Value of external collection?

What is the reason someone would want to use an external collection (Airtable, Xano, etc) versus Adalo’s collections? When does Adalo’s solution work fine and when is it better to use a different service?

Security, Background processes, speed, scalability?

Hi @valentine

Great question, I’ll watch the comments :slight_smile:

As for me, the biggest value in Airtable is when one tries to get collection values via API. Airtable has filterByFormula, which saves a lot of efforts in getting the list of records from the app to some external data processing tools, like Integromat or others.
And the same with putting back the modified records.

But that’s my particular case :slight_smile:

Best regards, Victor.

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Another reason that you might want to use an External Collection is that the data is already there, and you are using Adalo to make a application interface to access that data, rather than viewing it in a table, or trying to create an interface for a different set of users.

Additionally, you could want to run more advanced functions on the data, and not have to worry about sending it back and forth from Adalo with custom actions.


@valentine I am leaning more towards @xano as I continue to build more features, here are few of my reasons:

  1. Authentication managed by Xano - I can use the entire collections with any platform for various activities
  2. Heavy data manipulation activity- easily possible with Xano
  3. External API (this one is big for me) - I can combine multiple external API calls into a single function in Xano and connect it to one endpoint for Adalo’s consumption.
  4. Automations - Xano has inbuilt automations, I don’t have to pay for Integromat or Zapier

And a few more other use cases, happy to share more if needed.

Example for #3: I am sending barcode number to Xano - Xano checks if it already exists in db, if not does an external api (2 different calls: if first one fails, checks in the second one) call for me, get the data, add it to the table and assign the user who sent the request and finally returns the value of the product to me


Thanks, guys. That is instructive. I’m a beginner, initially choosing an Adalo-Xano stack. However, the Adalo external collections login beta still has some quirks for me so I was considering just using the Adalo collections.

@bhanu Your #3 is a relevant point for me. Thanks!

@valentine happy to share my learnings through the journey.

I do agree there are some quirks whilst Adalo is still in beta for external collections (auth), but if you just use it without authentication, it works just fine.

@xano team does office hours every week, if you’re stuck somewhere, you can always directly ask the founding team, personally I have learnt and benefited a lot from the team.


Thanks @bhanu ! And Happy to be of assistance while you build out your app @valentine


@xano is wonderful I’m having to use the Bubble API for authentication and external collections now for a client and how I wish it was Xano. Alas, I joined in on the work too late.

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Another reason for Europeans is, that as of Mai 2021 Adalo doesn’t offer European data locations

Do you have any good docs/instructions for applying point #3? I am looking at trying to combine different api calls and then returning only the fields Adalo needs into an external collection

Hello, I have a project that can have a lot of data and I am studying Xano as a backend and I like it a lot but I have a question, for each endpoint that I create in xano should I create an external collection in Adalo?