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  • 1.  Using Quickbase solely as a backend (Custom Frontend)

    Posted 01-02-2022 16:54


    I was wondering if its feasible to leverage quickbase solely as a backend (to design workflows and data models etc) and connect that to a completely custom user facing application that we're building in React/Next.JS. 

    My use case is so build a tailored project management application for industry specific vertical (home renovation).

    There are two user types each with their own dashboard.

    • Consumers/Homeowners  - they have will have basic dashboard that shows progress of their project, let them upload files or send messages etc (which would need to post to quickbase). 
    • Staff/Designers/Contractors - they would have a dashboard that lets them manage the projects, upload tasks for internal folks to do, send updates to the clients etc. 

    The nature of the project requires that we build completely custom ux for both user types above - the only ones that would be using quickbase would be our software team and workflow designers. Not the core end users. 

    Let me know thoughts and if this makes sense! Thanks in advance.


  • 2.  RE: Using Quickbase solely as a backend (Custom Frontend)

    Posted 07-28-2022 04:03
    I'm also really keen to understand this. I've been looking at bubble io, but just love QB so much that I'm going there's a fully customizable front end.

    Matt Stephens

  • 3.  RE: Using Quickbase solely as a backend (Custom Frontend)

    Posted 07-28-2022 10:37
    We use half and half.. we have developed several external apps which use the API because we wanted custom front ends. I don't see why you couldn't go 100% external.

    Pete James

  • 4.  RE: Using Quickbase solely as a backend (Custom Frontend)

    Posted 03-14-2023 10:28

    Hi Pete. Quick question. How are you accomplishing using the API? Are you switching on the " everyone on the internet" option to accomplish this?

    Jose Baez

  • 5.  RE: Using Quickbase solely as a backend (Custom Frontend)

    Posted 03-15-2023 12:08

    The short answer is, YES, absolutely.  All you need is to leverage the Quickbase API in your custom web application and you don't need the Quickbase front-end product, except as an "admin/developer/workflow manager" to manage the data, database schema, compose Pipelines, manage roles and users, and create tokens. This is basically the same as building a web app around a cloud-based database, except that the Quickbase tools are pretty exceptional for managing your data and database roles/users.  And it's so much easier to model relationships in Quickbase compared to most cloud databases.

    You do not need to enable the Everyone On the Internet role to accomplish this, unless it is more covenient for some reason, or to accesss certain tables without authentication.  Instead, I typically hard-code a user token in my server-side code to authenticate API calls, or use dynamic authentication.

    Here are a few quick tips based on my extensive use of the API for server-side scripting and web applications:

    • Highly recommended, in a JavaScript environment, is Tristian Flanagan's quickbase library of tools.  You can access them through github and npm.  They are well developed and mirror the XML and JSON APIs fairly well.
    • If you don't want user tokens or sensitive info in your app, I recommend using a full-stack app or implementing your own server side API to broker API calls as middleware.
    • Whether using the quickbase library, or making your own HTTP requests, you will find that the JSON API does not always contain endpoints for all your needs, and so sometimes you are forced to mix in requests to the older XML API.
    • You can build a login screen and use the API authentication endpoints if your app needs to be secured, and then manage your sessions using classic web development techniques.
    • Be mindful of your account usage, and monitor the total number of API calls and your overall status.  You can reduce the overhead by using cacheing to minimize requests, but of course, this doesn't work if your data changes rapidly and you need fresh data for every HTTP request.  In my organization, we are about two-thirds into our contract period, but fortunately only have used about one third of our total reads.
    • File attachments can be downloaded and uplaoded easily with the JSON API, and this is often much easier with the quickbase library mentioned above.

  • 6.  RE: Using Quickbase solely as a backend (Custom Frontend)

    Posted 03-15-2023 15:36

    Hi. Awesome info! I'm afraid I'm a newbie to this kind of setup though. What are the chances we can connect on a conf call at your earliest convenience so I can pick your brain a little? I have a use case for something like this but not sure where to start.

    Jose Baez