After reading this article you will know:
- What the platform mainly consists of
- What the purposes of all sections are
- Some sample uses for each kind
With the Betty Blocks platform you can build the three application types by using the following sections: Data Model, Back Office, Page Builder, Actions, and Tools. Every sections has its own purpose and together they form a broad pallete of instruments to build your app with.
1. Data Model
A data model is the visual and simplified representation of all the information stored in the application and underlying database. You build your data model just by drag and drop. You don’t have to create tables and write queries into the database by yourself. The intuitive data model takes care of that. A data model consists of models (the visual design for real-world objects), properties (type of information) and relations (associations between objects).
Some examples of models are Customer, Employee, Order, and Product. Some examples of properties are First Name and Order Number. Learn more about the data model ».
2. Back Office
The back office interface is already built and designed largely by us. Take advantage of that, and see how quick you can build views and forms with components directly from your data model. Just pick up your model and see the visual object as a grid and the forms for every single record. Drag and drop columns and components to customize the view to your own needs. No coding is needed!
Every app type you can build on the Betty Blocks platform needs a back office module (and interface) to administer your data. Use default features in the back office, like filtering, ordering, show/hide functionalities, searching, calculating multiple records or triggering actions to start workflows. Learn more about the Back office.
3. Page Builder
Contrary to the Back Office, the Page Builder enables more freedom to make any web page you like. To speed up development, we made a Drag-and-Drop web editor with a default set of components. Drag and drop components to create your first login page for public use. Make any web page you like and collect data from the Back Office and render it on your web pages.
Actions allow you to express the logic of your application. Sending an email when a user clicks a button for example. An action is a visual workflow which requires a sequence of events to execute. Actions are built with a visual editor. Designing an action in a visual way instead of traditionally programming provides you with an increased speed of development and allows you to process easily complex logic into your application. Actions always start because of a certain trigger, automatically (after create) or manually (buttons).
Actions are created at two places in your application: in the Back Office and on Pages/Endpoints. Actions in your Back Office are called 'model actions', because they always involve a specific model, like Order. Actions in Pages are called 'endpoint actions' because they are always initiated when that specific page is visited. Actions always have variables to execute the action events with. Variables could be objects or collections from your stored data.
We have folded all tools to build your application further with. Under Tools, you will find a set of sections which are used as additional configurations used in Actions, Pages, Back Office, etc.
This instrument is used as an interface for communication between existing systems and your Betty Blocks app. The Betty Blocks platform supports all common ways of integration, like REST and SOAP. This tool is mainly focused on reusability. Create a web service once and use it multiple times. As an example, you can create a web service to collect an active product list from one of your distributors to update your internal product list with. Another usage is to request data from your ERP system to show and process it into your customized mobile Betty Blocks app.
Using Custom models will make it easier to control your incoming data. Instead of creating variables for each value within a JSON formatted data, you can parse the data in a custom model an assign it like you would do with normal models.
This tool can be used to integrate your existing mailboxes into your app. The benefits of using mailboxes are that you can process incoming mail automatically by adding scenarios to it. As an example, you receive a customer's email with Order as a subject. Those emails are passed directly through to your order department.
This tool is used to create ‘global’ variables in your application. Define to most common variables you want to use throughout the application, like a static or calculated value. As an example, you can define tax variables, like TaxLow and TaxHigh and give these a 6% and 21% value.
Store any file format with this tool and use them publicly. After you have stored a public file the record creates a liquid filename that is used on your web pages and in other templates. As an example, you can store your business logo as a public file to be displayed in the confirmation e-mail that is sent to your customers.
Get informed about all development and changes made in your application. This view provides you with who, when, which object, what type, and what kind of change has been made. As an example, one of your developers changes the property type ‘Order Number’ in the model ‘Order’. You can now see who did what and to which object.
The logs interface lets you keep track of all the logged action events, errors, warnings, used variables and debugging information. All you have to do is enable the debug logging and/or Log execution of the Action event or Page you want to monitor.