Top 10 Database App Builders to Create your PM Tool

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online_database_iconInitially with static pages only, web development technologies such as scripting language allowed for more dynamic websites and web apps. Now, these technologies have advanced significantly to include APIs, web development frameworks, online work platforms, apps marketplace and software-as-a-service. In addition, online app builders are giving users the power to create their own business tools. Companies of all sizes, especially small and mid-sized enterprises, now have ready access to affordable and customizable web applications to boost their productivity and profitability.

The Top 10

In spite of the great number of choices, some companies and organizations with unique requirements are still looking for online applications that will work specifically for them. Below are our favorite ten that not only provide dependable core functions but also flexible technical platforms for the best possible combination.

1. Knack (* Editor’s Choice *)

knackhq logo

Knack is a simple online database and app builder based in New York City, USA. It does this in three steps which are 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. Therefore, they made it easy by creating the building blocks of the applications for these requirements. Some of these applications are store locators, job portals, and for project management.

Read our Knack Review

2. Caspio

caspio logo

Caspio is a cloud-based platform that offers ready-made web applications as well as point-and-click tools to make your own. It allows users to create their own forms, reports, and database applications to help them run their business without being restricted by long and costly application development. Caspio, Inc., is a privately held Silicon Valley company that provides a complete solution of an online database, app builder, cloud infrastructure and expert support. It also has a wide selection of instant apps that include task management and a very flexible price plan.

Read our Caspio Review

3. Podio

Podio: A Citrix company with offices in Copenhagen, Denmark; and San Francisco, CA, USA. Podio is a work management platform with integrated chat, social collaboration, project management and automated workflows features. It is a highly flexible software that enables users to customize according to their specific structure and processes, easily 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 components that users can choose and combine from its Marketplace to create their own solutions using drag-and-drop technology. It also integrates with online file sharing services and other productivity apps, has extensions created by third-party developers, and email integration. The open API and mobile SDK allow users to build their own custom integrations.

Read our Podio Review

4. Zoho Creator

zoho creator logo

Zoho Creator is one of the more than 25 online applications that have been launched by Zoho Corporation. It allows for the user to easily build custom applications without the need for a developer or an extensive knowledge of programming. It is an app builder that uses drag-and-drop action and rules-based logic. It can get data from different sources but keep yours in one central place. The variety of apps that can be built is great including for project monitoring, project plans and tasks. It also has apps that integrate with iOS and Android devices.

Read our Zoho Creator Review

5. QuickBase

QuickBase is an online database platform from Intuit. When a company’s data is stored online, it can be accessed anywhere by the people who need it at anytime. It offers many kinds of web applications to make sense of this data. For example, it has free, ready-to-use task management or time tracking applications that can easily help in managing projects. Users can generate their own custom reports to improve project planning and execution.

Read our QuickBase Review

6. TrackVia

trackvia logo

TrackVia is a business application platform with headquarters in Denver, Colorado. Building an application can be started by uploading a spreadsheet containing data or starting from scratch. Users can then follow the step-by-step guide to build their own reports, dashboards, and input forms or connect to other web applications. It also has pre-built applications that provide complete business solution applications such as project management that has time tracking, milestones, automated reminders, reporting and collaboration.

Read our TrackVia Review

7. ZenBase

ZenBase: An online database application builder created by Kayson Group Ltd, the Hong Kong-based creator of phpGrid. With a simple and easy-to-use interface, even non-technical users can create their business application in minutes. Data can be created from scratch or imported easily through a simple form. Some of the solutions that can be created on an accessible online platform are project management applications, product catalog, inventory management, employee directory and more. 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, autocomplete texts and more.

Read our ZenBase Review

8. TeamDesk

teamdesk logo

TeamDesk: An easily accessible online database software by Long Grove, Illinois-based ForeSoft Corporation. With the help of many predefined database templates such as for project management and other business and industry-specific applications, users can build their database and customize their web-based application solutions. Clients all over the world are very satisfied with the flexibility of the software as well as the excellent customer support provided.

Read our TeamDesk Review

9. Zengine

zengine logo

Zengine: An online database management platform from Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based WizeHive. Non-technical business users can build powerful data-driven applications quickly with different workspace templates, an intuitive drag-and-drop forms builder, or by importing data from spreadsheet. It has advanced features, API’s, Javascript developer tools, and a plugin marketplace that further enhance a flexible relational database application that links data to tasks, files and activities. Customer success stories always mention customer support’s passion and care to assist clients.

Read our Zengine Review

10. Fusioo

fusioo-logo

Fusioo: An online database service from Fusioo Ltd, a Luqa, Malta-based IT software and service company. Together with a customizable database, ready-made template use cases and a growing apps marketplace, users are given the flexibility to build solutions they need as they need it. Features include a point-and-click, drag-and-drop interface to quickly set up an application that can collect, manage and track different types of data entered as records. Data grid controls, dashboards and charts for reports provide users more control of their information and real-time feedback. Secure ISO-compliant data centers, MS Azure servers and role-based permission provide a safe and accessible collaboration platform. A simple per user pricing scheme enables easy scaling up or down of users, and also allows external partner collaboration for free.

Read our Fusioo Review

Conclusion

All these app builders have the ability to help a company build their own custom web applications. QuickBase and Knack seem to be more suitable for companies with a large database. Zoho Creator and Caspio are ideal for the more technical user as it allows for a high degree of customizability in the kind of applications that can be built. TrackVia and Zoho Creator leverage their easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, while QuickBase offers a more feature-rich, pre-built project management solution.

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com. 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.

21 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

    • 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. 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.

    • 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!

    • 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. camecenter says:

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

  14. 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. 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. 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!

  17. 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.

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