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Evaluating Bubble to build a complex ERP

Bubble’s database is a relational database. Example > When you create a Project thing and a Task thing in the database… and you add a field to the project of type task … you are linking the project and the task which means they are “related”.

Perhaps this video might be useful > How to Configure Database in Bubble

Right right, sorry I was struggling to phrase the question clearly. I’m familiar with relational databases. My background is building with Knack and Tadabase.

I guess what I’m trying to ask is - for a practical purpose, when building the front end, what would be classified as a direct database search?

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I am not sure Bubble intended for searches to be classified as direct or indirect. There are many operators, constraints, etc when building your search expressions (the equivalent to conventional dB queries).

That’s what was confusing me while trying to make sense of what you said earlier.

Here’s an overview of my ERD just for reference. Not zoomable, just putting it here to see the complexity.

Hey @tim15 , I haven’t used Tadabase but I have built some rather complex applications in Knack. Anything you can build natively in Knack can be built better (much better) in Bubble.

The biggest thing to remember is that in Bubble you have to build every piece of every element.

Whereas in Knack you can just drag a table onto the canvas, tell it what datatype to source, the conditions you want that data filtered by, click the fields you want to display, and off you go with filtering, sorting, etc all built-in.

In Bubble you will build every piece of that table… header, rows, sorting actions, searches, filters, pagination, etc.

But with granularity comes much power! Compared to the search and data manipulation limitations of Knack you will feel like a superhero in Bubble.

2 cents from a former fellow Knack builder.


Appreciate you chiming in! Especially since you’ve built apps with the same platforms as I have.

I am certainly better at developing UI/UX than I am databases so while I’m excited to have that opportunity with Bubble, I am feeling like this project will be daunting.

If I’m trying to build a table, the rows are going to be a repeating group right? Sorting, filtering are buttons with workflows? Definitely going to struggle with responsiveness, that part just hasn’t clicked yet.

I see there’s some “spreadsheet” / table plugins too, I can take a look at those.

@cmarchan well good news for me, apparently I’ve always built my databases with inverse linking and never knew the name of it!

Funny that video is about chats because I’m going to be building that as a core feature. My app, however, will have 3 conversations per work order created. So add an extra thing that’s “divorced” from messages. Like this…

  1. Create work order with an admin, client, and supplier.
  2. New work order creates a conversation connected to admin + work order ID, a conversation connected to client + work order ID, a conversation connected to supplier + work order ID.
  3. 3 groups displayed on a work order details page
  4. Messages connected to conversations through the process shown in the video.

I know I’m a bit off track from my original post but I appreciate the open, and helpful discussion!

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Yeap perhaps those spreadsheet / table plugins maybe of some help to implement what you envision. :+1:

@eli nailed it about what is required to build with Bubble. Overtime, the more I build, I come to terms that Bubble is indeed a visual programming language (as Josh and Emmanuel, its makers, describe it) and not a “builder” platform.

Using true builders get you used to relying on much pre-built functionality in components.

Bubble is a wonderful piece of tech enabling an “opera’s orchestra” of multiple elements to play what you tell it to.

I can’t see anything on the image above. Another example perhaps below? It contains some features similar to ERP’s.


Yeah sorry, I didn’t upload the full file - just a zoomed out screen shot because it’s not my ERD. It’s an ERD of the clients current application built with MySQL, .net, and react

I am seriously considering purchasing a template to save time on the front end.

If you have less than three months of experience, using templates will only delay your build.

I have a better option for you, will send you a message.

I will definitely explore that plugin. Half the battle here is to try to emulate what the client’s employees are currently using to minimize training for a new application. This will be their 3rd in 2 years. So they currently have a lot of data displayed in tables, would be great to keep continuity.

Also, I have to apologize for misquoting @nocodeventure as something you said, that would explain a lot of the confusion on my end! Sorry about that.


How is everything going for you Tim

It’s ok, I’m still just playing with building various little bits of an app. I’m a bit frustrated with displaying a table of data. It’s just unnecessarily time consuming than what I’m used to. In Tadabase, it takes all of 30 seconds to display a data table with pagination, search, and filters. While in Bubble, having to create a repeating group, add the ToolBox plugin, configure the pagination and workflows, build a text input and workflow for searching, adding buttons and workflows for sorting, it’s just too much.

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Once you have a base table working with pagination put it all under a group and make it a reusable element … or not … up to you. They key concept that I want to relay is that it will become sort of like a “component” that you can later copy/paste with workflows (make sure you choose this precise right-click command) for further use in your app.

Plan B is you can try a table plugin > This one I believe could suit your usecase [New plugin] Fully Customizable Table / Grid

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That’s a good point about making it reusable, thank you.

My client likely won’t get back to me about what platform they’re interested in using for another week. I’m having too many mental debates over this whole thing!

I have been using NoCodeMinute to help me learn bubble and it has been invaluable. Jason is extremely knowledgeable and I couldn’t have built my app without him. He is currently helping me with responsiveness which I would never have worked out on my own but now I am seemingly able to get it to work exactly as I need so I wouldnt think there is that much of a limitation there.

Generally about bubble I absolutely love it and cant believe how much power it has given me as a technology business owner but not a developer myself (that employs over 30 hardcore developers) to build an app to watch over key business processes. It has been the best decision I made. I was using another platform (adalo) but it had a fraction of the capability of bubble and someone pointed me this way and I am very grateful.


Muito prazer em te receber em nossa comunidade, pelo visto suas questões foram resolvidas, e afirmo que tudo que quiser criar no bubble, que mencionou acima, é possível, se quiser me contatar para duvidas e questões é sempre um prazer compartilhar conhecimento

Thanks for the kind words @stuart1! :blush:


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Why not try something like AppSheet with a SQL database?