KNACK Online database Integration and Synchronization

Knack makes it easy to build online databases without coding. The Layer2 Cloud Connector adds code-free data integration and data synchronization with 100+ typically used enterprise IT systems and apps. Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint, SQL, Dynamics, Exchange, or Azure is supported as well as cloud-based and on-premises SQL/ERP/CRM systems of vendors such as Google, Amazon, IBM, Oracle, or SAP. You will find supported systems and applications here.

 

 

Benefits of Knack Database Integration and Synchronization

Data integration and synchronization of pre-selected Knack online database data sets with the help of the Layer2 Cloud Connector can provide the following features and benefits.

Your Knack data available in almost any enterprise app

Connect code-free and keep your pre-selected cloud-based Knack data in sync with 100+ IT systems, such as Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint, Dynamics, Exchange, Teams, SQL, and more. Make use of all features of the certain target system, such as search, forms, workflows in case of SharePoint.

Low risk in project and high speed of implementation

As generally with Knack, no programming required for integration using the Knack JSON API. Just install the Layer2 connector on a Windows server in your network, in your own cloud, or even on your laptop and adapt predefined sample connection templates. Free Quick Start Service provided by Layer2 remotely, if required.

Zero footprint integration under your full control

No changes are required in the connected systems or in your network. The data synchronization runs as Windows service on your local network or in your own cloud. No 3rd party, vendor, or cloud service is involved. Just direct and secure connections under your full control.

Keep your Knack data in sync, one-way or even two-way

The connector allows write-back of data changes made in the connected system to your Knack database via the JSON-based API, if authorized. Great to add cross-system business processes to your Knack data, such as Microsoft SharePoint workflows or actions in PowerApps, Flow, or Azure Logic Apps.

Advanced data synchronization features for your business

Flexible features can make the difference: Custom field mapping, Dynamic Columns to apply data cleanup, calculations, data transformation, and data translation between the connected systems to implement custom business logic in C#.

Cost-effective solution with no hidden costs

No need for user CALs, just a one-time fee for the Layer2 Cloud Connector license*. No additional costs per connected system, connection, number of transferred items, or data volume. Optional annual Software Assurance for free updates and upgrades.
(* 3rd party data providers not included)

 

  • Virtually any system supported to connect: ODBC, OLEDB, OData, SOAP, JSON, Microsoft .NET based providers, Files (Excel, XML, CSV, Text), RSS / XML feeds, SQL databases like MS SQLSQL Azure, Oracle, MySQL, IBM DB2, IBM AS/400, IBM Informix; Notes, SharePoint, Office 365 (lists and libraries), local file systemcloud-based file storesExchangeActive DirectoryDynamics NAV/CRM, Navision, SAP, and many more. More complex data sources, REST-based web services, custom COM, or .NET objects can be connected using 3rd-party add-ons. Cloud-to-cloud connections, e.g. to salesforce.comTwitter, Facebook, Google, Amazon, SAP, and others are also supported.
  • Layer2 CSOM Data Provider included: You can connect and sync your Knack data with SharePoint lists and libraries on-premise or in the Office 365 / OneDrive for Business cloud. Microsoft Teams also supported.
  • Layer2 OData Data Provider included: You can connect your Knack database data to all OData sources, e.g. Microsoft CRM/ERP or SAP via NetWeaver.
  • Layer2 XML Data Provider included: You can connect your Knack data to any XML-based files and web requests, and filter results by using XPath query language.
  • Layer2 RSS Data Provider included: Please note that this provider is also included as sample source code to build your own data provider.
  • Layer2 Exchange Data Provider included: You can sync Knack data like contacts, tasks, calendar events, notes, and email to Exchange using Exchange Web Services (EWS). Exchange 2007, 2010, and 2013 are supported as well as Exchange Online. Shared & Site Mailboxes supported.
  • Layer2 SOAP Web Services Provider included: Connect Knack to SOAP-based web services codeless with flexible parameters.
  • More data providers, such as for Microsoft Flow and Azure Logic Apps included to start cloud-based actions across systems on any data change.
  • Very flexible sync options: Uni- and bi-directional sync are supported. Execute a specific connection scheduled in the background (Windows Service) or on demand (e.g. by command line or API). Sync all data or pre-selected subsets only. Select source and target folders, make use of additional no-delete, no-insert, no-update options.
  • Data type conversion included: Sync Knack data with SharePoint links, lookups, managed metadata, and more with advanced options.
  • Process integration: Raise change notifications and start workflows in the cloud, triggered by Knack data changes. Find your Knack data changes in Delve via Office Graph.
  • In case of SharePoint connections: All features of native SharePoint lists and libraries are supported, e.g. views, sorting, filtering, grouping, search, mobile and offline access, social features like tagging and enterprise metadata, RSS feeds, change notifications per email or workflows in the cloud on external data change. You can also add your own business logic.
  • Mobile and offline access: You can sync your Knack database with Office 365 / SharePoint Online for data access from everywhere, with any device, at any time - also offline with write-back of changes.
  • Data aggregation: Multiple connections can combine several different Knack data queries into one list.
  • Flexible logging and alerts: You can log to files, databases, and Windows Event Log via NLOG.
  • Free Edition: You can test the Free Edition as long as you want or you can use in production with limited features. You can upgrade the Free Edition to a licensed version at any time without new installation.

How it works

See the screens below how it works to connect to a Knack database data entity via the Knack JSON API.

 

Knack Specific Configuration Settings

Please note the following about Knack-specific settings.

 

  • Please select the CData ADO.NET Data Provider for JSON in the list of installed providers. If you can't find, please download and install from the vendor.
  • You can make use of any connection string option supported by the data provider. In our tests the following works:

    URI=https://api.knack.com/v1/objects/object_1/records;JSON Path=records;CustomHeaders='X-Knack-Application-Id:myAppID
    X-Knack-REST-API-KEY:myAPIKey';

    Please replace myAppID and myAPIKey with the keys specifically generated for your Knack data in the Knack UI.
  • Please note the CR/LF (Linebreak) before the X-Knack-REST-API-KEY option (otherwise it will not work!).
  • You can make use of all SQL queries your data provider supports. Please start with the following if unsure:

    SELECT * FROM JSONData
  • Please add the JSON Path option to figure out the records/items level within the JSON data.
  • Please add a primary key, typically id is used.
  • Bi-directional sync is generally supported by the Layer2 Cloud Connector and also by the JSON data provider. Please make sure that a primary key is defined for this. Due to evaluation issues, two-way sync was not fully tested with Knack.

 

Do you have any issues to connect? Please contact [email protected] for next possible steps.

Examples of Knack Data Integration Scenarios implemented via Layer2 Cloud Connector

 

You will find typical use cases here:

 

  • Connect your Knack online database with any SQL database for reporting.
  • Push Knack data, such as contacts, to Microsoft Exchange for mobile and offline access on any device (BYOD).
  • Connect Knack data to SharePoint Online lists to make it available on any device via Microsoft apps for Windows, iOS, and Android.
  • Create Microsoft PowerApps based on Knack-connected SharePoint lists or SQL tables.
  • Keep your Microsoft Teams or Office Groups users notified about pre-selected Knack data changes directly in Teams channels. Provide Knack data as a connected list in Microsoft Teams.
  • Start workflows in Microsoft Flow or Azure Logic Apps on Knack data changes.

Can't find what you are looking for? Please contact [email protected] for help.

Knack Data Integration - Known Issues and Workarounds

 

  • For complex JSON content note the "JSON Path" parameter in the connection string.
  • Bi-directional synchronization is generally supported. You need to have write access rights for two-way sync.
  • In our tests, it looks like the amount of returned records is limited to 1000 for a specific Knack data query. Please contact [email protected] for any possible workaround.
  • Blobs, binary fields such as used to store images or documents in database tables are not supported by the data provider.
  • Complex SharePoint fields like lookups, user or group picker etc. are generally supported. You have to make sure providing values that fit into the fields. You can use the Dynamic Columns feature of the Layer2 Cloud Connector to translate values across systems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please find answers to frequently asked questions about Knack online database data integration and synchronization below.

What's the difference to Knack integration via Zapier

While Zapier is able to start very specific pre-configured actions in many apps based on Knack data changes, Layer2 provides a universal data synchronization approach code-free. Layer2 even don't have to know the connected system, it just has to be available based on supported data providers, such as ODBC, OLEDB, ADO.NET, OData, JSON, SOAP, and others - 100+ systems are known to be supported.

 

Where to define my insert, update, and delete statements

You don't have to define any insert, update or delete statements to keep the connected systems in sync. The data providers will generate it automatically during runtime based on your connected Knack data and your primary key(s).

Where to get help in case of any issues?

All questions regarding the Layer2 Cloud Connector product can be sent us via email or you can make use of the contact form. Please ask the vendor of the data provider or the Knack database for all other, not Layer2-related, issues. You will also find regional Layer2 partners on this website to help you with your data integration project.

 

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