Database choice: Bubble vs Airtable


I’m just getting started with Bubble. My question is very simple and straight:

What are the pros and cons between running a bubble app on bubble internal database vs running it on Airtable?

While it’s a simple question on the surface, it’s always hard to answer these sorts of questions without understanding the broader context i.e.

  1. Why are you considering running the DB on Airtable in the first place? What’s driven the thought to do this? Are you worried about scalability? Is it due to other processes or things that you do out of Airtable currently etc.

  2. What is the app that you’re building, how will it touch the DB and how big will your datasets be?

But ignoring all of the external reasons why you might want to run your DB on Airtable vs. Bubble’s internal DB I will tell you that it’s going to be significantly faster/easier to build using Bubble’s own DB vs. any external DB like Airtable. Performance for your users is also likely to be much better using Bubble’s internal DB and Bubble’s DB can scale. I have 70k records sitting in one table for instance and it doesn’t skip a beat.

If you need to get some of your data out of Bubble for some reason, just have the data that you need to ‘play’ with push or sync across to Airtable, because building in all of the complexity that you’ll have working with an external DB just for some secondary reason is probably not going to be worth it IMO.

I’ve been down the path of using an external DB and I wish I could get the years back it took off my life :pleading_face:


I agree with this-- only connect to an external DB if absolutely necessary.

Thank you for the answer, it’s what I was looking for. My app is a matching/filtering platform where one user will set some profile filters, getting an automated email every week with a list of 5 matching profiles of other users. This means that the database will not only register new users every day, but also send automated emails to each user with profiles of other users.

Thanks again

Totally doable straight in Bubble. I’d just save everything to the Bubble DB and then just set up a backend workflow to manage the matching and weekly emails.