July 4, 2014

Knack – Create Databases to Build Apps

Knack bills itself as the easiest online database builder for people who want to create applications. So, what does that really mean? In a nutshell, it means that people can use Knack to define the data that their apps will use, build custom app interfaces, and then publish their apps to any website or device—without any programming experience required.

Build your own online database by signing up for a Knack account and importing the records you need straight from a spreadsheet. Using Knack’s DIY app building tools, you can manage the records in your new database and add visual elements—like tables, forms, and calendars—to your app. Make changes to your database right from your browser, and track the history of those changes for future reference. (This is an especially useful feature if you’re working with a team.) When you feel like your app is ready to go, you can publish it to any website and mobile device.

Apps created with Knack are designed to automatically resize for any device. Knack also offers advanced features like user roles and permissions, scheduled tasks, and email alerts that go out whenever a process is complete. For people looking for ways to publish apps in their websites or blogs, Knack is an excellent option to check out.

Practical Uses:

  • Turn a basic spreadsheet into a records database
  • Build a customer portal that embeds on your website
  • Publish custom apps in your website or blog
  • Design your own store locator feature for your business website

Insider Tips:

  • Add zip code searches to your database using geo-location tools
  • Databases can be indexed with Google search optimization
  • All changes are recorded with timestamps and IP addresses
  • Developers can use the open API to access data and add custom functionality
  • What we liked:

  • Users can publish multiple versions of an app to different web pages
  • Knack runs daily backups in multiple locations
  • Custom CSS allows designers to change the look and feel of an app
  • Knack offers live personal support for users

What we didn’t like:

  • Custom domains aren’t available for users with the Starter plan


Company Info:

  • Launched: 2013
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: New York, New York
  • Founded by: Brandon Griggs
  • Web site:


  • Starter plan is $25 per month
  • Pro plan is $49 per month
  • Corporate plan is $149 per month

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