Table of Contents

About Users

Lesley Updated by Lesley

What are Users?

Knack provides user & login features so you can require your live app users to log in, create roles and permissions, and limit logged-in users to only access their own records.

By default, any Knack app can be viewed by anyone that knows the URL. Enabling users & logins means that a user must first login before they can view your app. This is what an app would look like if a login was added:

Now an email and password are required to access that app. Anyone that has an email and password to log in and access your app is called a user.

Activate Users

To activate user and login features, select the "User Logins" section while viewing the app Settings from the left side menu.

In the "User Logins" section, click the "Activate Users" button. This will enable users for your app.

While activating users, you will have the option to choose which type of login you want to use with your app.

  • Secure individual pages with a login will allow you to have different types of users and choose which pages will have logins. (this is the preferred option)
  • Secure every page with the same login will only allow you to add one login to your app, for only one type of user. (less flexible)
  • Do not require a login to access your application will allow any one with the URL to access your app. (not recommended, you can remove login pages individually to create public access)
Login settings are foundational to your app’s structure. Changing this selection after you have set up pages with logins will cause unrecoverable breaking changes. If you want to test out a different setting, please do so in an app copy.
Most apps require user roles such as Employees and Supervisors, or Teachers and Students. If you want different roles to access different parts of your app, make sure you keep the first default option to have logins for different pages and user roles.

You can read more on managing user & login features and security settings available after user logins have been enabled.

Manage Users

Add Users

Add User Roles

When you activate user and login features, a special Accounts table is added to your app. Each user that can login to your app with an email and password will be stored here as an individual record in the Account table.

However, you can also add additional user roles. These are different types of users and will allow you to customize their permissions in the Live App.

To add new user roles, select the green "+" button next to the "User Roles" text. This will walk you through creating a new user role.

Add User Records

Now that you have users enabled, you can add individual users to your app. You can do this by adding records to your user roles. 

User roles work just like a regular table in your database. So to add a new user, open the Records section of the Builder and then select the "+ Add Record" button. 

Similar to other tables, these user records can also be added with a form view from the Live App.

Edit Users

Edit User Roles

To edit user roles, you can select the settings icon next to the user role name, or you can select the "Settings" tab at the top of the Builder when viewing the user role.

In the user role settings, you can edit the following options:

  • Table Name: this is the name of the user role.
  • Display Field: this is the field which will be displayed to represent the record in connection fields.
  • Sort Order: this is the default order records will sort in within the user role.
  • Approval Template: this is the editable email template used to notify users have been approved.
  • Account Info Template: this is the editable email template used email users their account details.
Edit User Records

You can edit individual user records both in the Builder as well as in the Live App. 

Editing Users in the Builder

To edit user records in the Builder, open the Records section of the Builder and view the user role. Then click the pen edit icon next to the individual record. This will open up a form in a modal popup to edit the user record. You can also edit the record directly inline, by selecting a specific cell on a record.

Editing Users in the Live App

You can also edit user records directly from the Live App, but using an edit form view, similar to records in other tables.

Delete Users

Delete User Roles

To delete a user role, click on the settings icon next to the user role name. Then, choose the "Delete" option. This will delete the user role but will not delete the user records in that role. They will remain in the main Accounts table without that role.

A user role, similar to tables, is a foundational part of your app. Deleting a user role may corrupt pages, views, and connections which use this user role.
Delete User Records

Individual user records can be deleted from both the Builder and the Live App.

Delete User Records from the Builder

User records can be deleted from the Records section of the Builder. There you can use the checkboxes to select specific records. Once records are selected this will reveal new options. There you can choose the "Delete" option.

If you are looking to restrict access but would like to keep the user record for historical reference, you can set the User Status field to inactive to prevent the user form logging in.
Records can also be deleted in batches using the batch delete feature.

Delete User Records from the Live app

Individual user records can be deleted from the live app by adding delete links to views. These delete links will then be available in the view for app users.

User Settings

You can use the checkboxes to select multiple user records and activate additional management features:

For example, you can approve multiple pending registered users at once by updating their status and sending an email alerting them of the approval:

Click here for more on managing user records.

Using Users in your App

Roles and Permissions

User roles are used to create different types of users.

For example, for a project management app, you may want Employee users that are responsible for completing project tasks, and Supervisor users that are responsible for assigning tasks to Employees and approving new projects.

Each user can be assigned to multiple roles if necessary. A record will exist in each user role table that the user is assigned to.

These roles can be used to create different permissions to access your live app. 

When you add a login to a page you can specify which roles can have permission to access that page.

This way you can create different pages for different roles. Each role can access different pages, each with different views, fields, and workflows.

The page menu can be configured to only show links to the pages the logged-in user can access, so each user will only see the pages they have permission to.

Add User Logins

You can require a login for any page in your live app.

To add a login, go to the Pages section of the Builder, then select the page you want to protect with a login. Click on the "..." more options icon and then select "Require a login". You can also add a login from the lock icon from the top of the page navigation.

A special login page will be created containing a single login view. That login view controls the settings for the login and any user registration options.

Every child page underneath that login page will now require a login to access.

Click here for more on managing logins and registrations.

Limit Records to the Logged-in User

Another key feature is building your app so that each user can log in and only access their own records.

For example, if you have a project management app showing Projects, you want each Project Manager to log in and see their own Projects, not the Projects of any other Project Managers.

When adding views to a page protected by a login, you'll see options to set up the view to work this way:

When that employee logs in they'll only see those Projects connected to their user record.

Click here for more on displaying records connected to the logged-in user.

Notes & Troubleshooting

Accounts User Role

The Accounts user role table stores all user records. So when deleting a user record, the record will need to be deleted from both the user role and the Accounts table.

Overwriting Changes made in the Live App or Builder

At this time it is possible to overwrite changes that other users have made both in the Knack Builder and in the Live App. In other words, there is not a way to prevent users from accessing the builder or a record in the live app when it is being edited in another session by another user.

As such, we strongly encourage the following:

All Knack Builders have one browser window or tab open while working on Data changes in the Builder. Otherwise if you, or another shared builder on that app, have an older version of the Data open and save changes there, it can overwrite the updates you just made.

• In the Live App, we encourage creating a workflow or process to limit the number of users that might need to edit the same record at any one time.

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