What is an App?
An App is a custom solution to digitize and augment common business processes, create unique visualizations to guide analysis for users, and collect data. App Authors can build Apps and make it available to enterprise users called App users. App users just need to open an app and use it for the purpose it was designed for.
So there is a clear division of roles in an enterprise. Authors build Apps by understanding the business process that needs to be automated or standardized and encode the business logic in the App for various App users.
How are Apps Different from Explorations?
Explorations can be seen as the editable versions of an App. Imagine Exploration as the workspace or the editor where an author can design and build Apps. Exploration provides a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface to build Apps. Author can experience the App while building it in an exploration. Only authors can create or edit an exploration. App users are not allowed to create an App using an exploration. Once an author is done building the logic, and visualization in the exploration he can save it as an App. Author can not edit an App, though they can edit an exploration and overwrite an existing App. In a nutshell, an App is a designed experience created by an Author for App users. App users can open and run an App but can not create or edit an App.
Types of Apps
- Data Collection
Data Collection Apps are built to collect data from users. You can design forms and place them in your Klera App to create a ‘Data Collection App’. You can configure the form responses to be written to a database. This is a feature that lets you generate and store data. You can design data entry applications, surveys, and various CRUD operations using these Data collection Apps. Another ‘Data Analysis App’ can read this stored data to derive powerful insights and beautiful dashboards.
- Tools Synchronization
Data residing in various tools and systems change with time. Sometimes a change in one tool needs to be updated in other related tools. Usually, Enterprises either do this manually, or IT teams need to write scripts and background jobs to automate this process. Both methods are error-prone and hard to maintain and administer. Using Klera you can design ‘Synchronization Apps’ which reads data from one tool and writes it to another. You can define rules to selectively synchronize data. ‘Synchronization Apps’ are background jobs that run on a schedule.
Enterprises run ETL pipelines to Extract (read) data from one or multiple systems, Transform the data by applying a series of formulae, cleansing or value-adding operations and Load (write) the transformed data to a data warehouse.
Usually, Enterprises either do this manually or IT teams write scripts and background jobs to automate this process. Both methods are error-prone and hard to maintain and administer.
Klera lets you design Apps to read data from multiple systems/databases, transform data using powerful formula engine, machine learning, and AI capabilities of Klera and write this transformed data using generic data write capabilities of Klera. Such a pipeline can be built intuitively and scheduled to run as a background job.
- Data Analysis, Insight Delivery and Dashboarding
Most enterprises deal with the problem of data silos, i.e. they have data residing in disparate tools and systems with no easy way to correlate the data without building a data warehouse.
Klera lets you read data from disparate tools and systems, correlate, transform, analyze, and visualize the correlated data. You can analyze structured as well as unstructured data using machine learning capabilities of Klera. The visualizations can be combined to create beautiful and insightful ‘Data Analysis Apps’ consisting of various Dashboards. The data can be analyzed by the users by opening a Data Analysis App in interactive mode or can be scheduled to run as a background job to deliver insights through emails.
- Eliminate Data Re-entry
When an enterprise has disparate tools and systems, it is evident that some data needs to be entered in each of those systems separately. Using Klera’s Data Entry Forms and write back functionalities you can design Apps such that the user needs to enter data once in a form, and Klera writes that data automatically to multiple, disparate tools, platforms, or databases at the same time. This avoids duplication of efforts and manual data entry errors.
You can design Planning Apps using all the basic capabilities of Klera - Read data from tools, Compute and transform, Enter data using forms, Edit data within Klera, Visualize and Write data to a tool or database. In a nutshell, a Planning App lets you create, plan, modify, visualize, and commit changes. With the collaboration capabilities of Klera, you work with teams on planning. Monitor progress, identify gaps, and take corrective actions for business workflow.
App Creation Workflow/Building Apps
Follow these steps to build Klera Apps:
Step 1: Designing an App
Step 2: Creating an App
Step 3: Saving an App
Step 4: Distributing an App
Step 1: Designing an App
Conceptually define exactly what business challenge App is going to solve. Who is going to use it? Then describe what the App does at the functional and appearance level, what data is required. This information defines App’s requirements that will then be implemented by an Author using Klera’s functionalities.
Step 2: Creating an App
You may need the following capabilities of Klera while creating an App.
- Collect data using Forms
- Read/Write data from/to Tools or Databases
- Perform computations and analytics on data
- Build Visualizations
- Design Navigation
|Note: The steps in ‘Create App’ depends on the type of App.
Step 3: Saving App
Author designs and builds an App in an Exploration which is editable. Author can save the exploration as an App. App becomes read-only i.e. it can not be modified, though Author can overwrite an App with a newer version of it (more about it later in the document).
- On the File menu, select Save As App.
- Provide the following input on the Pop-up form:
A. App Name- A name for your App.
B. Description- A summary of the purpose and business value of the App.
C. Tags - Type a tag and press <Enter>. Apps can be searched on the basis of Tags.
D. Reset App- Select this if you want to allow App Users to cleanup old App data. This setting is useful for Apps that accumulate data across runs as a user can click on Reset and start afresh from the beginning).
- Click ‘SAVE & RUN’ to save and immediately run the App. Usually, Authors like to test the App before distributing it to App users (shown in the next step). Click on ‘SAVE’ to just save without running the App. A saved App can be run by an Author from Klera Home.
Step 4: Distributing App
Once you have saved an App, you can manage the distribution of your App using the following methods.
Publish your App to make it available to other Klera users within your organization.
- On the File menu, select Publish App.
- The Publish App dialog opens.
- Provide Roles or Users to whom you want to publish the App.
Note: You can copy and share the URL shown in the pop-up dialog with users as well.
- Select the checkbox to allow the other users who are Authors to create a new Exploration from the App. This selection will enable them to create a new Template/App by modifying the Exploration. If not selected, then only the App creator can further change the Exploration and create a new version of the App.
- Click PUBLISH.
|Note: You can ‘Publish’ an App to users within your organization only.
‘Republish’ your App if you have modified the App or you want to change (add/remove) the roles/users to whom the App was earlier published.
- On the File menu, select Republish App.
- Provide necessary inputs.
- Click ‘REPUBLISH’
‘Unpublish’ to revoke access to an App from all the users.
- On the File menu, select Unpublish App.
- Click YES on the confirmation prompt to unpublish the App.
- On ‘Klera Home’, search the App
- Right-click on the App and select ‘Unpublish’.
You can download an App on your machine as a ‘.appl’ file. This downloaded App can be uploaded to another Klera instance, a convenient way to migrate Apps from one Klera setup to another.
- On the File menu, select ‘Download As > App(.Appl)’
- The App (. appl file) will be downloaded on your machine.
- On ‘Klera Home’, search the App
- Right-click on the App and select ‘Download As > App (appl).’
You can Upload a ‘.appl’ file from your machine into Klera.
- On the ‘Klera Home’, click on the icon -> ‘Upload App’.
- Or, on the File menu, select ‘Upload App’.
- The Upload App dialog opens.
- Click ‘BROWSE’, select the ‘.appl’ file you want to upload and click Open.
- The browse dialog will close and “. appl” file name is displayed in the ‘App File’ field of the dialog.
- Click ‘UPLOAD’.
- On successful upload, App will be opened in a new tab.
Authors would need the following additional functionalities to manage all the Apps.
- Rename App
- Delete App
- Save App as an Exploration
You can only rename the Apps created by you.
- On the ‘Klera Home’, right-click on the App and select ‘Rename’.
- Provide a new name.
- Alternatively, In the App window, You can edit the App name by clicking on the pencil icon next to its name in the header
You can only delete the Apps created by you.
- On the ‘Klera Home’, right-click on the App and select ‘Delete’
- Click YES on the confirmation prompt to delete the App. Delete App is an irreversible operation.
- Click on the Delete icon in the action bar on the ‘Klera Home’.
All your Apps are listed under the Apps section, on ‘Klera Home’.
In the Search box, enter what you are looking for, the list reduces to show results as per your search string.
Open an App
- On the ‘Klera Home’, double-click on the App, or Right-click on the App and select ‘Open’.
- Your App will open in a new tab.
|Note: If an App needs a connection to a tool or system, the user will be prompted to choose the instance and provide credentials to connect to the desired tool. For example, a ‘Sprint Analysis App’ needs to connect to a Jira server.
An App will fetch the latest data when it is opened for the first time. On subsequent opens, the data is not refreshed automatically. Usually, authors will place a button in the App so that users can manually fetch and refresh data. Use this option to manually refresh the data if no button is provided in the App.
- On the File menu, select Re-Execute.
Click on the ‘Reset’ button on App’s header to clean up the existing data stored in the App. This button is usually enabled by the author for Apps that accumulate data across multiple re-execution (Please note that most Apps discard old data and fetch new data on Re-execute, but some Apps can be designed by the author to accumulate data across re-execution.) Users can click on the ‘Reset’ button to start afresh from the beginning.
To close the App:
- On the File menu, select Close.
Save as PDF
Klera provides a convenient way to download the App as a PDF document. This feature is useful to share Dashboards in the App as PDF.
- On the File menu, select ‘Download As > PDF Document(.pdf)’.
- In the ‘Save As PDF’ form, provide the inputs.
- Click Generate.
To learn more, refer to Create PDF Reports .