ZenBase is a light-weight online data management and application builder for non-technical people such as sales staff, customer service reps, accountants etc, and technical people alike. It provides the tools for users to create powerful online applications quickly through its simple user interface.
Navigate your web browser to ZenBase login and use the login credentials created during signing up:
ZenBase can be used to either manage existing applications or to create and manage new applications. If you logged in for the first time, you will be able to create your first ZenBase database application.
To create a new application, navigate to the application section (click "Applications" from the top menu and then click "Create Application"). You will now see all applications in your account (or none if there aren't any applications created yet).
Application name does not allow space or any special characters such as @,# \ etc.
Congratulation! You have created your first ZenBase database application. We now need some data for our application.
Data are the backbone of your ZenBase application. They hold all of your data and are the starting point of your application. The first step in creating a database-driven web application is to hook data. Data are represented in table in rows and columns. Each row is called a ‘record’. Data can be submitted into them through web forms or imported from external files. Data can also be exported.
To create a new table, click "Add Table" button, or the button with the white "+" in front of your table tabs at the bottom of the window (in the bottom left corner). If you're not seeing this button, this means you don't have permission to create new tables and you should contact the application's administrator.
At the moment of this writing, ZenBase supports importing of comma-separated values (CSV) files only. If you have Excel sheets you'd like to import into ZenBase, you should export these as CSV files from Excel first after which you can import the data into ZenBase.
When importing data, you can either use this data to build an entire new table, or to add data to an existing table.
Similar to application name, table name does not allow space or any special characters.
After clicking the button, you should start off by entering a name for your new table (make sure this name contains only alpha numeric characters: a-z, 1-9, underscored and dashes, NO SPACES!). Next, you should choose the file you'd like to import.
When importing a CSV file, it's possible that your file contains the column names on the first line of the file, if this is the case, make sure you tick the check box labeled "First row contains column names", this way ZenBase will use those column names to create your new table.
The second way to use the data import function is by importing data into an existing table. To do this, bring up the table into which you'd like to import data. Next, the click the grey button labeled "Import data" which will bring up a popup. In this popup you can choose you're CSV file and upload it.
You have FULL control of your data. You can create, modify, delete any data in edit form by double-clicking a row.
Once tables are imported, you will have access to additional navigation tabs:
A column is similar to a database table column, which a set of data values of a particular type, one for each row of the table. Users can add new column or edit existing ones.
In the modal window, users can set column properties including column name, column type, default value, index, and position.
At the time of this writing, ZenBase supports the following column types:
ZenBase is built with user roles in mind. This means that you define a certain role (for example Sales Rep, Customer Service or Accounting) and setup permissions for this Role. Next, you assign a Role to a user account which will determine what the user can or cannot do.
For each Role, permissions are set on an application level AND on a table level; meaning different applications and different tables can have different permissions.
When a new user account is created, ZenBase will automatically send an notification email to the user's email address with the login details.
Users and Roles can be managed by users belonging to the Administration group or users who have been assigned the permission to manage Users and Roles by a Administrator.
ZenBase comes with built-in password recovery as well. If you or another user forgot his or her password, simply click the "Forgot your password?" link on the login page. This will send out an email with a link to the password reset page on which a new password can be created.
ZenBase automatically stores old values of records and individual cells which can be restored at any given moment. When a cell or record is updated, the previous values are stored and can be accessed through the "Revisions" tab.
Both the Cell and Record popups have the Revisions tab, allowing to restore single cells or entire records.
There is no expiration date set for Revisions, meaning all revisions are stored indefinitely. You can however, remove Revisions manually for any Cell or Record.
ZenBase allows for a column in a certain table to be connected to a second table, which means that the first column will hold value from the second table.
Foreign keys will have to be declared within the application before ZenBase will be able to use them.
To setup a foreign key on a column, you will need to have permissions to modify tables in the database based on Role. An administrator can manage the user roles in the Roles page.
Once declared properly, ZenBase will automatically present a dropdown box displaying the allowed options when editing a single Cell or Record.
ZenBase allows users to attach notes to Columns, Tables and Applications. These notes can serve to describe what certain items are for and how certain items should be used.
When looking a table screen, you'll find a tab named "Notes". In here, notes for the current table can be created, edited or deleted.
When editing a column or Cell, notes can be attached to the Column through the "Notes" tab in the popup.
When editing a Record, notes can be created, edited and deleted through the "Notes" tab.
Views are representation of your data; they are the screens; they are your user interfaces of your application. While "Data" and "Columns" are the administrative console only for the authorized users who manage data and build application, Views are for your application users who don't have access to your ZenBase account. They interact with the data through externally shared views and are limited to the functionality you provide for them.
Traditionally, a programmer had to use a scripting language to create web-based, database-driven applications. ZenBase automates this slow, expensive process and makes it fast and affordable. Views are created without any coding.
Views also can be used to capture data, edit data, provide search and query capability, and to visualize data. At time of this writing, two view types are supported.
The following two view types are coming up soon!
A grid, or sometimes called datagrid, displays data in a table format. It is used for presenting data in rows and columns. In a datagrid, you can enable edit option to allow data be editable. You will also have options to configure export type and search in results page. We also added themes taking from phpGrid, which is the core component for the grid view type. We are gradually porting more exciting features from phpGrid such as conditional formatting, grouping, and pivot grid to ZenBase.
After user creates a grid view, he or she will have access to additional settings for individual column in a grid.
In the column modal window, you can specify settings for each individual column that will be displayed in the datagrid such as column title, text align (left, center, right), edit type (select, autocompelte, button etc.), hidden, read only, required, etc. Click "Add another property" to add additional properties for a column. If you are accustomed to phpGrid API, it essentially adds graphic user interface to all the set_col_* functions. It couldn't be easier! We are working hard to port more features from phpGrid into ZenBase.
A Chart view presents data in visual, graphical form. Charts can be configured to have the following capabilities:
Finally, let's check out our view. Click on "Preview" button to display the view.
Example of an editable Grid view with pagination and "Humanity" UI theme:
Examples of Chart views:
Click on "Share" button to reveal the unique URL to a view.
In the Share View popup window, copy the unique URL into your page or destination to share with the world!
ZenBase allows users to attach notes to Tables. These notes can serve to describe what certain items are for and how certain items should be used. Notes for the current table can be created, edited or deleted.
The available Tables are displayed through tabs at the bottom of the screen when working on an application.
ZenBase has an easy-to-use and navigate application database schema viewer. Click on any of the schema navigation icons to navigate. You can also navigate using the keyboard.
Click a table in the schema diagram to go to its content.
ZenBase offer benefits not available in traditional scripting or desktop software such as Microsoft Excel or Access:
Application can be enabled or disabled at any given moment, all the meta data (revisions, notes, schema, reports etc) will remain in ZenBase and will be applied again once the application is enabled again.