Suggestions (compared Knack)

The last time I looked at Coda and I put my suggestion about improvements for the Gallery view in Airtable:

Now I looked at Knack. I didn’t spend a lot of time because I found it’s not what I need, but here are my impressions. It’s a relatively new company I never heard of but seems interesting. They are taking similar approach as Coda in terms of the initial database design and and focus on the visual representation of data but they go beyond what Coda offers, they presenting it more like Zoho Create.

Anyhow, there are a few things I really liked so here are they:

  1. Ecommerce payments integrated

They have an Ecommerce application built in - from my understanding - you can charge customers for accessing Knack applications. I would like to see something like that in Airtable, so that I can give access to other users and have them pay for having access to the data (e.g. per access or subscription).

  1. Search widget for data

The Views offer a widget for Search. I can search for data easily without having to see the whole table.

  1. Add Signature field

This is really cool. Now I can hand over the form to somebody to fill in and sign it. The signature is saved in the database. This may be an issue with the data privacy but they are HIPAA certified, which definitively helps them to get big customers signed up (What, Airtable is not HIPAA certified? Scratching my head…)

Overall I found Airtable has one big advantage over Coda and Knack, it’s the easy learning curve (creates stickiness with the platform) and ability to go and access and quickly edit the data as it is in Spreadsheet.

I would like to see Airtable:

  1. Adds more Automations
  2. Make the Apps more seamless
    This is one of issues I have with Airtable. The Airtable Apps look like clunky widgets. Enough to run a few things here or there on ad-hock basis but their use is limited if the apps are running in their separate bubble. On the plus side of Airtable, the addition of the free Google Cloud Apps is pretty cool in Airtable, so that’s a plus. Why is Airtable calling Apps even Apps anyhow? They should be integrated into Airtable functions and what Airtable should call Apps is the actual applications created with Airtable.
  3. Make it easy to build clean and flexible user interfaces for the data, that’s whereCoda and Knack are way better than Airtable and for Airtable I have to rely on 3rd party apps services costing additional money.
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