Database driven web applications represent a significant value for many businesses. This is because a properly designed application can greatly improve an organization's efficiency as information is shared and updated by all who need access.
The problem with these web applications is that they are expensive to build and maintain. Some reasons for the complexity and expense are:
- Multiple application layers each with their own function: storage, security, presentation...
- Each layer has specific knowledge about the business: structures, business rules, layout...
Because of these costs many application requests are rejected or abandoned. This can result in some dissatisfied departments or staff starting their own shadow IT projects.
The dbFront difference
At dbFront, we recognized that by approaching the problem differently we could meet the needs of many database-driven web applications flexibly and cost-effectively. Therefore, we designed dbFront from the ground up so that:
- it would use the database as the source of knowledge about the business,
- it would absorb and hide the technical complexity of a web application,
- it would dynamically build a powerful but simple-to-use interface.
- it would remain flexible and configurable.
The result is the ability to build out moderately complex and dynamic systems that stay easy to upgrade and maintain.
How it works
In the world of data storage, there is a well-known standard for structuring data called Third Normal Form (3NF). A benefit of this standard is that it results in databases that are structured in a consistent and descriptive pattern.
In addition, database servers that are designed to store relational data have several tools available to help protect this data. Between field types, column constraints, enforced relationships, and triggers, most databases have many effective ways of enforcing business rules.
dbFront can understand these databases and with a few hints, build an intuitive and powerful user interface based on the structure, rules, and data.
dbFront also allows an administrator to tweak various settings such as selecting the tables and fields that are visible and editable. dbFront can also be set up with custom buttons that can trigger a variety of different actions based on the current record.
Because dbFront does most of this work dynamically and automatically, the result is a web application that is:
- easy to implement,
- easy to update,
- easy to upgrade, and
- easy to use.
You need to see our video tutorials to see dbFront in action.
There are some limitations to the type of web applications that dbFront can build. This is because in dbFront there will always be a clear relationship between the data and structure in your database and the user interface that is generated. Where some see only the limitations, we see the opportunity... to significantly reduce unnecessary complexity and cost for what should be simple applications.
The purpose of dbFront is to get you to the point of Good Enough quickly.