Building Business Applications With Rollbase

Filed in Product & Development by Wade Minter | April 29, 2010 11:30 am

Sometimes it’s handy to have a developer on staff, to build web applications with a high degree of customization. However, what do you do if you have a need to access your business data through an application but can’t justify the cost of a dedicated developer or a contract? Rackspace Cloud partner Rollbase has a solution with their service allowing even nontechnical users to define business objects, relationships, and a rich set of tools linking them together.

Easy To Use UI

Rollbase provides a simple web UI that allows you to model your business data and hook into it. At the core of the application are business objects. These represent things like employees, customers, inventory items, invoices, and the like. They basically map to relational database tables, so you can link objects with the standard array of relationships (one-to-one, one-to-many, etc). You define these objects, along with their attributes, within Rollbase. Here’s a quick snapshot of the UI:

[1]

It walks you through the steps to create an object. It allows you to set up advanced features like audit trails, versioning, and the like as well as import attributes from a standard list, such as documents, locations, and workflows, which automatically give you features useful for those types of objects.

The fields in the object also have properties beyond the normal database varchar/integer set. There are fields for email addresses, percentages, checkboxes, radio buttons, select lists, and more. For more complex needs, there are computable fields, which allow you to run calculations on the input value with Javascript expressions.

Once you have your objects and relationships defined, the next step is providing an interface into them. Using the Rollbase WYSWYG drag-and-drop view editor, you can develop the interfaces into your data. Create forms to add or edit data, then build pages to display the data. Of course, as security is important to your app, you can set different access permissions to different data on a per-user or per-group basis. And because the pages are HTML, you can embed custom HTML/Javascript widgets into them to provide more functionality.

Because this is an application designed for business, there are plenty of features a business will need. Rich email and document templates are one, allowing for nice-looking mail and exports into Word and Excel. There is a detailed multi-level charting and reporting engine as well. Additionally, if you want your applications to face externally, you can create a public portal into your data, with external user access available as a control.

For users that want to get started with even less effort, Rollbase has an application directory with more than 20 preconfigured applications, from Customer Relationship Managers to software bug trackers to employee management and recruiting.

Available in Two Forms: for ISVs and Resellers

A hosted white label program makes it easy to develop and deploy business applications under any brand or identity. Hosted resellers run on Rollbase’s Rackspace-powered infrastructure. Rollbase is also offered as a licensed product allowing larger organizations and systems integrators to procure a robust multitenant platform as the foundation for SaaS application development and delivery. Licensees can choose to run Rollbase on dedicated Rackspace physical or Cloud Servers[2] or on servers of their own choosing.

Rollbase offers a 30 day free trial[3], so if your business or group could use fast, easy, and powerful business applications, give them a try!

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Endnotes:
  1. [Image]: http://c0179631.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/Rollbase.png
  2. Cloud Servers: http://www.rackspacecloud.com/cloud_hosting_products/servers
  3. 30 day free trial: https://www.rollbase.com/master/portal/portal.jsp?c=1&p=3041515&g=3041523&webkey=&websrc=&type=

Source URL: http://www.rackspace.com/blog/building-business-applications-with-rollbase/