New platform version, 2023-04-03

Release of REI3.3

A new major update to REI3 is here with loads of new features & improvements. Let´s take a look.

APIs are here

With APIs (or Application Programming Interfaces) you can create, update and delete records. Any system, tool or script can now be connected with REI3 by simply executing REST calls. And the best part: All the features you know already still work as before. Some examples:

  • Do you have business logic for record updates? It does not matter if you use forms or an API, the same triggers and backend functions will execute.
  • Roles and relation policies that give or restrict access? Also apply to APIs.
  • Getting or updating records from multiple relations? Nothing new to learn here - works as before.

Also nice: If you need to make changes to your REST calls, you create a new API version with a single click and make changes to the new version instead. This way, you can make changes to your APIs while older calls still run as before.

APIs are important in many scenarios and we are happy to offer this feature now as a standard.

New attribute management

Every low-code or no-code tool needs to decide how much to abstract away to keep things simple. With REI3 we decided to use the least amount of abstraction, to allow authors to be flexible and build powerful applications; this is why attributes in REI3 always were quite technical.

With REI3.3 we looked at how we can make the life of application authors easier for the most common use cases, without loosing power and flexibility. So now with this release, we introduce 'attribute value types'.

Instead of choosing an attribute´s content (like integer, bigint, real, etc.) you now choose what your attribute values are going to be used for. Be it text, decimal numbers, dates or colors. REI3 will then offer you contextual options depending on your chosen value type.

In the same way, your frontend components (forms, fields, lists, etc.) can now automatically adjust their presentation without any additional inputs. Some display options are still there for edge cases, but overall it should take less time building your applications.

A new look

A friendly request in our new REI3 Community Forum suggested that we update our user interface towards a specific look. At first we were hesitant to add a such big change to an already large feature release - but then we got curious, and found we could actually implement this suggestion without much issue. So here we are now:

As the feedback from our testers was overwhelmingly positive, we decided to make it the default. The old look can be enabled by toggling 'Field backgrounds' in the user settings, for those who prefer it.

Tab counters

We introduced tabs with REI3.2 and found very quickly, that they help facilitate user-friendly and nicer-looking forms. So much so, that we ourselves can´t stop using them everyhwere. Putting more stuff in tabs has a downside however. A no-brainer in hindsight, the more we use tabs, the more we make stuff invisible as only one tab is ever active at the same time.

To mitigate this new issue, with REI3.3 you can now enable counters for each tab. A tab counter will show how many records are shown in lists & calendars or how many files are attached to a file input inside a tab.

This feature requires more performance, as even invisible fields and records must be processed to update the tab counters. You can decide where having counters is sensible and activate the option accordingly.

More Builder improvements

The Builder has again received some love. Following the new attribute value types (s. above), corresponding value type icons are now shown in many Builder interfaces.

This makes it easy to see, what you are dealing with. We found it especially useful in regards to relationships.

Speaking of which, the relation management interface for data queries has been reworked as well. Much cleaner and nicer looking (at least we think so), it is now easier than ever to see what relations are joined, what settings are active and what relationships are used.

Easier access to input fields

In large data forms, it can sometimes get difficult to find the one input field that you are looking for. REI3.3 introduces a new way to access data input fields without having to find them inside the form layout. Just choose 'edit fields' in the right panel and a list of all input fields can be accessed directly.

New login management interface

The login management user interface has not changed much since the first public release of REI3 many years ago. With more features coming over time it became harder to update - so we redesigned it.

It should be easier to use for admins as well as easier to add new features to in the future.

Login templates

This feature enables admins to set defaults for user settings, like the active language, region or display options. Login templates can be chosen at login creation or assigned to LDAP connections.

Improved list colors

A small but very welcome feature: List columns will now be filled by a background color if any color attribute is part of a column batch. Text color is automatically adjusted to contrast well with the column background to keep things readable regardless of chosen color.

Improved backend function editor

With the increasing number of options for the function editors, we had to streamline quite a bit to fit all options. For the backend function editor, the user interface became nice to look at, but time-consuming to use - especially when you needed to use many relation or attribute placeholders. With REI3.3 we reworked the UI again to give you very quick access to placeholders within the current context.

More help for new application authors

REI3 never was the easiest low-code tool to work with - but that does not stop us from making it easier with time. In this release we´ve added a 'first steps' page, which helps new application authors get up and running and avoid common mistakes.

We´ve also also added contextual warnings for common failings, like missing attributes in sub queries or undefined base relations for list views. We aim to further improve the usability of REI3 without loosing functionality.

Even more new things

  • New attribute type: Universally unique identifier (UUID). Very useful for data exchange between disconnected systems.
  • New date & time filter options. It is now very easy to filter for records changed in the last 3 days for example.
  • New form state condition 'field is valid' - you can now change your form depending on the validity of field inputs.
  • Directly execute backend functions from inside the Builder. Very useful for testing your functions.
  • Collection filters are now persistent during navigation - filtering for categories or tags is now kept just like any other filter.
  • File inputs now show placeholders for file types if no thumbnail is available.
  • New user option for always returning to the last active tab on a form.
  • Presets can now be referenced in front- & backend functions directly via instance calls.
  • Form state conditions can now be filtered by affected tabs.
  • Custom field error messages are now available, which you can set with frontend functions.
  • Removed the need to load list fields if they are not visible. Saves performance and bandwidth.
  • System captions are now loaded as cachable files - this results in less data needing to be loaded after login.
  • You can now reference presets from built-on applications in filters and form state conditions.

Upgrade notes

REI3.3 does not need any special upgrade steps.

  • On Windows: Run the installer.
  • On Linux systems: Extract the latest release and replace the r3 binary.

This turned out to be our largest release yet. Thank you all for your continued support and feedback. For the full list of changes, take a look at the technical change log.

Official REI3 forum, 2023-02-07

REI3 community forum

We are happy to announce that the official REI3 community forum is now live.

So far, people reached out to us via email, Github and our contact form. With this new forum system, requests can be seen and answered not just by us, but by all participants.

How to use it

We kept it as simple as possible - just go to, choose your preferred username and confirm your account via email. Then you are in and ready to post.

This system is new, starting with basic categories and tags - we will use it for everything community related and expand as we go on.

Thank you for the time and effort you have shown us - we hope the new system works well for everybody.

New platform version, 2022-12-30

Release of REI3.2

Today we release a new major version, REI3.2. This release includes a long list of features, improvements and fixes, so let´s jump right into it.

Tab fields

For larger forms that struggle to contain all their inputs, fields can now be placed in tabs. The new tab field can contain multiple named tabs, which each can contain as many fields as desired. With container fields and nested tabs, even complex layouts are possible within tabs.

Tab fields come with many usability features. For one, they are marked if any required input is hidden within a tab and the record could not be saved. Additionally, tabs themselves can be hidden and managed via form states.

When a single input field is placed inside a tab, it will take all available space, making it feel seemless.

Multi-factor-authentication (MFA)

With REI3.2, users can increase their account security by adding an additional authentication factor to their account. Register an authenticator app by scanning a barcode in your user settings and your good to go. Any modern authenticator app can be used that supports TOTP, like Microsoft or Google Authenticator.

To protect against loosing access, multiple authenticators/devices can be added. If nothing else works, an REI3 administrator can reset your multi-factor-authentication.

Redesigned Builder

We´ve been adding new features to the Builder for years now, finding it harder and harder to stuff them into the existing user interfaces. Sometimes this caused the UI to suffer...

This had to change at some point. This point is now. We went a little nuts and reworked most user interfaces in the Builder. New navigation, new entry points, loads of moving stuff around and so on. It will take a bit of time to get used to, but we are very happy with the results.

Especially the form editor now keeps the important form layout as is, while form states, functions, field options and form properties stay in the sidebar.

Flexible help articles

Something for the good people updating documentation: You can now create help articles that are reusable in different contexts. Instead of creating a large documentation and copying parts of it to different form context help pages, you can now create short articles and assign them to the main application help or to multiple forms.

Articles can be placed in any desired order - with a table of content automatically being generated if more than 1 article is available. You can even reuse articles from applications that you build on.

Better integrated backups

We´ve had integrated backups for some time for smaller stand-alone systems running on Windows. With REI3.2 we now support other environments as well, allowing integrated backups to run on non-stand-alone instances, on Linux, on ARM systems or wherever you run REI3 from. The only requirement is that you have the Postgres client utilities installed on the REI3 server (for database backups).

Additionally, you can now view existing backup sets inside the admin user interface.

Upgrade notes

REI3.2 does not need any special upgrade steps.

  • On Windows: Run the installer.
  • On Linux systems: Extract the latest release and replace the r3 binary.

For integrated backups on Linux systems, make sure to install the Postgres client utilities, such as:
apt-get install postgresql-client

Small fixes and improvements

  • List filters are now cached for the user session, meaning they stay active when returning to a form.
  • Collection values shown in the header, are now combined into a notification bell on mobile devices.
  • Collection values are now updated when assigning records (like a contact) to a login. This makes a page refresh after assignment unnecessary.
  • Improved file inputs, making them take less space by default and show better image galleries.
  • The portable version of REI3 can now be started by just double-clicking the executable. This is enabled by default for new versions. For existing portable versions, add "portable":true' to the config file or continue using the start script.
  • Most database entities (applications, relations, attributes, backend functions) can now have longer names, up to 60 characters (from 32 before).
  • Fixed issue in the form editor where it would not alert the author if a referenced field was deleted.
  • Fixed application import issues that could cause the server to hang or the import to fail in some edge cases.
  • Fixed form state conditions not being always updated by relationship input fields.
  • Fixed CSV export ignoring column filters.
  • Fixed invalid column aggregation being shown after a list was updated in the same instance.
  • Fixed multiple issues with the form copy functions.
  • ... and more smaller fixes and improvements.

That´s it for this release. For the full list of changes, take a look at our change log.

New platform version, 2022-10-07

Release of REI3.1

We are happy to announce that REI3.1 just released. In addition to a redesigned file management, many new functions are included for operators and users of REI3. Please be aware that this version requires an additional upgrade step - read on below for details.

New file management

Until now, file management was a small part of REI3 - good enough to be useful but limited in functionality. This changes now.

Lets start with the new file input: It works as before, allowing you to easily attach files to any record; but it can now also grow and support much larger file sets. Including options for sorting, filtering and copying files - the new file input makes it possible to handle many more files at once.

We also got a new client application to support quick and easy access to files from within REI3. After setting up the app (on Windows, Linux or MacOS), it syncs to the REI3 server and receives requests to open files on your local computer. You can then directly work on your files, save your changes and the client will sync everything back

Additionally, application authors can now parse files and also create hardlinks to them, allowing access to the same files in different contexts.

We plan to release a file management application on the platform to enable teams to work on REI3 files together. In the meantime, authors can use the new features to build stronger file management into their own applications.

Column filters & aggregators

A small but universal feature: Users can now select filters based on all values within a list column. Together with a redesigned column management UI, these filters will be available on all lists automatically. Additionally, aggregation functions can also be used to build sums, averages and so on.

Builder improvements

The Builder has received some love as well. Interfaces that handle single entities (like forms, functions or roles) can now use the CTRL+S hotkey to save changes. In general, actions in the Builder have been redesigned to be more consistent with other UIs.

As a safety feature, the Builder now automatically defaults to a read-only mode for applications from other authors. You can still change these applications by disabling read-only mode inside the applications panel in the admin UI. As before: You can build on other´s applications safely; but direct changes to these applications are overwritten when a new version is installed.

ARM64 support

Get your Raspberry Pis out - REI3 now officially supports ARM64 processors on Linux systems. Requirements and installation steps are the same as for any other Linux operating system. For more details, check out our admin documentation.

Upgrade notes

REI3.1 can now create thumbnails for common file types, including images and PDFs.

Windows releases include most dependencies, but Ghostscript must be installed separately on the server for PDF support.

On Linux systems, both ImageMagick (for images/text files) as well as Ghostscript (for PDFs) must be installed separately. This can be done on most systems with the included package manager, such as:
apt install imagemagick ghostscript

Small fixes and improvements

  • Large lists now scroll their content instead of the entire form.
  • Multiple new messages and warnings help authors but also admins to avoid common mistakes.
  • Platform logs were cleaned up and are now in color.
  • Expert filters are now also available in smaller fields given the field size is sufficient.
  • Fixed an edge case, in which PWA do not reload their cache, when the server is updated. Hopefully, after 3.1, you never need to manuelly reload your browser cache again.

For the full list of changes, take a look at our change log.