Next-gen explained

Сhanges and new features Betty Blocks offer in the next-generation updates.

Updated over a week ago

Welcome to next-gen!

Platforms constantly develop, and so does Betty Blocks. Listening to everyone who uses the platform, we know it needs to be flexible, blazingly fast to build, secure, easy to use, govern and maintain, and what's really important: the platform needs to be scalable as your applications gain traction.

With some features we previously used (now referred to as classic features), we couldn't achieve that, so we decided to move to the next-generation application. This will result in a better experience for everyone!

What is next-gen?

Next-gen is a combination of new platform features and the deprecation of existing ones. These next-gen capabilities are already available for everyone to use:

  • Page builder

  • Data model overview

  • Action builder

  • Tools section

However, with new items, there will also be some new rules we need to address.

Deprecation of expression properties

In our classic setup, a data model has the option to use expression properties. This was a very flexible system, which didn’t require any thinking from the developer. The downside was that these expressions were prone to be heavy to deal with within some applications. Software architecturally, we no longer believe in how we have set this up. Too much stuff happens automatically with a lot of unnecessary and unwanted behavior.

We understand that for some very experienced expression builders, this might come as a shock, however, we would like to provide you with an awesome solution - the adoption of ActionJS and a more advanced way of getting to your expected data.

ActionJS and new forms

We have had to rebuild our actions system in the last two years, leading to a new implementation of how our forms work in the page builder. The new ActionJS system also brings the new actions environment which will ensure that Betty Blocks has one look and feel. Our component set has a new set of form components to connect to the new actions system. The best thing about the new ActionJS is that this will also allow you to build your own action steps. Discover more about creating custom action steps in this guide.

Next-gen actions interface

Next-gen cloud

Historically Betty Blocks has had a monolithic nature, with very limited moving parts. Current software architecture paradigms also dictate that having a set of more minor services (moving parts) is a better approach, leading to smaller and more frequent deployments. We now deploy multiple times a day, without any downtime leading to a faster platform development cycle! Our next-gen cloud setup facilitates this.

Guaranteeing 99.9% uptime requires isolating as many moving parts as possible. When everything is made out of one piece means that if that one piece goes down, everything goes down. This is why we have split the building and the running of an app into different services and into two other clouds. This is one of the two most significant changes in our Next-gen cloud.

The other most significant change is the removal of all old features which are not based on the above paradigm. They are leading to a more performant and stable cloud. The next-gen cloud is where you are being pursued only to use next-generation features.

Back office feature upgrade

The back office was the initial way of our product-building CRUD-based applications in a fixed UI. As a successor, we have built our page builder. One of the product vision pillars is flexibility and enabling users to do whatever they are capable of without being restricted by the platform. Having a fixed UI does not fit that product vision. Our next-gen cloud setup requires us to split the design and the running of the app in different clouds. As our back office is not built this way, we need to offer a new way to achieve the same goals. Our product vision aims to build a back office look-and-feel application with the page builder in combination with page templates.

You still have time to learn this new setup, so get used to this whilst we keep you updated!

Back office page template

So what does it mean to me?

Next-gen implies saying goodbye to some features in the future (don't worry, you are getting the time to learn these new features). We are moving towards some amazing and faster features with a lot of freedom for everyone who wants to extend the platform to their liking.

Those who have already had their applications created and running: don't have to start rebuilding them immediately, get used to some new features and learn your way around them. If you are going to start building new items, we highly recommend doing this with next-gen features, as it means that your creations will be supported for the longest amount of time and even better - they're faster.

Do you have any questions about Next-gen? We have an entire community that is already working its magic in the next-gen. Join now!

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