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The Qrew Blog
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Unlocking more Quickbase Power with QBL and Solution APIs

JodiRichard1's avatar
JodiRichard1
Community Manager
2 months ago

NOTE: THIS BLOG WAS WRITTEN by BrianCafferelli , BUT TECHNICAL CHALLENGES ARE PREVENTING BRIAN FROM PUBLISHING.

Quickbase is built for enterprise scale. That’s why a majority of the Fortune 100 leverages our platform to manage their complex processes and eliminate Gray Work. Success using a no-code platform like ours requires an approach to governance that enables business and IT to collaborate. Business users need to be able to innovate fast enough to stay ahead of competitors, while IT needs visibility and control to ensure compliance with corporate policies. That’s why one vital part of Quickbase is our Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) capability. This is a set of tools that helps you to plan, build, test, deploy, and update your apps. Our sandbox feature is one example of this. However, we have heard feedback from many of you that you need more control over how your apps are managed, as well as your pipelines. That’s why we are excited to announce general availability of our Solutions APIs, along with the all-new Quickbase Language (QBL).


Introducing Quickbase Language (QBL)
The cornerstone of Quickbase ALM is Quickbase Language (QBL), a domain-specific language designed to describe the schema of Quickbase apps. This human-readable, text-based language allows users to obtain textual descriptions of Quickbase apps and pipelines schema in the form of a YAML file. QBL's simple and intuitive syntax makes it easy to read and review changes to Quickbase apps, facilitating collaboration among development teams. You can find more details about QBL in our help center.

Solutions APIs
Solutions APIs are an extension of our existing library of RESTful APIs. This provides three endpoints that empower you to interact with QBL and manage Quickbase solutions easily:

  1. Export: Obtain the QBL definition for the supported schema of all apps in the Solution in YAML format.
  2. Create: Apply a YAML file with a valid QBL definition to create a new solution and its contained apps.
  3. Update: Apply a YAML file with a valid QBL definition to an existing Solution to update all schema in the solution to match the one in the YAML.

These endpoints enable users to streamline the application development lifecycle, from creation to deployment, while ensuring consistency and accuracy across environments.

The power of QBL + Solutions APIs

 

  • Version Control: QBL describes your Quickbase Solutions using a text-based format. Solution APIs enable the export and import of these descriptions, facilitating version control. This solves the problem of tracking changes to Quickbase applications over time, providing a clear audit trail of modifications and ensuring consistency across environments.

  • Change Management: By leveraging QBL and Solutions APIs, you can implement structured change management processes for Quickbase solutions. Changes made to schema can be described in QBL format and tracked through different methods. This enables teams to review, approve, and deploy changes systematically, reducing the risk of errors and regressions.

  • Environment Management: Solutions APIs enable you to programmatically create and manage multiple virtual environments for your Quickbase solutions, such as development, testing, and production environments. This solves the problem of manual environment setup and configuration, streamlining the process of deploying and testing applications across different stages of the development lifecycle.

  • Deployment Automation: You can automate the deployment of Quickbase Solutions, depending on your business needs. Approved changes can be automatically deployed from source control repositories to designated Quickbase environments, reducing manual effort and ensuring consistency in deployment processes.

  • Scaling Solutions: Solutions APIs empower you to scale the distribution of Quickbase Solutions across multiple customers or organizations. By automating the creation and deployment of solutions using the APIs, you can efficiently onboard new users and deploy standardized solutions to different clients or departments. This solves the problem of manual solution distribution and customization, enabling customers to deliver value faster and more consistently. This allows you to build once, and deploy as many times as you need to, seamlessly maintaining many separate instances of the same solution.

 

Applying these new capabilities
To tap into the power of QBL and Solutions APIs, you need 2 main things.

Step 1

Define the ALM goals of your team/organization. Figure out what is the best process for your setup. Do you need all ALM areas or just some of them? Will your team and users benefit from a strictly-controlled approval and deployment process, tight version control, or both? Is there some IT policy or regulation to follow? Once you have a good process defined, you can move on to step 2.

Step 2

Decide what is the best way to manage and/or automate the designed process.

Option 1: One powerful way to leverage Quickbase's ALM capabilities is by integrating the Solution APIs with source control tools like GitHub. By doing so, your can establish robust approval and deployment processes, enhancing collaboration, version control, and reliability throughout the application development lifecycle. Source control tools offer a wide range of features to support all that and if your organization is looking for optimal control and governance, we recommend looking into that option.

 

Option 2: A different option, if your team needs a more familiar experience, is through managing the virtual environments, approvals, and deployments using a Quickbase app. Solutions APIs can be executed through a set of pipelines and the workflows can be managed in a Quickbase app dedicated for that purpose, as seen below:

 

 

We are dedicated to making ALM easy for your teams. While QBL doesn’t support all Quickbase schema yet, we will keep improving the experience and adding schema coverage throughout the rest of 2024. To check which schema objects are supported by QBL today, please check the article in our help center.


We are also here to help you on your ALM journey. Contact your account team for more information on the features and help in implementing them.


Your feedback is precious to us! If you have anything to share about the ALM features, the experience using them, or you need more/different features, please leave your feedback in the side panel in the Quickbase platform!

 

Updated 30 days ago
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