Noloco - Ultra quick review

How do you all compare Noloco to Stacker (assuming pricing is no issue)?
We have been users of Stacker for a few years now and appreciate the reliability of the complex permissions.

Thanks Tobias for the shoutout! It’s been a pleasure working with you so far.
You’ve provided some really valuable feedback that the team has already started implementing.

I’m always here if anyone has any other questions about how Noloco works and some of it’s features

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Hey, I’m obviously biased, but we do have a write-up comparing Noloco and Stacker.

In a few words, I would say that Noloco is more powerful and more customizable than Stacker.
Our permissions are also more flexible (if that’s your main concern)

I’d be happy to show you around the platform

Thank you!
Follow up questions:

  • Stacker now syncs with Airtable in real time. How does that compare?
  • Can certain fields be displayed as processed html?
  • Can comments be synced?

Great questions!

Stacker now syncs with Airtable in real time. How does that compare?

Our syncing is pretty fast, 1-3 minutes, and there’s some workaround that are easy to setup for some time-sensitive updates.

That said, I’m delighted to say that we’ll be switching to a real-time model in the very near future.

Can certain fields be displayed as processed HTML?

This isn’t something we’ve been asked about before truthfully, I’d be curious to hear more about this.
We do have the ability to render any field as markdown, but not quite HTML.

We do support iframe embeds though (via URL, static or dynamic)

Can comments be synced?

Not at the moment, it’s something we’re certainly considering.
Most of the time we find that users either use Airtable comments or Noloco comments.
Particularly now that we support internal notes that you can hide from your external users, to keep all of your comms in the same place

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That’s great, but how [exactly] do they achieve this? Is it more API calls, or is it event-driven? Or possibly sockets-based?

In the aftermath of recent pricing changes, how real-time sync is achieved matters greatly.

Same questions for you. How [exactly] is real-time data synching achieved.

Based on my understanding it utilizes the new api webhooks (previously they used 5 minute polling)

That’s a smart approach, but the web hooks API is only available to enterprise accounts.

I can not tell you that exactly. As price is an issue for a small company like us, there’s one difference right there.

But I have shifted my whole evaluation approach. I am now implementing for Software what I have successfully been doing my life in all other areas. I look at the people (the leadership in particular) behind the product. If I don’t like the feeling I get, I stay away, no matter how compelling price and features might be. There are no guarantees of course but as we have seen with Airtable, people make a company. The state of tech is merely a snapshot of where the company has takes a product thus far. But the right people will solve all their problems. The wrong people create them.

@Appleapi7 is correct, it leverages the Webhooks API, which are available on all plans actually.

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Follow up questions: Do you allow embedding your apps (and do you allow communication with parent window)?

That’s an interesting question. Noloco can be embedded in other apps, but all noloco apps are secured behind a login, so the user would still need to be authenticated.

As for communication with the parent window, that could be achieved via URL params, or by custom-code I suppose, but the solution would depend on what you’re trying to do, what have you got in mind?

That’s wonderful. Was this a new announcement Airtable recently made? I ask because I performed a number of tests trying to access the webhooks API from a Pro account, and they always failed. This was about a month ago.

In any case, it’s the right architectural approach.

I don’t believe it’s new, but it only works with OAuth (and the correct scopes) as far as I know, so it could have been that.

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For a half-decade, Airtable has failed to really promote the use of webhooks either by enterprises using the webhooks API, or with the integrated webhook receiver feature. It’s a bit complicated for most people. And with the Webhooks API, there’s no UI available - it’s all code and plenty of technicalities, so adoption has been deeply constrained. @darragh I assume your platform insulates users from being forced to write code to instantiate webhooks for real-time synching, right?

PREDICTION: As soon as many companies race into a competitive posture to provide real-time data syncing, Airtable will reel from the event activities and limit (or charge more) for that API.

I assume your platform insulates users from being forced to write code to instantiate webhooks for real-time synching, right?

Absolutely - it all happens behind the scenes. And you’re dead-right. It’s not trivial to setup, but we’ve done all the hard work to make sure it scales.

You might be right about the pricing, but I actually think they would encourage us to switch, because it presumably will cost them a lot less than the constant polling that a lot of companies are doing, which presumably is costing them an awful lot - hence the API limits

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It is, and it’s worse than the cost. It’s the performance hit. There is no shortage of Airtable customers complaining about performance. And unlike almost every other SaaS platform, the Airtable instance bears the burden of API calls, not a common API server collective.

One would think. But, despite all of the performance issues and now the imposed ceilings, not once have they encouraged or enlightened their own support or customers to consider better approaches.

Yep, but Airtable has already demonstrated they’d rather create a higher price tier than lower costs.

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Gorkem from here. We have tried many platforms, and Noloco is a top notch platform, hands down.

Hi @darragh, Thank you for your detailed answer. Would you be able to assist us with an implementation of event listener? We’ve done it previously with our other tools. If so, please let me know what’s your email address and I’ll reach out.