Monthly Community Update -- April 2024

Hi all,

This is our April community update. Read last month’s update here.

A lot happened in March, including our first-ever How to Build Day, which had nearly 7,500 registrants and attendees from 124 countries. I got to lead a session on building a to-do app in ten minutes and had a lot of fun presenting (although I’m not in the same league as the expert Bubblers who presented after me!). If you missed it, check out the links to all the session replays toward the end of this update.

We also kicked off a brand-new Getting Started series with Gregory John on the Bubble YouTube channel. Gregory is one of the most popular Bubble educators out there, and he’s helped thousands of people build beautiful apps on Bubble, and I’m genuinely very excited about this. You can read Greg’s post about it on the blog, and be sure to subscribe to Bubble’s YouTube channel to get notified as the rest of the series goes live.

There’s a lot more to cover, so I’ll dive right in.

What’s on our minds

First, I wanted to make sure you saw these posts from other members of the Bubble leadership team talking about some important product updates:

  • Our director of engineering, @payam.azadi, just published a great summary of the work we’re doing around reliability, in response to feedback from the past few weeks, but also as part of our larger mission to help apps scale. Payam joined the team six months ago and is already making a big impact on the team and the product side. Look out for more from him soon!

  • Our VP of product, @allenyang, shared an update about sunsetting the expression composer beta (ending April 10) and talked about some of the exciting things in store for the editor.

Changes we made this month

I’m really excited about this update: The team shipped a redesign of the elements tree as part of the editor modernization effort. The update includes new keyboard shortcuts, interactions, and improved organization, which makes it much more convenient to manage elements on the sidebar. You can read the forum post for all of the updates here and check it out in action in Gregory John’s new video series. We appreciate all the feedback we’ve received on it, both the compliments and the improvement suggestions!

We also significantly increased the number of workflows that can be scheduled with the “Schedule API Workflow on a list” action. You can now schedule up to 100K workflows, irrespective of external conditions or the specifics of the workflow. This makes the action an incredibly robust option for completing bulk operations in the editor. Our objective is to make the “Schedule API Workflow on a list” action the default way Bubblers do bulk data processing, with recursive API workflows only used for niche use cases. @steven.harrington, a product manager on the Scale team, just posted a more in-depth look at this work on the forum, which you can read here.

The team shipped a couple general performance improvements: We added some caching to our plugin-fetching API calls, which has reduced editor page load times for users making these calls. Also, run mode is about 5% faster across all apps after we upgraded our redis-based caching cluster to the latest version of redis in March.

Dedicated servers got several performance updates this month around reliability and scalability. Users now have real-time visibility from the memory usage graph in the Logs tab. We also enhanced stability by improving memory throttling and reduced baseline memory usage by about 300MB per box. (If you’re curious about hosting your app on a dedicated server, you can schedule a consultation call with our team.)

We’ve seen users asking for a way to integrate Loops with Bubble more easily. The official plugin is live now! This is a great way to help manage your business’s email strategy, and I’m really excited about it. You can read more about it on the blog here.

We’ve made some minor changes to agency profiles, including adding a call-to-action button to agency websites at the top of their profile page. We’ve also added and tweaked some fields. Users found it helpful to see a portfolio project’s “App type,” and agencies can now add up to three custom project stats and a third image in the preview section. And for better visual consistency, we added character limits to certain agency profile fields.

Finally, the forum homepage got a refresh! It’s now easier to access resources like the Community Hub, blog, and Support Center. Plus, the homepage now displays the most recent updates from the Bubble team, as well as top topics and users. (Emmanuel is currently the number one user of all time, so I have some catching up to do!)

What we’re working on

  • Mobile: The Mobile team is working on user-facing functionality, including native mobile components, the ability to preview on the web and your device, and deploying to iOS and Android. We’re planning to start the alpha testing process in April, and so far we are on track to begin adding users from the waitlist to the beta this summer!

  • AI: We just launched an exciting private alpha to test our text-to-page generation feature (Alpha testers include early-stage users and agencies who work at scale on apps).

  • Agency directory: On top of the adjustments to agency profiles mentioned above, we’re also giving the agency directory a facelift. Users will be able to sort by filters like language, cost, location (by country), and services provided (API integration, plugin development, and mobile app development to name a few). This will make it easier for users to find the right developer for their build.

  • Plugin discoverability: After we tackle the agency page, we’ll be improving sorting and filtering on our plugins page so that it’s easier for users to find relevant plugins.

  • Version control changelog: The team is making progress on grouping and tracking changes in the changelog and building out the UI. We’re aiming to release the private beta in the next month.

  • Improving observability: The Scale team has been focusing on the “Schedule API workflow on a list” action, as mentioned above. In the coming months, they’re going to be spending more time on observability for users, including ways to track progress, understand outcomes, and troubleshoot issues for workflows scheduled using the action.

Updates on the new Hire a Dev portal

In February, we launched our new Hire a Developer portal to improve the experience for users and agencies. We wanted to provide an update on how it’s going so far.

For users submitting requests, we’ve made tweaks to the project details page, recommendation steps, and developer preference (we added a “no preference” option). So far, we’ve heard positive feedback that it’s now a lot easier to navigate and review options to find the right partner.

On the agency side, we know going from the old system (all agencies received all leads) to the new system (tiered agencies receive small batches of leads) is a big change, but we’ve already seen that results for agencies are a lot more consistent. Match rates per agency bid have improved by around 650%! Freelancers are also being recommended and requested by users quite often in the new system, about 40% of the time.

We also noticed both users and agencies prefer to match via Calendly links, so we’ve included a more prominent place to add a link to schedule a call.

You can read more about last month’s update here.

In case you missed it

Team news

Last but not least, we had six new hires start last month, mostly on the engineering side. Welcome to the team!

  • An joins us as a senior software engineer

  • Michael and Caterina join us as software engineers

  • David joins us as engineering manager for the Mobile team

  • Olivia joins us as a new technical product support specialist

  • Amrita joins the marketing team as our new senior manager of paid search

As always, thank you all for your support.

— Josh and Emmanuel

51 Likes

Thank you for the update @josh !
With all the releases happening and coming up, is the team building for accessibility? For instance, meeting the W3c’s Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2?

3 Likes

This is phenomenal progress. Lots of great improvements. Workflow on a list changes were especially welcome! Sunsetting the beta expression composer was the right move IMO as well.

4 Likes

good job team!

When I saw “users asking for a way to integrate loops with Bubble,” my first reaction was, “What!? Finally, loops in Bubble!!” :man_facepalming: :sweat_smile:

17 Likes

Any plans to target Hippa compliance in the future?

Yes same here :face_exhaling:

Another time that causes some frustration is the inability of the Bubble to understand BODMAS rules. Is this something that can be incorporated in the near-term upgrades?

Thanks for the updates, I’m always excited to read from you and impressed that you take the time to do so. Good job team!

2 Likes

Still hoping to get an answer on whether this will work offline, or if a data connection will still be required. Is there a definite answer regarding this?

Thanks,
George

Hi George, thanks for asking! We’ll be able to share more soon. In the meantime, please DM me or email community@bubble.io, as we’d like to hear more about your use case.

Nice updates. Got confused by the “loops” addition. Thought that would be a loop function for the workflows. Sadly, it was not.

What about the elephant in the room: major outages.

Something bad is happening, because the outages are being veryfrequent these last days (since march). Shouldn’t the “Bubble Core” status bar be greener?

It would be very important to know what exactly is happening and if this is the service level that you expect to deliver to us.

5 Likes

Thanks. DM sent to the email you provided.

Thanks for this update. Great example of ‘Building in Public’ :smiley:

P.S would be great to have the option to add Contributors in the Starter Plan :wink:

Same here. But naaaah :slight_smile: