Unveiling the pitfalls and limitations of Bubble, a no-code development platform, Alexander Shumski, Head of Presales, an engineer and architect at Symfa, offers a comprehensive analysis and reveals the intricacies that make it a challenging choice for enterprise BI development. Shumski offers his opinion on the discussion and offers nuanced insights into superior alternatives that amplify BI software development, ensuring a seamless transition towards enhanced efficiency and functionality.
A few weeks ago, Symfa was presented with a dashboard development project requiring data visualisation and basic BI analytics. Using the Bubble no-code platform – the technology of customer’s choice – working prototype was swiftly delivered in three weeks, eliciting client satisfaction. However, Shumski, though acknowledging its advantages, anticipated greater potential from the technology, prompting an exploration of Bubble’s limitations and the need for alternative approaches.
BI development being the company’s core expertise, the engineering team was looking forward to giving the platform a go, in positive anticipation. Bubble presents itself as a comprehensive no-code platform, offering a visual UI and backend constructor, coupled with database and hosting services, seemingly providing an all-encompassing solution. Yet, Shumski pinpoints three primary drawbacks affecting BI development, flagging concerns within their domain of expertise.
One prominent aspect of Bubble’s limitations is the cost associated with its visually appealing components. While the platform offers a diverse component library facilitating swift development, the price tag for enhanced features raises a concern, potentially translating into exorbitant expenses for comprehensive corporate BI applications.
Moreover, Bubble’s constraints on data import and processing emerge as significant hurdles. With a restricted import mechanism through the Bubble API and a convoluted data processing sequence, scaling data operations becomes arduous. Shumski highlights the convoluted nature of Bubble’s data journey, underscoring its inadequacy for handling extensive data volumes and complex analytics in data-intensive industries, such as insurance, finance or banking.
Another red flag raised by Shumski is the vendor lock-in scenario with Bubble. Storing all components, including database backups, in a proprietary format locks users into the platform, limiting portability and ownership of assembled systems, posing a substantial obstacle in migrating out of the Bubble ecosystem.
While Bubble offers rapid prototyping capabilities, it’s crucial to assess its viability against alternative solutions.
For instance, seasoned developers argue that a skilled full stack engineer utilising Angular and NodeJS can match or even surpass Bubble’s speed and functionality.
Leveraging Angular and NodeJS presents the advantage of superior aesthetics, performance, and flexibility. Component-based development using frameworks and libraries like Angular and NodeJS stands as a viable alternative to low code platforms.
Throughout Shumski’s case study, this viewpoint emerged from a client’s decision to switch from Bubble to Angular and NodeJS after initial demos. This shift showcased the stark contrast between Bubble’s functionality and that of a more mature library and framework. The comparison illustrated the advantages of utilising established tools for dashboard development, echoing the sentiments shared by developers sceptical of low code platforms.
Ultimately, while Bubble serves as a quick testing ground for ideas and stakeholder demos, its limitations in data handling, processing capabilities, and overall application aesthetics become apparent in larger-scale projects, when the platform has to deal with real-life enterprise needs. Subscription fees further chip away at its attractiveness, challenging the total cost of ownership (TCO) equation.
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