There's no way at all to use Azure SQL as the database for Bubble, correct?

We need all our data in SQL as we use Power BI for all reporting. Today I use the SQL plugin and have it set to sync any newly created records, deleted ones, or modified ones, but it’s so much extra work just to get the data into SQL so that I can use it in other systems like Power BI.

We have been using Bubble for 2 years now but unfortunately are looking at switching elsewhere as we really require SQL. Before we pull the plug though, I just wanted to confirm:

  1. It’s not possible to access the Bubble SQL server that hosts our database directly, correct?

  2. Other than using the SQL plugins and creating a million trigger workflows to update and create records in SQL, there’s no way at all to build an application on Bubble but use our own SQL server to host the data?

I guess I just feel like I’m missing something obvious here. Like what does everyone else do when they need to run reports on their data, or access it elsewhere or back it up and so on? You can’t even run a report from Bubble having it show related fields from other tables when exporting to CSV, as it just exports raw data. Or do most people just use Bubble to create really basic apps vs ones with hundreds of tables like a CRM?

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Uh, I’m biased, but custom plugins. While you cannot use Bubble’s standard “do a search for” on an external database, with custom plugins you can connect to anything external with a proper interface and also run any reporting flow in that external database or even in Bubble’s database with another flow instead of using Bubble’s standard “export to CSV”.

But if what you’re really wanting is “made by Bubble team features” then yeah, that’s it, not much to do.
They’ve created a way for us to integrate our own code exactly for this reason, they can’t output the tens of thousands of specific features we need.

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Well the problem is Bubble is all about no-code, so to tell someone they need to code a plugin just to put their data in SQL is kinda counter productive I guess. But as mentioned I already do this today but it’s just so much more work compared to say Power Apps or other platforms where I can just specify my own SQL server as the database.

I get that Bubble can’t account for everything all people need, but most programming languages or website builders let you use your own SQL server to store your data. I mean they don’t even have servers in Canada so we’re already non-compliant as is hosting our customer data in the US. That’s why I was trying to see if I can use Azure SQL as our legal team has given us a deadline to move the data out of the US.

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It doesn’t has to be you to touch code. Bubble is code behind the scenes, so you’re already using code.
Plugin is code behind the scenes, but for you it’s just a visual interface.
In another words, a plugin is as much code as Bubble is.

Bubble gives you a lot of freedom already, for myself I wish there was even more freedom, but the current serving is already great.
And with this I mean that this solution, Bubble, allows you to use your own SQL server, so if the current existing solutions just are not tailored to your specific use, you do can get one tailored for you.

In your case, Bubble would just be a powerful front-end tool, considering your main database would be elsewhere.
If you don’t want Bubble’s existing tool nor plugins, then indeed the best way is to pull the plug and move away.
But if any of these options are acceptable for your team, and anybody else who wants external databases, well, these are possible paths forward.