I’m new to the community here. Me and my partner are looking to build a social e-commerce native mobile app. We’ve been reviewing Adalo amongst several other low code / no code tools to see if it suits our needs. Unfortunately we are still not clear whether some of our crucial features are actually possible with this platform. There seems to be quite a lot of conflicting information of what’s currently possible and what’s not from the docs, the forums and the feature request tracker, so here are our questions:
Is it possible to use Adalo as a front-end development tool only? We have our own back-end for managing authentication, guest access, database, etc. We just need to connect to it via REST API.
More specifically, is Adalo compatible with real-time, websocket-like connections? In a marketplace, if the user places an order the merchant should receive it instantly, but we also need this for stuff like reviews, likes, etc.
Can we integrate in-app digital payments as well as non-digital payments? One-time purchases and subscriptions with Apple/Google, but also Stripe Connect to take commissions from merchants on non-digital products.
Is it possible to send push notifications programmatically on both Android/iOS devices? For example we are looking to get certain actions from one user to trigger a notification to another user.
Can we customise icons and buttons for the navigation and header bars? We need to be able to add our own custom buttons (or make components behave like a button).
Does Adalo support Recycler views or similar to display large amounts of data and/or lists? Our app needs to load content dynamically as the user scrolls down, like Facebook-like feed, but also just to render large lists efficiently.
Are native gestures/interactions supported? Swiping right/left, dragging things around, etc. More like a (very) nice-to-have.
Are animations supported? Things like Lottie animations, but also components sliding up or down, or fading in and out, etc. This stuff helps making a nice UX.
Are data charts supported? Or if we can just use our own third-party libraries, but we need this.
Is it possible to have a sidebar / burger menu? We need to be able to customise the contents of this sidebar like we would with any other container in the app (profile picture, buttons, etc.)
Adalo seems like a very promising tool to us but we would obviously hate sinking a lot of time and money on it only to figure out that we couldn’t build our app with it, so we would appreciate some honest, clear answers here (even better from the Adalo team itself).
I’ll try to do my best with answering these questions.
Custom Actions (API’s)
(Paid Plan Feature)
Custom actions allow you to trigger an API request as an action. So, for example, you could make it so that when a user clicks a button, it sends a request to the SendGrid API to send an email. You can also customize the inputs of a custom action so that the data sent in the API request can use magic text and be dynamic depending on the circumstance of the user and data in your app. Finally, you can use the results of custom action as magic text outputs that other actions can use.
External Collections are a powerful feature from Adalo that allow you to connect your app with other apps and services using APIs.
In summary, if you have a database in airtable, you can use external collections to get that data and put it in your Adalo App.
External Users - Currently in Beta
(Scroll down to the bottom to see how to develop a component)
Yes! There’s a component in the marketplace! (In-app purchases)
Yes, I created an event and ticket marketplace. I really had to do lots of custom actions and complex API calls to do so but I did it.
You can check it out at www.pitch.fun
If you have any specific questions regarding stripe connect on anything else marketplace related let me know. I’ve spent the last 12 months getting quite familiar. happy to send over a screen recording explaining how I achieved this.
One thing i would suggest is defining what is wanted and what is NEEDED to make your minimum viable product to get it to the market and get feedback. Rome wasn’t built in a day and while we all want to release a masterpiece but you’re flying blind without real customer feedback.
I’d recommend reading “The Lean Startup” if you have not already. This book goes in to depth about MVPs and the concept of “innovation accounting”.