-side panel, select Add layout element.
  3. 3.
    Drag the Head field on the right to a location in the Fields panel.
  4. 4.
    Rename the field (e.g., “Company Information”) and hit <ENTER>.

Customizing the header

The next step is to format the header text based on your own personal preferences. In this example, we make the text “Company Information” appear in bold lettering, but other customization options include borders, alignment, size, and background color.
To customize the header:
  1. 1.
    Select the Company Information header.
  2. 2.
    Select the Style field.
  3. 3.
    In the Font Style field, click Bold.
  4. 4.
    Click the OK button.
  5. 5.
    In the Field editor, click the OK button.
  6. 6.
    Click the Save changes button.
The new header is ready:

Adding a table reference

To add a table reference, return to the Administrator mode and edit fields in the table.
To edit fields in the table:
  1. 1.
    Navigate to the Events table.
  2. 2.
    In the top-left corner, click the Actions gear icon.
  3. 3.
    In the drop-down menu, select Edit fields…
For visual assistance, refer the animated graphic below:
To add a table reference:
  1. 1.
    In the bottom-right corner of the Edit Fields window, select Create table reference.
  2. 2.
    A list of all tables appears. The list of tables includes your new Company table.
  3. 3.
    Drag your newly-created table to the fields area, like you are adding a new field.
  4. 4.
    Rename your field or name it “Company” like in shown in the example below. Hit <ENTER> after you type the field name.
  5. 5.
    Click the Save changes button. Your table reference is ready.

Using table references

After saving your changes in the previous step, return to the Events table.
Start with the Form view by selecting the Form button at the top of the screen—this displays the form to the right of the table.
A new selection field called Company is visible.
Click anywhere in this field to go to the Company table.
Select a company record or, if your referenced table is very large, enter a search term and matching results appear automatically. For visual assistance, refer to the animated graphic below:

Drilling down

With your newly referenced table, you now have multiple layers of information. In this section, we learn how to ”drill down” into your data.
”Drilling down” is just a fancy way of saying, ”I want more detailed information.” In the example above, we selected ”Otis Manufacturing” as our company.
Your Company field should now list your selection (“Otis Manufacturing Inc. Agriculture…” etc.). Select the field to drill down into the record to view detailed company information. For visual assistance, refer to the animated graphic below:

Working with formulas

Formulas enable you to automatically populate fields based on other content. For example, formulas can automatically format text, perform calculations on values, and even use logic to produce conditional information (i.e., “If this is true, then do that...” type statements).
In this tutorial, we use a formula field to automatically calculate age based on a provided birthdate.
If you replicated the Company table as shown above, one of your fields should be Birthdate (created by adding the Date field). For visual assistance, refer to the screenshot below:
Start by navigating to the Company table you created earlier. To jump between tables, select the table name in the main menu. Then select Edit fields.
To navigate to the Company table:
  1. 1.
    In the top-left corner, click the Actions gear icon.
  2. 2.
    In the settings drop-down, select Edit fields...
For visual assistance, refer to the animated graphic below:

Adding the ”Age” formula field

Next, we’re going to add a Formula field and call it “Age.” This process is exactly the same as in the basics tutorial. We add a field and give it a name (remember to hit <ENTER> after you type “Age”).
Let’s add it directly after the Birthdate field, as shown in the animated graphic below:
Now that the Age field has been added, we need to define a formula—this is done in the Formula editor.
To navigate to the Formula editor:
  1. 1.
    Select the Age field.
  2. 2.
    In the Formula window, select the Formula field.
  3. 3.
    The Formula editor appears.

Using the formula editor

The Formula editor is where the magic happens! This is a 100% drag & drop environment. First, let’s have a look at the four navigation tabs:
  • Fields: Displays a list of all fields used in the active table
  • Calculate: Tools to add, subtract, multiple, exponents, etc.
  • Logic: Tools to create conditional formulas, for example like if / then / else, and, or, =, , etc.
  • Text / Date: Text formatting and time-related tools

Dragging & dropping formula

We need to tell Ninox to determine the age of a company representative based on a provided birthdate. To do this, we use the Age formula and apply it to the Birthdate field.
To drag & drop formula:
  1. 1.
    Select the Text / Date tab.
  2. 2.
    Drag & drop the Age tool to the Formula editor canvas.
  3. 3.
    Next, select the Fields tab.
  4. 4.
    Drag the Birthdate field and drop it into Age.
  5. 5.
    In the top-right corner, click the OK button.
For visual assistance, refer to the animated graphic below:

Saving your work

To save changes:
  1. 1.
    In the top-right corner, click the OK button.
  2. 2.
    The Formula windows re-appears. Click OK button.
  3. 3.
    The Edit Fields window re-appears. Click the OK button. Your changes are saved.
For visual assistance, refer to the animated graphic below:

Viewing the ”Age” field

To view the Age field:
  1. 1.
    Click on a table row. The form slides into view from the right.
  2. 2.
    Check that the Form view is selected.
  3. 3.
    A new field called Age is visible. The Age field is automatically calculated from the Birthdate.

Changing alignment

The default alignment for some fields, such as the new Age field above, is right-aligned.
To change alignment:
  1. 1.
    From the table view, open the Edit Field screen.
  2. 2.
    Select the Age field.
  3. 3.
    Select the Style field.
  4. 4.
    In the Text align field, select Center.
  5. 5.
    Click the OK button, click the OK button again, and finally click the Save changes.

Sharing a view

Ninox offers some pretty powerful, and easy to use, sharing functionality. At any time you can easily share a view of your work in multiple formats, such as HTML, PDF, Excel, and even JSON.
When a shared view is created, Ninox creates a web address that can be viewed—and copied—in a website browser.
Here’s a rundown of how to do it:

Activating sharing

The first step is to activate sharing. When sharing is activated, it means that anyone who has a web address can look at a view. If sharing is deactivated, a shared web address does not work.
To activate sharing:
1. From a table, click the Actions gear icon and select Share this view… 2. In the Activate sharing field, select either Yes.

Creating a web address for sharing

To create a web address for sharing:
  1. 1.
    Select Yes to activate sharing. The window expands to display all the different formats.
  2. 2.
    Select a format: HTML, PDF, Excel, CSV, or JSON.
  3. 3.
    Ninox automatically creates a web address in the Public URL field.
  4. 4.
    Click the Globe icon to open a new website tab featuring the shared view.
  5. 5.
    Feel free to copy & paste the URL to share with your colleagues.
Lastly, remember to leave sharing activated so that your view can be seen. To keep sharing activated, click the OK button.
To deactivate sharing, select No and confirm by clicking the OK button.
Here’s how to create a web address of your view in PDF format:

Importing data

So far we’ve discussed a couple of different ways to input data into Ninox: manually entering data into fields and using a table reference to add data from another table source.
A third way—and the preferred option for a large amount of data—is to import from a CSV (comma-separated value) file. A CSV file is essentially a spreadsheet with rows & columns… exactly the same structure as a Ninox table!
Let’s talk about how to import a CSV file.

Selecting a file

The first step is to select a file, likely from your local computer system or network. You can start the process from either the Table Selection screen:
…or via the Actions gear icon on a Table screen:
No matter which option you choose, click the Choose File button.
An Open or Select window appears (based on your browser). Navigate to the location of a CSV file and select it for import.
If you’d like to try using our sample Company data, you can download a sample data file here.
For visual assistance, refer to the screenshot below (Google Chrome on Windows):

Defining the settings

Don’t worry, you probably won’t need to change any of the settings! Ninox, though, wants to make sure that you are always in control of how your data is used.
One field of interest is the Choose table to import data into which tells Ninox where your CSV content should go.
If you want a brand new table featuring your data, then select Create new table from import. This is automatically selected if you started the process from the Table Selection screen.
If you want your CSV content to be imported into an existing table, then select the drop-down arrow and pick a table to import your data into.
When you’re ready, click the Next button.

Customizing fields

In the next step, Ninox gives you the freedom to customize your field names and field types.
To customize fields:
  1. 1.
    In the Please enter table name field, enter a unique name for your newly-imported table. In this example, we used “Company Contacts.”
  2. 2.
    In the field name panels on the left, change (or keep) the field names as needed.
  3. 3.
    In the drop-down menus on the right, change (or keep) the field types as needed. For example, you may want to change the “Industry” field type from “Text” to “Choice” and, later on, populate the field with specific options.
  4. 4.
    When you’re all done, click the Next button.

Finishing the import

The last screen shows a preview of your table populated with some of your data. Check it all out and see if it’s what you’re looking for. If you’re not happy, you can always select Go back and make changes.
If you’re happy with everything, click the Import now button.
Left half of the preview table
Right half of the preview table
Click the OK button. Your imported table is ready.

Exporting data

Ninox can easily export data into CSV or Excel formats. Like Sharing and Importing above, start by clicking the Actions gear icon and then select Export data…

Exporting in CSV format

If you decide to export in comma-separated value (CSV) format, then you can customize your export in a few different ways. like including a header, selecting a separator, selecting a date format, etc.
To export in CSV format:
  1. 1.
    Start by selecting CSV export at the top of the Export data window and then try some different configurations to see how they work.
  2. 2.
    When all done, click the Open button.
  3. 3.
    Ninox will create the CSV file and it can be downloaded to your system where you can open or view it as needed.

Exporting in Excel format

To export in Excel format, we follow the exact same process except select Excel import in the Export data window.
If you want to use the same formatting number and date formats used in your Ninox table, then remember to select the Maintain number and date formats checkbox.
Lastly, click the Open button and download the Excel file.

Congratulations!

You've now implemented the Ninox features designed to manage different aspects of data, from table references and formulas to importing and exporting data.