Today I discovered Ninox - Fibery's past *and* future

I came across an interesting app today called Ninox. Has anyone heard of or used it? It reminds me a lot of Fibery in many ways. It has been around a lot longer, since 2014 at least, and in some ways is more capable than Fibery (more on that in a moment), while in other ways less so. The UI/UX is a bit outdated and clunky, but the set of capabilities is actually fairly impressive and broad in its core database area.

Ninox focuses entirely on databases, there are no “documents” at all, and no whiteboards. It also doesn’t use the “app” concept, but you can link together tables within a database in fairly well-represented ways. So it’s less flexible than Fibery in that respect to be sure.

Where Ninox shines is in its representations and interaction with the data, especially at an “entity” level. The concept of UI “Tabs” is used across much of the app, so you can create views of a table that are tabs, the equivalent of having a set of Fibery views all accessible from a single item in the main menu, and switched between using tabs in the content view. This is basically how ClickUp works too, and it’s something I like and have already requested before.

Perhaps more notably Tabs are also available on “entity” views, so you can arrange fields into tabs for better organization. I would definitely find this helpful in Fibery. Additionally you can add some basic formatting to entity layouts, including separators, free text with fairly sophisticated styling options (alignment, colors, borders), and more. Basically a much stronger ability to lay out and differentiate your entity views.

Also of great interest is the ability to add Views and charts to individual entity layouts. Imagine being able to chart the price of offers over time on one particular house, for example (remember, I work in real estate :smile:). Or show the average number of tasks completed per week within your Project entity. Etc.

There are lots of other niceties and features I could mention, saved state of view for tables in left navigation, some of the handling of slide-in tabs, straightforward record navigation and manipulation (next/previous buttons, etc.), as well as various automation functions and integrations. Most of this stuff is probably coming to Fibery at some point. But it’s interesting to see how one tool chose to approach these things, and may even be helpful for reference, or avoiding some of the mistakes they made.

Anyway, I still much prefer Fibery, but this is an interesting tool to look at for possible inspiration on future Fibery features and improvements. As well as a sort of “parallel universe” view of what Fibery might be like if it was started in an earlier web era (even though they just rolled out a design overhaul to version 3.0 it still feels a bit outdated to me). It’s also a little surprising to me that it doesn’t come up in regular conversation of Fibery competitors/comparisons, whereas Notion, Airtable, and others do. I’d say Ninox is a lot closer to Fibery in some respects than some of the other apps it’s compared to.

So I’m curious what other Fibery users might think of it. They have a 30 day free trial and their presets do a decent job of showcasing a lot of the functionality. Take a look if you’re curious and/or a tool junkie like me. :slight_smile:

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I was intrigued when I read your post, thinking “How did I not hear about this tool before?” and then I discovered when I tried to start a free trial, that I already had an account(!) so I must have played around with it before.
I had another play, and hit an issue that’s a bit of a deal-breaker for me (which I suspect is why I gave up last time):

Like most relational database systems, Ninox doesn’t support N:M-relations directly.

For me, I can’t live with their solution: having to create ‘helper’ tables every time I want to achieve many-to-many relations.

Apart from that, I agree that there are some nice features in the way that views can be diced-and-sliced and could imagine that it might have become my tool of choice were it not for this one (big) problem.

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BTW, since you mentioned that you were a tool junkie, I wondered if you had ever tried tabidoo?

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Hah, yeah, this happens to me all the time. You too must be a tool junkie. :wink:

But yes, the lack of many-to-many relationships certainly stuck out as an issue, among other things. Like I said, I prefer Fibery still, but I definitely hope the team looks at Ninox for some comparison and potential ideas on what to do/not do as they move toward deeper functionality like property groups, automation, etc.

I had not! Hadn’t even heard of it. Man, there are just endless amounts of these tools, hah. I’ll take a look at it and possibly report back. Have you actually given it a test run?

Yeah, it’s quite capable, but the UI is nothing to get excited about if you’ve got experience of Airtable/Notion/ClickUp etc.
It has a couple of things that are lacking elsewhere (mandatory fields, scripting, …) but not enough to justify being first choice.
It does have an interesting pricing model, in that the cost does not increase per user, so if you have a big team (but a not too big data collection) it can work out to be relatively inexpensive.

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Yeah, I messed around with it a bit last night and came to similar conclusions. Again a few nice features, like Ninox (you mentioned some, I also liked the notifications and tabs capabilities), but overall not better than other options. I found the overall system felt a bit clunky, too. Good to be aware of more tools trying to do similar things though.

Just chiming in here, this would be very cool to see without having to set it up in Vizydrop. Which is intimidating to use and I’d have to pull in an engineer to get this type of report.

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But that’s what we’re here for, right? :stuck_out_tongue:

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Yes, nice! Thankfully I do have them around that I plan to pull in to help me. But I am always happier when I can do most of this set-up with my own limited technical skills so I don’t have to bother them!

In fact I have not done much at all in Vizy, but really eager to delve in with an engineer’s help as it look super powerful, and well integrated what’s more!

Cheers!

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Thank for the reference, I did not know about Ninox. To be honest, I did not find anything insightful in it as well. Almost all things that you mentioned are planned for the future, like more flexible entity view setup with groups, charts and other views inside entity view, etc.

Ninox is a database solution, while Fibery tries (at least) to do more, like augment company intelligence :slight_smile:

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I’m glad you took a look at it! It’s not surprising that there was not much new there, you know where Fibery is headed and what is planned. The rest of us don’t know that so much :wink: But I’m happy to hear that groups, charts, views, etc. inside entities is planned. That will be great. Now I just need to have patience! :grin: