Forum Academy Marketplace Showcase Pricing Features

How is multi dev working for you?

It’s been a good two months now since multi development versions have been introduced and it’s now also available on the agency plan (thanks a lot for that!) but we haven’t implemented it in our app design/development process yet.

Working in one environment with multiple people can be a bit frustrating at times but there are also some benefits. We usually have a sandbox app for playing around (which is a clone of the main app) and then the dev is connected to our project management system so everyone working on the app sees the backlog and all the items that are being worked on by multiple people. It is a simpler process as no multiple dev environments have to get merged.

I totally see the benefits for multi dev versions, but I feel more discipline is needed in the team to make sure that another dev version only covers a very specific, clearly marked-off feature to make the merge with the main dev version as smooth as possible.

Another thing to consider here would be time and order of implementation. If a feature is dependent on another feature but that feature sits in another dev version and is not yet ready, it may hold up the former. And if they are both being developed in the main dev version, it could already benefit from it.

One other concern I have, but that is connected to the way Agency accounts are designed, is that often we have to put the app on a paid plan already (either because we have issues with third party integrations and the app credentials) or that the app simply needs to go live as a first version. We then lose the dev environment created as we do not always need to launch right away into the Pro subscription. Given the Bubble structure around apps (the plan that dictates the number of dev versions) and user accounts (where the agency account allows for dev versions too) I see this not easy to solve.

Lastly, as a bit of feedback on the development section in the editor, I think there is room for some improvement. In fact, maybe this section deserves its on tab on the left side. A lot of information is cramped in this menu but it hasn’t become easier to use.

I also noticed that I found it hard to distinguish one dev version from another. Being able to color code them (have some elements highlighted in some way per version) would also be a great help.

Bubble allows for an extremely non-linear way of working, so I really wonder if anyone has already implemented multi dev in their building process and how its working for you!

3 Likes

Old post but I can tell you that Bubble seems to go out of their way to make development miserable for agencies.

Agency plans are locked at two extra development branches independent of how many user accounts you pay for.

So you can easily have more members in your team than development branches? What then? Nothing; you are stuck. You have a bottleneck based on an arbitrary limit.

In real “code” development, you have unlimited branches. Branching is supposed to be cheap so that you get out of each other’s way and protect the main release branch.

You can’t do that in Bubble, so you wind up wasting time and adding risk with save states, having people idle waiting for someone else to finish, redoing work, etc. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

On top of that, you can’t merge properly from branch to branch. I’ve only had success merging a branch back to development then to another branch. So from A → Dev → B. You can’t do A → B and expect success. It just keeps screwing up and we have to constantly redo work.

Because Bubble is deliberately opaque with what happens behind the scenes, you can’t preview changes. Of course you can do this with regular version control. You can’t see what’s different in your branch from another.

However, for me, the biggest frustration of all is the hard limit on dev branches. Besides the tedium, we as agencies create Bubble customers and get zero in return other than what we can charge above our agency subscription (no affiliate or reseller program). Yes, with enough work it’s not a big deal but it’s the philosophy that irks me. Bubble should be doing whatever it takes to make life easy for agencies since we generate customers for them! Instead, Bubble makes life expensive and frustrating.

Hey Bubble, fix your agency model!