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Monthly Community Update -- April 2021

Hi all,

This is our latest monthly update to the community. You can read last month’s update here.

This month we made steady progress on a lot of the things we’ve been working on, and had a couple important releases. Another fun thing that happened was that Fast Company ranked us #5 in their list of most innovative small companies – this kind of recognition helps spread the word about no-code entrepreneurship, so we’re always happy when something like this happens.

We’ve continued to see a ton of community growth: we have more users than ever. Messages to our support channels were up 22% this month! A lot of our focus these days is investing in the team to keep up with this growth. We’re proud to see that even though messages were up 22%, our response time to those messages went down 20%, because of the hard work of the Success team, and the great people we’ve added to it in the last couple months. On the engineering side, we’ve also been doing our best to keep up with the corresponding increase in bug reports. Our average time to investigate bugs got a little worse this month, although digging into the numbers, that was largely due to some outstanding bugs with our Rich Text Editor plugin that have taken us a long time to fix, rather than slower responses across the board. Anyway, it’s exciting to see things really taking off, and we’re doing our best to maintain the same level of service for all the new users!

Changes we made this month

We had two major product releases this month:

  • We switched the backend system that powers the Logs → Server Logs tab of the editor. The changes were entirely behind-the-scenes, but searching logs is now significantly faster! Fast log search is a very useful tool for managing growing apps, so we’re thrilled to see meaningful speed increases. The new system also makes it much easier for us to build internal analytics on bugs and issues, and identify and respond to patterns sooner, so it’s also an important step forward for the overall stability of our platform.

  • We released improvements to our Bubble-supported Stripe Plugin as part of phasing out support for the v2 Stripe Checkout API in favor of the SCA-compliant v3 API. Previously, users who needed to save user credit cards and charge them later could only use v2; that functionality is now available in v3.

In addition, we made a number of small changes, focusing on improving product quality and fixing bugs and inconsistencies. These include:

In addition to product changes, we’ve been busy on a number of other fronts:

This month in numbers

  • Total number of conversations via bug reports or [email protected]: 6,609 (up 21%)

  • Total received messages: 10,673 (up 22%)

  • Average response time to messages: (2h 05m during business hours, down 20%)

  • Time to resolve bug reports escalated to the engineering team: the average lifespan of open bugs and bugs resolved in the last month is 9.4 days (up from 6.7)

Things on our minds

Overall reliability of the platform continues to be top of mind for us, since we know how important it is to people building businesses on us. This month was better overall than the previous one, although we did have a couple of code releases that we had to roll back or release a follow-on fix for. We were happy to see that the Scheduled tier successfully protected many user apps from these issues, which helped mitigate the overall impact.

In general, our two buggiest features right now are our rich text editor plugin and our version control system. We’re working on improvements to both of them: a series of smaller fixes to the rich text editor, and a large infrastructure project around our asset-building system to get rid of some of the root causes of the version control. We fixed some of the last remaining bugs in the asset building system and expect that to be completely shipped this month; this won’t fix everything wrong with version control but it’s already eliminating quite a few of the causes of bugs. Overall, though, we’re not happy with the state of these features, and hope to get them to a better place.

What we’re currently working on

New initiatives:

  • We’re developing a private bootcamp offering for schools and companies. If that’s something you’d be interested in, please reach out to us at [email protected].

Updates on our ongoing initiatives:

  • Our second Immerse cohort is hard at work on their apps. Please join us for demo day on April 14!

  • We’re mostly done with the work on making it easier to debug issues with setting up custom domains

  • We have a working proof of concept for our SelectPDF replacement. The next step is to set up cloud hosting for it and make it robust to run as a production service.

  • We have a finalized design for our changes to the Responsive tab of the editor, and have a working flexbox-based rendering engine. We’re currently going element-by-element to port them to the new system, and finishing implementing the design.

  • The rollout of our new asset-building system is mostly complete: there’s one last asset we’re doing performance testing on, and making some improvements to our test framework.

  • The complete redesign of our editor is almost done with the second round of internal QA and bug fixing. We anticipate at least one more pass through the internal editor by our team before we start testing with handful of users: we’ve found a number of small bugs and design issues that we want to get to a good place on before sharing more broadly.

  • Hiring: we are actively looking for roles across all aspects of the business. In particular, we’re looking for an EU-based person with previous Bubble experience to join the Success team: if that describes you and you’d like a job with us, please apply!

Thanks for all the support, and happy app building!

Josh and Emmanuel

42 Likes

Thanks for the update @josh!

3 Likes

Looking forward to the new responsive engine and the new editor!

Thanks
ZubairLK
https://www.linkedin.com/in/zubairlk/

4 Likes

Estimated time? ETA? Ballpark?

Alternatively, can I join the beta? I am literally holding up a project for this.

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I think you meant: Happy bubbling!

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Thanks, @josh

Do you have any release date for the Select PDF replacement and for the redesign of the editor? :slight_smile: :computer:

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Second this idea. It would be great to have an ETA and loop us in early on the changes!

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Great stuff @josh! Eager to see what the new select PDF can do.

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Re: the requests for ETAs for the various projects, we don’t have a very good track record of getting these right: we’ve historically been way too optimistic, and hit unexpected technical obstacles that mess up our timelines. So take this with a major grain of salt; this is a rough ballpark of my current best guess, not a promise.

  • New responsive algorithm: I’m guessing we’ll have something at least in beta by mid-June
  • PDFs: I’m guessing we’ll be releasing it in May or June
  • Editor design overhaul: harder to ballpark because it’s further out, but almost certainly after both the above projects are released. A lot of the work on the new editor is about making it easier and faster for us to make changes to it in the future – the current editor is built on technical foundations that make iterating on it challenging – so don’t hold your breathe for anything too exciting here. Most of the exciting stuff is under the hood, and a lot of what it enables will likely come post-release, not in one big launch. We’ve been talking about this for a while, because it’s honestly been a bit of a slog, so I don’t want the long buildup to over-hype it!
14 Likes

Thanks for the update, @josh. Very excited to see what the future releases hold. I’ve not heard about the asset-building system. Is that an internal-to-Bubble item or is this a future feature for the Bubble platform?

The rich text editor plugin has been a source of headaches for you guys, but I’m glad you aren’t giving up on it. We need robust text editors because that’s what our clients expect. Thanks for continuing to work on it @josh .

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@josh or anyone for that matter.

Would the new ability to call API’s direct from the browser allow for HIPAA compliance if we were to use an external HIPAA compliant database seeing that this information is now not passing through the backend?

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+1 this. I’d love to see bubble sign BAA’s!

The approach of essentially de-identifying data and storing only PHI on a HIPAA compliant database and running things client side is an alternate approach to HIPAA compliance (you can read here). I feel like we already practice this pattern when using a service like Stripe, where they store credit card info on their complaint servers and we store only non-regulated de-identified customerID or subscriptionID in our bubble servers that we use.

@josh @emmanuel are you able to run this by your legal team. If we do not run or store any PHI through our bubble servers, and thus bubble is only interacting with de-identified data (which is not regulated by HIPAA), we would be essentially taking away any of the administrative specifications/responsibilities of HIPAA from bubble.

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I was having the same question in my head today. I want to use firebase firestore to Store personal health information because they will sign the BAA.

If I only use the mobile app for the front end. All API calls are done from the client side. Does this qualify as Hipaa compliant?

Hi New York! You ALL DO ALL THE TIME a FANTASTIC JOB, thanks and all the best, Alexander from Secondra.com GmbH

Nice update

See this is interesting! But no where to be found. Is it no longer vacant?

thanks!

I just discovered you were doing these monthly community update, as I’m not on the forum anymore, it’s hard to know about it.
Could you advertise it once a month on the changelog feature inside the editor? (gift icon)
I’d love to get to know about it from there!

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Great news on all fronts. Thanks, @josh!