One of the core features of Corteza is the powerful open-source Low Code platform. To clarify, this means that it’s a rapid development platform that allows you to create responsive business applications that run in the browser, without having to know how to write code. With the following 4 step plan you can make a fully functional record-based app for your business or organisation:

  1. Create a namespace
  2. Add modules
  3. Set up pages
  4. Insert charts

1. Create a namespace

In Corteza Low Code applications are called “namespaces”. You can create a new namespace by entering the “Low Code” tab inside Corteza and click on to the “Create namespace” button. If there are many existing namespace, like on the Corteza Community server, you might need to scroll down first. And then, you simply fill in the “name” field and hit “Save and close”.

Before you continue with step two, you need to enter your freshly created namespace.

List of namespaces (applications) on the Corteza Community Server

2. Create the modules

The second step is to create the modules. Corteza Low Code comes with a simple, yet extensive module builder. These modules could be seen as database tables, but in a non-technical way. This means that each module has a set of fields, which represent data you want to store. While most fields are straightforward (string, number,…), there is one special field with an important role: the record field. This record field allows you to link one module to another, creating a relationship between them.

A clear example is one from Corteza CRM, the powerful open-source CRM build with the Corteza Low Code platform. The “Account” and “Contact” modules are related to each other, because an account in the CRM can have multiple contacts. So, the “Contact” module has a Record type field that links to the “Account” module as in the screenshot below. This allows any contact to be related to a account. And if you want that a contact can be related to multiple accounts, simply check the “multiple” checkbox.

List of modules in Corteza Low Code

 

Fields in a module in Corteza Low Code

3. Set up pages

One you’ve created the modules you need to create the visual layer. These are called “Pages” in Corteza, and there are two types of pages:

  1. Record pages
    A record page shows data related to a single record in a module, which means that every module needs to have one record page.
  2. List pages
    These pages act like dashboards or record lists and show up in the automatically generated top menu.

The simple drag-and-drop page editor is the same for both page types. As a result, you select the type of block you want to show (record data, a list, a calendar, a chart,…), configure it and add it to the page.  After that, you can drag it to any position and resize it as you please.

For more detailed info, check out the extensive Corteza Low Code tutorial on opensource.com.

List of pages in Corteza Low Code

 

Adding a block to a page in Corteza Low Code

4. Insert Charts

Corteza Low Code comes with an advanced open-source chart creation tool. As a result it allows you to create the most used charts in custom business applications, such as line, bar and pie charts. For each chart you define the data source (the module), optional filters, dimensions and metrics, and the chart creation tool manages the rest.

Once you’ve created your charts, you can add them to any page in your own low code business application.

Example of a donut chart, made in Corteza Low Code

 

Example of a dashboard with charts, built with Corteza Low Code

Advanced Low Code features

Corteza Low Code also includes some advanced Low Code features, including access management for different user roles on modules, pages or even single fields, and advanced workflow automation. These two advanced Low Code features will be featured in the coming weeks on this blog.

Try it out yourself!

To summarize, you ony need to follow 4 simple steps to build your own custom business application. In addition, if you want to give it a go, check out the free Corteza Community Server. Log in, open the Low Code app and create your own namespace! Lastly, if you run in to any questions, ping the community for help in the Corteza Community Server messaging tab, or let us know in a comment here.

 

We are thrilled to announce that we have released the new documentation site for Corteza. The structure has been optimised and the content has been actualised. It now contains everything you need to know to install, set up and use the open-source digital work platform Corteza. The new structure also enables the community to contribute easier then ever before.

Structure

The documentation has the following structure:

1. Overview

The overview explains what Corteza is, and it gives a summary about the topics “Security”, “Architecture”, “Core Development”, “Deployment” and “Customization”. This chapter is recommended for all new Corteza users.

2. User Manual

The user manual has been created for people that use Corteza for their daily tasks, such as sales people, project managers, service agents, etc. It explains how “Corteza One”, the unified workspace, can be used to access applications and profile settings, and it goes in to details how to use “Corteza Messaging”, “Corteza CRM” and “Corteza Service Solution” are used.

3. Admin Manual

The admin manual is aimed at Corteza administrators, and explains how to manage an already installed instance of Corteza. The first part explains in depth features of the Corteza Admin Panel, and the second part is about Corteza Low-Code.
The chapter about Corteza Low-Code gives insights to admin users on how to create new business applications, and on how to modify already existing applications, such as Corteza CRM and Corteza Service Solution.

4. Management and Maintenance

Management and maintenance is the most technical manual, and it’s written for system administrators. It explains how to install and set up Corteza. Additionally, it gives an overview of the architecture, backup and restore methods, and technical requirements.

The technical requirements section is divided by client side (software) and server side (software, hardware, storage, network, domain and HTTPS/SSL Certificates).

5. Extending and Customising

Developers can learn here how to extend and customise Corteza. Automation scripts allow you to practically automate any process inside Corteza, and by using the API Corteza can interact with the outside world.

You can contribute to the documentation!

The documentation is managed in the Corteza github repository, enabling the community to contribute. Documentation is written in AsciiDoc format and processed with the open-source software AsciiDoctor.

These are the steps on how to contribute:

  1. Clone https://github.com/cortezaproject/corteza-docs.git
  2. Modify or add content
  3. Create a pull request

More detailed info on how to contribute can be found in the readme file.

If you are not familiar with Github, check out this manual.

Where can I find the documentation?

The documentation has been published under https://docs.cortezaproject.org, and is licensed under Apache-2.0.

The Corteza Community Server always runs the latest version of Corteza. Each user has access to the complete solution, with Messaging, CRM, the Low Code platform and the Application Ecosystem. When you log in for the first time (just after signing up), you enter Corteza Messaging. This is when the fun starts.

1. Messaging

Corteza Messaging opens by default and allows you to interact with other Corteza community members in public channels or with direct messages. You can richly format your messages, add images, files, emoticons, reactions, reply in threads, edit or delete your messages and a lot more.

To enter public channels hit the “Browse channels” button. This shows the channel popup, which gives you the option to enter any public channel. We recommend you to enter the first 6 channels, because these are the most active ones.

List of public channels

The complete list of public channels (as of July 5th, 2019) is:

#1. Welcome
Here you can introduce yourself or simply say hi. In this channel you can see new people entering the Corteza project and talk off-topic with others.

#2. Village Square
This channel has interesting announcements related to the project or just for general chit chat. For the latest news, sign up to this channel.

#3. Help with Installation
If you have any questions about installing your own Corteza server or about how to configure it, ask the experts over here.

#4. Core Engineering
The technical team has their discussions here. If you’re interested in the technology behind Corteza, new features being built or if you want to contribute code, this is the channel for you.

#5. UX (User Experience)
The place for UX thoughts, suggestions and improvements.

#6. Marketing
In the marketing channel Corteza’s marketing activities and results are shared and discussed. You can see in this channel how the project is growing over time, get interesting marketing insights and you can learn how you can help promoting Corteza yourself.

#Admin_CRM
If you want to manage or customise your CRM and have questions, join this channel.

#Admin_Messaging
If you want to manage Corteza Messaging and have questions you can ask them here.

#Corteza Board of Directors
Stay up to date with the latest activities of the board of directors

#Ecosystem_Wekan
Wekan, the open source Trello alternative, is going to be available inside Corteza. Follow developments here.

#Ecosystem_LibreOffice
LibreOffice Online is coming to Corteza. Follow developments here.

Various “#Programme – (programme name)” channels
These are the places to discuss the different Corteza programmes.

2. CRM

Corteza comes with an advanced Customer Relationship Management platform, built on the power of Corteza Low Code. The CRM boosts an intuitive design and gives a 360 degree overview of customers.The CRM on latest.cortezaproject.org is fully featured. You can insert or modify record data without problems. You can also enter the “Admin panel” and see how the Modules, Pages, Charts and Automation rules are set up.

How can I enter the CRM?

The CRM, or any other app within Corteza, can be opened in two ways:

  1. Click on the [+] next to the Messaging tab on top. This opens the app menu, where you can select the Corteza CRM app.
  2. Click on the 4 squares icon on the top right and select a new panel. The app menu is opened for this panel and you can use the CRM right next to Messaging!

 

 

3. Low Code

Corteza Low Code is an environment that allows the creation of business applications without the need for programming. The environment has an easy-to-use module builder and a drag and drop page builder, allowing you to arrange and position different categories of data and information blocks: forms, lists, charts, social media feeds, and more.

How can I enter the Low Code?

Opening Corteza Low Code is similar to opening the CRM. It’s an app you can select in the app menu that appears when you open a new tab or panel.

What can I do in Low Code?

Low Code works with namespaces. Each namespace is a different app. In all namespaces, with the exception of the CRM, you have full permissions to manage records and enter and try out functions in the admin panel.

4. Jisti Video

Corteza comes with a Jitsi integration. You can open a video conversation here with other people that are on the Corteza Community Server. For the best experience, open Jitsi in a panel, right next to messaging (as shown in the image below).

5. Google Maps

You can open Google Maps inside Corteza, just as shown in the image below. It’s a small app, but a handy one when you are using Messaging or the CRM and need to find a location quickly.

6. Wekan

Wekan is an open source Trello alternative that is being integrated inside Corteza. You can check out this app to see the current state of the integration.

Image from https://wekan.github.io/

 

The Corteza Community Server is where the Corteza community lives. If you want to check it out please come join us at https://latest.cortezaproject.org.