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How to Build a Data Entry System (Quick & Easy Guide)

Ryan Forrester
Jul 8th, 2024

Build a Data Entry System In 3 Steps

In this guide, we detail the steps necessary to construct and deploy a data entry system using Five’s rapid application development environment.

What is a Data Entry System?

A data entry system is a platform designed to capture, store, manage, and analyze data. These systems facilitate the collection of vital information for decision-making, research, analysis, and reporting. Data entry systems range from basic online forms to advanced software integrated with databases and analytical tools.

Essential Components of a Data Entry System:

  • Online Forms: Forms on the web that users complete to submit their data.
  • Databases: Systems like MySQL, PostgreSQL, or MongoDB that organize and store the entered data.
  • Data Security: Measures to protect data from unauthorized access and breaches.
  • Analytics Tools: Software to query databases, generate reports, and visualize data.
  • Dashboards: Interactive interfaces providing real-time insights and trends.

Building a Data Entry System with Five:

Creating a data entry application in Five provides numerous benefits over traditional form builders, especially for those requiring robust, secure, and analyzable data.

One of the standout features of Five is the ability to create login-protected forms. This feature ensures that only authorized users can access and submit data, significantly enhancing the security of your data entry system. Traditional form builders often lack such advanced security features, potentially exposing your data to unauthorized access.

Moreover, Five allows you to connect your data entry system directly to a database. This connection means you can query the database and generate visual representations of the data, making it easier to identify trends, patterns, and correlations. In contrast, most traditional form builders typically require exporting data to third-party tools for analysis, meaning additional steps and potential errors.

Data entry systems built with Five are designed for professional-grade data entry, making them ideal for extensive surveys, research projects, or feedback analysis.

Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Data Entry System

To follow this tutorial on building a data entry system, sign up for free access to Five.

Build a Data Entry Application
Check out Five's online data entry

Step 1: Setting Up the Database for Your Data Entry System

Start with Five’s Data Entry Platform

To begin, sign up for free access to Five and create a new application by navigating to the “Applications” section and clicking the yellow plus button.

Create a New Application:

  • Click the yellow plus button.
  • Name your application (e.g., My First App or Data Entry Form).
  • Confirm by clicking the check icon in the upper right corner.
  • Click the blue “Manage” button to enter the development environment.

Create Database Tables:

  • Go to Data > Table Wizard, a point-and-click interface for creating database tables.
  • Name your table.
  • Add fields to your table using the plus button, specifying the data types (e.g., text, integer, float).
  • Choose appropriate data and display types to ensure your data is stored and displayed correctly. For example, use Float.2 for prices with two decimal places.
  • Save your table by clicking the check icon in the upper right corner. Your MySQL database table is now ready to store data.

Step 2: Designing the Data Entry Form

Next, navigate to Visual > Form Wizard in Five.

Select Data Source:

  1. In the Form Wizard’s General section, select the database table you created as the main data source.
  2. This links your backend (database) with your frontend (form).

Create the Form:

  1. Click the check icon in the upper right corner to finalize the form creation.
  2. Your form is now complete and connected to your database.

Step 3: Deploying the Form

To deploy your form:

Deploy to Development:

  1. Click the “Deploy to Development” button in the top right corner. This opens your app in a new browser tab.
  2. Your prototype data entry app is now live. To enhance it, consider adding themes or additional features.

Securing Your Data Entry Form: Logins, Authentication, Permissions

Five allows you to quickly build secure online data entry systems with user roles and permissions.

Add User Roles and Logins:

  1. Turn your application into a multi-user app, automatically adding a login screen.
  2. Create user roles with specific permissions. For instance, one role can submit forms while another can view a dashboard summarizing form responses.
  3. Explore Five’s documentation for more detailed instructions on setting up user roles and permissions.

By following these steps, you can create a robust, secure, and efficient data entry system using Five’s rapid application development environment.

Conclusion: How to Build a Data Entry System

Building a data entry system with Five’s rapid application development environment offers numerous advantages over traditional form builders. The process involves three key steps: creating the database, designing the form, and launching the web form. Five provides security features, including login protection, authentication, and permissions, ensuring that your data entry system is secure and only accessible to authorized users.

By using Five, you can directly connect your data entry system to a database, enabling efficient data management and real-time analysis through custom charts and visual representations. This capability allows you to easily identify trends, patterns, and correlations, which is often cumbersome and error-prone with traditional form builders that require exporting data to third-party tools.

With Five, you can improve your data entry process, improve data security, and use analytical tools to gain insights, making it the superior choice for building a comprehensive and efficient data entry system.

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