We updated the way auto-generated user avatars look, and how they're rendered when used as real-time presence indicators on a view. Upon signup, each user is now assigned a color from a collection of hand-picked colors. This will appear as the accent color in your avatar, as the border in the top-bar, and as the border of your currently-selected cell to other users. Your color is persistent, allowing your teammates to easily recognize you by your color.
We also launched an updated site for our new blog! We'll be posting content about how we're designing, building, and growing the product. It's exclusively high-quality content written by the core team at BaseDash. We already have a couple posts up:
You can check out the full blog at https://blog.basedash.com.
We've been doing a lot of experimentation around navigation in the app. The latest change we're trying out is a "Related" section in the sidebar that intelligently shows views that are related to the page you're currently on. If you're on a view or raw table, this includes any views with the same base table. If you're on a query, it includes other queries based on the same data source. This should speed up navigation in the app, especially when exploring data.
We'd love to hear your thoughts as we build in public. Join our Slack community to chat with other power-users, as well as our designers and engineers—we're constantly updating BaseDash based on user feedback.
We reworked our permission system from the ground up to simplify the process of adding teammates, and to increase flexibility out of the box.
Our old permission system relied on defining read/write permissions upfront at the table level. This allowed for fine-grained permissioning, but required a huge time commitment to set up, and was hard to keep up-to-date as needs (and schemas) changes.
Our new system works off the existing power of views. We now have 3 roles:
These new roles are specifically tuned towards the ability to craft views with limited access through filters and hidden attributes, ensuring that your teammates have access to the data they need, and nothing more. Collaborators still have the ability to search within views, and we're planning ways for them to organize data in new ways.
On top of these three roles, we also have the concept of Owners. Each workspace has at least one owner who, on top of their role permissions, gains access to billing and top-level settings like renaming the workspace. Right now, the creator of the workspace is designated owner, but we plan to let you transfer ownership and add new owners in the future.
Finally, the new Read-only role is free, so you can add as many teammates/investors/users as you'd like without affecting your billing.
One of our core goals at BaseDash is to democratize data access within companies so that anyone can work with the data they need to, in the way that works best for them. We've noticed an increase in the number of people using BaseDash on mobile, so we decided to make some improvements to the experience on smaller screens.
We've always had basic support for mobile, but it's slowly gotten out-of-date with all the new changes we've introduced in the past months. This week, we implemented some changes that bring the experience closer to that on desktop, with design improvements that make it easier to keep feature parity as the product changes over time. We now have a persistent header across all pages—including on desktop—which includes a menu button to open the sidebar on smaller screen sizes. We also hide some information on smaller screens to maintain high information density.
We've added the ability to designate a "primary attribute" on each table, which freezes the column to the left side of the table. The primary attribute defaults to the primary key of the table (i.e. the ID), but you can set it to any attribute by clicking the column header and selecting "Set as primary attribute".
In addition, the primary attribute will appear as the value in foreign key relationships. This means that you can easily read and set relationship values without having to know the record's ID. It's very useful for setting a user's primary attribute as their email or name.
We also added new search feature in queries that allows you to easily scan your SQL queries. It supports find-and-replace, regex, case-sensitivity, whole-word search, and search-in-selection. You can trigger it by pressing Ctrl/Command + F in a query.
We spend a lot of time thinking about how to improve the performance of BaseDash. Unlike most software, we not only have to connect to our own servers, but also to your database, which adds another step into each network request. This means that we're fundamentally challenged on performance. Despite this, with good software engineering, we believe that we can build BaseDash to feel faster than 99% of software.
We spent the past week overhauling all of the code that manages fetching data. This allowed us to eliminate unnecessary network requests, add smarter client-side data caching, and improve data-loading dependencies. Here are the results:
We're really happy with these results, but we think there's always room to improve performance, so it'll continue to be a priority moving forward. If there's any part of the app that you feel is slow, let us know on our Slack community and we'll prioritize it.
We've improved the keyboard navigation on the views page to make it easier than ever to get to your data. You can now use the arrow keys or 'j' and 'k' to navigate through the list, 'return' to open the selected view, and 'f' to favorite a view, pinning it to the sidebar. You can also now press 'g' then 'v' to go to the views page. As before, you can press '/' to open search and jump straight to a view from anywhere.
We're big fans of keyboard navigation and aim to make the entire app keyboard navigable. We're currently about 90% of the way there.
Views are the base unit in BaseDash—they're how you organize data and share insights across your team. Until now, we've shown all your views directly in the sidebar. This works well when you just have a handful of views, but quickly gets out of control as your team generates many views.
To solve this, we created a dedicated page to see all your views in one place. Beyond just the name, we also show the database and table that the view pulls data from, and when it was created. From here, you can individually choose to favorite certain views that you use regularly to pin them to your sidebar for easy access. Favorites are unique to each user so they won't affect your teammates.
We also now sort views by their emoji first, then alphanumerically, which opens up another layer of organization to your views page.
We have big plans around how to let you organize views even more in the future—keep up to date by following us on Twitter.
Connecting to a database can be difficult, involving trusted sources, credentials, certificates, and more, depending on your setup. We've added inline instructions and videos on how to find some of this information while connecting a data source in BaseDash.
Specifically, we now show text and video instructions on:
We currently have videos for all major managed database hosting providers with plans to add more in the future.
BaseDash now has a public Slack community! We'll be using this to share tips and updates to the tool, and showing off some sneak peeks of product changes before they go live. It's a great place to chat with the team and other power users about the future of BaseDash, and how to use the tool to its full potential.
We try to be incredibly responsive to bug reports and feature requests. Let us know what's been bugging you in the #bugs channel, and what you'd like to see us add in #feature-requests.
Join the Slack community here—we're looking forward to meeting you!