Reuse apps or parts of apps

You can share and reuse entire apps or select pages, models, and scripts in order to:

  • Build apps faster.
  • Maintain consistent app design.
  • Avoid rework. You can share apps (or selected components) with your organization and other App Maker users.

To reuse entire apps or their components, export them into an app package (a zip file) and import the app package to another app.

When you export a subset of pages, models, and scripts, rather than an entire app, App Maker groups it into a module.

Export an app or module

  1. In App Maker, open the app.
  2. At the bottom of the left panel, click Export.
  3. Select the app or the specific pages, models, and scripts to export:

    • To export the entire app, select Export all (the default).
    • To export a subset of pages, models, and scripts from the app, clear the Export all box and select the components to export. If you select pages, page styling is exported, but not global styling.
  4. Click Export and enter a name for the app package.

You can unzip the app package to edit its components. If you want to import the edited components to App Maker, compress them in a zip file.

Note: The default macOS compression tool adds a _MACOSX folder to the zip file that causes App Maker to reject the file. To prevent this issue when you create the zip file, in a terminal window, go to the folder with the unzipped files and run:

zip -r package-name.zip .

Import an app or module

Before you begin, understand what happens during an import:

  • When you import a module, the import does not include the following settings:

    • Global styling settings (only page, page fragment, and popup styles are imported)
    • App settings, including external resource URLs and script libraries.

    The imported module also might not include all the required dependencies. You need to edit the settings and dependencies as part of the import process.

  • App Maker automatically corrects naming and binding conflicts. For example, if you import a widget named "EmployeeData" and your app already has a widget named "EmployeeData", App Maker renames the imported widget "EmployeeData1".

  • Scripts are not automatically corrected. You need to manually resolve conflicts in custom scripts after the import.

To import an app package:

  1. In App Maker, open the app you want to add the package contents to: an existing app or a new blank app.
  2. Click Menu menu chevron_right Import (.zip).
  3. Select the app package to import and click Open.
  4. Select an option for the overwrite behavior:
    • To import and not overwrite the existing app, clear the Overwrite current application on import box. This way, App Maker merges the imported app components into the current app and does not import app settings.
    • To import and overwrite the existing app, select Overwrite current application on import. This way, App Maker deletes all existing components and settings, and replaces them with components and settings from the app package.
  5. Click Import.
  6. If you imported a data model, acknowledge that the database synchronized.
  7. The import dialog shows the imported pages, models, and scripts. Click OK to close the import dialog.
  8. If you imported a module, edit the app settings, page styles, dependencies, scripts, and external resources, as needed.
  9. Preview the app. Review the styles and settings to make sure that your app looks and behaves as expected.

    You can revert the app to its pre-import state if you don't like the outcome. Click Settings settings chevron_right Revisions and revert to the previous revision. For more information, go to Revisions.