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Summary:

I am not usually one to create databases, or web apps. Typically, my job is to produce content, be it text or image, and let others worry about number, data, programming etc. That said, when working as a freelancer, you don’t always have the luxury of […]

qrimplogo1I am not usually one to create databases, or web apps. Typically, my job is to produce content, be it text or image, and let others worry about number, data, programming etc. That said, when working as a freelancer, you don’t always have the luxury of sticking to your specialty and hoping someone else will take care of the bits you’re not so sure about.

Looking around for a solution that would do some hand-holding while helping you set up databases and produce reports, I came across Qrimp (pronounced “crimp”). Qrimp is extensible, and customizable, so don’t get the impression that it would only appeal to hopeless cases like myself, but that is the angle I’ll be using to talk about the software.

picture-23After viewing the video demo available here, I set about seeing if I could replicate the same sort of thing using an expense report for my freelancing business covering a three month period. The data recognition used by Qrimps seems solid, since it accurately set up the table using the information I’d copied and pasted from my excel spreadsheet. It automatically knew what was a date, what was a dollar amount, etc. And in form view, data fields were easily rearranged without me having to look at even a scrap of code.

picture-16I also played with the live demo, where I went into existing reports to see what else you could do with Qrimp. With the “Oscars” database, you can see how easy it is for the web app to pull live data from external links, in this case IMDB. If you were working with a client, you could pull live data from their own web analytics or reporting tools, and the information would be instantly available, in table and report form.

Qrimp is a good resource for those of us who may have the creative chops or experience to devliver a great product, but who may not have the time, patience, or inclination to organize the numbers that businesses are really concerned with. Pricing starts at $5o per month, but if it saves me as much time and stress as I think it’s going to, it’ll be worth the money.

  1. You may also want to look at blist.com. They have similar capability and it is currently free.

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  2. This looks like a really interesting app. I do front-end design and know very little about PHP/MySQL. Qrimp looks like it might be a good solution for projects where the budget doesn’t allow for a lot of back-end web development. Thanks for the links.

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  3. Nice but eye-wateringly pricey

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  4. Hey Darrell, a nice addition to the article would be a list of other providers of database web apps, competitors to Qrimp, especially if they don’t cost $50/mo.

    Does anybody know any?

    Thanks.

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  5. Hi Darrell, thank you for the wonderful post. We wanted to respond to Santiago and Dave’s questions about lower cost alternatives. Hopefully this post won’t come off as a marketing gimmick.

    @Santiago, there are several alternatives in this space. Here’s list of some of the more well known ones:
    – Caspio
    – Longjump
    – CogHead
    – DabbleDB (our favorite)

    We don’t think of them as competitors, more like collaborators in market expansion. This space is rather new and very broad. It’s a blue ocean. There is more than enough work for all of us. We are all working together to advance the technologies in this space.

    As for our personal opinion… DabbleDB is a great product at a lower cost. You should check it out.

    As for Qrimp, our executive team has extensive experience working on multi-million dollar, web-based projects across the retail, insurance, and government sectors. These projects cost so much because of the many complexities around the hardware, installed software, development tools, programming languages, staffing every skill set known to man, management… and don’t forget the bureaucracy. Our product streamlines and simplifies that process.

    With Qrimp, we want to help individuals and companies:
    – significantly reduce the cost of infrastructure (via the hosted solution)
    – simplify staffing by leveraging only web standard technologies: HTML, JavaScript, CSS… plus SQL.
    – require fewer resources by increasing individual productivity
    – compliment agile development methodologies to enable rapid development by getting to “working code” faster
    – build and maintain applications on a Platform as a Service (PaaS) with only a web browser
    – easily migrate between local infrastructure and the cloud or just work offline and synchronize

    Ultimately, platforms such as Qrimp strive to reduce the time-to-market (without reducing quality) for both internal and external-facing web applications.

    As for the cost, your average front-end software developer with less than 4 years of experience has an average rate of $40/hour. And the cost for a good architect, DBA, or infrastructure resource goes up from there. So if Qrimp can save at least 2 hours of work a month per resource, it has paid for itself. And we feel we’ve demonstrated that it can save far more than 2 hours by not only reducing the hours for an individual resource, but by reducing the number of resources needed in the first place. You can look at our latest case study on our website.

    Right now, our primary customers are small to Fortune 1000 companies. We have a few individual users (even someone who was building an application for a Masters Thesis in Information Technology). But we understand that for individual use, there are alternatives that have pricing structures which are probably more suitable for you. They have solid products… definitely check them out.

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  6. Santjago, having tested in my blog the most wide spread products out there, my suggestion is (if talk about the solution at lower cost as 50$/month) TeamDesk. You should also take a look at QuickBase. The product is quite mature, not that affordable though.

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