Hi all, I need to create a simple IoT interface application that connects the end device API with a GeoTab API. I am considering using Bubble due to its simple interface and configuration tools, but I fear it's too simple. We will want to add features and new devices as we grow - I was thinking of using CodeIgniter or CakePHP on a hosted site for the application. Must support JCOM encoding between the two APIs and there is no need for a separate interface as GeoTab already has one; we are just connecting and pushing data. Thoughts?
Dom here, co-founder of Five, a low-code company.
The first question I'd ask is this: do you want to continue using Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel as your database? If yes, then indeed Retool is a great choice because it connects to Google Sheets and lets you build a front end on top of it. An alternative could be AppSheet, which belongs to Google and does the same.
My advice, however, would be not to use a spreadsheet as a database. I won't go into all the reasons for this. But a spreadsheet is not designed to support web applications. At some point, it will either become very slow or you will struggle with data integrity, especially if you have ten users reading & writing data concurrently. That's why I'd look for an online database application builder.
Now, this is where I'm biased, given my role at Five, but here's what Five lets you do:
You can create your own MySQL database straight inside Five. So instead of storing data in a spreadsheet, you store it in a web-hosted MySQL database.
You can import CSV files into your database, so your existing data won't be lost.
You can then build the front end on top of the MySQL database.
The advantages: you get something that is scalable and won't break in the future. And MySQL is open-source, so even if at some point in the future, you won't go elsewhere with your application, your data is portable.
Lastly, Five costs you less. Our website is https://www.five.co
Hope this helps and as I said, think about the right back end for your application first. :)