No-Code Web App Builder

February 23, 2024

Session 7:

The 7th Session of the NextCorps Embark training program was an introduction to building no-code web apps. This intro starts with Softr, which is a relatively easy to use tool that takes many concepts from other services we have learned to this point and layers it on top. Softr sits as a layer on top of your Airtable database, making it mainly an interface builder of sorts. Some of the best features and reasons to use Softr on top of your Airtable include building internal business apps for specific or niche use cases, with built in user authentication processes and controls to filter what your users see.


The assignment for week 7 was straight forward - build an app. This is the final task of the Phase 1 training program. Since it's the final task, 2 weeks were given for the assignment. I had already been playing with Softr ahead of the session and had an idea in mind.

Portfolio Entry:

Welcome to the Dealer Hub.

I decided to use one of the things that I know best as an example for how to use Softr. My prior work experience included building internal app tools for a commercial furniture dealership to manage projects from the start of the sales pipeline (opportunities) all the way to project completion. I built a platform that is still used and I still help maintain using primarily Microsoft PowerPlatform, which is a suite of no and low code tools from Microsoft. I used my experience in building this "Project Log" system to create a fresh system with Airtable as the database backend and Softr the app interface. About 20 hours of labor over the course of 5 days, and I ended up with my first "Dealer Hub" that I published and shared links to. I sent this first version to teammates at the former dealer for review as well as posting for the rest of the Embark class to play around with. Sharing out to the world and get initial feedback was great, as it helped me to very quickly identify several bugs that I had entirely overlooked in my testing. The fun part about building something is when you test it, you always click the buttons in the right order! Once it's in the hands of an end user, they're always going to use it in ways that you did not expect. This initial proof of concept and the lessons I'm learning from Embark are building foundations for me that if I decided to market my skills as a no-code app developer, I know where to start. I enjoy building tools to solve business challenges, and help to streamline business operations to improve efficiency and outcomes. There are plenty of general tools out there however there is a large market for niche apps that solve specific use case scenarios for businesses.

At this time my demo site is live, feel free to visit and check it out!

Dustin Doucette - 2024