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What should I know about Caspio's free account limitations?


overhear
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I'm evaluating a few web-based database products for possible use by small non-profits.  I've learned the hard way that free accounts are often unsuitable for even simple applications because of their restrictions. Other times products designed for a non-technical audience lack basic features that experienced users rely on and expect. For instance, I recently evaluated a product that lacks data validation for fields like email addresses.

In particular, having reviewed Caspio's plan descriptions I'm wondering about the DataPage limit on free accounts. Is a DataPage a table? If so, I'm concerned that I may have trouble allocating enough tables to populate dropdown menus, in addition to storing actual data.

I understand that all free accounts are trade-offs to some extent, but I'd welcome any insights into  what product features I can expect and which I might miss before I get too far along in creating a test deployment.

 

 

 

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The thing I find most limiting on the free account is that DataPage limit. Even running into it being an issue on a paid plan due to the number of pages we need.

A DataPage is a way of displaying or manipulating the data within a table or a view. There's no limit to the number of tables or views or tasks that you have behind the scenes. Just the number of DataPages that are used to expose your data for use.

Say you have three tables. To create a form to add a record to the first table, well that will take one DataPage. If you want to be able to have your users edit those records they're adding, well, that will take another DataPage. And so on for the other two tables. So there's six pages right there. 

Other than that lets see ... well, your example of field validation. And this is not free/not-free plan thing, Caspio just has very limited included validations, period. Caspio validates for data type. e.g. if the field in the data table is a number, the DataPage form won't accept alpha characters. It can also check for required input and you can set min characters and max characters. But you'd have to roll (or find) your own javascripts for any other validations or formatting you want done at submit (email addresses, phone number formats, SSN format, etc). 

Tables and Views are also not what I was personally expecting. Table fields have limited manipulation that can be performed. e.g. you can't pull data in from another table. Even the Views merely join tables in the most basic way and you can't do counts, etc there either. That takes a report DataPage to do the aggregations. Again, I'm just used to much more freedom there.

DataPages themselves are frustrating for me personally as I constantly bump up against their constraints of "can't do this, can't do that" and sometimes it takes me an hour to track down how to do something that would have taken 2 lines of SQL or C# code.

All that said, I'm coming from a developer background with 2 decades of designing my own databases, writing queries, stored procedures, etc. and writing the code to get stuff in and out. So I see things here more from a limitation standpoint. But Caspio IS pretty darn powerful in what it can do in a low- to no-code manner, and for the users not used to rolling their own my bet is it's a wonderful beast all around. 

 

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Hi overhear,

Caspio is an online database platform that allows our customers to build customized applications without the requirement of being a programmer or having a background in software development. 

The important objects that you need to be familiarized with are the following:

DataPages - these are the various application interfaces that you create in Caspio and deploy to your application portal or website. Examples include web forms, reports, calendars, charts, and more. Some DataPages contain multiple screens, so a simple application may require no more than 3 to 5 DataPages. The limit of deployable DataPages depends on the Caspio plan that you avail. 

Tables these are the ones that hold your data. You can create tables in the Tables area of your App. Data can be submitted into these tables using web forms or imported from external files, such as Excel. Tables can also be exported in various file formats and saved onto your computer. Also, tables only allows a maximum of 255 fields

Authentication - this is used to password-protect your DataPages. 

Formulas and Calculations - there are different ways on how to perform calculations in Caspio. Formula field - it calculates a value based on other fields in the same table. In the formula field, you create an expression that uses values from fields, constants, or functions. Calculated Values - it is a form element that generates dynamic calculations that automatically update as users interact with your form. Calculated Fields - it allow you to perform dynamic, per-record functions on results and details pages of a Report DataPage. Triggered Actionsallow data manipulation, calculations and sending notifications by constructing application logic with a visual interface. They will be executed on specified events to perform actions on data in your tables.

I hope the information that I provided helps.

 

-JolliBeng

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For some higher plans, it is also convenient that they have the PDF feature where it lets you print your data with one click from the Reports DataPage. I also find the API integration convenient as I used to have some of my data from a third party software and I had to migrate those information as well. Instead of manually submitting the information, I was able to get those data into Caspio in no time (If you do not have the time and knowledge to connect your account to third party using API, you can have this done by their Professional Services team at a certain cost). 

I am also fond of the Payment Integration as I also have an order submission form and it lets me get customer's payment securely. 

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