No-code development platforms are becoming increasingly popular as more companies look to reduce time to market as well as eliminate developer dependency and other rigors of app development. These platforms provide point-and-click tools that allow developers and non-developers to quickly design and launch applications, websites, marketplaces, web products, or tools.
Whether you're an enterprise-sized business looking to quickly design and launch workflow applications at a large scale or you're a startup with limited in-house engineering resources, no-code tools present a fast and often cheaper way of achieving your app development goals.
Bubble is perhaps the most popular and powerful no-code platform around today. The platform was founded by Emmanuel Straschnov and Josh Haas in New York in 2012. Its wide array of features and plugins allows users to build 100% customizable workflows and web applications ranging from simple test applications to complex Saas products or marketplaces.
Currently, the platform boasts more than 1 million users and has processed more than $1 billion in business revenue on its users' applications. Earlier this year, Bubble was named one of Fast Company's most innovative companies of 2021.
Benefits of Bubble for Building Web Apps
According to Emmanuel Straschnov, Bubble's co-founder and CEO, "Bubble is still the only comprehensive tool that lets you build the next Airbnb or Twitter without relying on engineers." The platform is now the go-to option for startups and industry giants who need a web platform that empowers them to efficiently deploy apps without writing a line of code.
Although you won't have access to the source code, Bubble's websites and web apps boast more advanced functionality than what template-oriented website builders such as Squarespace and Wix offer. The mobile apps can only be launched on the Android or iOS stores even though they're non-native apps.
Here are some of the benefits of using Bubble for your next project:
Build Apps Faster
Speed is perhaps the most important benefit of Bubble as well as other no-code web application builders. By eliminating the programming stage, these platforms empower companies to improve their productivity and meet their deadlines faster. Even if you still have to code, Bubble significantly reduces the amount of code software engineers have to write, and the time they'll spend writing it.
Great for Small Teams with Limited Engineering Resources
Bubble is an excellent option for startups that have limited resources for building apps from scratch. The platform allows you to focus on the most important aspect of your project while helping you take care of redundancies. It's also great for testing out a business model as you can develop market-ready apps without committing excess human or financial resources.
Extensive Plugin and Template Libraries
Bubble boasts a diverse array of custom tools and plugins that make your development process seamless. Even with the free version, you get to work with Google and Braintree plugins. The paid version promises even more exciting features and integrations, but it's always advisable to start with the free version so you can have a better idea of what you need.
Great for Idea Visualization
Bubble allows you to visualize new ideas or concepts for existing products without dedicating too much time or resources. You'll easily see how viable the idea or new feature is and then decide whether to go all-in or not.
1 con: no unit testing
Since there are no DevOps or code in place, it's not possible to do unit testing. As you probably know, unit testing helps you validate every piece in your application and ensures there's no hidden bug anywhere. It also makes testing easier as you add more functionalities since you'll only have to retest the units you may have altered. Unfortunately, this testing method is not possible with Bubble. The only option is to execute UI testing, but there is no way to trigger them at this time.
Why You Need Automated Web Testing for Bubble Apps
Testing is an essential step that must precede website or app deployment. Through testing, you can detect and fix a wide array of glitches that may come up with your website or app and ensure your users have a smooth experience. Unfortunately, the majority of testing platforms and frameworks are designed with programmers in mind. As a result, testers have to spend a great deal of time writing code to deploy the necessary testing protocols.
Since Bubble is a no-code platform, it's only fitting that there's an accompanying no-code tool for testing websites and apps built with Bubble. Aside from making the testing process easier and faster, an automated web testing platform like Preflight also helps overcome Bubble's lack of unit testing protocols. Thus, you can deploy your apps and websites faster and with utmost confidence.
Below are some of the advantages of using Preflight for testing your Bubble apps.
Find Bugs Before Your Users Find Them
With automated testing, you can rest assured you're deploying market-ready web or mobile apps. You would have tested the app's functionalities, performance, responsiveness, cross-browser compatibility, and other essential test points. This gives you the utmost assurance that your users will be getting a hitch-free experience when you launch.
Automate The Manual QA Process and Save Engineering Time
There's no denying that the manual QA process is time-consuming and resource-intensive. No matter your business volume, an automated web testing platform like Preflight saves you time and money when testing your websites and applications.
You'll particularly find automated QA useful if you operate in a continuous integration and delivery ecosystem where you have to develop and test apps or app features multiple times per day. Automated QA also makes it much easier to spot problems and fix them since it takes less time than manually setting up tests.
Run All The Tests That Cover All Bubble Workflows
When building apps with Bubble, bugs can arise from either your own deployment or from Bubble itself. A comprehensive automated web testing tool like Preflight allows you to run all the tests covering all Bubble workflows and ensures you do not miss a bug from any source. Importantly, the tool does not stop at detecting the presence of a bug. It tells you exactly where the bug is from, so it'd be easier to make changes.
How to Test Bubble Apps with No-Code Web Testing
Preflight is designed to help technical and non-technical users set up and deploy test protocols without breaking a sweat. Here's a guide to running testing Bubble apps with no-code web testing using Preflight:
Install the PreFlight Chrome Extension
The first step is to install Preflight's Chrome Extension and grant the necessary permissions. Afterward, you can start creating the tests on your Bubble apps.
Record Your Tests While Your Bubble App is Open
Recording with Preflight is as straightforward as it gets. Simply start recording while your Bubble app is open, and let us figure out what you're trying to do.
Preflight allows you to deploy variables to automate email testing in no time at all. The platform also makes randomizing inputs a breeze, allowing you to test faster and more accurately.
Videos, HTML Snapshots, Console Logs, and Network Calls
These help you understand exactly what happened during testing or where a bug was detected. Consequently, you can take the necessary action without going through the stress of investigating.
Automatically Fix Tests
Preflight has a top-of-the-line context-awareness feature that makes it the best solution for testing Bubble apps. Since Bubble has no selectors, context awareness comes into play because it understands how users navigate through a page or an action. Our AI navigates your app or website as a user, detects existing problems, fixes them, and shows you exactly how the problems were fixed.
Manage and Run Tests in PreFlight
Preflight allows you to run multiple tests simultaneously, either on the same app or on different environments across your development infrastructure. You can also schedule your test to suit your needs and preferences, and the platform will take care of the rest. The user-friendly Preflight dashboard will display the status and result of your tests while also allowing you to edit tests with ease.
Bubble is an excellent option for established businesses and startups that need a speedy and stress-free platform for building and deploying websites and applications. The platform boasts an array of advanced features and an extensive plugin library that facilitate the development process.
However, testing Bubble apps presents a challenge that many entrepreneurs and development teams cannot successfully navigate.