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Do sub apps have their own editor?

Cant find an answer to this on the forum or on the Bubble pricing page. if I push my main app into a child app, will that be an exact copy of the entire app including the editor?

Would users on a child app have access to their editor? Or am I the only one having access to the editor and users on a child app will only have access to what was built for them? I kind of expect the first…

I’m researching two scenarios for my app at the moment: Multiverse vs Universe models.

In the Multiverse model, I have my main app that is my development app and Master app. Any changes approved will be pushed to child apps that my customers own. They are on their own app, own database, separated from other apps.

In the Universe model I have one main app, dev and live as the Master app and all my customers use this app and a shared database but to them it feels like it is their own app. They can brand it the way they want and they only have access to data that belongs to their entity. Downside is that everyone is on a shared database but in our unique situation all these users can potentially need to work together. So they can actually share projects way easier than when they are all separated.

This is why I lean towards the Universe model even though from a technical pov it may be harder to sell. On the other hand, there is the app connector, but that is really a lot more work to get working and I dont even know if it will work in this scenario.

Another downsides could be that with Multiverse you can customize an app (and figure out how to keep customizations) easier for a client as opposed to when they all share one app…

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Hey Vincent!

I use a Multiverse model for my SaaS, I manage close to 30 different subapps. Sub apps do have their own editor. The only difference between Sub apps and Duplicated a project is the ability to push updates.

Pros of multiverse:

  • More dedicated server power for a client
  • Custom domain
  • Custom Favicon
  • Smaller databases lead to faster loading and queries (Atleast when looking at scaled version)

Cons of Multiverse:

  • Requires manual work to setup
  • Connecting to other projects will need to be done through APIs
  • More expensive

Pros of Universe:

  • Automated new client setup
  • 1 Monthly bill, easier management
  • No need to worry about update pushing

Cons of Universe:

  • Less customization (white labeling) for client
  • Huge databases at scale
  • Multiple clients all sharing the same server cluster
  • Cross client bugs ( This can obviously be avoided but if a client sees another client’s data they will get worried their data can be seen by other clients )

I may have missed some things but I think this gives a good perspective.

This all depends on how much your charging and who your audience is.

Thank you,
Nic | codurly.com
[email protected]

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Thanks for the insight. Much appreciated. When you say it depends on how much you’re charging. What do you mean?

Multiverse would be ‘worth’ more in your opinion?

I guess much of the project sharing can happen through API.

The custom URL is a big thing actually. Maybe for that alone you would choose a multiverse.

@codurly great response. One of your pertinent points:

100%. Due to the financial impact upfront, I recommend going with the multiverse model only if you see clear ROI. Scaling a Bubble-based multiverse SaaS business may make zero sense if you’re only charging (or can only command) $19/mo for your app… Say you start paying the ~$1k/mo to unlock sub-app functionality but don’t yet have a business model worked out or even a rough idea of who you are selling to or what that person is willing to spend. In this case, probably not a good move since you haven’t tested the market. I think you could validate your idea with a single app and then try to sell it as a standalone version by mocking up what it could look like for a potential client. It’s going to be more of a time sink with people at first. One example: setting up custom domains. There is no reliable repeat process, everyone in my experience has a varying degree of DNS knowledge let alone knowing who to contact to make DNS edits to point their custom URL to your sub-app. I don’t suggest your users have access to the editor, see more below.

Yes, all except the actual data in your parent app and some elements in the editor Settings tab like favicon, domain, email, API keys, etc.

Yes, you could invite them to Bubble and then invite that Bubble account to the editor. But I’d suggest not doing this. Your users will most likely end up making edits in the Design or Style tab thinking they will be live (which they won’t be), they will probably try accessing the version-test mode and cause problems (support nightmare) for you, and many more situations like these.

If you mean changes to the core layout, styles or database tables, then that will not work out for you. Every time you push updates to your child apps those edits will be overridden.

All of the unique elements your users may be customizing like theme, colors, fonts, logo etc should be stored in the database (ex: create table named “app_settings” with different fields for these custom elements) – this table is then recreated and customized when launching each child app.

In the end, if you can command $100s-1000s for a dedicated app instance built on Bubble you will likely have a profitable business model, and all the small headaches that come with managing the multiverse model will be worth your time.

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I have basically one paying customer which is at the same time also a a coowned company.

We fleshed out the idea and implemented it. It’s now polished enough to start selling to other, similar, companies.

I see in a multiverse solution more options for app customisation that can be made available to certain clients and hidden to others but I can do the same with a universe model I guess.

So out of the clients cannot access their editor or would they be able to of they figure out the bubble address and sign up for an account. I guess I’m not sure how that works

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That’s great, since you’re already at that point you may want to shoot Bubble support an email and request temporary access to the sub-app feature. I was given two weeks to experiment and figure out if the sub-app model was right for my needs. In that time I was able to bring on a handful of paying customers, making the jump to dedicated seem less insane.

The method I use to hide and show features would apply to both universe and multiverse models, it’s all conditional statements on UI elements and workflows tied to user role permissions. @codurly has a lot of good points regarding other pros/cons of multiverse.

How it works on my end: people request a demo on a website, then provide a demo, gauge interest, and if they want to move forward with a free trial a new sub-app is created for them using the data requested on the website demo form. Once the app is up and running at a generic subdomain (45m-1hr max) the client is invited to sign up for an account at the new Bubble app, which is then manually converted into an admin account on my end through the editor. Once they’re settled in and comfortable the next step is dealing with custom domain which is just a back-n-forth email thread.

User on-boarding is always at the front of my mind since it’s the one thing EVERY future customer must go through in your process. I am hoping Bubble makes this more seamless in the future but for now I suck it up and put that management cost on customers.

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Sorry for my last messed up reply, I was putting two kids in a bath, holding a baby in the other arm while texting… :crazy_face:

When you say invited to sign up, I reckon that is through a front end and they never see the editor backend?

Can you access all the child’s databases?

Can you copy the child’s app to create a backup?

In my particular case each child app’s user can start a new project where one of the other child app’s users can be a collaborator on. So there could be some form of collaboration and cross sharing of data. But not necessarily.

In the multiverse option, each of those child app’s users need to be made into a user of another user’s app to access the project or I would need to find a way to connect the data through API but in a way is pretty seemless. I guess this is still something for me to dive in deeper.

@philip can you go into a bit more detail here? If I have a table named “app_setting” and a field called “font”. How do I refer this back to the Styles for the tex fonts and button fons for example for each child app. Can you show me what your data table looks like and your corresponding styles?. Thanks