Balsamiq Community Discussion

Custom properties in Balsamiq Cloud


#1

I have been using Balsamiq Mockups for awhile now and one of the features I like for further software development is Custom Properties. Unfortunately this feature is missing in the Balsamiq Cloud version. Are there any plans ton include this in the near future?


#2

Hi @Richard_Khoe and thanks for sharing your need.

We decided to remove this feature in our newest editor since almost no one used it in the previous one. That being said, we’d love to hear more about your workflow to see if there might be another way to achieve it.

I’ve also added your vote for adding the feature back, thanks for your time!


#3

Hi Virgin,
Thank you for your prompt response.
At the moment I am hired to test a product that automatically transforms bmpr project files into running applications. Some projects can be transformed without any customisation, but where additional information is needed to build the application, we use the Custom Control ID and Custom Control Data in the Custom properties of Balsamiq Mockups 3.
The product lloks very good and is planning a limited release mid-year with a general release in the 2nd half of this year.
It would be great to be able to use both Balsamiq Cloud and Balsamiq Mockups 3 for this purpose.


#4

Thanks a lot for sharing more details, Richard! I’ve shared it with the team so we can discuss it more.

Here is another idea that may help: in Balsamiq Cloud, we introduced our new Comments feature, that would allow you to share information with your team about specific elements (using the callouts) and even to mention any colleague if needed.

I understand that you may need a feature that will be available in both Balsamiq Cloud and our Desktop version but the good news is that comments will be available in the upcoming Desktop version that we’re working on!

Hope this helps! :slight_smile:


#5

I’m writing in support of Richard’s request. I own the product that Richard is testing. The custom properties are very important to enable a wide variety of applications to be generated from wireframe projects. Currently we can export a bmpr file from the cloud to a desktop copy of Balmasiq Mockups 3, then upload and build the application and that’s a reasonable work-around. However, it sounds like you’re not planning to have the custom properties in any of the new Balsamiq Wirefrane versions. That’s alarming. How long will Balsamiq Mockups remain available for sale and use?

Thanks for your suggestion to use Comments but that is being created for a completely different purpose and is not a suitable replacement for the custom properties (ID and Data).


#6

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, @deadly.

That’s correct, we don’t have plans for adding it back for now but we’re tracking the need for it and adding your vote for this request.

Regarding Mockups 3 for Desktop, we will continue to support it for at least 12 months after Wireframes for Desktop (our upcoming major version) is released. Historically, we have been doing even more than the minimum time noted in our EULA.

Also, we usually keep around our old download builds too, so no worries on that side.


#7

Although I haven’t used the IDs myself I can absolutely recognize their value from an automaton point of view - which was perhaps why they were originally added back in the day?

I recall another application built for an early version of Mockups (v1 or v2) that could be used to generate actual HTML pages from a file. It was quite handy, and I recall being disappointed when it stopped being maintained.

Is also possible less people are making use of the the feature because they don’t even know its available. I’m quite surprised, in retrospect, that there aren’t more 3rd party applications out there written to piggy back on top of Mockups for one purpose or another. It’s kind of like the object naming feature except more people are aware of that because it’s used by symbols.

(@Richard_Khoe, @deadly - On that note, could you use the name feature in the same way you’ve used the ID feature in your application? Or is just the one field too limited?)

I’d be interested in seeing a survey done to find out how many of your customers are even aware the feature exists.

-Jenni


#8

Hi Jenni,
The custom properties are in every control in Balsamiq Mockups 3 so we don’t see them as some historical artefact. They are vital to our success. It would be possible to work with a single custom property but less intuitive than having Custom ID and Data; and we would have to make significant changes to our software and documentation.

I guess the current custom properties haven’t been used a lot because third parties haven’t been integrating with Balsamiq Mockups. Seems to me that integration should be continually sought and encouraged; it can exponentially grow Balsamiq’s customer base without further investment by Balsamiq.

Incidentally the product doesn’t just generate actual html pages. It does do that but it also generates the entire application from a bmpr file including the underlying database and application execution environment. Many years of development have gone onto this project. We chose Balsamiq because we thought it was the best product for integrate with and custom properties was a key factor.

We have thousands of people using applications generated from this technology but these are in-house applications and generally they are not aware of the contribution made by Balsamiq.

We are in the final throes of testing and packaging a cloud offering. Our customers will work with Balsamiq Mockups and the custom properties in every project. We expect most users will be new to Balsamiq.

Thanks for your interest.
Rob (aka Deadly)


#9

just a small note: I guess the tool was “Napkin” - it was handy but the results weren’t very useful in the end (for my use cases) but nevertheless I also wished they would’ve continued their work…