Building and promoting a web or mobile application can be highly expensive and time-consuming for businesses. Several startups either fall short of creating a well-functional app or end up spending exorbitant amounts, particularly when the core team does not have developers.
But, not anymore.
With the help of the low-code development platform known as Budibase, you can easily create web and mobile applications without the usual requirement for coding. It relies on graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and configuration to build applications 50 times faster than it could have been by using codes.
So, what exactly is Budibase? What are its features? What is the process of creating applications using it? Let’s find out!
What is Budibase?
Budibase is a modern open-source development platform used for building, designing, automating, self-hosting, and shipping internal applications, including internal tools, admin panels, client portals, etc.
It is a no-code or low-code platform that eliminates all the extra repetition by involving the essential elements that are required for connecting different forms, tables, views, and data sources. As a result, development time is reduced, and the building and collaboration process is smoothly facilitated.
The platform serves as a well-documented and hard-working community for all the developers and IT professionals who are frustrated with the slow and repetitive process of building apps and internal tools.
The Budibase development platform helps in delivering real business value by making the process of building and shipping process of apps and internal tools faster.
Here are the advantages that make it a go-to platform.
1. A no-code or low-code platform:
Being a no-code or low-code platform, it helps unify all the elements crucial for building internal tools, including admin panels, dashboards, approval apps, etc.
2. An open-source platform:
Being an open-source platform, it lets its users self-host the Budibase applications on their own infrastructure.
3. Easily extendible:
Using it, you can easily extend the applications you build on the platform and reduce the technical debt that could have occurred if it required coding, as in the case of other platforms.
4. Industry-leading DX:
It combines superior quality Developer Experience (DX) with a dominating focus on end-user performance.
5. The power of full-stack for quick development:
Since it doesn’t require any sort of elaborate coding, your business team members do not have to spend weeks building and designing modern and beautiful UIs (User Interface) and internal tools for your workplace.
6. Data management:
It allows the users to easily connect with an external data source, import data, or start from the very beginning with the help of the built-in database.
7. Confident designing:
It has an extremely convenient and intuitive user interface with the use of which even non-developers can create and design a critical web or mobile application.
8. Automated processes:
The platform uses automatic, manual processes that help replace all the inefficient functions involved within a business system.
9. Business relevant tools:
Budibase provides global user management, automated email onboarding, granular permissions, etc., which are beneficial for businesses.
10. Great speed:
It possesses great development speed and velocity, which helps improve the delivery process of the application by making it perform quicker.
There are several features offered by the platform to help users build, design, automate, and deliver customized business applications and tools within minutes. Here are some of the most prominent and helpful features:
- External data sources: The user can fetch, query, and connect data from external data sources like MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, CouchDB, S3, Airtable, etc. Data can also be extracted using the Rest API.
- An integrated database: The inbuilt database and tables help users build apps from scratch (or instead upload a CSV) without the need for any existing data. The user can simply select from a number of functions and data types such as formulas, attachments, relationships, etc.
- Auto-screens: While building an internal table, Budibase helps the users by generating auto-screens. This optional feature creates three screens with the UI, i.e., a reading screen, a creating screen, and an update screen.
- CSV upload: It lets users upload a CSV onto the platform and generate tables within its internal database.
- Views: Within its inbuilt database, you can easily perform calculations over their data.
- Access controls: It lets users assign access controls to their data.
- Public and private applications: It assists the developers in building public and private applications, or a combination of both of them.
- Shipment of real and performant applications: Unlike other platforms, with the help of Budibase, you can build and ship single-page applications.
- Beautiful and accessible components: The platform aims to make designing internal tools effortless by providing users with access to industry-leading, powerful components.
- Data provider component: It has data-providing components for merging the fetched data into one component, which in turn helps to improve usability and performance. It also helps to filter, sort, and paginate the data effortlessly.
- High-functioning table: It has a simple yet powerful table component that can be sorted, resized, and themed. You can also add buttons or actions to this table in order to create actionable lists.
- Beautiful graphs or charts: It allows you to use data from their tables or external data sources and add beautiful bars, lines, areas, charts, or graphs to their applications.
- Accessible form builder: It has accessible, validated, responsive, and theme form builders which let you create beautiful and flexible forms automatically from scratch.
- Powerful actions: It allows the addition of powerful actions to the components, including saving data and triggering automation.
- Easy implementation of searches: It lets you implement search functionality in your apps within a few clicks.
- Webhooks: With the help of Budibase Webhooks, you can easily pull and push data from your apps.
- Integrations: It can be easily integrated with external platforms such as Zapier, Integromat, etc.
- Triggers: It lets its users choose from a number of triggers for starting the automation of their applications.
- Chaining: In the platform, data can be used from existing automation steps.
- Actions: It lets the users choose from a library of actions involving email and messaging using external automation platforms and also sets the performance of the apps you build on the platform.
- Delay: It allows you to add a time delay to your automations.
- CRON: Using Budibase, you can schedule your automations. For instance, you can set the automation to run every 5 minutes.
- Budibase CLI (Command Line Interface): The CLI (command-line interface) helps quickly manage your app updates and infrastructure.
- Global user administration: Once a user is added to the platform, you can assign them to different applications, which improves the end-user experience by having a single log-in to access multiple applications.
- Streamlined user onboarding: All you have to do is add your SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) settings; it will help take care of the further onboarding process for you.
- Email layouts: It contains beautiful email templates which you can customize to match your brand preferences.
- OAuth (Open Authorization): It has OAuth (Open Authorization) options that grant users the ability to log in to their applications through Google.
- Portals: If you build more than one application, the platform will generate a portal to help you access and navigate the applications.
Soon to be available features
- Groups: This feature will help in assigning users and applications to groups. The users within the group will only be able to see and use the applications assigned to their group in particular.
- Group managers: It will help you elect a group manager and allow him to manage the removal and updating of users that will help to relieve the burden away from busy admins.
How to install Budibase?
The user can install it on a local development or server machine by using the following few easy steps:
First, install Budibase CLI (command-line interface), which requires Node and Node Package Manager (NPM).
$ npm i -g @budibase/cli
Then create an empty directory where the Budibase system can be hosted. Inside the directory, initiate the below command:
budi hosting --init
Lastly, run the system with the below command:
budi hosting --start
How to create your first Budibase app?
Below are the steps you need to follow to create your first app:
Creating an Account
First and foremost, you have to create an account on Budibase. After successfully completing the sign-up process, you will be navigated to its Hosting Portal.
In the Hosting Portal, you have to download a specific builder for your operating system (OS) and copy the API Key in order to deploy your applications.
After doing so, open the builder and create a new application by clicking on the button titled ‘Create app.’
Lastly, you must log into the system by enrolling yourself as an “admin” with the email. Once you finish doing so, you can already see a ‘Users’ table there which will store all of your data.
The user will find four main sections on the top side of the builder, which will help to work with a web application. This includes:
- Data or Backend: For manipulating the database.
- Design or Frontend: For building your UI (user interface).
- Automate: For automating processes or workflows.
- Deploy: For deploying your web application.
Before developing a user interface, you must build up a database structure. The Budibase tech store will be collecting and displaying the technical products.
To start, you have first to create a Products table with columns. Let’s click the ‘Create new table’ button.
Here are the data types you can use for creating the columns.
- Name: Product name with data type ‘Text.’
- Price: Product price with data type ‘Number.’
- Brand: Company name with data type ‘Options.’ It is an incredible type with string/text selection.
- Image: Product image with data type ‘Attachment’ for static files.
- Available: ‘Boolean’ type for available in the store.
- Description: ‘Long Form Text’ type for product description.
Designing the Application
You can see a right, left, and middle panel selection in the builder.
You can see your screens and layouts in the left panel, and screens involve all of your screens. When you create the products table, it creates four screens for you.
- home: main screen
- products/:id: edit product row screen
- products/new/row: create a new product screen
- products: all products list screen
The layout is a master template where your content is consistent throughout their application.
The design of the platform has a private and public side. The private side contains all the works you are working on after logging in. The public side is a screen that everyone can access.
The middle panel displays the components of your page, and the right panel manages the style and settings of the components and your page.
Next, you can click on the preview button located at the top right side and add various products to the database via the Budibase web app.
After that, you can change the home screen and remove the Video container component and display all your available products.
Luckily, it has view virtual tables with which you can get the data without changing the data within the database. The platform manipulates data with the help of:
- Filters: filter data with particular conditions
- Groups: group data by your columns
- Calculations: calculate data with formulas
The process might seem challenging to you at first, but once you get your hands on it, you will find it simpler.
Next, you can create the ‘Available view’ with the filter ‘Available equal true.’
Once the ‘Available view’ is ready, add the repeater component with the stacked list.
Then, you can update stacked list borders, padding, and background properties. You can make different styles using powerful tools and settings.
Deploying the Application
After completing the first web application, you have to deploy the application as well in order to host it on AWS (Amazon Web Service). Deployment can be easily done by following the below steps:
First, open up a hosting portal and copy the API key for the deployment.
Then, open the settings model window by clicking on the top right-hand side Settings icon and pasting the key.
Lastly, click on the “Deploy App” button to complete the deployment of the application.
Budibase has been successful in helping thousands of teams of IT professionals and developers model ideas into solid enterprise web and mobile applications according to the current fashion and shipping them rapidly.
The platform is extremely fast at installing and running, making it perfectly suited for the quick and dynamic technical world that frequently requires innovative solutions.
The company behind the platform has also promised to make the platform more efficient with the help of continuous integration and deployment, which are not taken much into account by other no-code or low-code platforms.
It is evident that the future of businesses is bright with platforms like Budibase. The only thing left to see is how much the platform grows in the next few years.