First of all, I want to say up front that this is long overdue. I realize that you all have been asking for updates for awhile now so apologizing at this point doesn’t really feel like it will make up for not sharing an update sooner. So here it goes…
When we first started prioritizing infrastructure and performance back in October, we realized that the stability of our platform was in serious need of some love — so we spent a couple of months working on projects to make Adalo more stable. We felt like a performant app doesn’t matter that much if you can’t depend on it being up and running all the time.
And at the end of December we shared some exciting updates around that effort that we put in there. From increased available resources on our servers, to autoscaling to handle the load, to implementing automated alerts when the system experiences stress, to a status page to keep you all up to date we felt like our systems were in a much better place.
So now the question is what have we done since those projects in January? While infrastructure & performance have remained a top priority for us there were 2 large things that came up that needed the focus on that front. The first was that our build process for iOS and Android was quickly getting out of hand, mostly because so many of y’all are publishing apps to the app stores. Which is great! The growth of Adalo has been amazing. But we were starting to see queue times of over 16 hours for all to build new versions of your apps and this was continuing to get longer every day. It was clear that our initial build infrastructure wasn’t in a good place to handle all of this. And then second, while every software product has bugs our backlog was starting to grow to the point that we needed to address that to produce more bug-free code ensuring the stability of your apps. Our infrastructure team needed to do a few projects to address these.
On the builds side of the equation, I’m happy to announce that we’ve completely eliminated our queue times . We did a few different projects here to accomplish this. The first is that previously we only had one build server running all of our builds, so we’ve now got multiple servers set up to handle more and more builds. Second, we took care of a number of the most common issues that were causing builds to fail (for example if you had a component like Google Sign-In set up incorrectly or you had a special character in your app’s name) and made sure that all of those errors would not cause the build to fail. And finally, we made sure that the actual build statuses that you see are now accurate and up to date while it’s building (instead of it being stuck in a queued state). Apologies to anyone who had been frustrated with not being able to get a build of your app in a timely manner, but we’re in a much better spot now!
And then in terms of our infrastructure efforts around producing more bug-free code, I’m pleased to say that we just wrapped up a few key projects there as well. Previously we just had one staging (test) environment and then our main production environment. But now not only do we have multiple staging environments, but we also have staging environments around our native builds as well. This allows us to more easily and quickly test all of the different code in all of the different ways your apps run (iOS, Android, and on the Web). We also had a week where we swarmed on bugs and added another full time QA team member. All of these efforts have reduced our cycle time on high impact bugs from 7 days to 2 days!
It’s possible that you’re getting to this point in the update and you feel like we made the wrong decision for our infrastructure focus to be split between stability, builds, testing environments, & performance and I can respect that, but I’m trying to be open about what we’ve been up to, why we’ve been up to those things, and where we’re headed. I also want to make sure that I make it clear that we certainly thought we would have more performance updates for you at this exact moment. That being said, we are working on performance projects, and we’re committed to continuing to work on performance. In terms of more specifics there, our priority right now is on the end app performance for users in your apps and even more specifically we’re focused on how to make actions trigger and update the data in your apps faster, how we can have lists load faster, and how we can speed up the initial screen loads for apps.
We hear you all & recognize just how important it is — so much so that we have actually paused some new features so our team can focus on performance.
Finally, I wanted to announce that we’re going to be having our quarterly community town-hall event on March 31st where we’ll be able to share more about performance improvements that we will have launched & other ones in progress, our overall roadmap, and hopefully we’ll be in a spot to share some pretty big news regarding our team and the future of Adalo. @ProU is spot on with what we’ve been up to.
As always, thank you all for building on Adalo. Looking forward to chatting with you all more at our community town-hall event! (We’ll be sharing a registration link for that in the coming days.)