What is Buzzy?

Buzzy is a low-code platform used to build web and mobile apps. We've been around for a while, and focused largely on data-gathering apps and forms required for field work - offline capable, with geolocation and tons of useful features. Functional but dry. We're now bringing that into the design space (via a Figma plugin) and are excited to see what you can come up with. 

Do I have to log in to Buzzy?

Yes - but it's free, and simple. The Buzzy Figma plugin works by allowing you to markup your Figma file - when you 'publish' your app, Buzzy extracts your designed objects from the Figma file and converts them into a Buzzy app using your design, coupled with the functionality, data and behaviours you told Buzzy to use via the plugin. The plugin will guide you through the log in process.

Can I build a mobile (native) app?

Buzzy itself already has mobile apps and a bunch of cool features (see above) - we're working to make that available via Figma, so you can use your own design as an interface, rather than the standard Buzzy UI.

Buy vs Build? How does Buzzy compare vs building your own solution?

It’s a common conundrum for organisations to grapple with. The key question is, do you have the skilled resources and time to both build AND maintain the solution long term?

Buzzy has invested many people years into the development of the technology that is used in production today. Buzzy will continue to enhance and maintain that software, keeping up with the continually changing goal posts of tech platforms like Apple and Google. In effect, you’re getting the collective benefit of many customers who all contribute a relatively small amount to the ongoing development and maintenance of the solution.

While there are some other 'Figma to no-code' platforms, Buzzy uniquely supports both responsive web and native mobile. Additionally, a lot of other Figma to code tools provide a thin veneer of the application, leaving you, the developer, to do all the smarts like the data binding, validation, business logic and native functionality like offline capability or spatial/geolocation features.

 

When you’re looking at Buzzy, which does have a hosting component, please be sure to include the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), which includes all the additional effort to host and maintain a solution of equivalent features.

Can I import data into my Buzzy app?

You can import data from a CSV, REST API or Google Docs, and use JSONata as an Extract Transform. You'll need to dive into the Buzzy CMS, which forms the back-end of your app - we're working on adding a simpler data import wizard to the plugin to make this easier.

In the meantime, check out these docs on importing data from a URL and importing data via the Buzzy REST API. Our Recipe app example in the Figma community demonstrates this.

Can I extend Buzzy with my own code, and integrate it with other solutions?

Buzzy has a HTML widget which lets you use custom HTML and javascript, and runs in a sandboxed iframe. We provide a couple of ways of providing data to this, including handlebars and event messaging. 

Buzzy also allows you to “call out” to 3rd party end-points via REST APIs. For example, you could call remote code functions like AWS Lambda,  DigitalOcean Functions, Zapier, SaleForce or any system that has a REST API endpoint. Those systems can then perform some function and, if required, return to Buzzy via the Buzzy API.

In addition to the integration points, Buzzy has a very powerful data import capability that allows you to import third party content and use JSONata as an Extract Transform in the ETL continuum.

What integrations does Buzzy support?

Buzzy integrates with a variety of platforms and services, and includes options for customising your own solution. Supported options include:

  • Google maps/Open Street maps - built into the product via an 'Advanced Location field'; our original platform native app also handles offline maps and geolocation tracking, but this is not yet available via the Figma version of Buzzy.

  • Stripe - Accept payments via Stripe

  • Buzzy rules - call external REST APIs

  • Buzzy REST API - allows external applications to call in (which can also fire Buzzy rules)

  • Custom (HTML) components - add your own custom code that can interact with Buzzy data using handlebars or js

  • Buzzy importer - integration with Google Sheets, CSV files and REST APIs for importing data

  • SSO - with various authentication systems like Google and Microsoft.

Do I need a deployment plan if I'm just designing or testing an app?

No, our Buzzy Creator licenses may be all you ever need. These licenses are for working in Figma with your colleagues, collaborating on designs and testing your app with real user feedback. You can do user testing with up to 5 named users on the 'app.buzzcompany.com' server.

If you want to go further, including running your app in production under your own URL, with your own database on your own server, or as a native app in the Apple and Google stores, you’ll need to choose a deployment (hosting) plan.

How do I publish or deploy my apps?

There are 2 core deployment patterns - as a web app, and as native apps for iOS and Android. We have small, medium, large or enterprise deployment (hosting) plans, and the right one for you will depend on the requirements of your specific app (see below).

How do I get my app into our own Apple or Google (Play) store?

You'll need a deployment plan - check our pricing page for details. The Buzzy platform actually allows you to preview your app as a native app, however Apple and Google mandate that we follow their publishing protocols, which means that at this point in time it is only feasible for us to provide this via a Medium (or better) deployment plan.

How do I know what size Buzzy Deployment server I need?

This depends on the specific application and factors like user concurrency levels, transaction rates etc. As with any software solution, sizing should be taken into consideration when planning and designing your system. Our Large + Advanced Features are aimed at providing you a flexible and cost effective way of providing a performant solution for your customers. Check our pricing page for details.

Can I self-host or move my Buzzy deployment to my own server?

Yes, this falls into our Enterprise deployment plan - please contact us for more information.

What is the database underneath Buzzy and do I get access to it?

Buzzy uses MongoDB under the covers, which has incredible ability to scale and deal with complex data.  Each Buzzy server gets its own MongoDB cluster, and yes, you can get access to it, however we recommend getting your data from the Buzzy REST API to ensure you maintain data integrity.

How does Buzzy scale?

Buzzy’s server and client architecture is built on best-of-breed technology. Each Buzzy deployment is single-tenant, meaning you get your own compute units, database cluster and S3 compatible storage.

 

Our servers are deployed on Kubernetes (k8s) infrastructure. This means that the applications can be configured to scale horizontally and vertically for robustness/reliability and performance.

 

As every application’s performance requirements are different, when you choose a deployment plan (eg Large) that has multiple compute units, you can optionally configure these compute units to meet your requirements. For example, you may use a web cluster, mobile cluster, end user cluster, admin user cluster, worker servers for API access etc.

 

Our database is MongoDB and we use our leading service providers MongoDB Atlas and Digital Ocean, so it’s rock solid, best-of-breed infrastructure. Each Buzzy deployment has its own MongoDB cluster, which is deployed either in shared infrastructure or on dedicated clusters, depending on the plan you choose. 

 

Our mobile technology is React Native, with SQLite under the covers, allowing you amazing ability to store masses of documents on a device for offline use scenarios. Our technology is optimized with capabilities like the ability to only send “diffs” of data changes for optimal performance as well as handling “save conflicts” and resolution, which is important for offline scenarios that allow updates.

Can we get the source code?

The core source code in the “engine room”, so to speak? Sorry, no. We did think about it, but in a similar vein to the Buy vs Build discussion above, it creates an issue on day two, when we fix something or add a new enhancement, and now you’ve forked the code and it becomes harder to maintain. At this point of time, our full dev team is there to take the pain of development away from your team, so to streamline this we manage the source. 

 

Important point: Buzzy differs from a lot of development platforms in that the custom (non-core) sources are your Figma designs and extensions you’ve applied. This is all created and maintained by you.

Additionally, using Figma as a "source" to your application keeps your options open. There are a number of Figma to front-end code solutions out there, so if you decide you’d rather go the "build" approach later, you could use one of those tools to take your Figma designs and turn them into code. Note these solutions still require a bunch of “heavy lifting” code work, as they only give you the front-end; you still have to code the rest of the solution including the database, data binding, business logic and any specific functionality that you need, like offline support or native capabilities like geolocation, tracking and bluetooth (BLE) integration.

What data-center regions do you support? 

Currently we run in 3 regions: the United States, the EU and APAC (Sydney). For additional region support under our Enterprise plan, please contact us to discuss.

Do you support corporate MDM for app publishing? 

Yes, this is done under our Enterprise plan, please contact us to discuss.

Is Buzzy secured? Do you support standards like GDPR, HIPAA etc? 

The Buzzy development team follows best practices to deliver enterprise grade software. We employ regular security scanning software to help identify and fix ever changing security requirements. For compliance standards like GDPR and HIPAA it will be a mix of you our customer following those protocols to ensure support alongside our underlying capabilities.

How come my fonts didn't come across to the published app?

You can use fonts from the catalog of Google web fonts which Figma gives automatic access to. Local fonts aren't yet supported - your published app will fall back to browser/system defaults. 

Can I control my responsive layouts and finesse @media queries?

We let you set min/max widths on your screens, and on nested layout components, plus you can turn on flex wrapping. More granular control is in the pipeline.

What about my awesome screen transitions?

Again, we're working on it - we're starting with getting basic stuff working first, and will look at bringing in your Figma prototype transitions soon.

Can I remove Buzzy's access permission from my Figma file after I've given it access?

Sure - just go the info tab in the plugin, and you can remove the Figma file key from Buzzy. You can also disconnect your  Figma login from Buzzy - this means you'll have to log in again the next time you launch the plugin.

Hey! You're missing (this obvious feature)!

Awesome! We're glad you took the time to check it out, and would love to hear from you - jump on Discord or email and let us know!

FAQs

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