Capabilities & Limitations of No-Code & Bubble

There is a misconception that no-code is a lot less powerful than it actually is. Let’s dive into the specifics of what’s possible and not possible with our favorite no-code tool, Bubble.

UI/UX

What’s possible

  • Pixel-perfect UI without any code
  • Fully mobile-responsive screens using Flexbox
  • Different layouts for different screen sizes
  • Applying styles to individual elements
  • Multi-language apps
  • Accessibility settings

What’s not possible

  • Native mobile interactions such as swiping
A blue right arrow icon

SAMPLE USE CASE

Chicago healthy food chain

When the pandemic hit, Chicago-based RealGood Stuff wanted to create a custom website to handle pickup and delivery orders. The site needed to match the company’s quirky brand, so we built a Bubble app with a fully custom design, featuring:

  • Pixel-perfect match to the company’s Figma designs
  • Full mobile responsiveness
  • Hi-res imagery and animations on hover

Database

What’s possible

  • Fully custom data structures
  • One-to-one and one-to-many linkages
  • No limits on the number of tables and fields
  • 10 different field types
  • Many ways to CRUD data: app front end, app editor, API
  • CSV exports
  • Integrating external databases (MySQL, Postgres)

What’s not possible

  • Direct SQL access (unless on dedicated server)
  • On-premise architecture
A blue right arrow icon

SAMPLE USE CASE

High growth solar financing company

Dividend Finance raised $300m to scale their solar financing business, which they ran on Bubble combined with Salesforce and a custom database architecture. We managed their Bubble application, which included:

  • A custom CRM solution used by all of their solar installer partners to manage lead pipelines (i.e., complex relational data structure)
  • 2-way data synchronization with Salesforce and their internal database via API connections
  • Performant analytics dashboards for customers to visualize their solar and loan metrics based on app data

Logic

What’s possible

  • Custom events and step-by-step actions
  • Branching, loops
  • Data transformations
  • Modular architecture
  • Scheduled actions
  • Custom algorithms/calculators

What’s not possible

  • Native AI/ML algorithms (can be plugged in with API)
A blue right arrow icon

SAMPLE USE CASE

Children’s consignment e-commerce shop

A popular online retailer with a platform built on Shopify wanted to update customers on new items that might fit their preferences. We built a weekly digest service that customers could opt into, which featured the following logic:

  • Users could select gender/style/item/size preferences
  • Each week, the app cycles through each subscriber, calculating their matches and issuing an email with images/links
  • For each subscriber, the algorithm calculates a personalized match score for each new clothing item added that week, and identifies the top 5 items to share

External integrations

What’s possible

  • Integrating with any external REST/SOAP/GraphQL API
  • Exposing a REST API that external applications can integrate with
  • Receiving and processing webhooks
  • Building microservices
  • Handling complex authentication protocols
  • Connecting to MySQL/Postgres db

What’s not possible

  • On-premise integration
  • Building your own GraphQL API
  • Building a super high-volume API (e.g. 1k+calls per second
A blue right arrow icon

SAMPLE USE CASE

Funded B2B fintech startup

Kleercard was looking to develop a product to help businesses automate and manage spending (e.g., issuing & monitoring virtual credit cards to employees). We built their product on top of the Marqeta enterprise payments API, including:

  • Syncing all app data with Marqeta (companies, admins, users, and corporate credit cards) via API sequences
  • Displaying of sensitive credit card details using secure SDK embed
  • Ingesting all transaction data (thousands of daily transactions) via webhooks

Security

What’s possible

  • HTTPS access
  • Privacy rules that control what data is able to be sent from server to client depending on various conditions
  • Passwords salted and hashed
  • SSO authentication
  • Page redirect rules, iframe restrictions
  • Detailed logs

What’s not possible

  • Having certain sensitive actions not create log records (can be achieved using iframes)
A blue right arrow icon

SAMPLE USE CASE

Large global tech OEM

A large tech brand was looking to launch a marketing campaign to provide cash-back rewards for select B2B customers. We built a platform to host and manage the campaign, passing a strict enterprise data security audit with features like:

  • Account password encryption and robust data privacy rules
  • 256-bit encryption and auto-purging of bank info
  • Secure wire transfers via banking API

Scalability

What’s possible

  • Controlling the amount of processing capacity available to the app
  • Multiple development environments
  • Bulk data operations
  • Detailed app usage logs

What’s not possible

  • Running massively scalable applications (e.g. 1m DAUs)
A blue right arrow icon

SAMPLE USE CASE

High-growth music startup

We built an MVP product for a social music startup. After they raised a large funding round from Andreessen Horowitz, they jumped to 50k daily active users and were scaling quickly. The team leveraged Bubble’s scaling capabilities to maintain peak application performance, including:

  • Upgrading to Bubble’s dedicated AWS infrastructure
  • Using capacity analytics to identify high-consumption areas and optimize the logic for performance
  • Leveraging Bubble’s 99.95% uptime for peace of mind

Integrating code

What’s possible

  • Integrating HTML/CSS components
  • Integrating JS SDKs
  • Writing server side code in Node.JS
  • Building plugins that interact with native Bubble elements

What’s not possible

  • Extracting the native Bubble logic as code
  • Integrating non-JS code (other than through APIs)
A blue right arrow icon

SAMPLE USE CASE

Global tech marketing agency

Client wanted to help tech customers coordinate mass email marketing campaigns across their network of reseller partners. We built the logic in Bubble with the help of a custom-coded AWS function:

  • The application sends out tens of thousands of custom emails (using a looped function with Sendgrid)
  • Email analytics (e.g., views, opens, clicks) funnel into the custom-coded AWS function, which puts them into a queue and sends updates to the Bubble app for processing
  • The Bubble app displays data visualizations of the analytics using a custom Bubble plugin coded using a popular JS library

SEO

What’s possible

  • 301 redirects
  • Title and header tags
  • Schema markup
  • robots.txt file
  • XML sitemap

What’s not possible

  • Multi-level nested URL structures
  • Hosting non-Bubble content on same top-level domain as Bubble content
A blue right arrow icon

SAMPLE USE CASE

Kids activity marketplace

After taking his previous company public, an entrepreneur was looking to create a marketplace for booking kids activities. One key requirement was having activity profile pages that could be easily found through search engines. We set up pages with:

  • Page level title and header tags
  • Page schema markup
  • Dynamic sitemap