Desktop application to the web

Hello Bubble community.

This is somewhat of a lengthy post so please bear with me. We are looking for some guidance from Bubble experts who have created rather large-scale applications. I looked at Bubble several years ago but never did any real research into it. I just re-signed up but only played around with it a little. Bubble claims over 2 million apps have been created and deployed so far and it boasts the largest community, so it seems on the surface, to be a viable alternative/new way, redo our current desktop application.

We created a windows desktop application over 30 years ago using VB 1.0 or 2.0 and we want to take it to the web. Our application is currently used by hundreds of businesses throughout NA. It is made up of several parts, management of customers, employees, products, inventory, services, timecards, work schedule, a slew of reports, POS system to process credit cards, open cash drawers and communicates with devices connected to the computer such as bar-code scanners, timers, etc. It’s a desktop application programmed in and connects to MS SQL dBs which are stored on our servers and replicated down to the client’s computer. This ensures the client is always running when their internet goes down and it’s also a feature which sets up apart from everyone else for all these years.

However, we need to be more responsive and quicker in our development and we really want to turn our application into a web-based application where our clients would login through a web portal rather than on their desktop and operate strictly on the web.

We are a small company with under 10 employees which includes one developer who has been with us for over 28 years. We need to be able to create and deploy our application much more quickly and more cost efficiency with less coding and overhead. ASP and VB developers are quite expensive, and I feel going to the so called “no-code” is the future.

We have created all our APIs so we would be calling out to those, which I assume is possible.

Could and would Bubble be a great front-end to use so we no longer need to develop, ASP, C#, etc., or use them as our main programming tools?

I may be leaving out some important notes, but this is all I can think of now.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and even respond to this. I am somewhat excited about this possibility based on some of the things I have read.

Yes absolutely! Before the no-code movement I had developed TMS systems (transportation management systems) using winform applications and sql. Adapting to new tech, I’ve successfully been able to recreate my applications via bubble. A TMS consists of dispatching, hours of service, messaging, invoicing, and payroll.


If your desktop application is fairly static and doesn’t send a large number of requests within a single minute from a single user, should be capable of handling that.


Our program is not static. It is used in stores so it gets used consistently although the usage will vary during peak times. Most of that use would be the servicing their customers such as making, sales appointments, adjusting and closing appointments, viewing customer histories, sending emails, texts, etc. The reports they generate are a hog on resources because data may be collected from various tables and or dBs be those can be updated to be more efficient.

Now, each business is setup with their own SQL dB so would that make it easier on Bubble’s resources? The only time there would be multi-businesses accessing the same dB would be if they have multiple locations. Currently our largest client has 12 locations but we have several with 2 or 3 locations. Clients love to retain data so we have some clients (not many) that have 25 years worth of data or more, but outside of storage space, most of that data is not actively accessed unless looking at the overall customer history or sales trends, which would be rare to go back more than 5 years.

In my initial post I mentioned we have hundreds of clients but that is nearing 1,000 and each business has an average of 2 users per locations, so let’s say for simplicity there would be 2,000 concurrent users at any one time and moving forward, we will be adding more but not at a rapid pace.

If Bubble allows copying or duplicating one account to another, we could possibly limit the number of businesses running under one development account, would that be beneficial if Bubble can do that?

Thank you.

I tend to tell people that if your app is about users inputting data, interacting with that data and viewing it in useful ways, then Bubble is generally a reasonable solution. Don’t worry about the concurrent users issue - it’s not a problem to have people idling on an app. If each user was making an interaction each second it might be worth thinking about more but your use case sounds fine… the only thing is that it’s quite fiddly for your app’s users to set up their own MySQL database (so that the data requests are routed to that rather than Bubble). You’d probably be better off transferring their data into a Bubble database and managing i all users in one database.

Oh, and explore Xano as a backend if you have a large amount of data and are really concerned with efficiency - whether you’re going to support custom databases for your users or not.

If you want to keep it this way the bubble database it’s probably not the best tool for the job. Once you split frontend and backend you miss some of the main advantages of bubble. Have you considered a migration to C# where you can use .net with modern frameworks like blazor?