Create an application within minutes with XWiki


Feb 29 2012

Create an application within minutes with XWiki

XWiki is proud to introduce App Within Minutes, an application to allow non tech experts to create their own applications in the fewest steps possible!

As collaborative software makers, ease of use is one of our main concerns: the easier the tool is, the more chances it has to be adopted by many users. We have often observed creating applications is a difficult task for people without programing skills and it can become tedious for end users to always ask for the IT department's help when basic applications are needed. This is precisely what we had in mind when we decided to work on App Within Minutes.

This application allows end users, i.e. business users, to benefit from XWiki's powerful data management system and easily make/create collaborative web applications even if they don't have a developer background.

A wizard guides users through 3 successive steps :

  1. Name your application
  2. Define the structure of your application
  3. Customize the home page of your application

To show you how easy it is to create an application in a few clicks with App Within Minutes, we have made a short tutorial on how to create a "Bike Product Sheet" .

XWiki Enterprise 3.4 or higher

First of all, you need to download or upgrade your XWiki Enterprise version in order to get this feature.

In this tutorial, I'm using the lastest stable version of XWiki, (XWiki Enterprise 3.4).

Once your wiki is installed and started, log in and on the home page click on "AppWithinMinutes".

Name your application

This is the first step of the creation process. You have to provide the application name which will determine the application home page URL and the application space name. Each application is mapped to an XWiki space.

In the "Application Name" field, type "Bike product sheet", then click on the "Next Step" button.

step1.png

Define the structure of your application

In the second step, you need to define the application structure, i.e. the type of data your application will handle.

At the end of this step the wizard will create the template and the sheet that will be used to create new application entries, in this example a new product sheet for a bike.

step2.png

Customize the home page of your application

In the third and last step, you customize the way your application's home page will look like. You can choose which columns to display in the livetable. Then click "Finish".

In our example, we explain what the goal of our application is and we choose to display every bike's features.

step3.png

Use your application

Now you can try out your application! At the end of the creation process, the wizard takes you to the application's home page. This is the place where you will be able to:

  • Create a new "bike" product sheet (picture 1) thanks to a wiki page template.
  • Browse and filter your data using the livetable (picture 2).
  • Edit the application's structure and class (picture 2).

productsheet.png

Picture 1 - Bike product sheet template used to create the Mountain bike n°1

apphomepage.png

Picture 2 - Application home page : livetable, new entry and class edition

We hope this App Within Minutes presentation has convinced you how easy it is to make applications and we highly encourage you to use it to create new applications yourselves.