Choose your own complexity
October 05, 2016
Choose your own complexity
Score 8 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with QuickBase
We use Quickbase for our portfolio management. We have built out a project management app to track a number of project metrics and run a variety of reports.
- Highly customizable.
- The ability to have multiple related tables is very helpful. This allows you to have multiple records from one table linked to another table.
- The ability to use formulas in custom fields is very powerful. Sometimes this takes some advanced knowledge and programming experience, but it really helps extend the functionality of the tool.
- It would be great to be able to move records in a table up and down from a report view. I would like to be able to sort the report by rank without having to manually update a custom field on each project.
- I would like to be able to execute a query based on the historical value of a custom field. For example, to look for a record that was in a specified state last week, but is no longer in that state.
- It would be nice to be able to edit a report inline without having to use grid edit. For example, instead of opening up edit to all fields in the report (current grid edit function) allow editing on a single field for a single record.
- I would like to be able to set custom column widths in a report. Also fields should be able to wrap based on my selected column widths.
The maintenance requirements really depend on how complicated you make your apps. Iff you use a lot of custom fields and formulas, the maintenance of your app can require a significant amount of expertise. We have made great use of Quickbase, but our team is very technical.
Other applications I have used have a more specific focus and are designed to use almost out of the box with less customization. Quickbase provides more customizability than some of the other apps I have used or evaluated, but there is definitely more setup and maintenance.
The difficulty level really depends on your implementation. If you have a large number of roles with varying permissions requirements, the permissioning can be very complicated. Also if you use a lot of formulas in custom fields, the syntax and debugging of your formulas can be significant. We have a fairly complex setup and don't require any IT support to maintain. Everyone on my team has programmed at some level in the past. For a less technical group, building and maintaining an app would be more difficult or you would have a less robust app.
- Improving our ability to drive insights from our data
- Improving collaboration across one or more teams
- Solving a specific business challenge
- Building and deploying an application (or multiple applications) that meets our exact needs
We use a lot of custom fields with many related tables. Our primary form is very long and sometimes we want to only focus on a small section of the form. In order to improve workflow, I created several new forms that are a subset of the full form for the table we use to track our projects. I was able to create custom fields that can display as buttons in my reports to invoke these alternate forms using the for id. I used the URL type formula in a custom field and concatenated our base Quickbase URL with the record id and form id (dfid). I used a Google search to figure out how to reference the form id. It was easy to implement and speeds up our workflow when we only want to focus on a specific set of fields within our larger form.
Quickbase is great if you want to set up a custom database application and track lots of metrics. For task management, it isn't as easy to use as other task tracking applications. If you want to track tasks using Kanban or Scrum, Quickbase does not have built-in agile board functionality.