Quick Base Adds Workflow Tools to App Dev Platform


The challenge many organizations face when it comes to digital business transformation is that the application backlog that the internal IT organization is trying to address is simply too long. To address that issue, many lines of business (LOBs) have embraced low-code platforms that enable them to build applications on their own. The challenge they face is that embedding workflow capabilities into those applications is too much of a challenge.

Quick Base this week moved to address that issue by embedding a Kanban reports capability within its application development platform. Mark Field, director of product for Quick Base, says the goal is to make it possible to visualize and manage the workflow and processes within an application developed using the Quick Base service that resides in the cloud.

Field says the Quick Base platform employs a drag-and-drop card view metaphor to construct an application. That approach makes the platform accessible to a wide range of end users. For example, users can employ Kanban to automate workflows by dragging cards between columns, drill down into the detail in each card, and make sure the right people see and interact with the right set of cards.

That capability should not only allow LOBs to reduce the application backlog that internal IT organizations are struggling to address, but also build applications that would otherwise never be attempted simply because everyone knows there is no way the IT department might find the time to build them.

However, while LOB teams might be able to build their own applications, Field says those efforts should be done in collaboration with IT organizations. Rather than trying to end run IT, Field says Quick Base is trying to encourage IT and LOBs to collaborate via its platform.

“We don’t want to encourage shadow IT,” says Field.


Business process management is at the core of any digital business process transformation. The challenge organizations face is that most of the expertise required to create those digital processes resides in the LOB. The best thing many IT organizations could do right now is figure out how to reduce their own application development backlog by providing the supervision needed to tap into the resources before LOBs decide to build applications on their own that IT will inevitably be asked to first clean up and then support.