mrc's Cup of Joe Blog

Join us in exploring the world of modern development, evolving technologies, and the art of future-proof software

Video: Create web-based reports over a Snowflake database

Snowflake is a popular data platform and data warehouse. It provides a cloud-based, relational database that businesses use to store structured and semi-structured data. Snowflake is known for offering data access at near-infinite scale, and is often used to store massive data sets.

The big question: If you use Snowflake, what are you doing with all of your data? Are you using this data to gain a clear view of your business and make informed decisions? Do you have an easy way to quickly create reports and dashboards over your data tables?

After all, what good is your data if you don’t use it?

The good news: Creating reports over your Snowflake data tables is simple! We just released a new video demo that shows how easily you can create reports, BI applications, and dashboards over your data. In just 5 minutes, we take you step-by-step through the whole process of creating a report over a Snowflake database table using m-Power. You can find the video below:

Want to see m-Power working over your data? Set up a custom demo here: m-Power Demo.

How to create a database front-end in 5 minutes

development

What is a database front-end? As a basic definition, it’s a web interface that lets users access, modify, delete, or add data to a database table. They’re simple enough for non-technical users to work with, and typically includes role-based security to limit which users can make database changes. A business might use a database front-end to:

  • Let employees maintain customer data
  • Manage and schedule shipments
  • Maintain product data
  • Manage customer order history
  • Reduce dependence on spreadsheets
  • And much, much more…

In short, it lets you manage data in your database with a user-friendly, web interface.

The big question: How quickly can you create front-ends over your database? I believe the answer to that question should be measured in minutes, and we just created a new video to show you how it’s done. The following video walks you through a start-to-finish process used to create a front-end over any relational database…in just 5 minutes. You might be surprised to learn just how simple this process is.

Want to try it for yourself? Set up an m-Power Test Drive.

POWERCast Webinar Replay: Db2 Web Query Alternative – See m-Power in Action

With IBM pulling the plug on Db2 Web Query, many customers are stuck looking for alternatives. While IBM states there is “no direct replacement for IBM Db2 Web Query for i,” there are options.

In this joint webinar with the COMMON User Group, we’ll take you through a live demo of one such alternative: The m-Power Development Platform. m-Power offers all of the reporting and BI capabilities of Db2 Web Query, and a whole lot more! In this webinar, you will:

  • Get introduced to m-Power’s reporting capabilities.
  • Watch m-Power build reports from start to finish.
  • See how easily you can set up scheduled reporting, security, portals, dashboards, and more.

Watch the webinar replay to learn how m-Power can replace what you’re doing with Web Query, and also deliver new capabilities! You can find the webinar replay here: Webinar Replay: Db2 Web Query Alternative – See m-Power in Action.

How to build a custom CRM system in 75 minutes with low-code (step-by-step video)

analyticsIf your business had a choice between an off-the-shelf CRM system and a CRM that’s custom-built to your needs, which would you choose (assuming you’d get either one immediately)? I’d say the vast majority of businesses would prefer a custom CRM. After all, custom CRM systems offer a number of advantages, such as:

  • Scale without user fees: Off-the-shelf CRM systems typically charge per user…which can quickly drive up the cost in larger companies. With a custom CRM system, you can scale across your entire company without user fees!
  • Custom Workflow Processes: You can build custom workflow processes into any aspect of your CRM. For instance, you can create customer onboarding workflows that fire automatically when a lead becomes a customer.
  • Integration with existing software or third-party tools: For example, you might want to update your ERP system or pass data to a third-party tool using an API.
  • Deploy anywhere: Most off-the-shelf CRM systems only run in the cloud. A custom CRM can run in the cloud or on-premise. The choice is yours.
  • Control the security: Every business has different security needs. With a custom CRM, you can control how much or how little security you’d like to have.

With these advantages, why doesn’t every business opt for custom CRM systems? It all comes down to development time. Building a custom CRM from scratch can be expensive and easily take months.

The big question: What if you could create custom CRM systems in days or weeks? What if you could get all of the benefits of a custom CRM with non of the drawbacks?

It’s not as hard as you think. We recently released a new video that shows you how easily you can create a custom CRM system using low-code development. In the video, we create a CRM system that includes custom workflow processes, API integration with third-party software, and ERP integration. The result: A custom CRM that perfectly fits our needs and can be easily enhanced and changed.

The best part: The whole process only takes 75 minutes. You can watch the video below:

Want to learn more? Set up a demo here: Set up a demo.

7 web application development challenges in 2024 (and a solution)

Summary: As technology evolves at breakneck speed, it brings new opportunities and challenges to web application development. If businesses want to create lasting, successful web applications, they must address these challenges.

Let’s talk about web applications. I know it’s a vague term, so I’ll quickly define it for the sake of clarity.

What are the alternatives for IBM Db2 Web Query?

person typing on a laptopIn a surprising move, IBM just pulled the plug on Db2 Web Query for i. They posted a brief announcement letter on their site that states, “Effective October 10, 2023, IBM® withdraws from marketing all IBM Db2® Web Query products, including the capability to order or renew Software Maintenance.”

So…what now? I know of many businesses that have significant investments in this product. They probably feel blindsided. It’s like the rug was pulled out from under them.

If you’re in this position…what are you doing? Will you continue using the product without support or upgrades? Or, will you look for alternatives? While IBM states that there is “no direct replacement for IBM Db2 Web Query for i”, there are certainly other options.

Video Demos: Watch entire low-code development projects

By now, you’ve probably heard all about the benefits of low-code development tools. They let you build business applications with little (or no) code. They reduce development time by 50-80%. They let you deliver custom business applications in hours or days.

I could go on.

The big question: If your organization does any type of manual web application development in-house, why aren’t you using low-code? If it still takes months to deliver business applications from scratch, what’s keeping you from using development tools?

Chances are, you’re skeptical. 

Maybe you don’t believe the time-saving claims.

Maybe you’re worried that it isn’t as easy to use as the vendor claims.

Maybe you’re worried that it will limit your options.

Or, maybe you think that low-code is just 4GL or RAD tools all over again. 

I could debunk every one of those fears, but prefer a different approach. I’d rather let you see it for yourself. To help you understand the low-code development process, our consultants put together videos of full development projects that:

  • Walk you through the entire process from start to finish
  • Show (and explain) each step in the development process
  • Are completed in under 2 hours 

Word of warning: These are longer videos (1.5 – 2 hours each) because we didn’t want to leave anything out. But, you’ll get a good idea of how quickly you can go from nothing to a working application with low code. Sound reasonable? Here are the videos:

1. How to build a custom helpdesk portal with low-code

In this video, we create a helpdesk portal from scratch using low-code. This portal includes user security, a helpdesk ticketing system, a helpdesk calendar, support dashboard, and more. 

2. How to create a BI/Reporting suite with low-code

In this video, we walk you through a custom business intelligence/reporting project. We start with a single spreadsheet full of data and create a suite of BI & reporting applications that includes features like multi-tenant security, forecasting, dashboarding, data write-back, data warehousing, and many more.

3. Create a Field Service Management Application with low-code

In this video, we create a custom field service management system from scratch. This system includes a job listing application, signature capture, mapping, multi-tenant security, and much more. 

Want to try low-code for yourself? Sign up for a free m-Power Trial right here

Busting the biggest low-code myth

Today, I’ll bust one of the most common myths about low-code software: The idea that low-code means low customization. 

I see this myth repeated across most low-code articles these days. The articles claim that low-code software improves development speed (which is true) at the expense of customization and flexibility. 

To be fair, some low-code tools DO have this drawback. But, all low-code tools are different. Some create websites. Some create basic web applications. Others are built for enterprise applications. Some offer customization. Others do not. 

Placing all low-code tools in one big category is like saying that cars, bikes, and rollerskates are equal because they’re all ‘modes of transportation.’ While true, they’re very different things. The same is true for low-code tools.

The reality: Some enterprise-level tools offer unlimited customization–even down to the code level. When you get into the enterprise-level low-code tools, you’ll find that customization is critically important. Why? Here are a few reasons. The amount of customization available in the tool determines:

  • How well the tool fits your business needs
  • The amount of limitations you run into over time
  • Whether or not you get locked into the tool

What customization features should any enterprise low-code platform provide? We created a video on this topic that covers 6 different customization features to look for, and explains why each is important. You can find it here:

Want to learn more, or see a customizable low-code platform in action? Set up a demo here: m-Power demo.