What is a CRUD app and how do you build one?

Gayatri on January 15, 2022
We perform CRUD operations every day. A lot of the time without acknowledging. CRUD apps make work organized and simpler by digitizing business processes. However, a lot are not aware of what CRUD apps do or how easy it is to build one. In this post, we break down the basics into following sections: 

  1. What is a CRUD app 
  2. Why is CRUD important
  3. How is CRUD different from REST

What is a CRUD app?

CRUD apps are the user interface that we use to interact with databases through APIs. It is a specific type of application that supports the four basic operations: Create, read, update, delete. Broadly, CRUD apps consist of the database, the user interface, and the APIs.

Modern web applications have a user perform at least one of the following operations on a database – creating (new record), read/view (existing records), update (existing records), or delete (a record). Or shortly, CRUD. If you have worked with a database, you have most likely worked with CRUD without realizing.

CRUD apps are used on a daily basis by several businesses and organizations to maintain their day-to-day workflows. HR uses CRUD apps to manage staff records and track keeping of employee leaves, attendance. Sales uses CRUD to manage lean information, customer success uses CRUD apps to resolve customer tickets, and so on. Take a look at blogging sites. You as a user can Create/Publish a post, Read/Show your post, Update/Edit your post and Delete your post. Blogs are classic CRUD apps.

Parts of CRUD app

Database

The starting point where you store your data is your database. Based on whether you are using SQL (relational) or NoSQL (documents), there will be a database management system that you opt for to store the data.

User Interface

The user interface (UI) is the front-end that the end-user interacts with the database with. And the rising popularity of great applications is now moving organizations to prioritize user interface design and user experience.

APIs

Finally, the back-end informs your databases of what functions to perform. These functions can be modeled in different ways, but they are designed to perform four basic CRUD operations.

What are the four CRUD operation components?

A CRUD software has its roots in database records. Most modern web and mobile applications contain some form of CRUD operations. In addition, most programmers have to deal with CRUD operations at some point. So, a CRUD application would be one that utilizes forms to retrieve and return data from a database. In databases, each row represents a record and each column in the row represents a specific attribute of the data set. Users can configure CRUD operations to perform different types of operations on the database. 

Let’s consider an employee information management app that is connected to your employee database.

  1. CREATE: Naturally, the app should be able to create new employee records as you onboard new members to your team. The CREATE operation can be performed by providing a form in the CRUD app that contains form fields like text, numbers, email for input and a submit button to add the new record to database so that, When we hit the submit button for our form, then a POST HTTP request would be sent to our API and add this new Recipe into the DB.
  2. READ: This READ function should allow the end-user to see records – search for a specific employee, use filters to result in a list of employees matching the search criteria. This function does not change the information displayed, however you can further configure the action to allow next steps like update details. Most advanced tools enhance their CRUD interfaces by integrating with tools and services such as email sending tools
  3. UPDATE: You look at the employee information and notice that their information is incomplete or outdated. The UPDATE function lets you change the information. You first edit the record, add the new information over a form interface. Next you would submit to update the database with the new information.
  4. DELETE: Some employees have moved on from your enterprise and you realize you no longer need all their information and can remove it from the database. The DELETE function helps you remove particular records you no longer need. This can take the shape of a delete button or an “X” next to the employee record displayed on the user interface that upon clicking triggers a DELETE HTTP request and removes the record from the database. 

As can be seen, CRUD is a cyclical concept. From creation of records to deletion. There can be several combinations of CRUD operations in any given application. For example, a user signs up for your newsletter by CREATING an account, they UPDATE their information for a more personalized experience, ADD something to their cart, DELETE items from the cart.

CRUD Applications Examples

CRUD Applications on top of Databases

Building a Postgres CRUD App in DronaHQ

CRUD operations are widely used in many applications that are supported by underlying relational databases like PostgreSQL, MS SQL, MySQL. These four basic CRUD functions are incredibly versatile in how they can support a variety of important functions across different business models and industry verticals. Let’s look at an example of how CRUD is implemented.

CRUD operations on Postgres CRUD App

 

CRUD App for Human Resources

An enterprise organization maintains a human resources department that helps manage staff and keep track of existing employees. The HR department manages a relational database application with various tables that track different types of employee information:

An Employees Table includes attributes such as first and last name, employee identification number, contact number, home address, work location, and any other relevant personal details.

An HR Data Table that includes the employee’s payroll information, social security number, employee ID and salary.

A Locations Table that contains attribute data for each of the company’s physical locations, including building ID, address, zip code, the name of the manager, etc.

Here is a leave application management CRUD app

HR CRUD app

CRUD for Project management

Create – Insert a new task in your project management tool

Read – View all open tasks

Update – Mark a task as ‘complete’

Delete – Remove a task from your project management app

 

More CRUD app ideas

Similarly you can look at CRUD apps for more use cases like: 

  1. Event management
  2. Student Information Management
  3. Membership Management
  4. Content Marketing Calendar
  5. To-do App
  6. Applicant Tracking App
  7. Remote Learning App
  8. Inventory Management

Building CRUD apps the traditional way

To design a CRUD software the traditional way, you would require sound knowledge of [a] JavaScript or front-end frameworks, [2] A programming language for back-end, and [4] Knowledge of working with databases. If you choose to write a React + Node.js + Postgres CRUD app, here are what the process may look like: 

Prerequisites. would involve installing React, Node.js, Postgres

Front-end. Learning the React starter apps and installing required modules (react-router, redux, etc.) followed by creating the initial pages of your app. In the page, you will create components that will allow users to perform CRUD operations such as buttons, forms, etc. After this you will be required to connect your front-end CRUD app to the back-end. Hang on, this process is too long, see how our friends at GeeksforGeeks do it best.

How to build a simple CRUD app with DronaHQ

DronaHQ is a web-based tool for building internal tools and applications on top of your data. Developers use the tool to connect to all modern databases (Postgres, MySQL, MongoDB, and even Firebase) and any REST API, as well as third-party APIs like Stripe, Slack, and Twilio.

Use this tool to go from query to a table, list, chart, search, and button with the drag-and-drop builder and create full-featured apps that support CRUD operations, data visualizations and much more. At DronaHQ, we understand how critical CRUD applications are for internal operations. So we have made the process to build a CRUD app absolutely seamless. So much so that it would take you a matter of one hour to get your first CRUD app – with the user interface, the frontend logic, the access permissions – up and running. Take a look how >

CRUD benefits

CRUD offers many other benefits including:

  1. CRUD facilitates secure access to databases to end-users: You can control who can view, create, update or delete records by configuring various access permissions to meet your organization’s security policies. 
  2. CRUD simplifies and assists in application design and makes it easily scalable. It simplifies the process and provides an easy framework for new developers to learn

Build your CRUD apps with DronaHQ

DronaHQ gives you a complete set of powerful building blocks for building internal tools and CRUD apps: Assemble your CRUD app in minutes by dragging and dropping from 100+ pre-built controls like table grid, form fields, lists, buttons, charts, etc. Connect to pretty much anything with a REST, GraphQL or gRPC API. Get started for free