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Connecting a Database - Solved


#1

Aim:
To build a web app that lets users (car owners) check their car license plate to see if they qualify for a holiday incentive. If their car is on the list, they sign up and answer a few questions to validate incentive entitlement. (no, this is not a scam)

Requirement:
Access a database of a few hundred thousand lines (will start with a sample db of 100 records first) so that car ownership details can be verified via the web app. The app will need to support users who wish to update contact details without overwriting existing records. Keep safe.

The above probably sounds pretty easy, and maybe it is, if you know what you are doing… But I am a non-coder and new to Bubble and need to figure it out. I am assuming Bubble can handle this. Please correct me if I am wrong.

STEPS
(1) Excel —> CSV
At the moment, I don’t have a database, I just have the Excel spreadsheet. I know how to export it to a CSV file, so that much is okay, but I don’t know how to prepare it for Bubble after that step.

(2) Create MySQL database
Should I create a MySQL database on my Mac and upload it? Or should I create one on the hosted service I use for my Wordpress site? There is a facility to use the cPanel to create a MySQL database. Would that be a good plan?

(3) Point to database
Once the database is created, how do I point Bubble/Blockspring to it so that it can be accessed?

(4) Do I need to subscribe/pay Blockspring for this part?

HELP PLEASE
I have a clean slate, there is nothing done yet, so what is the simplest way to get the db ready so that Bubble can use it? I hope I don’t need to engage a consultant for this step, so all tips appreciated. As stated above, I am a non-coder and brand new to Bubble — but feeling optimistic I can tame this beast :slight_smile:

Thank you.


#2

Why mysql ?

You could use one of the newer cloud Database and use the Bubble API connector.

I recently used Google Fusion to query some KML.

You could also use Airtable.


#3

I am completely agnostic about which database to use.

Would you suggest Google Fusion then? Is that a straight-forward process?

Thanks


#4

I think that depends on what you are trying to do initially. Those were just a couple of examples of things that should be fairly simple for a non-coder to set up.

Fusion was pretty easy to set up. You can make the table public so you don’t need to worry about authentication right now. Although is more about visualisation but it seemed to work pretty well. Free too :slight_smile:

Airtable is very spreadsheet like.

As to whether they scale to your volumes… That might be the issue. Depends on record size.

All that said, mySQL isn’t too hard to administer and it is very well know and would clearly support volumes. I think people have had issues with some hosting services that needed the IP address of the Bubble server to get to the database.

Probably not being all that helpful, and I tend to like to get something up and running in the easiest way possible first.

But what you are proposing is very possible. Save your xls as a csv. Import into your db of choice. Then use either the API connector or the Database connector to access from bubble.


#5

Okay, I will try the MySQL method first.

But it is the last step that I wonder about…

“Then use either the API connector or the Database connector to access from bubble.”

How do I go about that?

Thanks Nigel.


#6

Go to the Plugins tab.

Then search for the plugin.


#7

As another suggestion, if you are just getting started, consider just importing the spreadsheet into Bubble itself and using Bubble’s DBs. I’ve one this with an app I’m building and it worked out well. There are a couple particulars to note regarding use of booleans but for the most part it’s pretty easy. In your Data settings you can import a CSV and as long as you have a list of column titles at the top of your file it will let you add each column to a table. And you can add the columns on the fly, too, as you import it. Check it out as it seems a pretty well-designed utility. It would also prevent you from having to pay for a completely new DB and hosting at another location.

Just a suggestion to consider.


#8

On the way with this method. Thanks.


#9

Thanks Saeed. If I knew that in the beginning I would have looked into it. For now, I have managed to successfully import the data into a MySQL file and it seems to have worked fine. Probably a good thing I got my feet wet and learned something new, and the hosted service was already paid for anyway. So no harm there. Let’s see how I go connecting it up with the API or plugins. Thanks for your tips. It’s nice to see this level of support for beginners. Bubble has great potential if newbies can get airborne without too much fuss. Empowerment.

Cheers


#10

I set up MySQL db via Amazon, but this was before the API connector plug-in came along (so maybe there are better options out there now, as @NigelG mentioned).
Details on the setup are here: [Solved] Choosing Database Setup for Data Visualization


#11

Thanks Isy. That’s an impressive resource you put together there.


#12

Would you care to map out the steps to do this please?

I have got my MySQL db online, but from there, I’m not clear on what to do on Bubble. The aim is to set up some basic queries to look up information. At this stage nothing more fancy than that.

I have installed the database plugin, and I’v created an input field, but I’m pretty clueless what to do after that. How do I point to the database and how do I create the queries?

Thank you.


#13

Before this goes much further, I’m wondering if Bubble has a native MqSQL plugin?


#14

On this!

Yes it does seem to have one. I found it.

Once I have figured out connection string for the MySQL database I guess (optimistically speaking), that I will have sorted this out…

Stay tuned :slight_smile:


#15

As I have found a way to import my spreadsheet into Bubble, (in the end I ditched the MySQL plan). I will now close this post and move relevant questions to a more specific post.

Thanks to those people who contributed.


#16

@NigelG Hi - don’t see the Airtable plugin.


#17

Hi Pete, step-2 will be the greatest plan for your troubles. Since Bubble connection string always points to SQL db that is on cloud/ cpanel categorically. Once you had your tables on the cpanel then include the SQL Database Connector plugin on your web app development space. Good luck


#18

Pardon, how did you use google fusion to show KML’s in Bubble? I’d love to know how you did it for one of my apps.


#19

I uploaded the KML to Google Fusion. And queried from there.