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March 6, 2023

February: Collaborative coding, chart GUI, new components

Dominik Picker
|
Co-founder & CTO

Welcome to the February edition of our release notes! As the shortest month of the year, February may have fewer days, but that didn't stop us from packing in some awesome releases. Whether you're enjoying the snow or dreaming of warmer days, let's take a look at what we have shipped this month!

Summary

  • Collaborative coding ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿ’ป : You can now work together on code in realtime, making it easier than ever to collaborate on your apps.
  • Chart GUI ๐Ÿ“ˆ: We've added a new chart GUI that allows you to create visualizations using a convenient UI, instead of having to manually input a JSON configuration. This feature makes visualizing data more accessible to everyone.
  • File input & REST form-data ๐Ÿ“ƒ: With the new file input component, your users can easily upload files to your apps and use them in REST actions. We also added support for creating request bodies with the type "form-data" to REST actions, providing more flexibility for working with your APIs.
  • SQL auto-suggests ๐Ÿ’ก: Our new code editor feature provides convenient auto-suggestions when writing SQL code, including dialect-specific functions. This feature makes it easier to write SQL queries and reduces the likelihood of errors.
  • Slider input โ†”๏ธ: Introducing our new โ€œSlider inputโ€ component - a customizable slider that makes selecting numeric values in your apps a breeze.

Letโ€™s break it down

Collaborative coding

We are excited to announce a major new feature: collaborative code editing! With this update, users can now work together in real-time on writing code in actions. Any changes made are immediately synchronized to everyone in the session, and shared cursors and text selections make it easy to see what your collaborators are doing. This new functionality adds a powerful new dimension to collaborative app building, allowing users to work together seamlessly. Also, more technical users can guide non-technical colleagues through the solution in real-time, without tiresome back-and-forth:

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Chart GUI

Until now, configuring charts required working with a JSON structure based on the API of the Plotly library. With this new update, we have added a user-friendly interface that eliminates the need for any code at all. You can easily configure chart types, such as bar, line, pie, and scatter, and define multiple data series using the simple and intuitive UI. This new functionality streamlines the chart creation process and enables you to easily visualize data without having to spend time on complex coding:

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File input & REST form-data

Our latest release brings an exciting new feature that simplifies file handling (more to come in future releases). With the new "File Input" component, your users can easily upload one or multiple files, which can then be sent to API endpoints using the new form-data body in REST actions. With this update, you can seamlessly connect your application to file-based APIs:

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SQL IntelliSense

Our updated code editor now supports you with convenient auto-suggestions when writing SQL queries. The schema of your data source is taken into account, suggesting tables and their columns. Plus, our editor takes specific SQL dialects into consideration, suggesting dialect-specific functions like MySQL's DATE_ADD() or PostgreSQL's TO_CHAR(). These features empower even novice users to work more efficiently with SQL and get the most out of their data sources:

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Slider input

The new "Slider Input" component allows users to select a value within a numeric range. You have complete control over the start and end values, as well as the step size, and can even use JavaScript expressions for dynamic configurations. Like many other inputs, you can attach validation rules to ensure the selected value is valid in a form context:

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Additional improvements

  • New home screen: We're excited to introduce our newly redesigned home screen, which makes it easier to access frequently used apps. Providing helpful links and information for various features, this will quickly become your workspace cockpit.
  • Hiding action editor during component drag: The bottom panel of the editor now disappears while moving or resizing components. This provides full access to the canvas in its entirety, leading to a more pleasant UI-building experience.
  • Programmatic Slack recipients: Say goodbye to static selection and hello to dynamic customization with the new ability to programmatically define recipients of Slack messages, using names or IDs. You now have more control over your notifications and can deliver targeted messages to specific users and channels, even in highly dynamic scenarios.
  • Simplified action trigger: Calling an action programmatically required calling the exposed trigger() function, passing arguments via an object with the args key. This led to overly complex statements like this one: myAction.trigger({ args: 5 })With our new update, actions are callable functions, with the arguments passed directly. This simplified signature means that calling an action is now as easy as writing myAction(5), without any additional syntax required. While the previous format still works, we highly recommend migrating to the new signature for a simpler and more intuitive experience.
  • Simplified deletion of action folders: Previously, the action editor only permitted deleting a folder in case it does not contain any actions or sub-folders. We improved this experience by allowing the deletion even when there is existing content, which will be deleted recursively as well.
  • Bug fixes & improvements: On top of all the features mentioned above, we applied 48 additional bug fixes and improvements ๐Ÿš€.

We hope you enjoy these new features as much as we enjoyed creating them! Whether you are visualizing data or working with APIs, we believe these updates will help you create even more powerful apps for your teams.

As always, please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or feedback!

Happy building,

Dom