Learn how to make a questionnaire app for intranet


#1

Hi,

I did discover Electron by chance, while looking for a framework that could allow me to write something that would run on both OSX and Windows.
To start with, I have limited html, css and JS knowledge, since my background is mostly in C# and C++; hopefully this won’t be a problem to my goal to write a simple Electron app.

Basically I would like to have a sort of survey on my internal network (less than 10 users); an app that can run on both OSX and Windows, that allow me to keep track of requests from the other members of the group. I did plan to write a Django app, although while searching, I did discover Electron and liked more the idea of a self contained app that would run on both OS.

To make it very simple, I would like to write an app that has some combobox and text fields; and a button to submit it. Once the submission start, I would like to save the data on the app, in a database (probably mysql or similar ), so I can keep track of the various answers and have a history of all the requests from each member.

Is this something that is worth develop in Electron, or is it an overkill? I would like to learn about this framework with something simple like this app, although after doing the standard hello world tutorial, I did find hard to move on more complex applications, since there is a bit of lack of books and video courses that teach you how to use Electron.

Suggestions about how to make this app would be really appreciated; I imagine that DB connection is something in the scope of Electron, and a simple questionnaire should not require extensive JS and CSS skill, but it would allow me to learn the basics about interactions and basic UI design on the Electron framework. Thanks in advance


#2

Before you get into Electron for this, you should make sure there isn’t something that can solve your problem out of the box. There are plenty of collaboration applications like Trello and Basecamp.

The vast majority of Electron coding is just JavaScript, so moving to more complex applications is a matter of general Node.js knowledge and you should investigate resources like Art of Node. Once you master Node app design, the few things that an Electron app requires will be pretty straightforward.


#3

I see, so node.js should be my first step to learn; I do know basic JS, but I have no experience in node whatsoever.

I did check other collaborative apps, the issue is that you do not have data in a local database; and from my understanding, they require access to the outside internet, while in our group, we use just intranet for work purposes, so I need something self-contained.

Also due to the nature of my issue, I need something like a questionnaire that other users will have to fill; which does not adapt itself to be transferred in “card style” elements like the ones you have in Trello for example. Which is why I did decide to kill 2 birds with one stone, and go for Electron.

Long road ahead; will start with node then, and then integrate that code into the “hello world” structure and modify it accordingly (I believe that most of the logic is done with Node, so it should be straightforward ). Thanks :slight_smile:


#4

From your description this project requires nothing more than a simple internal site, the point of Electron is to provide desktop integration for web-apps but you don’t really need any of that for this project by the sound of it. So, my suggestion would be to build a web-app and host it on an internal server, that will give you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with web-tech, and you can use that knowledge further down the line to build something with Electron.