Budibase brings open source to low-code web application development

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The burgeoning no-code/low-code movement shows few signs of slowing down. There are countless new products and companies hitting the market to help coders and non-coders get the most out of their skills.

As an example, late last year, Amazon launched a no-code AI model development tool called SageMaker Canvas for business analysts. Softr, meanwhile, recently raised $13.5 million to help non-technical users build business apps on Airtable.

While no-code platforms help democratize the software development process, low-code has the potential to be just as transformative in how it enables developers to build without having to code everything at once. hand from scratch. IDC estimates that 40% of “low-code developers” are already full-time developers, while Gartner predicts that by 2025, 70% of new applications will use low-code or no-code technologies, compared to 25% in 2020.

It is in this context that Budibase has gone to market with a low-code platform that helps developers and IT professionals build professional applications in minutes. This can range from inventory management platforms and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to customer support apps.

Budibase Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Template

Anyone who’s been following this space lately will be well aware of the myriad of website building tools and web apps for the less technically savvy, from the well-funded Webflow to Stacker and Softr. But Budibase approaches things from a slightly different angle.

Open source meets low-code

Budibase is open source, which means companies can host everything themselves on their infrastructure and retain full control of their data and applications while avoiding proprietary lock-in. Additionally, the GPLv3 license means there is little friction for adoption. “Users don’t have to ask their legal team to install the software,” Budibase co-founder Joe Johnston told VentureBeat.

In addition to the free open source incarnation of Budibase, the company also offers an enterprise version which includes several premium features such as service level agreements (SLAs); a dedicated account manager; and integration assistance. And in November, Budibase launched a hosted cloud service, which attracted some 10,000 paying customers, including waste management giant Covanta.

Covanta was forced to quickly build its own timesheet application after its regular service provider Kronos was hit by the widely reported Log4j vulnerability – and that’s where Budibase entered the fray. “One week away from Christmas, Covanta employees had no way to log their working hours, which was essential for the Christmas bonus,” Johnston explained. “Fortunately, the IT team was able to create a replacement application with Budibase in just a few hours.”

It should be noted that Budibase also claims open source users from mega tech giants such as Microsoft, Apple and Google, although it is unclear to what extent these companies use the product.

A look at the competitive landscape reveals similar proposals, including Joget which recently closed a $2.2 million pre-Series A funding round. It is therefore clear that there is a growing demand to bring the benefits of open source technologies to the field of low-code development.

Budibase’s open-source credentials are only part of its appeal. The likes of Webflow aim to help non-technical citizen developers build fairly non-dynamic websites, and Softr and Stacker target non-technical users with what is effectively an interface builder on top of Airtable. Budibase can be used in the same way, but it ultimately targets developers, as it allows them to add their own JavaScript to extend the usefulness of built-in features, for example.

With Budibase, technical users can connect to external sources such as MySQL, CouchDB, PostrgreSQL, MongoDB, Rest API, Airtable and more. And if they don’t have their own existing data, they can leverage Budibase’s built-in database and tables to build applications from scratch.

Elsewhere, Budibase packs a pretty powerful arsenal of tools spanning the data, design, and admin spheres, while users can tap into pre-built automations powered by webhooks, triggers, and actions that can be customized if the developer wants to add their own scripts to the mix.

Budibase: automation example
Budibase: automation example

Target market

Although Budibase can appeal to businesses of almost any size, it ultimately competes for the mid-to-midsize business market. “Larger organizations have more internal operations, [and] therefore, they need ways to build in-house applications to automate and digitize these operations,” Johnston said.

Additionally, as the dearth of developing talent continues, it will mean companies will have to use their existing resources smarter, which will benefit Budibase and its ilk.

“There just aren’t enough development resources to meet the demand, and developers are expensive and hard to find,” Johnston said. “Budibase enables these companies to develop more in-house applications, using fewer development resources.”

Last year, Budibase raised $1.8 million in seed funding from Angular Ventures, Snyk co-founder Guy Podjarny, and Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover, and the company said it planned to increase its Series A later this year.

The company is also gearing up to launch a slew of new features in the coming months, including auditing capabilities and a “global design system” that helps ensure businesses stay on-brand throughout the design process. application development.

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