Rant on capacity and my conspiracy theories on it

I have a serious rant to make on the capacity front.

Like many other threads have highlighted (list of threads at the end of this post), capacity errors have increased significantly in last one month or so. I am on a professional plan with an extra unit of capacity added to it. And at the max we may have about 50 users online at a time. Nothing significant has changed in recent past on our application apart from me having added lot of optimisations because of the WU business and buying another capacity (basically upping my capacity by 33%).

In spite of that I hit on capacity issues much badly nowadays. Today we were on max capacity for about 240 minutes (4 hours!!).

I have my conspiracy theories here.

Theory 1: “Calculation of wu” for each action itself is eating into our capacity maybe because it is using the CPU allocated to us and hence it is counting as if we are using that capacity.

Theory 2: Capacity definition has probably changed internally and now it is based on WU limits and not really earlier capacity definition

Theory 3: Bubble has reduced capacity limits without telling us. This I suspect is a cheap tactic to nudge to move all of us to new WU based pricing plan from capacity based legacy plan.

Theory 4: There is some bug and that has reduced capacity for our application instead of increasing it when we added capacity.

On top of this, both the tabs under Logs page “app metrics” and “server logs” are heavily heavily limited in functionality for us to be able to debug anything.

I had a thread and idea on server logs limitations here (how there are no filters, no download, unusable logs screen, insufficient information etc.)

Other than that, the app-metrics tab has umpteen issues as well. Like,

  • There is no way to debug “other” and “undefined” and most of the times that is a large contributor

  • The chart building is really really slow. Here’s a video that shows how the loader on chart building keeps running for even as long as half hour. And I do not even know if if it would be running longer as invariably in that much time I would have closed my laptop in between or editor would have crashed or something or other (yes, editor does crash at that frequency nowadays)

  • Here’s a video showing how app metrics chart creation keeps loading and loading forever.

  • Firstly the pie charts load slowly. Then if we click on any part of pie chart, the editor goes to show that workflow in editor and when we come back to logs, that pie chart is gone and we have to do all the steps again.

  • It is not clear what to do if capacity gets hit suddenly. Logs/Scheduler etc start responding very slowly too. And there is no clear way to see how many people are online right now, which are the people, what workflows/queries/page-loads are being run right now which are eating up capacity. One has to just wait for users to get frustrated and leave the app so that app can start behaving normal again.

  • If a particular page has consumed capacity, then which user accessed that page? When was it accessed? Was it SEO crawling? Is it DOS attack? How to see its pattern of access with respect to time, volume, IP?

  • Page loads are not even shown in logs. What to do then?

  • The capacity business is very very opaque. Since they are able to quantify capacity (app used 80% of capacity etc.), they should be able to tell what caused the capacity to be consumed more in a numerical way. Suddenly capacity usage jumps without any real thing happening on the app is just so absurd. Something has to go really wrong for capacity to go from 10% used to 90% used suddenly.

  • What happens when server capacity is hit and some jobs are running? i.e. What happens to front-end tasks, what happens to backend api flows, what happens to new requests, what happens to old requests etc.

  • We don’t even seem to have ability to tell bubble to run some requests at low priority if required. Our capacity utilisation most of the times is pretty low, so for momentary spikes upgrading capacity doesn’t make sense. So they need to give ways for us to run workflows such that they don’t affect capacity in high traffic time.

  • I don’t know what to do if some workflows fail due to capacity issue. How to easily identify those and have them run again? Is there a way in backend workflows to catch those and run them again?

  • Can’t get to know which query ran how much times and consumed how much capacity. Chart tells that this workflow took up capacity, but then it is not clear that it happened because this workflow ran too many times or that the workflow is a heavy one. Bubble needs to give that information for us to make any optimisation plan.

  • The tab of “scheduled workflows” itself stops responding when capacity is being hit.

  • Can’t get to know if a particular user ran some heavy queries/workflows that caused capacity hike

For those who are going to tell me to raise bug, please don’t. I have raised a lot of bugs and am tired. I might probably be having highest number of open bugs with Bubble right now.

I suppose some might tell that I should switch to new pricing plan to avoid capacity issue. But I can’t. My WU usage is quite high at the moment (Bubble to be blamed largely as I can’t do many things optimally in current Bubble framework). I will try to optimise etc further and that’s what Bubble has given 18 months time for. Those people who are going to utilise this time to optimise shouldn’t be getting step treatment? It is a different matter that I am optimising so that once 18 months window is crossed, I can still have some more time bought for myself for me to switch to traditional code. This Bubble business can’t be long term anymore.

Here’s a list of threads on this topic by other users, so definitely it is not just some hallucination that I am having because of frustration from pricing update:

https://forum.bubble.io/t/pricing-question-problem/264034
https://forum.bubble.io/t/capacity-reached-warnings/263957
https://forum.bubble.io/t/capacity-reached-what-must-i-do-now/263778
https://forum.bubble.io/t/being-rate-limited-how-to-fix/263807
https://forum.bubble.io/t/performance-issues-in-live-and-test-version-since-around-two-weeks/262418
https://forum.bubble.io/t/my-app-hit-its-maximum-capacity-limit-without-even-being-live/260968
https://forum.bubble.io/t/app-exploding-capacity-since-wu-announcements/259631
https://forum.bubble.io/t/another-ddos-just-spotted/259320
https://forum.bubble.io/t/how-to-understand-capacity-with-other-tag/255580/
https://forum.bubble.io/t/capacity-upgrades/254534

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A lot of really good points here. I have also all of a sudden seen more Capacity issues lately even though my app has lower usage than a few months ago. There must be something different in the calculation of capacity, a bug or maybe the WU calculations are taking a toll on capacity.

+1 to the Logs limitations, they are barely useable and without there being much history we should be able to download data to keep our own history

Also +1 to this :point_down:

Considering that the new pricing model appears to target ‘successful’ or revenue-generating apps, it’s crucial that their feature capabilities are fully built out and dependable to meet our needs

Yeah have to leave this platform. As an experienced dev, I just wanted to find that blend of fast UI building and data binding along with some ease of use to admin the site after I built it. I did this work for a friend and learned Bubble from the ground up and built a mildly-moderately complex app with it (recursive workflows, 20+ pages, etc). My experience with how the logic/workflow stuff works was literally awful. The UI page building and data binding however are very good.

But, there’s no way in good conscience I can leave my friend on this platform. I emailed support about my own “capacity exceeded” emails and keep in mind my app isn’t even live… It was just me doing dev and my friend logging in to see the pages once a week. The response from support was regarding a query that runs on some of my pages that does a SUM against some fields in the database. To think that a simple query with NO users on the site would cause the app to capacity and then therefore be throttled is most insane thing I’ve ever seen in 30 years of dev and seeing how platforms work/price their products.

What’s clear as a day are a couple things:

  1. There’s no way if I switch my friend over to the new pricing that he won’t wake up one day and see that with literally just 5 or 10 users his $32/month plan hit overage charges and god knows what that price would be…

  2. Just a hunch but I don’t think Bubble is targeting consumer apps as a market anymore (where individuals / small teams are building an app for a small to medium size audience). They must have found a niche mid-size or enterprise market where their insane pricing model doesn’t affect or bother that niche of customers. And, they probably don’t want to deal with all these indie devs building apps for small clients that end up with 100s/1000s of questions and bickering about saving money.

But yeah, was 2 of 5 stars experience for me as a dev (and I’ve rolled out large Low Code platforms for one of the world’s largest car manufacturers… literally did all the POCs, trained all the dev / devOps / sec teams how it works, etc so I know how low code platforms typically work and again, the way Bubble does logic for backend workflows is insanely awful). And, with this whole “you’ve hit max capacity” and in reality, the app is basically idle and just under development / testing, I give the pricing model legacy and the new model where overages will result in unpredictable, variable pricing at 0 out of 5 stars.

Sucks b/c I literally spent an entire month learning this platform from the ground up. Now I have to start over, built it on AWS and give my friend something that will scale and literally will cost him under $10/mon to serve 100s of users with zero lag, zero latency.

Thanks for writing this up. Totally agree…

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I love me some conspiracy theories! Some interesting points there. I personally only experienced 2 spikes in page views in 2 different apps and I’ve come to work around editor annoyances.

Though both Emmanuel and Nic have come on record to apologize for the recent editor issues and weird capacity surges. They’ve admitted that there’s been a lot of backend work and testing on their end that’s been causing these issues.

Where and when you say? Dunno, sometime in the last few days. It’s not like I’m bookmarking these things.

So take that for what it’s worth to you all.

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As I’ve pointed out recently, Bubble seems to be effing around with WU “costs” (usury) in the background. :man_shrugging:

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The only solution is don’t play.

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I second the first few posts here.

I’m a newbie. Exactly the kind of person I was told that Bubble was ideal for a couple of years ago as I had no coding knowledge but a great App idea that I wanted to build it but couldn’t afford pro-developers so did it myself.
I’ve put a LOT of work into this. The learning curve has been almost vertical at times. I’m 99% of the way there. I’m self-funded so the $32 a month is a lot to me. And literally as I’m on the verge of getting it out there to test with a few people…“You’re app’s over capacity”. Even though it’s idle and not even live.
This has happened a couple of times, the first time being the 12th April. But then a message pops up a few days later telling me to ignore anything before 13th April as it’s probably wrong…What?! If only Bubble knew how much stress that caused me.
So I’ve had to start with zero knowledge about creating an app as a one-man band to knowing everything about it and now about billing structures, WUs, optimizations etc. It’s all useful stuff but it’s too much and, to top it all, it might not even be necessary - just be down to experimentation on Bubble’s side.
So, I think I’ll get my app out there on the $32/month thing as “proof of concept” and then, when/if it’s “proved”, try to raise funds for proper dev on a reliable platform that doesn’t shift shape underneath me. And this EXACTLY what I was led to believe at the outset that Bubble would avoid for me. It means I won’t be in control of developing my app any more but at least it’ll (hopefully) be on a platform with a reliable user contract and I’ll have to concentrate on marketing and advertising instead.
I’ve gone from being very happy (and grateful) to Bubble to resentful of it as a platform due entirely to these WU “you’re-app-isn’t-going-to-work-if-anyone-uses-it-but-it-might-just-be-us” messages.
So c’mon Bubble. Transparency please.
And, as for my own “conspiracy theory”, I note the correlation between changes in payment plans and this kind of user dissatisfaction and the large amount of financing that Bubble secured a while back…if it transpires that changes are being motivated by investors’ requirements to increase returns at the expense of the user community, then I will be leaving the platform.

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Unfortunately, for entrepreneurs like me who went way too deep with their application and got locked in into Bubble, that is not as easy/quick to do.

I am surely playing my part by preventing other newcomers to join this though.

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