Sac State – UX Test & Razer Keyboard Raffle

User Experience Testing … and a Chance to Win a Razer Keyboard

Vendia is a SaaS start-up that offers a next generation Serverless platform to build lean, data-driven, Web3 applications without having to worry about infrastructure or backend. We recently announced a new set of features for Vendia Share to further help developers build secure, real-time data applications.

One of those features, Entity Explorer is a no-code explorer view that makes building applications accessible to more users. We would love your help to improve the user experience of this new feature.

The Request: A Few Minutes of Your Time

The request is simple:

  1. Follow the step-by-step instructions below. In just a few minutes, you’ll sign up for Vendia, use the new Entity Explorer to create an application to share a few of your favorite books, and invite someone to look at your list.
  2. Post a screenshot. Once you shared at least one book list, take a picture of it and paste it as a comment on this Discourse topic. By posting your screenshot you’ll be automatically entered into a raffle to win a Razer keyboard (the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed!).

On the backend, we track the flow of the user experience with automatic telemetry that allows us to see where their product experience would benefit from improvement.

Win A Razer Keyboard

In return for your time, the first 100 participants to complete the exercise will be entered into a raffle to win a Razer keyboard – the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed - Phantom Edition.

To enter the raffle, follow the step-by-step guide below. Once you’ve shared a book list, take a picture of it and paste into a comment on this Discourse topic, and by posting your screenshot you’ll be automatically entered into the raffle to win the Razer keyboard.

Step-by-Step Guide to creating your first Lean Application

This guide walks you through a brief exercise where you’ll use a serverless distributed ledger platform to create and share an app to recommend a book list.

Creating Your Uni

In this section, you will deploy your own Book List sharing App using the Vendia Share. Applications built on Vendia are called Universal Applications ‘uni’ for short. The uni is the powerful serverless backend layer that abstracts all the infrastructure work and gets you to building the most interesting parts of your app.

Make Sure You’re Registered with Vendia Share here. You can register for the free Starter and no payment is required.

Log in to Vendia Share

Visit the Vendia Share web application at https://share.vendia.net. If you have not yet created a shared Universal Application or a “Uni” (a Uni is what Vendia calls a data and code sharing application) you will be presented with the following screen.

NOTE: If this is your first time creating a Uni you will see the image below. If you have a running Uni you will see it listed here. The Vendia Share Starter tier allows for a single Universal Application. You will not be able to proceed with this exercise if you already have a running Universal Application.

Click on ‘Create a Universal Application’ to begin the process.

Choose a Starting Point

Vendia provides several data schemas to get started. In this case, you will select ‘Create your own’ and define your own schema. Don’t worry - we have one to get you started.

Uni Settings

Give you Uni a name. All Unis in the Starter tier share a common namespace of unis.vendia.net so pick a unique name. Give your Uni a name that begins with test- and click on the ‘Next’ button to continue.

NOTE: I’ve defined a Uni with the name test-room-to-read. You’ll have to pick a different name.

Node Configuration

Here is where you can specify attributes about your node. For demonstration purposes you can accept the default values and click on ‘Next’ to define the data model.

NOTE: Vendia Share nodes can be configured to run across different regions and with different node access controls. Please consult our documentation for more details.

Schema Creation

Enter the following JSON as our Uni’s schema and click on the ‘Create’ button. Please refer to our documentation and blog post for more detail on modeling data.

NOTE: It will take about 5 minutes for the Uni to get to a RUNNING state.

{
  "$schema": "http://json-schema.org/draft-07/schema#",
  "title": "Room to Read",
  "description": "Uni schema to support Room to Read",
  "type": "object",
  "properties": {
    "Book": {
      "description": "Book type",
      "type": "array",
      "items": {
        "type": "object",
        "properties": {
          "title": {
            "description": "Title",
            "type": "string"
          },
          "author": {
            "description": "Author",
            "type": "string"
          },
          "publisher": {
            "description": "Publisher",
            "type": "string"
          },
          "isbn": {
            "description": "ISBN",
            "type": "string"
          },
          "publicationYear": {
            "description": "Year book was initially published",
            "type": "string",
            "pattern": "^-?[0-9]{1,4}$"
          }
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

Once you click on the ‘Create’ button you will see output indicating the Uni is being created.

Creating New Books with Entity Explorer

Once the Uni is in a RUNNING state you will be able to access your Node’s Entity Explorer and store details about books.

Access NodeOne Entity Explorer

Create Books

At this point, your Uni does not have any book data stored. We can add a new book by clicking on the ‘Create Book’ button.

I love the book CDB!, a children’s book by William Steig. I’ll enter the details of the book into Entity Explorer and click ‘Save’ to write the data to the Uni. If you’re not a big fan feel free to save details about one of your favorite books.

Once you click on the ‘Save’ button, the Uni will begin the process of writing the book data to the Uni.

Viewing and Editing New Books with Entity Explorer

Now that you’ve saved the book details to the Uni, let’s view them in Entity Explorer and make edits.

View Book Details

You can click on the generated _id link to view details about your book.

Edit Book Details

Entity Explorer allows you to update data stored in your Uni. Click on the ‘Edit’ button and make an update to the book you’ve stored.

I know there was another edition of the ‘CDB!’ book published by Aladdin in 1987 so I can update my book with the new edition’s data. Your book may have some updates, too. Make changes and click ‘Save’ to update your Uni.

View History

One of the core features of Vendia Share is the ability to capture changes to data over time. You can view changes you’ve made to your book through the Entity Explorer.

You can see how your book details have evolved over time.

Deleting Books with Entity Explorer

Entity Explorer allows you to delete data from your Uni. Go ahead and delete the book you’ve entered.

Delete Your Book

Click on the ‘Delete’ button from the book detail page.

You will receive a confirmation dialog to delete your book. Click ‘Delete’ to remove the book from your Uni.

Confirm Your Uni is Empty

Now that you’ve deleted your book, your Uni doesn’t have any more data.

Share Your Book List with a Friend

One of the many things that makes Vendia Share interesting is that you can easily share information with a partner. That partner can be a separate organization, a separate department within the same organization, or - for the sake of this post - someone with whom you want to share your book list.

Go ahead and invite another user to your Uni and share books with each other.

Make Sure Your Friend is Registered with Vendia Share

Your friend can register for the free Starter tier if they haven’t already.

Invite Your Friend to Your Uni

The home page of your Uni has a ‘Invite participant’ button. Go ahead and click it.

Enter your friend’s email and click the ‘Send uni invite’ button.

Your friend will receive an email providing them instructions for creating their own node in your existing Uni.

Ready for the cool part?

You and your partner will both be able to use Entity Explorer to read and write data to your Uni. How cool is that?!

Congratulations!

Congratulations, you have successfully and very easily created a very highly scalable app without ever worrying about what servers to provision, databases to spin up and infrastructure to manage in the matter of hours!

Win a Razer Keyboard

Once you have shared at least one book list, take a picture of that and paste it as a comment on this Discourse topic. By posting your screenshot you’ll be automatically entered into a raffle to win a Razer keyboard (the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed!).

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Super easy instructions and I had the app running in no time.

I posted my screen shot here:

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Here you go, really easy.

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@aalestra w00t! Thanks for going through the exercise! :confetti_ball:

The quick and straightforward process of setting up an application. It’s great that we can create the schema using JSON.

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Seems simple to use and maybe very useful!

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Thanks for taking the time to go through the process, @taras!

We’re considering other ways of modeling our schema. I’m happy to hear JSON Schema works for you - would you like to see other schema definition languages used?

Thanks for going through the exercise, @jordanocon. We’re trying our best!

ps - Love “The Cuckoo’s Egg” - interesting to see how one person’s dedication and determination can change things (like InfoSec) for the better!

JSON is very readable, and I think it’s sufficient. However, if I was thinking about adding features to creating a schema, I would think about how to visualize this process. That would make it even more accessible for entry-level users.

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