Webix in Practice: data science solution

Webix team continues gathering our customers’ feedback. It’s the best way to develop and improve our product. Today we have Rudi van Wyk with us. He is a data scientist in Intenda company. This is a software company providing solutions to the global market.

interview with Johan Smith

Hi Rudi! Tell us, please, about your job and company.

I’m a data scientist. We work for the Intenda company. The subdivision I’m in takes on financial services. We primarily work with health insurance providers and do business intelligence work. We do reporting and a bit of data analytics. I do data science, so I do predictive modeling and stuff. We have a few other clients, retail guidance for instance. It’s a bit diverse. Mainly we are in the BI reporting, analytics. We do data warehousing, data cleaning, and maintaining the whole data process.

Recently I’ve started some web dev projects and this is how we started using the Webix framework with one of our clients who works with regional data. Our client is doing their market research for retail outlets. They’ve collected a lot of data from different retailers on products and categories of products. Initially, we started cleaning the data for them but they need to maintain the stuff themselves. They have a team of people who need to code the products, get the right categories, unit descriptions, etc. So, we ended up building a web app using the Webix framework for them to interact with the data, organize and make all sorts of assignments. So, that’s what we are using Webix for at the moment.

Why did you decide to use a JS UI library in your project?

Well, we looked around for some frameworks that can be easy to work with. And we wanted to make a user-friendly interface. Webix seemed to be the easiest one in terms of intuition and speed.

What does it help you to achieve?

So far we fleshed out a full web app with the client editing roughly 2 mln products on their system. We’ve used a Django backend on it, so it’s a Python backend for dealing with the first grades and handling everything from the Webix side. And it looks pretty good. The client’s been able to edit the balance stuff and interact with the data. 

interview with Johan Smith

Which criteria were the most important for you when you were choosing a library?

It’s just about what’s gonna be the quickest and the easiest to get online and how easy it was to set up and to get some high-quality pages. So, in terms of frameworks, we looked at the quickest and easiest. Webix quality is pretty good and it handles all the customer requests to pass stuff on to the backend.

How did you learn about Webix?

It was my colleague who came across it. He was digging in pretty deep on the web for different kinds of frameworks. I think it was his little research.

What complex widgets do you use?

At the moment the one we are working with a lot and the client also seems to respond well to is the File Manager. It seems to be the most powerful one at this stage and it responds to the nature of our customer’s business. They have to establish the hierarchy of products and the File Manager seems to work quite easily with that. You simply drag and drop things into the hierarchy.

interview with Johan Smith

What would you recommend Webix improving?

I have a few things that I’m struggling with. What we’ve noticed with the File Manager is that when you create a new folder and the folder’s empty in your box, you can’t write a lead-in to that space and do things like pasting and other menu options. So you have to have an item in there that you have to write click-on and then you get that menu option. It doesn’t seem that the white space is functionally occupied, so we can’t do anything about that. That’ll be one thing. 

The other thing is the user on my side. I would like to have more control over the right-click menu in the File Manager system. It comes loaded with lots of automatic functions, but I’m not sure how to take control over those processes sometimes and to add my stuff in there. I don’t know if it’s a problem with the system, maybe we just haven’t used it long enough. And also some things on the folders like changing color properties. If you’ve finished with a specific thing, let’s say you’ve checked the files, you are okay with that, you want to flag it somehow to have some sort of indicator. That’s something we’d find useful. 

Thank you Rudi for your time and feedback. We hope Webix will continue to be useful for you.

We have talked to many customers but we won’t stop. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have something to tell us.