Welcome to the Tadabase Midyear Update Newsletter. We’ve accomplished incredible goals over the past several weeks and are excited to share them with you.

Company Updates

Headquarters Relocation

Hello, Miami! After months of strategic planning, Tadabase, Inc. has officially moved its headquarters to Miami, Florida. The move comes after 2+ years of remote work since the beginning of Covid-19, and we are excited to officially reenter the on-site work world in Miami, a burgeoning tech hotspot.

While we have several employees still remaining in our original home of Los Angeles, the bulk of our team will work in-person from our new Miami offices. We’ve already hired several Floridians to join our Tadabase team and it’s been a pleasure working in-person once again.

Remote work has many benefits, but we didn’t realize how much we missed the synergy and camaraderie of in-person work until we were back at it. We’re excited for the bursts of inspiration and innovation we’ve been bouncing off each other since we moved into our beautiful new office space, and we hope to accomplish great things here in Miami.


Pricing Update

With the recent release of our Freemium model, we’ve made Tadabase more accessible and enabled more businesses than ever to gain a competitive edge with custom Tadabase applications, no matter their financial standing. We believe that every business deserves the opportunity to compete with a kickass business application, and the release of our freemium model brings us one giant step closer towards achieving our goal of making applications accessible to all.

The freemium plan includes basic app options that are suited for smaller businesses that may be starting out or just simply don’t require more advanced features. Our freemium plan also enables businesses of all sizes to experience Tadabase commitment-free until they’re ready for advanced app requirements.

We carefully designed the infrastructure of our freemium model to ensure that apps using this model will never interfere with paid plan resources or support.


Updated Builder

We’ve added an entire new team within Tadabase dedicated solely to developing an updated version of our builder that will be optimized with even greater speed and performance.

Some of the optimizations we’re prioritizing in our updated building include:

  • Speed - optimizing performance for massive apps to load just as quickly as smaller apps
  • Localization - expanding language accessibility
  • Scalability - optimizing scale so apps can grow limitlessly
  • Real-time feedback - enabling viewing updates without having to preview pages
  • Frameworks - switching to React framework with some serverless components
  • Mobile Friendly - optimizing performance on smaller screens
  • More Builder API - doubling down on our expanding builder API
  • Inline editing - optimizing cleaner ability for inline editing
  • Better collaboration - optimizing collaboration abilities in real-time. For instance, you’ll be able to leave notes and assign development tasks to team members in real-time.

Needless to say, we’ll keep fixing and updating our current builder with the same prioritization until the updated builder is polished with feature parity and ready for seamless migration. The timeline for the beta version of the updated builder is early 2023.

Onboarding

When I speak to customers, I always ask how long their onboarding experience was, meaning how long it took them to get started successfully building on the Tadabase platform.

What confounds me to this day is how varied the responses are. Some users tell me they got started in 10 minutes, others complain that they’re still not fully onboarded and fear they never will be.

What turned out to be one of my most hairiest goals as CEO is figuring out how to make the onboarding experience short and sweet for ALL customers- I’m talking even your grandmother. This is a never ending challenge for me and the team, and while we’ve made great strides in our onboarding experience, we’re still far from onboarding-perfect.

One interesting metric we’ve found is that new users who stick around on the platform for more than 13 minutes are 18x more likely to follow through with a successful application. Clearly, we need to get to the “aha moment” sooner.

The following include some examples of what we’re doing to achieve onboarding excellence.


Quicker App Creation

We’re in the process of optimizing the app creation process to make the getting-started experience quicker than ever.

We’ve eliminated unnecessary onboarding prompts to reduce clicks, and when creating a new app, you would now be prompted to answer 3 basic questions that streamline the creation of tables and kickstarts the following process:

  1. Data tables are added based on the chosen features
  2. Roles are created
  3. New users are added and assigned to roles
  4. Each role gets a unique layout with proper security permissions
  5. Login page has redirect rules and lists the users with temp credentials

We’re continuously working on speeding up app creation by hyper-focusing prompts and simultaneously reducing clicks. As always, we’re eager for your feedback on your onboarding experiences and your input on how we could have made it smoother and quicker for you to have gotten started.

Academy

We’re currently building out our robust training academy, which we began from the ground up with the customer experience in mind. The academy will include a full A-Z training for new and existing customers to learn everything they need to know about Tadabase, covering everything from beginners to advanced topics. Our goal is to provide a complete training academy on all things Tadabase, specifically providing best practices for properly building and scaling your apps.

We’ve already added hours of incredible, informative content and I highly recommend checking it out. Newer users will obviously benefit, but I’m confident that even longtime users can find subtle details within each video that will teach you something new about the platform.

At the risk of repeating myself a million times over, I can’t stress enough how critical your feedback is for our growth, and I would love to hear any insights you may have on our academy as new videos continue to be released.

Updated Docs

We’re giving our doc portal a much needed facelift to make it more enjoyable and intuitive for users to navigate and find the resources they need. In addition to a design makeover, we’re also working hard to organize and resurface important data within our doc portal that may have gotten bogged down within the portal over time that could be highly beneficial to our users.

Changes to our doc portal will include:

  1. New design with the ability to view latest updates
  2. Ability to give feedback on each article
  3. Better searching
  4. Restructuring of several key categories including pipes

Additionally, we’ve also started gathering the many snippets of code from across our ecosystem and streamlining them all within a single centralized category called Snippets. Check out our growing Snippets Library for cool code finds across Tadabase and affiliated systems.

Support Portal

Over the years we’ve been using Freshchat/Freshdesk for our communications with our customers. While we’ve loved working with this service and have enjoyed its many benefits, we’ve always wished for a better way to interact with our users with more tailored messaging and prompts. For this reason, we have recently switched over to Intercom for our support and messaging needs. You’ll see a new chat widget in the builder for chatting with us and hopefully a more enhanced and interactive communication system.

Build it with Tim

When our beloved Tim first began recording Build It With Tim sessions, neither he nor we had any idea how popular his videos would become. Several dozens of Build It With Tims later, and we’re still being asked on the daily if Tim can make a video on this or that topic.

Check out this growing series for guided tutorials by Tim on how to achieve cool and complex solutions on Tadabase and how to implement those within your own apps.


Design

Having always been a product-first company, we (I take full blame here) have a bad habit of tending to neglect our builder interface, always prioritizing our platform’s engine over its looks.

As we’ve grown over the years and perfected our product, we’ve made strategic design enhancements to our builder and frontend interface, but this is definitely still a work in progress and likely will always be.

While nearly any app design is possible with the ability to customize designs using CSS, we’ve also recently optimized the default app design, giving your apps a fresh new look at default. We’re also working on major changes to the builder interface, including strategic changes to its design to enhance the user builder experience, which will be released with our updated builder in early 2023.

Themes

We’ve added several new themes to the builder. Fun fact: the themes were originally named after all Tim's favorite songs by Phish, but after some user confusion, were inevitably renamed to more appropriately-themed labels that reflect each theme’s look and feel.

We’ve added the ability to switch between vertical and horizontal menus with the click of a button, giving your app that modern vibe without having to add any hacky code. Additionally, when utilizing a user menu, you can simply add the profile image of the logged-in user to the image field, quickly and easily enhancing your menus.

Button Groupings

When working with table components that contain many buttons, the tables can inevitably begin to look cramped and disorganized. Now, you can choose to group all buttons into a single dropdown for a cleaner look.

We have many new design updates coming soon and will keep you updated as the team delivers the latest updates.

Scalability

For a company like Tadabase with a global user-base deploying thousands of applications that grow exponentially by the minute, scalability is undoubtedly a top priority. Some of our largest users are running their entire operations on Tadabase apps that have surpassed 50 million records and are accessed by several thousands of users daily. To support these apps, and all our customers’ apps big and small, we have to continuously innovate new ways to ensure that our customers can always scale their apps past all limits. The following are several ways in which we are improving the scalability of your apps.

New data centers

We’re currently in the process of adding 3 new data centers by the end of 2022. We already have an infrastructure built in the EU and are working on completing our data centers within Asia and Australia in the near future.

Better scaling

We’ve implemented new methods to more easily scale elastically and horizontally as users’ apps grow. Users on non-dedicated databases will experience more consistent performance regardless of how others are using the platform.

Better caching

For larger apps, you can now enable the caching and CDN options which can dramatically reduce the load time on each page load. Essentially, we take all non-secure information relating to the pages and store it on a CDN.

This is being rolled out slowly, and at this moment is utilized by approximately 40,000 apps, with the goal of implementation for all users’ apps in the coming weeks. If you’d like this feature to be implemented in your app sooner than later, just reach out and let us know. We’re updating a few hundred a week and it’s likely your app is already using the CDN.

Faster exports

Our speed has always been a banner of pride for us given that our platform is insanely fast and has only gotten faster even as we continue to add more and larger data sets. We’re only getting faster as time goes on, despite new and larger applications being added to our platform daily as we grow.

One recent  example I can share of how we’re always growing in speed is that exporting records from our platform was averaging roughly 50 records per second. This was a pretty decent average given the amount of records, fields, and connections being exported within 1 single second, but we knew we could do better.

Especially when it came to our larger, more complex apps- a 100,000 record export was averaging 32 minutes and a 1 million record export was averaging 6 hours. Our customers never complained about these times because they understand the complexity of exporting that many records, but again, we knew we could do better.

I’m psyched to let you know that we’ve now gotten exports down to 1,000 records a second! For those of you who aren’t familiar with exporting and don’t know- let me tell you- that’s fire. I’ve recently seen a 2 million record export complete in under 30 minutes. Fiiire.

Want to test this out for yourself? Let us know and we’ll enable the new “rapid export” option in your app.

Updates to API

APIs are at the core of nearly every application, and given that they’re often used systematically rather than based on user interaction, they can require extra care. We’re working on a V2 of our API which will incorporate all learnings of the past. Some features already rolled into V1 of the API is the ability to add files by simply passing a URL of the file. Included in V1 is also the ability to choose which fields will be returned in a query by passing the field slugs in a GET request. This drastically increases the speed and takes a huge load off our servers. I highly advise using this simple tweak to help your API dependent use cases run smoother.

You can read more about these changes in our API docs.

Control

One of the most common requests I get from customers is the ask for more control and flexibility over their apps. The consensus is that more control is critical in making them feel comfortable with making big changes to their apps and managing their apps overall. The following are some items we’ve been addressing in this regard.

Better log access

Inside the settings of your app you can now see a centralized activity log of everything that’s been happening in your app, surfacing all builder and page activity at your fingertips. If a page was accidentally deleted, you’ll be able to easily restore it to get back up and running.

Record Debugging

Have a form that’s running slow? No worries! Enable the debug mode and view a clear log of what went down at each stage so you can find the bottleneck. Often we find an external pipe API call is taking longer than expected or a specific equation is causing the issue. Now you’ll be able to see all that in your own logs.

Backups and Restores

A while back, we released the ability to backup and restore on your own. After much tweaking and fine-tuning we’re finally ready to re-release this.  Feel confident knowing that you can easily trigger a new backup, see past backups, and even restore an app in just a click. This will be a rolling release and not available on all plans.

More Javascript Controls

We are doubling down on how we work with Javascript so that developers can expand beyond the typical use case. For instance, you might often need access to trigger a pipe from javascript, which will now be possible.  

FYI: I’ve seen users familiar with some other platforms use JavaScript to save API credentials. This is highly discouraged as it renders your application vulnerable to being hacked.

Thanks for reading our mid-year update. Going forward, we will be releasing steady weekly updates, so stay tuned.

Moe

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