Turbo Forms allows users to flexibly define forms such as Inspection sheets, Work Permits, etc., and collect important data points with respect to failure, the observations, and possible reasons for those failures. Such collected data can also be posted to systems such as SAP, Salesforce, databases, etc. using the Turbo Apps No-Code workflow builder. However, the story didn’t end there and one of the constants asks from customers was the ability to dashboard these data points and be able to quickly derive outcomes from them. And that’s how the hunt for an easy-to-use and cost-effective Analytics product to be embedded in Turbo Forms started.
The requirements were clear and fell broadly into three buckets viz. ease of deployment, design of dashboards, and cost.
- Easy to set up, maintain, and harden (secure). It also had to be a technical fit with the Turbo Forms architecture.
- Flexible deployment: Cloud and On-premises. All Unvired products are available via our cloud and are available on-premises also. This was therefore a very important consideration.
- Being a cloud-first solution multi-tenancy was critical.
- Unvired should be able to ship standard dashboards and customers should have the flexibility to define their own.
- Business users should be able to develop their own dashboards to track outcomes that are particular to their companies.
- SQL capability: While drag and drop no-code/low-code solutions are great for dashboarding there is always the need to write a quick SQL query to visualize it.
- License compatibility: Opensource or purchased needs to be a good fit with the Unvired product licensing.
- Unvired products are extremely cost-competitive and a huge concern was that the analytics product should not bump up costs significantly.
- Proven, trustworthy: Customers needed to trust the solution as critical outcomes would be derived from it.
There were a few more but these were the top considerations. Based on the above we evaluated quite a few solutions. Our final contenders were Metabase, Rebase, and Superset among Opensource solutions and other commercial solutions such as Looker and QlikView. The cost considerations weighed heavily when we evaluated commercial solutions. What we preferred was to provide a low-cost solution as part of the dashboard and customers could additionally leverage commercial solutions such as Tableau or MS PowerBI as we made all the collected data available. While Metabase is a great solution the lack of export/import in the opensource edition and the need to buy a license pushed us towards Rebase and Superset.
Read More: Popular Use Cases of our Turbo Apps
We finally decided on Superset and the key reasons are below:
- Apache Foundation is a rock-solid sponsor for open source projects, Active community.
- Project pedigree – Airbnb etc.
- Apache License – Commercial friendly
- Wide usage in large enterprises – Airbnb, DropBox, Lyft, Netflix, etc.
- Fits into the Turbo Apps/Forms tech landscape pretty well, can deploy cloud and on-premises.
- Ability to integrate and provide SSO capability with the core Unvired solution.
- Supports multi-tenancy via Roles and Row Level Security (more on that in my next blog).
- SQL capability along with drag and drop. The SQL lab is a fantastic way to build SQL queries and use them in dashboards.
- A wide range of visualizations.
- Export/Import capability to support multiple landscapes (Development/Production etc).
After integrating and rolling out the solution our experience has been extremely gratifying. A superset is a mature and powerful dashboarding product that we have embedded and rolled out in a limited way to customers as of now. While there are still glitches in some areas such as Export/Import to be ironed out (we are pretty active on GitHub discussions and issues :)) the overall solution has been a good fit and we do believe takes the Turbo Forms solution ahead.
Read more on How we Customized Apache Superset for Data Visualization for our Turbo Forms in Part- 2