@Robert, Algolia is lightning fast. For context, 10-second searches in Bubble are often completed in 10-milliseconds in Algolia (yes, that’s 1000x faster).
In fact, I believe nearly all of their searches are completed within 20 miliseconds (more details) which is consistent with our experience using Algolia over the last few weeks. For context, anything faster than 50 to 200ms is typically considered instant by most people – more specifically, autosuggest needs to be ~50ms to feel instant whereas a new object coming onto the page needs to be ~200ms to feel instant.
So, Algolia is amazingly fast. And, it’ll almost certainly be a game changer for many Bubble apps - both with Search and with loading RGs. (yes, it can load lists of RGs in 10-20ms too!)
But, it’s not the perfect solution for everything. And, there’s a few reasons for that:
- You must create indexes of your data in Algolia for Algolia to work. This is somewhat like creating a copy of your tables in Algolia. And, it takes a bit or work to set this up and keep them in sync. And, more than anything, when there are bugs in workflows you run that cause them to be out of sync then you need to get them back in sync if you want everything indexed in Algolia. Entirely doable, but not entirely trivial.
- Algolia searches only work on a single index (no joining indexes/tables after they’re created) - but, you can create an index that works as if two tables were joined. This adds to the complexity of keeping your tables in sync with the indexes because they no longer map in an apples to apples manner, but it does enable you to run lightnight fast searches on a single index in Algolia that you might be running across numerous tables in Bubble today.
- Setting up new indexes in Algolia takes materially more time/effort than getting a search set-up directly in Bubble (mainly because Bubble is so good at making these types of things easy). Setting up new indexes isn’t prohibitive in terms of time/effort, per se, but it’s something that most apps will only want to do for core features (e.g., site-wide search, primary RG feeds, etc.). Bigger apps with more traffic may find that it’s useful to use in even more places.
- Algolia is an extra service that doesn’t come super cheap at large scale. It is free to get started and it is much, much cheaper than building their infrastructure yourself. But, for production applications with lots of data changing and lots of complex indexes, it seems like the price can add up. Almost certainly worth the price for most, but something to be aware of.
All in all, Algolia is likely to be a huge performance boost for many Bubble apps and in a way that’s potentially game changing for Bubble. It’s not a cure for all performance problems, but it will radically improve search and RG performance, both of which have been huge constraints for production-grade applications on Bubble. I, for one, am super excited to see how other members of the community begin to incorporate Algolia into their products.
@Levon, great to see you helping Algolia go mainstream within the Bubble Community by making it easier for everyone to benefit from Algolia’s capabilities. Keep it up!