Best Online Database Application Builders for 2021

Our Top 3 Project Management Software Recommendations
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The continuing expansion of the internet creates the innovating force that drives web development technologies. Simple websites and static pages are now rare to see as individuals and organizations make the most of a platform with billions of devices connected to it. Scripting languages and modern frameworks resulted in dynamic websites, web database applications, AI-powered bots, progressive web apps, and cloud services.

Web technology today provides more flexible options for businesses. For instance, companies can build their own custom project management system from scratch using an online database builder. This is possible with corresponding financial, time, and manpower investments. Or they can take cloud-based turnkey solutions offered by SaaS providers like monday.com, Asana, or Smartsheet and implement a customizable PM system as quickly as possible.

The Top Online Database App Builders

Users and organizations can choose from ready-to-use cloud-based software to support their business. However, companies with unique requirements prefer to use database builders that give them greater flexibility and control. Below are our favorite online database app builders that provide dependable core functions as well as flexible technical platforms for the best combination possible.

1. Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator LogoZoho Creator is among the online application solutions offered by Zoho Corporation. It is a low-code platform that allows users to easily build custom applications without the need for a developer or extensive programming knowledge. The online database builder uses drag-and-drop action and rules-based logic. It gets data from different sources and keep users’ data in one central place. Build a variety of apps including for project monitoring, project plans, and tasks. The software is compatible with iOS and Android devices.

Learn more about Zoho Creator

2. Podio

Podio from Citrix is a customizable work management solution that consolidates business processes. It is a highly flexible software and online database builder that enables users to customize according to their specific structure and processes. Include external partners for fast communication and collaboration, use data visualization on dashboards and reports, and provide granular administration control over user access. Apps are drag-and-drop components that users can choose and combine from their Marketplace to create their own solutions. It also integrates with email, online file-sharing services, and productivity apps, with compatibility with third-party extensions. Custom integrations is also possible through open API and mobile software development kits.

Learn more about Podio

3. Quickbase

Quickbase is an online database builder software that helps teams solve important business problems. Companies can store their data online, and employees can access it any time they need it. The software offers many kinds of web applications to make sense of this data. The cloud-based database software helps speed up application development, delivery, and integration without the high cost. Users can take advantage of built-in features for team collaboration and full customization.

Learn more about Quickbase

4. Caspio

Caspio LogoCaspio is a low-code platform that lets you build web database applications. With ready-made web apps and point-and-click tools, it enables users to create their own forms, reports, and database applications to help them run their business without the disadvantages of long and costly application development. Caspio, Inc. is a privately-held Silicon Valley company that provides a complete solution of online database software, app builder, cloud infrastructure, and expert support. It also has a wide selection of instant apps that include task management and a flexible pricing plan.

Learn more about Caspio

5. Knack

Knack is an easy-to-use database builder that provides users the tools to solve business problems. They can build apps in simple steps that include defining the database, building the interface, and sharing the data. From its experience in helping companies build online databases and web applications, it has recognized similar requirement patterns. So they’ve created the building blocks of the applications for these requirements. Examples of web database applications made with the software are store locators, job portals, and project management apps.

Learn more about Knack

6. TrackVia

TrackVia LogoTrackVia is an application-building platform that allows users to create apps quickly without code. Start by uploading a spreadsheet containing data or start from scratch. Follow the step-by-step guide to build reports or dashboards, input forms, or connect to other web applications. The online database builder has pre-built applications that provide complete business solutions such as project management with time tracking, milestones, automated reminders, reporting, and collaboration.

Learn more about TrackVia

7. TeamDesk

TeamDesk is an easily accessible online database software for business. With the help of many predefined database templates, users can build their database and customize their web-based application solutions. Predefined database templates include all-in-one project management apps, Covid-19 patients tracking, leads management, invoicing, and mobile time tracking. Clients all over the world are very satisfied with the flexibility of the software as well as the excellent customer support provided.

Learn more about TeamDesk

8. Kohezion

Kohezion is an online database app builder that provides a no-code business solution. Users are able to easily transform data from spreadsheets into a relational database system. A drag-and-drop app builder enables them to create custom web apps that address their requirements. They can create apps that handle client information, contacts, tasks, and schedules, or link them together for an end-to-end solution. With built-in collaboration tools, teams can share files, post comments, display powerful dashboards, and integrate with Dropbox. A Standard plan that includes up to 5 users and unlimited applications is available on a monthly pay-as-you-go pricing. A custom-priced, turnkey solution is also available, and a free 14-day trial period for users to try.

Learn more about Kohezion

9. ZenBase

ZenBase is an online database app builder with a simple interface that non-technical users can learn to use in minutes. Create data from scratch or import through a simple form. Sample solutions created using this online platform are project management applications, product catalog, inventory management, and employee directory. The hosted database service that supports role-based user and table permission control allows users to create, update, read, and delete records and use many interactive and inline editing controls including images, progress bars, and auto-complete texts.

Read our ZenBase Review

10. Node14

Aside from the many DIY-focused database builders, many people find it most efficient to partner with a company that can consult with them to build the software best suited for their needs. Node14 specializes in custom solutions, and their team of experts is well versed in building bespoke databases without the slow speeds and high cost of other options. Move away from disorganized and under-featured spreadsheets, and streamline your operations by partnering with Node14. They offer free consultations to discuss if Node14’s software and services will be a good fit for your business.

Learn more about Node14

Why build an online database application for project management?

There are hundreds of project management systems available for businesses of all sizes. So why go through the daunting process of building your custom PM solution with an online database? Every company is unique. It has its own way of dealing with customers, its own types of data, its own process of task assignment and completion, time entry, project methodology, costing, resource management, or project delivery. Building your application around your data and process increases the rate of success compared to fitting all your data into an existing application. An online database is a durable, accessible, and secure form of digital storage.

What you need to know to build your project management tool

Teams use project management standards to make sure they cover all their bases, but project complexity can range from simple to extreme. So, a project management tool will include features to cover the stages of project initiation, planning, execution, control and monitoring, and closing, but also will vary depending on factors like team size, number of tasks, duration, and budget. At the minimum, a web database application for project management will allow team members to view their tasks, update its status, and enter time spent. The tool will also provide the project manager to add, view, and edit a list of tasks, milestones, costs, hours, and resources and create reports.

Important project management functionality include:

  • Project planning and sequencing
  • Work break down
  • Scheduling
  • Task management
  • Resource management
  • Budgeting and cost tracking
  • Time tracking

How should your PM database look

To create your custom project management tool, your online database builder will provide you the tools and space to create tables that will hold your data. For every project, you need to enter information about your customer or client, their contact details, project details, milestones, tasks, hours spent per task, cost per task, and user details. Since you will be tracking project items, you need to create tables that will describe or hold the different status of a project, a milestone, and a task. Additionally, you need to plan a database schema or how specific records in one table connect to another table to create relationships and proper referencing.

Building your online database application

After completing your database schema, use your online database application builder to create your tables. Depending on the software you choose, you can do this one table at a time. Some will allow you to import your tables and data on a spreadsheet or migrate them from a desktop database program. You can also check if the database builder has prebuilt PM database templates that you can customize. After creating your tables, build the web pages that will allow you to enter data (forms) or display them (dashboards, calendar, or reports).

Ready to use an online database app builder?

Online database app builders help teams and companies build their own custom web database applications, such as a project management tool. Each solution with its set of features can provide benefits depending on user requirements. Our featured database builders have features and tools that make them the ideal solution depending on a user or its requirements.

However, all of them requires a series of manual processes where you invest a significant amount of time, cost, and effort to get exactly what you want. On the other hand, cloud-based project management solutions such as Smartsheet, Asana, or monday.com have all the database tables you will need with regular updates of features. They also come with customizable dashboards, statuses, fields, and reports that gives you flexibility and availability as you need them.

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.

29 Responses

  1. Caspio is better if you want to be able to customize your app and deploy in your own website for public facing because they offer unlimited users. With it you can build your own SaaS solution.

  2. Avatar Uwe says:

    If you are serious about developing a data-base driven app and if you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, then i highly recommend Knack. The interface is easy to use and on top their support is AWESOME. Whatever question you have they help you with, in my case they even spend a couple of hours to get me on track.
    Bottom line: Worth every cent.
    Thumbs up high A+

  3. Avatar Agustin says:

    Hi guys, I recently have to build a booking database and tested both Zoho Creator and Teamdesk , side by side, and I recommend Teamdesk, funcionality is kind of similar, big difference was in SUPPORT, when I created my test db I found more easily to build in Zoho but then I stumbled upon “messaging server connection” issues and the second day I was unable to load entries, meanwhile I was stucked in db creation in TD but mailed my needs to them and TD support team literally created my app for free then I test it, made myself the changes I needed and voila! Prices are similar but SUPPORT was everything to me .

  4. Avatar Brittney says:

    I have used both Knackhq and Caspio. I prefer Caspio. Knack has glitches that they have not worked out as of yet and it’s caused me to rebuild my app three times before saying forget it and going elsewhere. I had high hopes for them but this really threw me off. After I reached out to customer service they wanted to charge me 100 to restore the app BC I wasnt a corporate customer.

    Yeah they lost me for life.

  5. Avatar Mike says:

    Hey everyone; the products listed here are all nice products. But if you are looking for someone really easy to build on top of and really expandable, take a look at Zengine. (http://www.zenginehq.com). Zengine not only offers the core features that most of these other products do – like forms, views, reports, etc. but also offers the ability to implement add-ons (plugins) that allow you to completely customize the package with little or not cost. There are public plugins but you can also create small (10 to 50 line) javascript plugins that add buttons, links, workflows, etc. to any form in any given situation. Not all Zengine customers need this; but it’s there when you do and eliminates having something you can’t completely customize to your workflow.

  6. Avatar Marco says:

    All mentioned solutions are great but may i suggest to add ParaSQL also on the list as Rapid App Development Tool in the Cloud. Register for a free account and with wysiwyg and drag an drop without coding you can make your online database app 8x faster ! (www.parasql.eu)

  7. Avatar Stefy Biber says:

    Hello,

    This is really an informative blog for all the beginners as well as app developers.

    I am an iOS app developer, I have tried most of the mobile app development platforms. I have developed more than 50 apps till today with the help of Phonegap, Telerik, Configure.IT etc. They are running successfully on app store.

    As per my experience in this field, I recommend developers as well as beginners to use mobile app development platform like Configure.IT, because it provides automatic coding, app preview facility, direct API connect and a lot more features. These things save a lot more development time and provides fast and well designed app in much less time.

    Read more: http://www.configure.it/features/mobile-app-configuration/

  8. Avatar Bernardo says:

    Podio is great one too.

  9. Great post! Probably the preferred the term is “database application builder”, because at their core, all of above mentioned apps are online databases with add-on services such as form builder and views. Based on my own research while developing a competitive service, it’s concluded that Caspio is the 800-pound gorilla in this space. It’s an all-around, very matured product; Zoho is right behind Caspio if you think you are comfortable in some programming (not a lot); Knack is probably the 3rd best, however, its UI is the most confusing.

    Well, hopefully, my new tool, ZenBase – http://getzenbase.com – will make the list sometime in the near future!

  10. Avatar Brian Smith says:

    Hey, my team checked most of the tools mentioned in your post and here are my two cents:

    Caspio and Quickbase are probably the most mature tools, but it was really hard to get anyone on the team to use them; in my opinion these tools are way too clunky. Like Brittney, we experienced problems with Knack. I think their product just isn’t “polished enough”. I didn’t get to speak to their customer support team though, so cannot give you my thoughts there.

    Eventually it boiled down to two products, Podio (https://www.podio.com) and Fusioo (https://www.fusioo.com). We eventually decided to stick with Fusioo since it had more robust permission settings and is better value for money; full reporting is included in the base price!

    I will post any updates here.

    • Avatar hmahmed says:

      Hey Brian, Hussein here from Transpose. You guys should definitely check us out. Would love to connect you with our Customer Success team to help with anything as well. Cheers!

  11. Project-Management.com Project-Management.com says:

    Our Top 5 becomes a Top 10 of Database App Builders.

  12. Avatar John Ashley says:

    Zoho looked quite promising, but I rejected it because of their ludicrous record limits. 10,000 records per user for so called ‘Enterprise’? I have small business clients who have 500,000 records in one table! Zoho flatly refused to make any adjustment. Worse than useless.

    • Avatar hmahmed says:

      John! We would love to accommodate you and your clients on Transpose. No records limit, built in reports and analytics and we sure can discuss any adjustments needed! would love to connect!

    • Avatar Larry F says:

      We use Zoho Creator. We have 450,000 records and we are a company of less than 50 people. I’m currently using less than 100k. You can pay for more records if needed. Also, your backups don’t count towards the record count so you could archive records and download the backup. I have well over 100 backups saved on my account. But if you want more records it’s $10 per 10,000 records.

      I’m a Zoho fan. I haven’t tried any of the competition…so I’m not as educated. The Customer Portal was what sold us and the fact you can use Creator to build onto your CRM was another major plus. Support is spotty. However the forums are helpful. Certain subscriptions allow for live chat with Support. I use this often.

      The Creator app has native bar code / QR scanning using your camera. This was great for our warehouse.

      You can get pretty complex with Creator. We use APIs to interact with Google Maps and MapQuest for route planning. We also use Apigee. Zapier is also a possibility if you don’t want to mess with an API.

  13. Avatar camecenter says:

    The best at all is zoho creator. We have been use this great app from 2009 until now. It is great.

  14. Avatar Joun lee says:

    I love simbla online database which is a part of their website builder. It has a great UI and advanced javascript capabilities working with the database.

  15. Avatar Mark says:

    I’ve been on the lookout for an online database app builder for a while and actually stumbled upon inboldsolutions.com
    It seems like they’ve nailed the simplicity factor while also making it very advanced. I can’t code for the life of me but was able to build three apps in a few hours, including my new PM app. I highly suggest checking them out!

  16. Avatar Bill P says:

    Hi. Our organization has some unique requirements and I’m wondering if you could give any input. We’re located in Asia and our database needs to be updated by people in the field who don’t have immediate internet access. They collect data at the project sites and then return to areas in which they do have internet access. Also, the apps need to be bilingual so I’d like to know which of the above services are most suitable for us. Thanks!

    • Jose Maria Delos Santos Jose Maria Delos Santos says:

      Hi Bill. It seems that you need a solution that has mobile apps for field use. I know that Podio and Zoho Creator have those, but I am not sure if they have that offline functionality that you need. I am also unsure about bilingual or language localization settings. Maybe the other members can share some info. Good luck!

    • Avatar Rogério Penna says:

      3 years later, but if you need offline use, search for AppSheet. It’s pricing is $5 or $10 per user. It’s very easy to create your database (you can connect it to use Google Spreadsheets as database) and has mobile online and offline features, as well as desktop.

  17. Avatar Sean Sykes says:

    I represent a Condo Community. We are non-profit and would like a simple way to log resident info, equipment logs and other relatively minor stuff. Ideally we would like a free or very cheap solution as all the money we take in from fees goes back into our community.

  18. As a solution in the cloud, I personally love Zoho creator.

    If instead you want to build an application and install it in your own server/hosting very easily I recommend DaDaBIK (dadabik.com): it has been one of the first RAD tool in the field and the new V.8 Lerici includes lots of new features, including a new responsive front-end. In case you need it, you also have complete control on the code.
    Disclaimer: I am the founder.

  19. Avatar Maria Parker says:

    I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post..

  20. Avatar Jeff Nailen says:

    Great roundup and comments from users and developers. Where does Airtable fit into this illustrious list? How does it compare with these options, especially for rolling your own project management app not just for internal use, but that can also be offered commercially as a SaaS app?

  21. Avatar Robert Dyas says:

    If you are looking for more of an enterprise-class product, take a look at ParaSQL. It is kind of in a class of its own when it comes to UI power and especially integration with other systems. Also, having root access to your own private dedicated server is something I think only ParaSQL offers. Somewhere else someone mentioned that it seems 5 or 10 years ahead of other offerings.

    • Avatar Rogério Penna says:

      I liked what I saw… until I went to the pricing page… $50 thousand dollars a year is way above what my company wants to spend, considering most of our 200 employees work on production (road construction) and only administration and support processes would use this solution.

  22. Avatar Carolyn says:

    If scalability and flexibility are important to you, I believe Quick Base has the most to offer. It’s worth the investment and learning curve if you’re up for it.

  23. Avatar Amy says:

    For those who like and use Zoho Creator, I’m looking to build a custom CRM, but I haven’t found a way to create actual LINKS from records that have a relationship to another. It will show the primary record field (i.e., Name), but doesn’t link directly to that record. I want to build a rather large database and users need to be able to link around the app and navigate easily without having to back out and go to the main list all the time. Any tips on how to do this in Zoho Creator? I’m almost sold, but this is a must. Knack doesn’t do this well either b/c it creates a massive child page nesting structure over and over again every time you want to link to a connected record, so you just end up down a rabbit hole and creates a ton of extra work b/c there’s no global template or settings for a view, you have to basically recreate them each time you want a connection link.

    Thanks for any tips with Zoho Creator. Much appreciated.

    Amy

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