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Reporting protocol

Users of your apps can e-mail reports containing app data to you. They can also send data to a variety of third-party services, including Google Sheets, various databases, Slack, Wordpress and Salesforce. Third-party services are enabled through a third-party platform like Zapier.

You can also send data to a server you run yourself. This is an advanced feature, which requires you to operate a server and write the software which accepts the data sent by the app (or have someone write the software for you). This page describes, in technical terms, the steps you need to take to enable your server to receive data sent from an app built with Calcapp.

Technical information on the transmitted data

Data is sent over HTTP using the POST request method. You need to configure an HTTP endpoint on your server and enter its address in the Server address field. We highly recommend that you use an HTTPS endpoint to ensure that the data is not intercepted by a third party while in transit.

The data is sent as JSON data. This data consists of an object with a single key, named values. The corresponding value is a JSON object with one key for every calculation panel that is part of the collected data. Every calculation panel key is associated with an object representing the collected values in the form of an object. This innermost object has a key for every field with a defined value (leaving out blank values and error values).

Field values are not formatted, meaning that they do not heed the formatting instructions set in the inspector and the app designer, such as the number of decimal places to use and the associated units (such as “$” and “lbs”). Calcapp numbers map to JSON numbers, text strings map to JSON strings and logical values map to JSON boolean values.

Calculation panel titles and field captions are used for the keys, if possible. If a calculation panel has no title or a field has no caption, its name is used instead. All keys belonging to the same object are unique – a serial number in parentheses is appended if there is a name conflict.

Dates are numbers and use the same format as popular spreadsheets. The integer part of the number represents the number of days that have elapsed since December 30, 1899, and the fractional part represents the time of day. The number 10.75 thus represents the 9th of January, 1900, at 6pm (18:00). (0.75 means that three quarters of a day have elapsed.)

Here’s an example mirroring the examples given in the reporting guide:

{
  "values": {
    "Unit conversion": {
      "Enter a length": 52,
      "Result": 20.472440944882,
      "Enter a volume": 6.3,
      "Result (2)": 213.02834301
    },
    "Break-even analysis": {
      "Fixed cost": 600000,
      "Cost per unit": 125,
      "Price per unit": 265,
      "How many?": 4286
    },
    "°F to °C": {
      "Enter temperature": 32,
      "Result": 0
    },
    "°C to °F": {
      "Enter temperature": 0,
      "Result": 32
    }
  }
}