Data Management & Integration | Platform Evaluation Guide
Quickbase Platform Evaluation Guide

Data Management & Integration

Business technologists approach application building with a unique view of the data needed and how that data is updated, accessed and transformed into actionable information. To support this perspective and approach, Quickbase takes a data-centric model to building applications. Specifically, Quickbase is unique in the extent it automates the application development process. The platform builds the data schema of an application, based on the data tables the builder creates. Key capabilities described below are possible because all data is stored in a high-speed, in-memory database.

Data Organization

Data in Quickbase is represented in tables - every application you create on Quickbase relies on data from tables. Within tables, you will find different components to manage information, such as fields, records, forms reports and relationships.

Relationships

Builders can create many different types of relationships between tables and fields, including: 1-Many, Many-1, Many-Many & 1-1. Relationships are supported between tables in different applications as well. Table-to-table relationships, either within the same app or cross-app, are formed through the connection between the records in the tables. Lookup and Summary field calculations support table-to-table relationships, and automatically update based on changes in related tables and automatically update any calculated field in a table.

Accessing Data From External Systems

An important capability that sets Quickbase apart from other solutions is the aggregate data from many different systems. The data access or integration options vary from very simple and straight forward solutions using pre-built, drag and drop integrations, to powerful RESTful API based solutions to support expert software programmers develop very specific integrations. These solutions enable builders to access data from complex enterprise systems with relative ease. The details of these options can be found in the integration section of this guide.

Data Manipulation & Query Design

Lookup and Summary & Report Links support complex data manipulation through no-code filters and configuration. Query Formulas aggregate data across tables without relationships or SQL. Advanced Summary Report features simplify calculations on aggregated data. A powerful formula language can be used to access, search and operate on data without creating intermediate tables.

Data Validation

Quickbase supports data validation within applications through custom data rules. Builders can control invalid data at the field and table level. This can be achieved with formulas with conditions that indicate where the data is not valid and should not be saved. These conditions include error messages for the end user to help understand what the problem is and how to fix it.

Data Management For Citizen Developers

For business technologists without technical backgrounds, Quickbase abstracts the complexities of development through the Visual Schema Builder feature and a declarative interface that generates underlying app artifacts. Novice builders can start to create applications, tables and relationships through “flat file” imports and can work in single table applications.

To further support these developers, Quickbase provides in-product guidance and online training to introduce relational concepts. Our proprietary database simplifies relational modeling for non-technical business developers by handling indexing, keys, joins and query performance behind the scenes on behalf of the user. Business users do not need to be familiar with or understand these concepts for them to happen. Actions like queries for reports and calculations are declarative and business developers do not need to know SQL to perform them. Complex queries are generated through no-code features ranging from declarative filters in Report Builder, to fields like Summary & Report Links, to plain language query formulas in our Formula Language.

Data Modeling

Core to Quickbase’s capabilities is its high-performance, in-memory database that is embedded in the platform. In most cases, builders need to only specify the tables and how data is connected between tables. For example, what data is propagated from one table to another; event triggers that cause the propagation, etc. While most databases require the builder to specify a detailed schema, the Quickbase platform automatically builds and updates the schema as needed for the builder, which reduces complexity and saves app builders time.

For some complex data requirements, the data model can be specified explicitly using the Visual Schema Builder which appears as an entity relationship diagram (ERD). The Visual Schema Builder supports direct data modeling.

The Quickbase partnership with Lucidchart allows users to import ERDs directly to the platform to quickly turn them into Quickbase apps.

Data Limitations

We do not impose hard limits on the number of fields, tables, records, users or data in an application. Individual tables have a default limit of 500mb of scalar data, which can be increased as needed. Apps have 1000s of tables, 10,000+ fields, millions of records and footprints > 30 GB.