(This is part 5 of a 12 part series. Read Part 4.)
Meet Bubble.io, a no code application platform that is attracting worldwide attention. Bubble encourages entrepreneurs to think and work like programmers without the overhead of learning how to code. The aim of the platform is to ease the process of building and developing web applications, making web development convenient and accessible for everyone. Bubble allows non-technical people to build and develop web applications on their own without the need to write code. In the past, many start ups tried to build a platform using a simplified coding language, but the results were all limited. Bubble is more powerful and easier to use than those DIY website services. Using a visual interface, Bubble provides all the key pillars of web designing and programming. Bubble has seriously lowered the barrier of entry for first time entrepreneurs looking to bootstrap their own app idea quickly and inexpensively.
While the developer is creating an interface or a document using Bubble, the WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) editor allows the developer to see the results of his or her efforts while the interface or document is still in the process of being created. This is quite different from traditional coding, which requires descriptive and complex codes and do not allow a developer to see an immediate result. The WYSIWYG editor allows developers to think and reflect entirely in terms of visuals. For example, if a picture is being made in Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, it will look exactly the same on the web site—thus WYSIWYG.
Workflows are is defined as the automation and execution of business processes during which information, documents, and tasks are forwarded from one individual to another in accordance with procedural rules. Work done by many individuals can dramatically transform information, material, and services. Workflows are heavily used in Bubble to capitalize on its efficiency and productivity. Actions are often scheduled for the future to automate backend developments through recurring workflows. It is also necessary to keep track of visitors and recurring workflows to see the most used fragments of the app, which will be used for search engine optimization (SEO)..
In computing and programming, data is translated information that is the most efficient for processing and movement. Data is often referred to as information that has been converted into digital and binary form. The idea of data in computing has its roots in the work of Claude Shannon (1916-2001), a mathematician and the creator of information theory. The importance of data in business computing became evident with the emergence of “electronic data” and “data-processing,” which encompass the entire spectrum of informational technology.
Bubble lets users store and design their own data structures in correspondence with its scalable and code-free data store. I; individuals also have the option to connect their RESTful APIs and external SQL databases, such as MySQL, Postgres, or SQL Server. In Bubble, all data actions are pushed to other users in real time.
Bubble has an option for data management and data export, allowing people to export and import all their data using Excel or CSV files. Its pre-built admin interface lets users modify and view their users’ account data, with a unique security access. It also has a privacy option so that users can build and modify rules to manage what data other users are allowed to see.
Plugins are important components of a software program that extends an application’s specific functionalities and features. Plugins are widely used in Internet browsers to enhance their efficiency, but they can also be used for numerous purposes in different types of applications. Plugins work as a bridge between two or more elements, such as when your Internet browser needs to play a video but does not have the capacity to do so on its own.
Bubble relies heavily on plugins designed by other members of the Bubble community to expand the capability of the platform. As of this writing, there are more than 635 plugins available that provide access to features such as Google Maps, Stripe Payments, and Google Analytics.
Source: Ranawat (2016)
An application program interface (API) is a set of instructions and rules that structures and manages the communication between applications or websites. APIs serve the purpose of building blocks, which the users must rearrange according to their needs. APIs are heavily used in retrieving, inserting, updating, and deleting data from other platforms.
In Bubbles, an API is used as a tool of connectivity when visual tools are needed to connect with third-party services that uncover XML-based API and JSON. APIs allow you to integrate with Bubble, and through this, users can publish and make their own APIs with a single click in order to connect with their partners and customers.