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VISUAL PROGRAMMING

Why we build on Bubble

There are many no-code tools to build with, and nearly all of them offer speed and ease of use. The key is finding the platform that has the power and flexibility to handle your concept as it scales and evolves. Airdev chooses Bubble as our primary tech stack for client projects because it is the clear industry leader in creating scalable and dynamic web applications. Bubble gives us complete control over design, functionality, and extensibility of each app we build, so we don't fear encountering features we can't deliver on. Trusted by thousands of companies and backed by the best partners, Bubble is our clear technology partner of choice.

200k

Active Bubble developers

500k

Applications built on Bubble

93%

Annual user base growth

BUBBLE HIGHLIGHTS

Complete control

Unlike no-code tools with specific use cases (like Webflow for marketing websites or Shopify for eCommerce), Bubble is a comprehensive "visual development" platform designed to mimic the flexibility of code. Builders define each workflow step, each search parameter, and each database field in their application. As a result, Bubble requires more training and expertise, but can produce virtually any modern app configuration.

Workflow tab in the Bubble editor showing a place order workflow and additional workflow steps
A Bubble editor view of the design tab, where a user is snapping a text element to an order confirmation block

Pixel-perfect design

Bubble supports fully responsive and pixel-perfect design, allowing builders to accomplish any UI/UX. Most of our clients use our Canvas design framework and preconfigured modules to accelerate the initial build, but Bubble allows our team to implement custom design tweaks or complete app reskins at any point with total precision.

Fully extensible

While Bubble offers a vast array of functions natively, a key consideration for any no-code tool is its ability to work well with third-party services and custom code to extend its capabilities. Bubble's plugin ecosystem and flexible API connector tool make it easy to add anything from Google Maps to Stripe payments to a custom AI algorithm built with code. This extensibility magnifies the power of Bubble to tackle any functionality.

A Bubble editor view of the plugins tab, showing various third-party integrations to the app including Stripe, Twilio, Slack, Airtable, SendGrid, and etc
A Bubble editor view of the logs tab showing a dashboard for monitoring application capacity and usage

Scalable and secure

A key value in the Platform-as-a-Service approach is the world-class and fully maintained infrastructure that powers your application. Bubble is built on AWS and is constantly monitoring and improving its platform behind the scenes. This means 99.9% uptime, the ability to scale virtual computing power with a click, and dozens of security measures. So your technology will keep up with your scale and protect you from threats.

faq

Common questions

Can I host my app on my own local servers?

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Everything we build is stored on industry-standard Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers in the cloud. However, for clients looking for greater control over server capacity at scale, the Bubble platform offers a dedicated infrastructure option. This allows you to manage your app within your own dedicated AWS cluster, which allows for greater flexibility and power.

How are you different from other outsourced development agencies or freelancers?

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The biggest issue with conventional development agencies is that they have to code complex applications from scratch, which results in long and unpredictable timelines. We take an entirely new approach to building custom software:

  • We use powerful building frameworks like Bubble to build fast and flexible applications
  • We use an internal library of modular building assets to avoid reinventing the wheel
  • We use proprietary tools to automate much of the process
  • Our people are well-rounded generalists, who can both build software and help you figure out what you should build

Each of these innovations contributes to an experience that feels entirely different from conventional builds. We offer fixed pricing & timelines, money-back guarantees, intelligent scoping support, all-inclusive infrastructure, and great products that fit your vision.

Who are some of your clients?

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We serve a wide variety of clients, from early-stage startup founders, to managers within large enterprises, to management consulting teams, to non-profit executives. Many of our clients have non-technical roles, and have either struggled with technical outsourcing before or had difficult experiences with internal IT resources.

Who owns the IP rights to my application?

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You own the rights to your concept, your application, and all user-generated data created through the app. Airdev retains the ownership of the IP for our predesigned page and element templates that we use across multiple projects. More details on this distinction can be found in the client contract you can review before approving a build.

What are your design capabilities?

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Our approach aims to take the guesswork and back-and-forth out of design, so our clients can offer beautiful user interfaces without reinventing best-practices. To this end, we offer two approaches:

  • The majority of our apps will leverage our standard design, which features a bright and modern look following standard UI conventions, customized to fit any brand or layout. This approach allows us to translate specifications into pages and flows in the most direct way, reducing cost and friction.
  • For clients that have existing wireframes or mockups, we can typically build to those exact specifications. We can also bring in external design help for projects that need a little extra polish.

How does the money-back guarantee work?

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We take pride in our work, and aim to put our money where our mouth is, in order to give our clients peace of mind. When we submit a deliverable as part of a project, our client can review the work and make sure it meets appropriate progress. If they determine the work is unsatisfactory beyond repair and wishes to end the engagement, they can request a 100% refund on the most recent milestone's payment. Once the client accepts a deliverable and moves to the next milestone, a refund is only available on that most recent payment.

Will I be able to put the app on my own domain or subdomain?

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Absolutely. Connecting your own domain name requires a paid monthly subscription to Bubble. You will also need to be the owner of the domain (you can purchase domains through GoDaddy, Google Domains, or a number of other hosts). If you already have a website and want to put your new app on your domain while keeping the existing content, we can put it on a subdomain (for example, app.yourdomain.com).

Can you improve an existing application, rather than starting from scratch?

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Because we build on the Bubble development framework, we cannot easily pick up an application built in a traditional coding language (Java, Python, PHP) and make changes to the code directly. There are some cases where we can build standalone components in Bubble that interface with an existing app, either through API or by tapping into the original app's database. If your existing application is built in Bubble, we can add new features or updates to the tool, though it typically requires some time to get up to speed.

What do I submit to get started? Do I need detailed wireframes/specs?

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We aim to make translating your vision into technical specifications as simple as possible. When you start a project, we guide you through a tailored onboarding process that helps you share the purpose for your application and what your critical features are. You can share any documents you already have at that point, but they are absolutely not necessary. At that point, you will be assigned an expert PM who will ask you some questions in order to fill in any remaining details and then create detailed wireframes and specifications based on your answers.

Do you sign an NDA?

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We have a standard NDA that you agree to when you start a new project. Protecting the privacy of your concept and any intellectual property around it are of critical importance to our business and reputation, and we never share or take advantage of proprietary concepts.

What do I get when you finish my app?

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When you confirm your app and move to launch, we provide you with:- A fresh copy of your live application, on your domain (if you have one)

  • Access to the app's core logic within your Bubble account (which we can create for you if you don't already have one)
  • A document providing tips for making minor updates to your app using Bubble
  • Continued access to the project portal, where you can request any follow-on work you might need

When do you invoice? Do you offer payment plans?

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We invoice for each development milestone up-front, and require payment to be submitted in full in order to start development. For example, a 3-week project will require one-third payment prior to starting development, the next third after a week, and the final third after two weeks. Each payment is subject to our money-back guarantee within the appropriate review window. We do not offer payment plans or equity compensation as they tend to complicate things.

What if I want to make changes to the app you send me?

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Because our apps are built on the Bubble visual framework, making changes is significantly simpler than with conventional development methods. You'll easily be able to make wording changes and after some practice you'll also be able to make more complex functionality changes. We provide all clients with a document outlining tips for making simple updates without breaking things.

How much will it cost to maintain my app?

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We do not charge any ongoing fees if we are not making new updates to your app. Your ongoing costs will include a monthly subscription plan on Bubble for hosting, which varies based on the complexity and scale of your app, as well as any third-party services (i.e., APIs) you are using as part of your app. For clients looking for ongoing support from our team to respond to user questions, bug fixes, and new features, we do offer monthly support plans. Otherwise we can price out new work a la carte.

What technology stack do you build on?

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We build on the latest visual programming framework, Bubble, which allows us to build incredibly quickly and flexibly with minimal technical input. This reduces the cost and headache to our clients, and increases app stability out of the gate. Bubble itself is written in CoffeeScript running on Node.js, uses Postgres databases hosted on AWS, and exposes POST or GET APIs for third-party connections. Apps created in Bubble cannot be simply exported into a traditional language (they must be edited using Bubble's interface), but an app's database can be easily exported or connected to external databases or APIs.

Who are your developers?

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This is one of our primary differentiators from traditional development shops. Our Product Managers and builders have a wide variety of backgrounds, from design to finance. We are not conventional coders, but generalists who can discuss your project in plain English and offer insights to help you build the right tool.

Are you able to build mobile apps?

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Yes. The way we build native mobile apps is that we start with a web app, and then "wrap" it in a native iOS/Android wrapper. That means that when a user downloads your native app, the app will access all content through a web connection instead of storing it on the user's phone. The advantage of this approach is that you don't have to build and maintain separate iOS and Android apps, and that you don't have to go through the App Store's approval process every time you want to make changes. This approach is not ideal for apps that will require offline capabilities or accessing a mobile device's gyroscope or Bluetooth components.

What technical limitations do you have? What can you not make?

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While we can make the vast majority of applications you would expect to find on the web and in the app store, there are a few types of tools that are tricky for us to build. First, we cannot add to or edit existing code bases for tools written in traditional code, since we use a modern visual framework. Second, we cannot make apps that need to be operational without an internet connection. Third, we build apps that are accessed from a browser or mobile device, but cannot create software for other electronic devices (unless they can be operated through an API. If you're not sure whether we can do what you need, we would be happy to help find out!

What sorts of third-party integrations can your apps support?

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Our applications can connect to any modern API in order to leverage the power of existing services. The most popular integrations we use are Stripe for payments, Google for maps & graphs, Facebook for logins, and Twilio for text messaging, but most services available through the web can be integrated. We can also connect to any Postgres or MySQL database and run queries to push and pull data. We are happy to help with any specific inquiries about connecting third-party services.

Are your apps secure?

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Yes. All app data is stored on industry-standard Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers, which companies like Netflix use to manage their sensitive data. Data is encrypted at rest, all changes are logged for auditing, and role-based privacy rules determine what data is visible to which users. Apps support SSL encryption (i.e., https:// rather than http://), which offers an additional layer of data security. For apps requiring the transfer of sensitive personal medical records, our apps cannot yet be HIPPA compliant. The Airdev team only accesses client app data as part of development or issue resolution, never to contact your users or exploit your proprietary data. We are happy to answer specific questions about security as you get started on your project.

Are your apps able to scale?

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Yes. We always design apps to optimize for scale, based on our understanding of the potential features and user behavior our client envisions. The Bubble technology is built to scale, with the ability to upgrade server capacity as needed (including migrating to a dedicated AWS cluster) to service a growing user base virtually without limit. Bubble provides simple dashboards and notifications to track app capacity usage to help you adjust as needed.