Database Practice

After spending several years focussing on building Apps with Access Web Apps, we have decided on a slight change of direction for the business and, using our experience of building web databases, start to offer database consultancy services to clients.

We have been spending some time reviewing the platforms now available (we last did this 3 or 4 years ago when choosing Access Web Apps) and are very excited to have found several alternative platforms, Knack, Airtable, Podio and the integration tool Zapier. We must not forget Microsoft's options either (in the form of Access Web Apps and the emerging PowerApps).

Each of these platforms has their own set of strengths (and we will be reviewing them in detail in due course) but here's a quick summary:


With Knack you can build secure, scalable database apps that can be published on any website or intranet. Tools are available to produce reports and analytics and to connect your data to your other favourite Web services using Zapier, the integration and workflow tool. To find out more or start a free trial click here.


Airtable takes a very different approach to other database platforms. Modelled on the familiarity of a Spreadsheet, users are immediately comfortable with the layout of their data (although you have the option of several alternative view layouts). Mobile (iOS and Android) apps give you access to your data in a convenient form wherever you are.

Airtable databases also add the concept of collaboration and commenting to you database solution and lets you share your data, chat with teammates, and see changes as they happen.

For more information or to set up a Free account click here.


With a far greater emphasis on collaboration, Podio is effectively a combination of Social platform and database. It allows you to transform the way you work both within your organisation and externally with clients and other stakeholders. Workflow (Globiflow) tools enable complex solutions to be built.

Podio can be used free of charge for up to 5 internal users - for more information click here.

Access Web Apps (AWA) / Microsoft PowerApps

If you already have a business Office 365 subscription then you probable already have the capability to at least run Access Web Applications in your Sharepoint site. AWA is probably the most capable Web database system available (and in the basis of our Office 365 apps). However, the reliance upon Sharepoint Online means that it won't suit everyone and the learning curve is a little steeper than the other options here. However, if your requirements are a little more complex this is likely to be the best choice at the moment.

PowerApps, on the other hand, is a new emerging technology from Microsoft (still in public preview) which could be a game changer for building web and mobile applications.

If you are looking for help in building web apps / databases for your business then please get in touch with us so that we can explore your requirement and recommend a possible solution.

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