Friday, February 26, 2021

Connecting Your Bubble App to Outside Services

If you want to send an email to multiple recipients, receive payments, send data to Google Sheets or access other outside services from your Bubble app, you're probably going to need to use a "plugin." Plugins (also referred to as add-ons, add-ins, etc.) are software components that add a specific feature to an existing computer program. They allow you to create workflows between your app and a variety of other applications.

If you've created a no-code app on Bubble and want to connect it to the outside world, what plugins are available? Here's a partial list (some are free, some require a one-time payment or a monthly fee):

  • Airtable - Allows you to create a fully functional web application using an existing Airtable base. This plugin lets you read from and write to a database in Airtable, and process that data in Bubble, using custom user interfaces and workflows.
  • Box - Save your app's data (such as images or files uploaded by users) in Box instead of in Bubble's database. You can also set privacy rules around the files you store in Box.
  • Braintree - Accept payments by credit card or through PayPal.
  • Card Validator - Check if credit card numbers are valid, and determine the card type. All checking happens locally, no APIs are used so the card info is not sent anywhere.
  • Camera Capture and Video Recorder - Capture still images and video from a webcam or mobile device camera.
  • Codeless Academy Native Apps - Allows you to integrate the functionality of native apps into your Bubble web app. Utilize features such as Face ID, Apple Pay, Push Notifications, and access to device Contacts.
  • Excel - The "Excel Connector" allows you to upload Microsoft Excel data in .xls format (rather than CSV format) and to download data on Bubble in .xls format.
  • Google Analytics - There are a number of GA plugins. For instance, the "Google Analytics V4 + Custom Events" plugin allows you to add the Google Analytics V4 Stream tag and trigger custom events from your workflow in Bubble.
  • MailChimp - There are currently 3 different MailChimp plugins for Bubble apps, all of which allow you to send emails through MailChimp.
  • Slack - Currently there are four Slack plugins on Bubble, each of which is slightly different from the others. For example, one version allows users to log in with Slack, access Slack data, and perform actions as a Slack user or bot.
  • Stripe - Bubble has close to 20 Stripe plugins to allow you to receive payments in your app.
  • Twilio - With the Twilio plugin you can send text messages, make calls and send faxes to other users.
There are dozens of additional plugins available on Bubble to expand the capabilities of your apps. Keep that in mind if you're thinking about building an app on Bubble and aren't sure that the platform's standard features will be sufficient to do what you want. Plugins can be an extremely valuable building block in creating your program and connecting it to other popular apps.

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