Tuesday, March 1, 2022

You Don't Need to Start From Scratch - Use a Template

You've got an application you want to build using a no-code platform - but you're not really sure how to design the app. That's where app templates come in. They provide you with a blueprint of what data tables, forms and reports you may need and how data should flow through the system. 

But what if you can't find a template that matches up with the type of application you want to create? A template may still be your answer. Just look for one that includes the same basic functions that you need in your app. For example, Caspio has a detailed video tutorial on how to build their "Patient Portal" app that allows patients to self-register, log in, check for messages from their doctors and review their prior visits including who they were seen by, what medical information was recorded and what comments were left by the doctor who examined them. In addition the Patient Portal allows doctors to log in, see a list of their patients, filter that list in different ways, track patients by status or number of visits, and edit patient detail information.

But what if you need to create an app for a cardiac rehabilitation facility? That's an application that's really very similar to the "Patent Portal" in many ways. To use the patient portal template all you really have to do is make a few changes to the "Visits" data table. You still want to keep track of a patient's temperature, weight and blood pressure for each rehab session, you just need to add a few items relating to the individual's workout on equipment like the treadmill or stationary bike. 

Just add fields to the "Visits" data table for time spent on each piece of equipment, the patient's RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) and their METs value (exercise rate) for their time on that equipment and you have the basic information (along with blood pressure readings) that needs to be recorded for a given session. The rest of the framework for the Patient Portal template can be used pretty much as is, with only minor modifications.

But what is you want to build an app for Rottweiler owners to share stories about their dogs, plan events and communicate with vets and dog trainers? Even though the Patient Portal seems like an unlikely match, the basic functions aren't all that different. Instead of doctors you have administrators, club members instead of patients, and member or administrator posts instead of visits. Club members should be able to log in, check for messages, ask questions, share stories and, if their dogs compete in canine sports, keep track of their dog's performance in competitions like agility or lure coursing. 

If you're stuck as to exactly how to get started on developing your app and don't immediately see a ready-made template for your particular type of application, stop and think. Consider what functions your app needs to perform and what types of programs might utilize those same functions, then go back and take a second look at the available templates. You might just find what you need after all. 

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