VOLUME LXVII               01/06/2021

Client Showcase

By Dottie Worster, Media Manager

In San Francisco, California, in the very center of town, there stands a pyramid towering nearly 60 stories above the ground. This is the home of Transamerica – a multi-billion dollar investment and insurance company that is a subsidiary of Aegon – the financial services giant headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands. When Transamerica needed a new way to keep track of their real estate holdings and the daily operations at those property sites, they turned to Nioxus.

The Nioxus Real Estate Solution is a modular real estate application with specific functions for Property Management, Portfolio Management, Lease Abstracts, Tenant & Rent Roll Accounting and Service & Maintenance. From the Real Estate Management group headquarters to the Property Managers on the ground, the Nioxus Real Estate Solution enables everyone to be on the same page when it comes to the operations, finance and ongoing maintenance of more than 40 million square feet of commercial real estate and nearly 1 million multi-family and single-family residential properties. Using the integrated Tenant and Property Dashboards, system users can navigate nearly 30 different functions including everything from commercial building services to tenant trust accounts and pets.

According to senior Property Manager Allison R. of a Transamerica shopping mall located in the Midwest with over 3 million square feet of leased space:

We used to have to use three different systems to keep track of daily mall ops: one for accounting, one for maintenance, and one for tenant activities. None of the systems talked to each other, and none of them worked the same way. Our new system is so simple. Everything we need is available on one screen. No matter who walks into our office or calls us, we can immediately access the right data by just clicking a button. I can’t count how many hours our new Real Estate system has saved us.”

-Allison R., Senior Property Manager at Transamerica

Databasics

Data, Information, and Business Intelligence

It amazes me how often people use the words “data”, “information” and “Business Intelligence” as though they are all interchangeable. But to really escalate your database and data analysis skills to the highest level, it’s important to use the proper vocabulary.

Let’s start with the Data Maturity Lifecycle – the construct that describes the evolution of raw data (the lowest form of intellectual content) into business intelligence (the highest form of intellectual content). Data is a single characteristic such as someone’s gender. Data refers to a single quality of the main actor in a record. So, if we are tracking the gender of students in our school, each record would represent a student, the student would be the main actor and the Gender field in that record would refer to only that student.

Information – in its simplest form – is aggregated data. Aggregations are mathematic or statistical manipulations that deliver a value representative of an entire population of actors. In our school data example, total counts of all boys and girls in a specific grade and/or the percentage of males versus females enrolled in the school is a perfect example of information. Where data tells us something about one actor, information tells us something about an entire group (or Array) of actors.

That leads us to Intelligence (Business, Actionable, Predictive, or any other kind). Intelligence is information compared to some baseline metric such that we learn something about the population in a context larger than the population itself. Consider if we were to calculate information regarding the percentage of males versus females in the freshman class of our school and compare it to the same information about other schools in our city. By comparing our information to another informative metric, we now know something about our school in the context of all schools in our town.

So why does this all matter? Consider the very name of what we build everyday… they are DATAbases. The name tells us a lot about how we build our data models. When designing your Ninox application solutions, keep in mind that the primary goal is to collect and store as much raw data as necessary. Then, taking advantage of the rich Ninox language, we can rely on Ninox to calculate and deliver information and Intelligence (and don’t forget to check out the Ninox Reporting tools here).

Now that we’ve covered the Data Maturity Lifecycle, make sure to tune into The Eye next week when Databasics will look at Data Quality and how we measure it.

For now… Happy New Year and Happy Databasing to you all. And if you want to see The Data Maturity Lifecycle in a slightly different light, click here to read our previous article covering it.

Nioxus Today

By Amelia Neighbors, GM Global Operations

2021! Can you believe it? I joined Nioxus about a year ago and so much has changed. This time last year, the idea of visualizing data was just an idea. We didn’t know how a document management tool could be a game changer for businesses of all sizes and I didn’t know enough about the Ninox calendar to know what an expanded experience might look like.

We now have multiple products (thanks to our fantastic team) as well as the services our members have come to rely on. We have a completely updated website and a bigger Nioxus family to bring it all together. We have published an additional library worth of articles, templates and videos on our website, YouTube and in our video vault.

What has not changed is our commitment to quality, the dedication of the entire Nioxus team to doing the right thing, and doing it with integrity. This year, even bigger changes are in store for Ninox and Nioxus – and I can’t wait to see what innovations get called out next January.

For now, my resolutions include helping improve the experience for all Nioxus membership levels, providing better insight into what’s coming to the Nioxus product suite, while continuing to offer world class service and exceptional value to the global Ninox community (and our fantastic clients around the world).

That may sound big – and it is – but if there’s one thing I know about Nioxus, it’s that an amazing team of hard working, talented individuals can work miracles. Here’s to a fabulous 2021! :tada:

This Week in the Learning Lab

Be sure to join Thursday on the 7th at 12:00pm EST for our Learning Lab on Ninox Secret Functions and Open Q&A!

Did you know that Nioxus has built over 130 templates which are available to all Standard, Deluxe and Premier Nioxus members?

Just Jim

By Jim Harris, The Stargazer

Hello 2021. Say goodbye 2020.

2020 was a great year for Nioxus.  We had a website redesign. We had the rollout of the three Nioxus PLUS products, and gained a few new members of the team here at Nioxus. We had a fantastic year. I want thank all of you who have helped make Nioxus a success and hope we will dazzle you during this year with even more.

I do have a feeling that as Nioxus continues to grow, I will be expected to work even harder which is great news. As a small tot, my parents always made us try to find ways to better ourselves.
Now, be honest – has anyone thought about your 2021 New Year resolutions? I am pledging to myself to get online and learn a few more technical skills. What about you?

Feedback? Contact me – Jim (Stargazer)

Jim@nioxus.com

Ninox University YouTube Channel

Nioxus has created nearly 100 videos and over 200 hours of content teaching you how to use and optimize Ninox, as well as our supplementary products: CalendarPLUS, ReportsPLUS and DocumentsPLUS

Go Full Screen For a Better View

By Jennifer Neighbors, Senior Consultant

Have you checked out how your forms appear when viewed in “full screen” mode? Full screens are both wider and taller than usual – a welcome enhancement. Your users with small screens may especially appreciate Ninox’s full screen mode, but all users will like having the option. There are a couple of ways to do it. Let’s explore.

If you are going to open a screen for the user with the click of a button and you know the Id number of the table record you want to open, then you’ll want to use this bit of code in the button’s On Click function:

							
					let xID := number(Id);
openFullscreen(record(Events,xID))				
			

This code will open the Events table in form view and automatically go to full screen mode when it does. The specific record opened is the record with the matching Id number. Wonderful, right? Be cautious, however, because full screen mode hides the database menu. I like to make sure the user retains a sense of direction and control so I give them a way to close my form and go back to where they were or a way to exit full screen mode so they can see the database menu, or both.

							
					closeFullscreen()				
			

This function takes the form out of full screen mode, exposes the menu again, and returns the screen to the usual size. If you have any navigation buttons on your form, they can still be used while in full screen mode, but you MUST add this line to the top of the code block to take the form out of full screen mode first. Otherwise, the rest of the code will not execute.

What if you want to take the user to full screen mode for the form they are already viewing? In this situation, you will need to use this for your button’s On Click function:

							
					openFullscreen(this)				
			
Now you are indicating you want to take the current screen into full screen mode. You can then exit full screen mode in the usual manner.
I like to use two buttons in this way to enter and exit full screen mode on a form so that each button has its own name. That way the user knows what the button will do: either invoke or revoke full screen mode. When done right, the buttons will appear in exactly the same space so as to replace one another rather than sit next to each other. To do this, you will need a way to toggle the buttons, and their functions, on and off.
To toggle you will first need to create a hidden yes/no field. Create a new yes/no field and name it something like “Full Screen”, make it a checkbox, set the default value to “No” and set required to “Yes”. Save your work. Then toggle the new field back and forth a couple of times between “Yes” and “No”. Now, make your new field invisible by setting the Visible Only If function to “null” or “false” and save your new field again.

Next, open each of your buttons and paste the following code under the existing code:

							
					if 'Full Screen' then
    'Full Screen' := “No”
else
    'Full Screen' := “Yes"
end				
			

To make your buttons appear on top of one another at the proper times, in the Visible Only If function of your buttons, enter these commands:

In the button that invokes full screen mode, enter not ‘Full Screen’

In the button that revokes full screen mode, enter ‘Full Screen’

There you have it! Your two buttons should now toggle full screen mode on and off and appear in the exact same space on your form. If the two buttons are the same size and color, it will appear to the user as if only the name of the button changed.

An entirely different option is to have a single image, button or other formula toggle full screen mode on and off. This is a great alternative, but the downside is that the image, button or other formula will not change appearance as full screen mode is invoked and revoked. You will have to convey to the user that clicking once sends the form into full screen mode and clicking again reverts the form back to normal. To do this, select any field that has an On Click function and enter this code there:

							
					if 'Full Screen' then
    'Full Screen' := "No";
    closeFullscreen()
else
    'Full Screen' := "Yes";
    openFullscreen(this)
end				
			

Having the option of including full screen mode in your user interface design is something you’ll be glad to have in your set of skills, especially when users’ screens are various sizes and you’ve crowded a lot of fields into the available space. A recent client of mine says it’s “awesome” and I think it’s pretty awesome as well.

Jennifer welcomes feedback and can be reached at jennifer@nioxus.com.

Copyright 2021 © All Rights Reserved.

All logos, trademarks and names are the protected property of Nioxus Corporation or their respective owners.

“Ninox,” “Ninox Database” and the blue Ninox owl eye logo are the property of Ninox Berlin and are used with permission.

en_USEN