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What is No-code development?

The Kianda platform is a modern low-code and no-code development platform. It enables developers and non-developers (citizen developers) to build ambitious web based business applications of any kind.

In this documentation you will find the information that will let you build beautiful mobile-ready web applications or simple forms that orchestrate into a functional digital business process using the Kianda low-code and no-code approach.

In summary the Kianda platform provides an ideal interface for rapid prototyping and delivering outcomes quickly. Kianda Designer is the main interface for designing processes. Designer components are explained below.

How to get started with Kianda Designer

The key components of the form designer are:

  1. Left panel
  2. The central area is where the current form canvas is displayed.
  3. The right panel is where the currently selected component properties and rules are displayed.

Form designer key components

Form designer components

Responsive form layout

Form fields are made to with a mobile-first approach giving you design once and deploy everywhere opportunity.

By using the Layout option under the property panel you will be able to simply define the layout of your fields or panels within a form. Clicking on the ^ quickly uncovers the layout mode for desktop and mobile.

Layout mode

This allows you to specify a layout made of 1 to 12 columns and is based on bootstrap, a popular CSS framework that allows designing web interfaces with a mobile-first approach.

Forms & layout fields

Kianda comes with several pre-defined field widgets. In case none of them satisfies your specific needs and if you have some level of development skills you can always create your custom field widget.

At the time of writing, the default fields fall into four main categories of fields:

  1. Input - Input fields include the most common data fields such as textbox, user picker, date field, table, checkbox, drop-down and number fields.
  2. Layout - Layout fields are the fields that serve the purpose of perfecting the layout of your form. They include responsive panels, dialog box, field groups and rich text fields.
  3. Action - Action fields are fields that allow user interface actions like buttons, links or even signature components.
  4. Custom - Under custom fields, you will find any custom-developed fields available under your developer section.

Layout fields take an important role when building a modern user interface and allow you to achieve the pixel perfect layout you want.

Model dialogs

Model dialogs are a special form of layout fields. It allows a form designer to define an interface with the key intention of grabbing users attention to something important.

Typically we use dialogs for things like requiring user confirmation or to let them make a final decision.

How to use a model dialog

On the example above, we use a modal dialog to display a simple warning to the user. The following are the steps:

  1. On the Layout components, select the Dialog.
  2. Click on the dialog component to insert other fields within it.
  3. You can add any field to your dialog, in this case, we are adding a Rich text.
  4. To preview how your dialog box will be displayed, you can use the Preview button, on the dialog component.


Forms are an important component of any process, they might be used as stages of a process and could be made active individually or at the same time (parallel forms).

The key rules for working with forms are:

  1. Forms are assignable - means that only a form assignee can edit a particular form. This can be a combination of users and groups.
  2. Only form owners can edit a given form by default. Any other user with access to view the form will see it in read-only mode.
  3. Multi-step processes use the concept of “current form”. Only the form matching the process status will be made editable.
  4. In a multi-step process, other forms that are not “current form” can be configured to activate with the current form. Meaning they might also be editable and will form a form group.

The rules above work together to determine if the form is in edit mode or display mode. Form designers have at their disposal business rules such as assign form, go to form and submit rule to dynamically control the ability for end-users to edit a particular form or a section of a form.

How to add new form

  1. Click on Add form, on the top right side of the page.
  2. Give your form a title.
  3. The name is a unique identifier - you can leave it as it is.
  4. You can define an owner to the form.
  5. Activate with will decide when the form will be active - if you leave it blank, the new form will be activated sequentially after the first form is submitted.
  6. Select Submit mode - you can submit just the current form or all forms that are in edit mode.
  7. Check Enable quick actions if you want the form to be edited or re-assigned.
  8. Provide a user or group in the Quick action user (s) to whom you would like to permit to re-assign or edit the form.

Anonymous Forms

Anonymous forms are a great way of allowing people outside of your organisation to interact with your processes.

It could be something as simple as a contact form or a feedback form but as we all know a contact form never ends with the contact submission. There is always a process or a series of steps behind each public/anonymous form that might culminate with an actionable result back to the person that started the submission.

We have seen a few examples of how people use anonymous forms in Kianda. From simple feedback forms to GDPR data requests that hope between multi divisions before sending back a response to the requester with the level of information held by the organization.

Anonymous forms can be embedded in iframes and safely displayed within other web-based applications.

In Kianda there are effectively 2 types of anonymous forms

  • New process anonymous form
  • Existing process anonymous form

New instance anonymous form URL

To set up a globally available link for allowing external users to create a new instance, perform the following steps within the form designer:

  1. On the top right corner of the designer click on the settings button.
  2. Then click the option “Enable anonymous sharing of forms” to Yes.
  3. Click the button “New Link” to generate a new anonymous link.

Anonymous Form Setting

Existing instance anonymous form URL

To setup existing instance anonymous form one needs to use the anonymous form rule to generate a new anonymous link at the runtime that will point to an existing process record that can then be shared with external users.

Note that for this to work steps 1 and 2 of New Instance Anonymous form is still required.

The following are some of the key options of the anonymous link rule:

  • Form to share (any form within an existing process).
  • Link expires settings: Number of uses, time-based or never expire.
  • Message to display on submission.

Important: There can be only one active link of each type for a given process. Once a new anonymous link is created for a process it will automatically expire the previous of the same type if a link existed.

Input fields

Kianda forms usability is brought to life with the help of the various input fields available that are specifically adapted to work in mobile, tablet or desktop modes.

From the textbox, date picker, numeric input, file upload and table, Kianda offers a flexible array of controls that can be adjusted to work with a myriad of scenarios.

Key properties of fields:

Each field comes with its own set of settings like autofill for textbox and currency format for numeric input.

The following are some of the common settings of input fields:

  • Title - Every field comes with a title property that is usually displayed on top of the field and can serve as a prompt to a user.
  • Required - This Boolean property allows making a field mandatory or not.
  • Visible - Displays the field in the form or not.
  • Layout - Defines both desktop or mobile layout.

Cascading dropdown

The List field provides the opportunity to define an unlimited level cascading dropdown hierarchy very easily.

To achieve that you might connect your list to a data source table or SharePoint list then use the list data source conditions options to filter its content based on a parent list.

Cascading dropdown

How to create cascading dropdowns

Input validation

Validating input in forms is quick and easy. Simply enable the required flag of an input field and it will automatically prevent users from submitting it empty.

The required flag will conveniently be ignored in case the field is not visible, this will allow you to configure conditionally mandatory fields.

Another way of validating input is to use the validate input rule this allows greater flexibility in terms of when or what to validate.


In the form designer, almost any of the components can be cloned. This will increase your productivity considerably and will make creating multi-step processes a breeze.

To clone either a field a panel or even a form simple select the component then click the clone button in the properties panel in the right-hand side of the panel.

If cloning a field the cloning dialog will prompt for the destination of the new cloned field, once your choice is made, simply click ok.

Cloning a form

Custom fields

Custom fields section provides access to fields that are built for extensibility of Kianda capabilities. It is particularly useful in those situations where existing fields or rules will not provide the required functionality.

Custom fields have the purpose of providing a user interface for end-users. If you need to build “an action” then you should use a custom rule widget.

It allows a developer to build a reusable component that would then be used by process designers in real processes.

Check-out the development section for more details on how to build custom widgets in Kianda.

Advanced techniques

Like the cascading dropdown discussed above, several other advanced scenarios can be easily configured in Kianda. Here is a short-list:

  • Repeating section - A repeating section can be created by adding a panel to a table field. This table can be configured to include a single column made of the panel that itself will include the repeating fields of your repeating section.
  • The capture of media - Kianda enables mobile users to directly capture pictures, video or audio just like a native application.
  • Background save - By making use of PWA principles (Progressive Web Application) Kianda allows the ability to perform background operations. This is useful when, for example, a mobile user picks-up their phone to perform a quick action and places it back in his pocket. Operations will continue in the background allowing all data to be captured.
  • Image annotation - Kianda allows for image annotation online or offline.
  • Multi-column / row layout - Making multi-column responsive interfaces is quite easy. Simply add two panels into a form that only use half of the screen (6 columns) then add fields inside panels and you have multiple column layouts. Adding a panel using 12 columns gives you a row.
  • Form tab colour and icon - Form tabs can be quickly customised to display their icons or tab colours, it is also possible to define custom colours for selected and completed form tabs.
  • Hide form tab and left nav - This is self-explanatory, yes you can hide the default navigation elements.

1 - No-code design principles


Designing process in Kianda is considered one of the most important factors when creating a process. With a good design, your process will run smoothly and efficiently without the need of going through unnecessary steps, calculations or actions.

When designing your process, think of simplicity, think of all the necessary inputs and outputs that your process may have. When you know what kind of inputs and outputs are needed in your process, you will be able to figure out what kind of fields you need to gather information.

What is the process outcome

Outcome dashboard

When starting to design your process, first you need to think of is the outcome of the process, what is the end result that you are expecting after your complete the process. For example if you want to create an Inspection Process, what would you want to be the result of this process. You will definitely want to know how the inspection went, did it pass the inspection, fail, are there any repairs that need to be made and does the inspection needs to be completed again? You most likely need a report of the inspection itself.

Users of the process

When designing your process, you need to consider who will be using your process. This will determine how many forms are need for your process. Taking the inspection example from earlier, you might need someone to start the process with requesting an inspection. We also might need a form for the inspector who will do the inspection. This brings the process to two forms.

Now that you know how many forms are needed, we can start thinking about the information that we need to gather within each of the forms.

What information is needed

Now that you know what the outcome is, you need to figure out what kind of information you’re going to need to fulfill the outcome. To keep it simple, we will stick with our inspection example and the report as our outcome. What kind of information do we need on the report? The inspectors details perhaps, date of the inspection, maybe photographs for proof of visual checks. We might also need a signature from both the inspector and the area manager. These are just an example of what kind of information might be needed for a report, there can be lots more but the idea is to slowly step through the requirements of the process.

What fields are needed

Outcome dashboard

Now that we know what the information we need to gather for our process, lets look into how are we going to capture that information. There are 16 predefined fields in Kianda that allows you to capture different types of information, for example, text, dates, files, signatures, visit Controls for more.

With all the fields available, you can easily decided what kind of fields are needed for different types of information that you want to collect. For example images can be captured using the image field, files of any type can be captured using the file filed, text box fields are used for any form of text, For example, names, feedbacks, emails or passwords.

When you have decided what fields you will use to gather your information, you can move on to functionality of your process.

What functionality is needed

Business rules are what make Kianda forms come alive. They represent the actual actions users intend to perform when they interact with form components - for example, sending automated emails, revealing certain parts of a form based on user interactions and automatically generating Word and PDF documents from completed forms.

There are 60 predefined rules across 10 categories and they can be applied to fields (controls), forms, groups of forms or even to a whole process - see Rules list for more details.

There are two key principles to consider when working with rules:

  1. Rule design - Consider the type of rule you are going to apply and what you are going to apply it to - for example, to a button, field or form. As part of your design considerations it is important to know what you can do with rules, in particular, the use of conditions and expressions.

  2. Rule order - If there are several rules attached to an item like a button, then the order the rules are going to be executed in becomes important. You can change the rule execution order to suit your needs.

What’s next Idea icon

We have discussed all major designing principles of your process, to learn more how to plan your first process, visit Plan your process.

2 - Why choose no-code?


No-Code development involves the creation of applications or business processes without the need to code. A no-code platform provides a Graphical User Interface (GUI) so that citizen developers or non-IT business professionals can easily create and deploy digital solutions to meet business needs.

Regardless of how the solution is created, the output must meet all the requirements of a modern web application - being accessible through all major browsers and platforms and responsive in design so that it can be used on a variety of devices.

Kianda form and dashboard Designer provides an intuitive interface where both technical and non-technical users can quickly start building digital processes and forms for use on any type of device.

Why choose no-code development

No-code development with Kianda simplifies the whole process of creating forms and its functionality. You can develop a fully working solution to your business needs, in days and even hours. You do not need to know how to code or even know what coding is. Kianda’s GUI consists of 16 predefined fields and 60 rules that you can choose from, you can simply click on a field to create it, change the layout of fields by drag and dropping them where suited. To apply a rule, select a field and click on the rule that you want to be applied. There is nothing easier than that, no need to work hours on end to develop a textbox field and its validation, it’s already built-in within Kianda.

Kianda as a platform focuses on automating business processes with the usage of forms. The no-code aspect is crucial as you can develop a fully automated process very quickly, compared to your typical ways of developing applications, forms or websites.

Kianda also allows you to connect to multiple data sources that your organisation may already be using, for example, SharePoint, DocuSign, Active Directory or any relational database such as SQL, MySQL or Oracle, see Data connectors for more. When a connection has been established with a data source that your organisation is using, you can use data from the source within your Kianda processes.

Take an example of an On-boarding process within your organisation. The need to keep track of sending contracts through email, signatures and all the necessary information that is required. It can be easily done from one process and a couple of forms, each step of an on-boarding can be separated into forms that both, the new employee and the hiring manager can access. You can use file fields to upload your contracts, text box and date fields to gather information, and use rules to make your process dynamic. By adding rules to your process, you can dynamically create the new employees company email, add them to groups and systems that you may be using and give them permissions that match their company role.

All the code is already in Kianda, you just have to join it all together into a process that you need!

How to implement no-code development

As a no-code platform, Kianda allows you to develop process to you business needs from your own browser. To implement the no-code feature that are built in, you will be using our Designer. Designer is used to start creating a process or edit an existing one. When using the Designer to create your process, you will be able to add forms, within the forms, add fields and rules that are already predefined. To access the Designer for a process, go to Administrator > Designer from the home page of your Kianda subscription.

Designer view of a process:

Designer view

Adding fields to a form

Adding fields to a form is very easy in Kianda, all you need to do is click on the field that you want to use. You are able to click and drag that field to position it wherever you want inside of the form. Watch the short video below to see how easy it is to add forms and fields within Kianda.

Adding rules to your process

Adding rules to your process is what makes Kianda come alive. You can add rules to your process by attaching them to the predefined fields, forms within your process or the process itself (applying a rule to a process will execute the rule when the process is loaded). Attaching a rule is easy, simply select a field or a form and click on the rule you want to add. This will automatically prompt you with the rule settings allowing you to fill in the needed information in order for the rule to work. The functionality of rules is already built-in, you just need to connect it by setting it up with the existing fields from your process. Checkout the video below to see how easy it is to add a rule to your process.

What’s next Idea icon

Find out more about Kianda and how to create your first process by going to Getting started.