No code is gaining ground and gradually replacing traditional programming. Tools such as Budibase have been designed to simplify and accelerate the creation of internal tools for companies. A low-code platform, it features a set of integrated tools, including a database, a graphical design interface, and an automation section. This gives users greater flexibility and total customization.
In this guide, which serves as an introductory tutorial to Budibase, we'll take you through its advantages, disadvantages, and possibilities. You'll also learn about its essential components, and how to get started by creating an internal web application.
What is Budibase?
Budibase is an open-source platform for developing internal web apps, characterized by its low-code approach. Its main mission is to help companies create internal tools quickly and efficiently, dramatically reducing the time needed to develop internal web applications.
With Budibase, you can create solutions such as dashboards, forms, management tools, customer portals, and much more.
What makes Budibase an all-in-one design tool is that it includes an integrated external database that connects to external data sources, a graphical design interface, and an automation section. What's more, you can modify your application's source code at will for greater customization.
Advantages and disadvantages
Budibase is a powerful tool with several advantages, but also a few drawbacks.
- Budibase connects to a wide range of data,
- Budibase's low-code approach makes it easy to create applications, giving developers and non-developers alike greater flexibility,
- You don't need to invest a lot to build a high-performance application,
- The learning curve is steep.
- Complex customization due to the need for coding skills,
- Budibase basic
Budibase has an operating process that sets it apart from other no-code tools. Here are just a few of the basic features you'll find on Budibase.
Budibase's interface has divided into three main sections, each playing a distinct role in the application development process. This promotes an organized, user-friendly approach to building in-house web applications. The data management section lets you add data and organize it while specifying the category to which it belongs in a table.
Budibase's "design" section lets you create, arrange, and customize the elements of your application. This helps you build a better user experience by giving your application a user-friendly, attractive interface.
Once you've completed the application development process on Budibase, there's an option to help you publish your solution. To facilitate this deployment, Budibase lets you connect your application to a hosting service like Amazon AWS.
Before going any further, we'll firstly explain what a workflow builder is. The Workflow creation is a set of actions designed to automate a workflow by following a pre-established logic. The main elements of a workflow are the triggers that follow the actions.
Budibase workflow automation lets you create rules and actions in response to specific conditions or events. This integration of automated processes follows a backend logic (the part not visible to users) to your application. You can automate processes such as adding or downloading a file, sending an alert message or e-mail, and a host of other customized actions.
Automations run in the background on the Budibase hosting platform and function autonomously as soon as they are triggered. However, they only take effect in published applications, although it is possible to test them before publication.
Budibase can store a wide range of data thanks to its external tool integration system. It has a built-in data source, Budibase DB, as well as other external data sources such as Integromat, Zapier, Airtable, MySQL, and PostgreSQL.
Well before you start designing your application on Budibase or any other no-code tool, you need to establish the structure of your data, including tables, columns, etc. A well-structured database makes it easier for you to manage your data. A well-structured database makes it easier to connect to the elements that will be added to your interface.
In addition to external data sources, Budibase connects to APIs (Rest API connector and Web API connector). To connect data sources and APIs to Budibase, simply access the interface and select the “Add source” option in the "Data" tab. From there, simply select the data sources you wish to use and configure them by providing the required connection information.
When it comes to using APIs on Budibase, all you have to do to interact with them is write custom queries. These will be configured in the "Queries" tab of the corresponding data source. This whole process is an asset that extends the design and customization possibilities of your application.
Collaboration on Budibase is smooth and promotes team member productivity. You can assign roles to each user as you add them. Accesses are updated in real-time, and you receive a notification when the initial user quits or closes their tab, with changes immediately transferred to the other user.
In the Budibase interface, all app users are visible in the top right-hand corner of the screen, with icons of various colors. So, when a user performs tasks on the project, you can easily distinguish what he or she has had to do.
Who uses Budibase?
Budibase offers greater flexibility as a complete platform, and its low-code approach makes it suitable for all types of profiles. Its open-source and low-code nature is advantageous for developers looking to save time and reduce development complexity.
For example, a manager looking for a solution to facilitate his work process might consider creating a management tool. It will enable him to better plan, track, and manage certain tasks without interruption. Suppose you're in charge of managing product distribution.
The application's functionality could be to evaluate inventory, revenues, and costs for each order. In addition, it can enable you to analyze in greater depth how products are distributed. In this way, you can identify new channels offering a better market share.
How it works
If you're new to Budibase, here's a basic tutorial to get you started.
Step 1: Create an account
To begin your adventure on Budibase, you must first create an account on the site. During the registration process, you'll be asked to provide information such as a username, e-mail address, and password. Then follow the verification and confirmation steps to validate the creation of your account.
Step 2: Adding data
Once you've logged into your Budibase account, access the interface to begin the first step in creating your application. For a start, it's best to use the default data provided by Budibase. However, it is entirely possible to customize each data column by specifying its type, text, number, date, etc.
Step 3: Interface design
Go to the "Design" section at the top of the page, where you can design and style your application. This section is divided into four main areas: Screens, Components, Theme, and Navigation. To create CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) screens for your tables, click on "Add Screen" and choose "List view".
Step 4: Autogenerated screens
Once you've generated screens, you can customize them by adding components. For example, you can add tables to display data. To quickly access the components panel, click on the table block or other element you wish to customize.
Step 5: Preview and Publish
As you develop your application, you can preview the result by clicking on "Preview". This allows you to check how your application works during development, and to test every action.
If you're happy with the way your development looks, click on "Publish" to publish your application. Budibase will generate a public link for your application, which you can share with others.
Step 6: Automation
If required, you can add automation to manage specific tasks in the background. For example, you can set up automation to send e-mails automatically or integrate your application with external services.
Step 7: Settings
In the "Settings" section, you can manage various aspects of your application. These include automation history, backup management, integration with other services, application version management, and many other configuration options. But be careful not to click on the Delete app option, as this will permanently delete your application.
Despite its simple approach, Budibase is quite a vast tool. So take the time you need to explore and understand the advanced features to customize your application and build your app from scratch. You can work on elements such as forms, links between tables, actions triggered by specific events, and conditions, and even create custom plugins to extend your application's functionality.
Budibase pricing plans
Here's an overview of what Budibase has to offer
Comparing Budibase with other No-Code and low-code development tools
Budibase is a great performer, but what about other Alternative solutions? We've got you covered with Budibase vs Appsmith and Budibase vs Bubble.
Appsmith vs Budibase
Budibase takes a modular approach with strong data and screen customization. It allows users to customize their data in a table-based interface and create dynamic screens for the user interface. Its modular approach, with extensive customization options and varied integrations, makes Budibase a tool that offers a wider range of options than AppSmith.
Bubble vs Budibase
Compared with Bubble, Budibase offers a more intuitive interface, with fewer sections than Bubble. This simplifies the development process, which is ideal for beginners. Real-time collaboration is just as powerful, enhancing team-based project management.
Budibase's limitations and challenges
Using Budibase has its share of advantages, including rapid development, and a low-code approach that's user-friendly for developers and non-developers alike. Budget-wise, it's more accessible for anyone wishing to develop their application at a lower cost. What's more, its learning curve is not steep compared to platforms like Bubble.
However, for best results, you need to switch to an advanced customization mode. This can prove complex, as it requires coding skills to exploit the platform's full potential. And if we refer to its free option, it forces users to upgrade to premium, as it is very limited in functionality.
Here's a list of expressions and terminology you'll often come across when using Budibase:
CRUD application: CRUD stands for Create, Read, Update, and Delete. It refers to the basic operations you can perform on data in a system, such as creating new records and reading/displaying existing records.
Sample data: this is a set of pre-filled data that you can use to test and create your applications.
Data Types: this section supports different data types, including number, date/time, etc., to represent different types of information.
Screens: Screens are the pages or visual views of your application. In the Design section, you can create and customize screens for your application.
Autogenerated Screens: These are CRUD screens generated automatically for each of your data tables. They offer a fast way to interact with data.
Design Section: This is where you create the front end of your application.
Components: Components are the building blocks of your application's interface. You can add various components to your screens to display and interact with data.
Automation: These are the automation used to create powerful workflow options.
Embed: This option enables you to obtain iframe code (HTML tags) for embedding your application on other websites.
Blocks: these are sets of predefined components designed to simplify and accelerate the application creation process.
Components are the elements used to build your user interface. There are several categories on Budibase for the layout and display of data for your user to interact with.
Barcode/QR field: Allows users to scan barcodes and QR codes using their device's camera. It's a shortcut for quickly entering data into forms.
Container: A "Container" in Budibase is a design element that allows you to structure and layout the components of your application in an organized way. One of its benefits is to make your application more responsive so that it adapts to all screen sizes (responsive). It can be formatted on a horizontal or vertical alignment, taking size into account.
Date range: Its role is to filter data over a specific period. To make it operational, simply connect it to a data provider and select the date/time column to be filtered. Then it starts working to provide you with the filtered data.
Table: It's great for displaying and interacting with data. It can be used to display data to users in a powerful and customizable way, and offers numerous customization options for columns,
Conditional UI: allows you to change the appearance and behavior of components according to specific conditions. You'll often use it to define conditions for displaying or hiding components, disabling buttons, or modifying text.
Budibase is a no-code platform that aims to transform the way companies create in-house tools, dramatically reducing development times. Its low-code approach and open-source nature enable companies to gain autonomy in the creation of in-house applications. It offers an intuitive interface, advanced functionality, and flexible pricing to meet the needs of a wide range of businesses.
With it, you can design dashboards, forms, management tools, customer portals, and other solutions. Budibase features an integrated database, a user-friendly design interface, and an automation section that rivals tools like Bubble and Appsmith. This enables advanced customization while offering connectivity to various external data sources.
How can Noxcod help you?
With over five years of experience in the development of high-performance applications and websites, we have a wealth of expertise. Using no-code tools such as Budibase, we're able to create advanced, customized solutions quickly. Got an idea? We have the resources to turn it into reality. We're with you every step of the way, from concept to completion.