Publishing apps

Use Calcapp Connect to preview the apps you’re building and to run your own apps. When you’re ready to let others use your apps, you need to publish them.

A published app is available to anyone with access to a link you create using Calcapp Creator. Apps can also require users to sign in, which is appropriate for internal apps containing sensitive information. Published apps can be used offline.

When you publish an app, subsequent changes you make to the app are not automatically reflected in the published app. This means that you are free to work on improvements to your app without interfering with your users’ ability to use the app.

When you have verified that the new version of your app works well, update to make the old link you created reflect your new work.

To publish an app, press the Publish app button:

The Publish app button

Sharing apps through email

The dialog you’re presented with has three tabs, the first of which enables you to share apps through email:

The email tab of the share dialog

Enter the email addresses you want to send the app to in the box to the left and optionally a personalized message in the box to the right before pressing the Send email button. This is likely the easiest way to share apps with coworkers.

(Separate multiple email addresses by putting each address on its own line. You can also separate them using commas or semicolons.)

The second tab presents you with a link you can share:

The link tab of the share dialog

The link you’re presented with is the exact same link that is sent when you email apps. You can launch your shared app by pressing the rocket ship button or share it on social media.

You can also copy the link to your clipboard by pressing the button to the left of the rocket ship button. That way, you can share your app using other means, such as by pasting it into email messages or posts on discussion forums.

Publishing apps in app stores

Our apps are so-called Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). While we currently don’t have out-of-the-box support for publishing apps to app stores, there are third-party services for publishing PWAs to app stores that work well with Calcapp.

Microsoft’s free PWABuilder is one such service, GoNative is another.

Embedding apps in your website

The third tab enables you to embed your app in your own website:

The embed tab of the share dialog showing a preview

When you embed your app in your website, it occupies a rectangular area on your site where your visitors interact with it (an iframe). Use the options in the embed tab to customize the appearance by, say, adding a border with rounded corners or a glow or shadow effect.

To make the rectangular area set aside for your app automatically adjust its height in response to the height of your app changing, enable the auto-height feature. If you don’t want the height set smaller or taller than certain pixel values, fill in the fields labeled Minimum and Maximum. To add to the calculated height, use the Extra field.

(The auto-height feature requires that you load a JavaScript library we have created. This library has other features as well, such as enabling a host page to retrieve the values entered into the app or calculated by the app. Refer to our reference section for more information. If you’re using AMP, refer to our blog post.)

Press Copy HTML to clipboard to get access to the HTML markup you need to insert to embed an app. You can also switch to the HTML view by pressing the button:

The embed tab of the share dialog showing HTML markup

If you have direct control over the HTML code that makes up your website and you have a passing familiarity with HTML, you should have an easy time making this work. If, however, you instead use a system such as WordPress to update your site, getting this to work might be more involved.

(For WordPress, you or the person who set up your site need to get technical with your WordPress installation to enable you to embed apps you create with Calcapp. You could install a plugin, for instance, but that’s beyond the scope of this guide.)

Now that you’ve learned how to publish your apps, continue reading about running them »