Knack Reliability and other questions from a trial user

Hi all,

I am hoping that someone in this group can answer a few questions about knack because I’ve spent years building my company and I really need to understand whether this is going to be right or not.

I’ve got a few questions but maybe if you are reading and know an answer to one of them, you could jump in and help answer just that part. It is most appreciated.

1. Is knack reliable?
I’ve read around the web and people say that knack support isn’t great. I rarely use support anyhow on most other SAAS I use and the documentation for knack is very comprensive. However I did find a couple of reviews on the deep web that suggested the platform had been going through issues related to stability a couple of years ago and that product releases are waning. Should this be something I am concerned about?

2. Current solution and getting a sexier Knack GUI
We currently use Trello for our workflow management and while that is fine I have realized that a huge amount of time is shuffling around data that I can already see I have been able to organize in a better way. While Knack will be fine for internal workflows on the Client facing end I wondered if there were any recommendations for being able to build client facing visually appealing GUIs which draw from the Knack API to gather data points? I am suprised that knack haven’t bolted on something more visually appealing to their Toolset so you can build nice looking pages but maybe I have misundestood the platform direction.

3. How can you connect to external APIs?
When I see a platform like they have a specific type of module that will allow you to create connections with external APIS. Looking through the knack documentation this does not seem to be a similar plug and play functionality. APIs are very much integral to futureproofing your technology stack so I am a little bit concerned that out of the box I can’t find an easy non-progammer way of capturing, for example, a data point from an API and easily pulling that into a data field. I am prepared to accept that I might be missing a step here and knack is not going to be something like Xano or Retool, but these tools have a Developer slant to creation.

4. Tables just disappeared
I’m in a trial on this platform and I build a table and went home. Later I tried to access the form attached to the table and make an update. I got a message saying there was a problem with the form. I figured it might be mobile dependent. Today I checked from my desktop and there was still an issue. I can see in the back end that when I got to the corresponding table it simply says “loading records” and that’s all it does. When I try and add a new record is says “Internal Server Error”.

5. Mobile
Is knack mobile friendly? I ask because when I try and access Knack front end via my mobile it’s not responsive and there are lots of of overflow issues with the tables and forms and headings.

6. Copying Records
Why is there no functionality out of the box to copy records.

7. Working with small data vs bigger data
For single point data I don’t have a problem, but in some cases I have users that want to add a range of data records to a table. Doesn’t seem this is really native or easy to do, there are some special codes I’ve seen in the forum to help with this, but surely this is something that needs to be added?

8. Roadmap
As I said at the start of this message and using this for a few days, the sense I get is that the product is not being updated, I don’t get a sense of who are or what the longevity is of the platform. At the same time this interpretation of mind could simply be mine, I am looking for a long-term solution and I do know that there are lots of products on the market but the challenge I have with them is that they are so focussed on growth that they generally trash their product chasing perpetual growth. I am moving to a solution because I don’t want to pushed through a product cycle that sees interfaces continually updated and with no opportunity for any voice in the changes and to then have to explain to my Clients.

Thanks for your help and feedback, it is most appreciated.

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Hi Glyn,
Thanks for such a thoughtful post, it looks like you are really invested in finding the right solution. I’ll address your questions here:

Stability and Reliability

I can’t personally speak to Knack’s reliability a few years ago but what I do know is that we have a large customer base who have been using Knack for 5+ years, and I think that is a positive sign. Since I’ve started a few months ago, Knack has taken a path that, in our current economy, is a bit radical and the opposite of what I’ve seen other companies doing (investing in Sales) by dramatically scaling our Engineering, QA, Support, and Design teams. We have more than doubled just our Engineering team alone.
We have projects in flight now purely focused on performance improvements and reliability gains because we want to continuously get better.

Sexy GUI
Knack has so much power and functionality, especially for data-driven applications, and it was created with the same flexibility for the front end, allowing users to add their own CSS and JavaScript. This forum offers a ton of great examples if you want something specific. There are extremely skilled and knowledgeable Knack Partners that build out custom solutions, and I’m sure a few would be happy to show you their work. All that said - we have plans to update the GUI for users who don’t want to use custom code too. :motorway:

External APIs
You can connect to external APIs using Knack, and although there isn’t a built-in solution yet like Bubble’s, you can still achieve this without much effort. User-friendly platforms such as and Zapier offer powerful integrations with Knack and can help you connect to external APIs with minimal technical expertise.

Disappearing Tables
We’re so sorry you experienced this. This would be a great reason to open a ticket with Knack Support. Without more information, it can be difficult to diagnose technical issues in the community forum.

Knack is mobile-friendly and will adjust to your screen size, but there could be certain layouts or elements that may not display as well as they could on mobile devices. When building the Live App, there is a cell phone icon towards the top of the screen so you can preview the app in mobile view and make adjustments. It’s also possible that by adjusting your app with a bit of CSS and making sure all components are optimized for mobile devices can mitigate these issues. You can also give a shout out to the Knack community for advice.

Copying Records
It’s not out-of-the-box yet, but now you can create a custom workflow using our guide here or by using a bit of JavaScript and the Knack API to duplicate records.

Big Data
I’m not sure how large your datasets are, but you can import data (or update existing data) in bulk from .csv files up to 250mb. Records can be added via the API as well. I’m interested in chatting with you about the big data more if you’re open to that.

You wrote this message at a great time!
We just today sent out our April newsletter, hopefully it’s in your email.
Also, keep an eye out for an announcement about an upcoming webinar where I’ll talk about our roadmap. :spiral_calendar: :motorway: :smiling_face:

We want to drive growth with our roadmap, of course, but it is our intention that your clients will love the changes - and as the person building their solutions, we want you to as well.
We want to solve real problems our customers have, and we can’t do that without your feedback and input. We’re a small but growing team still, so how we gather the feedback could be reading the forums daily, sending out surveys (there is one in the announcements channel now that could be interesting to you since you asked about connecting to other data sources), getting on calls with customers, etc.

We look forward developing a collaborative relationship with you (and of course all customers :wink: )- reach out via the forums, or send a note to

Have a great weekend :hibiscus:



Awesome questions @GSH and from a Knack customer viewpoint I’d agree with @Kara and add:

  • We’ve been using Knack since 2015 with a key application being customer facing (our customers) and the inclusion CSS and Javascript capabilities mean enormous flexibility and enhancment capabilities for the GUI and other aspects that other no-code or low-code offers just cannot match. Knack’s developer documentation and the API forum here will give you an idea.

  • We settled on over Zapier to connect every app on the planet to our Knack apps - including ones needing webhooks. And lots of data management within Knack apps can be automated with as well.

  • Tested and retool more times than I can count but not even close IMHO.

  • The forums are a terrific way to ask anything.



Where is this functionality in builder?

“When building the Live App, there is a cell phone icon towards the top of the screen so you can preview the app in mobile view and make adjustments.”


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Hello, Joseph!
It’s in Settings / Live app design
Notice the three icons in the white menu, next to Live App Design

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It doesn’t look like I said thank you @Kara for your replies!

I think one of the things that it always a worry when building on no-code propriertary platforms is the product direction they take and as a consequence there is a blurring of your role as a customer and you as a product from a commercial point of view. For example changed their pricing model and REDIIT and other forums are full of people that had spent years building their tools and are now faced with them being commerically inviable (they have granted existing users an 18 month window before they are forced onto the new plan). I can’t image how badly that sucks for those Developers.

Dropbox was also great, until in their drive to grow they added all the bloat stuff to what was a useful tool. is quite fun but then you get these emails from them telling you how great it is to have you on board and by the way we’re going to change things around and no, you as a customer must feel like us that it’s the best thing ever, whereas in fact all it is doing is actually driving their commercial growth not driving your business as you have to retrain and rethink everything.

By contrast what I like about knack is that it is so stripped back. There is like 4 possible ways to see data not 400,000. I hope that whatever functionality is added to this system is done in a way that doesn’t force the customers (us) to have to rethink or retroactively do extra training for APPS they have already created as I think this drive to improve is one of the things that really undoes the SAAS product.

Thanks again.

So no way to preview your apps actual pages in mobile?

Thanks for the response.

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Hi Glyn, We began using Knack right at the end of 2015. It sure seems a long time ago.! We are a Catering business (I have a database background…) and we were looking for an order book application which our clients can make their orders and we could avoid a slow death in paper diaries and manual systems. So, here we are 8 years later and its been a fundamental part of our business. Clients love it, staff love it, and I love it, Because we can show a level of professionalism way above our competition, we have become the dominant supplier in our area. What of our experience? The first thing to say is that Knack has been everything it promised in terms of being able to build a system, no-code, and deliver a comprehensive solution. It is reasonably inexpensive, didn’t have user licencing for viewers, and apart from the odd hour here and there, the systems have been up and functional. We haven’t needed to call on support more than a handful of times, and it has been above adequate every time.

Now the other side of the coin…development has been glacial. Long, long periods with no new functionality, no step up on mobile apps, on workflow, and a bunch of other stuff. It is a challenge to get help sometimes, and although there are some top people in the forums, most of what you inevitably want to do is JS and CSS, or integrate with something else. This might suit people who are using Knack to earn a living from writing additional code and modules, but we’re caterers and we can’t be bothered. Its not our world. I can’t deny that it is very frustrating. On the positive side, there seems to be some new investment and suddenly a bunch of new people who are keen to make a difference. We will see, but responsiveness does appear much improved.

I’m always keen to do the best for my business and the first thing you have to accept is that there is no ‘perfect solution’, nothing that does everything. While using Knack, we have looked at maybe 30 other no-code, lo-code solutions, and as a combination it has hard to beat. There are new ones every few months, along with some very long established ones. They seem to move fast and have a lot of functionality, but then they may not have a pricing model that makes sense to you. Or they might do a lot, but have little depth to them, so you run out of steam and have to go to the coders anyway. I haven’t yet found a combination of product, service, pricing model that would make it worth moving to a different platform. That’s not to say this is forever, but you have to look at the whole picture, and now were here, it makes little sense to try and go somewhere else. I hope this experience is useful to you and that you make the right choice for you

Hi @NeilParkin60970

Thank you very much for sharing with me your experience of this platform and for confirming that ongoing use in your business, and that it is functional and stable.

In terms of functionality I have also heard that there were some investment changes in the past 12 months and so am looking forward to the extra functionality that will surely come about of this. Having surveyed pretty much what feels like the entire marketplace I do feel that the core functionality as is will help service aspects of my business in a much more coordinated way.

I also enjoyed your mention of how you have discovered that the system has allowed you to distinguish yourself from other competitors which I think is a really key point of mention. All the largest businesses in the world have at their core a system, McDonalds did it with the burger system, so I am pleased you have been able to create yours with this tool.

Thanks again for sharin your experience, it was most appreciated.


I should say that our business is Corporate Catering, lunchtime weekday, where the person booking us is almost always a multiple re-orderer on a desktop browser. Our ‘quick order’ is four clicks. If we were an Event caterer, weddings etc, our clients would be on their phones, at home on the sofa in an evening, and we’d need a lot more information from them. In that case we’d have wanted something much slicker and sexier than Knack can do on mobile. It’s all about picking the right compromises…!

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Another popular one I reviewed was Flutter which makes IOS/ANDROID and Desktop apps out of a single interface, but again overall it was more of a Developer-led tool and didn’t let me work on proceses. Still I can imagine that using something like that to connect to the knack API would be a good partnership, idem using WebFlow as a front end designer for Client facing responsive apps. Not that you have said you needed it, but I thought I might add for the benefit of others.

You really need to be clear on what is essential functionality before diving into something. What I think is most interesting is that when you break down your business to a system you realize where the friction points are and where you need to make changes!


Hi @Joseph2,
Apart from just using a phone to test pages you can also use browser device emulation - see for example.