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Need help validating whether Bubble supports the requirements of my web application

Good morning All,

I am a high school educator in NH that is moving forward on a project-centered competency based learning platform. Last year, 15 students and myself were semifinalists to the XQ Superschool Project and we are looking to continue with our progress made thus far.

Currently, I am looking to connect about the likelihood of using bubble.is to execute the students plan for our digital learning platform. It seems through my research, that many of the things that we are looking to do are already part of the bubble.is ecosystem…which is a good thing. Although, there are some questions I have about the ability to scale, security of the App, and ability to create more of a SaaS model to provide to schools at low/no cost.

I do have a LOT of documentation as to our ambition and the plan going forward which I would be willing to share as well which helps to illustrate the purpose/mission/and vision the software will help sustain.

the ask:

Is there anyone that would be willing to connect by phone/google hangout/ etc that has experience building larger scale apps to hopefully get my questions answered?

Appreciate any feedback!

Have a great day!
Justin Ballou
www.socrademy.com

Hi Justin,

Welcome to Bubble.

One thing I’ve seen work well with the Bubble community is to post questions about desired functionality / requirements publicly to the entire community which often results in a series or replies from people with different solution sets.

I found it useful to hear from multiple people since it provided my with extra confidence in Bubble’s viability. Of course, talking to one person in-depth is also useful, but perhaps in a different way.

Best,
Scott Barnett

2 Likes

Hi Scott,

Thanks for the tip.

I think a lot of my questions revolve around integrations with 3rd party services and ability to scale/pagination.

I am looking to build out a SaaS model for Educators to create and assess learning activities that can be combined together by students to equate to H.S. graduation credit. There are a lot of moving pieces, but in essence, it is a bunch of “mini-apps” within one interface.

Major questions are:

  1. Can you integrate Bubble Apps with systems like google Drive, where users can actually edit documents from within the bubble interface, (almost like opening up an internal browser window and having the docs editor populate within it to keep users in the app.) Also, as educators and schools have unlimited Drive space…can Bubble apps write to google Drive and recall from Drive, (assuming that they have authenticated credentials) Is that even a best practice?

  2. I have seen a lot of tools that we were looking to include within templates and the bubble store. Is it possible to integrate them into an interface at the lower levels of the Bubble paid tier, where number of apps is limited, or would each one of the tools, (trello clone, slack-like chat, mailbox, crowd voting and idea management, calendar etc.) all need to be integrated as separate applications with a parent application.

  3. With the basic framework, the system is designed to have 3 major sections…each covering a separate function of an online learning environment…Creation Suite for the creation of content, Learning platform for the consumption of content, and Socrademy U- a “Storefront” of sorts where students can “shop” for learning opportunities to engage in for credit. Is it a better idea to have all of these in one app or have “sub-apps” that all integrate together?

  4. Is it possible to deliver a tool to a user based upon specific functions…i.e. a NH Social studies educator has different standards to assess than a CA educator. is there a way to give an educator the lesson planner wizard that only has the standards they teach/assess in a taxonomy? Would I need to build the lesson planner tool for each “educator type” or would it “know” based on the user and the content area the lesson is in what standards to deliver to the teacher to select?

  5. Can any function be automated through “triggers?” an example would be when a student signs up for a course, it automatically gives them access to the course content, adds a calendar for the course to their calendar dashboard, automatically enters them into the slack clone room for both the course as well as the lesson they are on, etc. Also, when completed, can permissions be revoked automatically dependent upon the student no longer being in the course.

  6. Is it possible that bubble.is apps be integrated with all of Googles API’s (like the realtime API-https://developers.google.com/google-apps/realtime/overview) in order to have 2 of my app users colaborating on one component? Is there a way to do this within bubble with permissions? I’m thinking having multiple teachers have access to the same lessons or classes to collaborate on or to share lessons similar to how you currently share/give edit access like a google doc/sheet/etc.

Sorry if these seem like basic questions… but, I’m a layman here just trying to get my head wrapped around doing this right…even at the MVP level. Any insight would be appreciated!

Thanks!
Justin

1 Like

Here’s my take on the above:

  1. I’m not sure. To me, it feels like this is probably viable but I can’t be sure without looking into Google’s APIs.
  2. You can integrate each of these into a single app or run them separately. If you run them separately then you’d need a way to have the databases talk to one another (likely via an API). Whereas, integrating them may take a bit of time up front but then all use the same database, etc. Basic templates may take 1-4 hours to fully integrate (for someone who knows Bubble) whereas I’d imagine something like that trello clone or slack-like clone may take 1/2 day to 2 days each. These are rough estimates as I haven’t done much of this myself, but should be ballpark correct. If you go with Bubble, I’d recommend that you talk to people who’ve done each approach in order to make an informed decision on this as I suspect it has material implications down the road.
  3. Hard for me to say. The main limitation I see in having them in 1 app is that currently it’s hard for a team of people to all “code” within the same app at the same time. Having a 2nd person work in parallel is probably only 70% as productive as the first. A 3rd person may be only 40% as productive as the first. Relatedly, Bubble doesn’t currently allow “Branching” of the code base. So, there’s no way for Engineer 1 to work on their own version of the code and then merge it back to master when done. As such, when you push changes to production, you’re pushing all of the changes people have made even if they’re not complete. So, in reality, that means you wait for everyone to finish up each piece before pushing. I’m hoping this is something Bubble addresses in the not too distant future though.
  4. Yes, I’m 99% sure this is fairly straight-forward. You can code the logic so that it works differently for different user roles. So long as you can also map the taxonomy to the roles, etc. then you can have all of this automated. I’d have to see exactly what you mean to know for sure, but on the surface seems entirely viable.
  5. Yes.
  6. Let me answer this one in pieces. You should be able to integrate with the APIs. There could be some limitations with this in Bubble, but most likely not (really depends on the details). Additionally, the Bubble team can always extend core Bubble capabilities for you / your project if you’re willing to “Sponsor a Feature” which means pay for a feature to be built. It’s hard for me to validate any of the details in this question, such as having 2 users collaborate on one component, since I’d have to dig into the details of Google’s API and Your App to know with a high degree of confidence.

I suspect others from the community will chime in as well and to supplement my answers. Additionally, you could consider hiring a Bubble Consultant to look through your app and let you know what pieces of it they’re not sure how to implement. I hired @levon to help me early on, and he was quickly able to validate whether Bubble could do all of the pieces that we needed. He also helped us build an MVP and we co-worked so that he’d code while I watched which helped me more quickly learn Bubble and also get help on the toughest parts of our app. So, something like that may make sense for you as well. There are a few other consultants as well and all of them seem to be incredibly well informed and capable (not usually the case with other platforms / software languages).

Best,
Scott

Note - I updated the main question and topic for this thread so that more people will see it and hopefully be able to chime in.

Thanks all! Appreciate the feedback!

Did you get answers to all of your questions? If not, perhaps it’d make sense to create a separate thread for each remaining item you’re trying to understand. Just a thought.

1 Like

Scott,

Thanks for the detailed insight! Ill try to reach out to some of the above references!

Best,
J