This is a review of several major competitors in terms of conceptual structure (Apps, Types, Views, Pages).
The problem with the new waves of no-code collaborative tools is lack of consistent terminology.
|App → Space||Space||Base||Page||Document|
|Type → Database||List||Table||Database||Table|
|Document → Page||Document||-||Page||Page|
View is a common term, Page/Document is quite OK as well, but other things are not unified and it makes everything more complex. We are in the evolutionary process here and terms should merge at some point.
In Fibery we’ll do the following changes of terms:
App → Space (Base is not clear, while Notion/Coda concepts are not applicable here)
Type → Database (List and Table are close to Views, Database is not perfect also, but we have to choose the lest of both evils…)
Document → Page (Page is more flexible and better suited for Block structure)
The most complex of all. Notable things:
- Space = App.
- List = Type (user adds a list, which is a table in fact). User never deals with Type concept.
- All Apps are visible in left menu, you can add folders inside.
- Docs and Dashboards are separated into different menu categories.
- Views are inside a List.
New app creation flow
Similar to Notion in general.
- Doc = App.
- User deal with one Doc at a time.
- Page = Document / Entity View in Fibery. Pages can be nested.
- Table = Type (user adds a Table into a Page. He can select a new table or a view to existing Table).
- View addition is equal to Table, you can create a new Type essentially or link View to existing Table (Type).
New Type creation flow. Note that you can create a new table or create a View in general.
- Base = App.
- User focuses on one App at a time (as in Coda).
- Table = Type (as usual, Type concept is hidden).
- Views are inside Tables (Types).
- Folders are available in Pro edition.
App creation flow
Similar to Coda. Page represents almost everything. In general there are only two abstractions in Notion: Page and Database.
- Page = App.
- Page = Doc/Entity View/Folder.
- Database = Type (when you add Database, you ALWAYS create a new Type it seems).
- Views are inside Database, but you can add ANY view to ANY page via a special / command “Create linked database”.
App creation flow
What about Type?
Almost all tools hide Type and mix it with List/Table concept. Only notion has a Database term for Type explicitly.
All tools hide Type meta. In all tools you operate with Type via Table/List/View.
How many Apps I see at a time?
Coda and Airtable show one app at a time.
Clickup and Notion show all apps in left menu.
App creation flow:
In Coda and Notion App = Page/Doc, and creation flow is very natural with embedded tables
In Airtable and Clickup there is a wizard for App creation. Airtable wizard is very basic and you just jump into the app after the one step.
All tools allow to Import data when you create an App.
Re-design App creation flow in Fibery, remove meta-level and implement Airtable-like flow for App creation.
Remove App Setting screen. Remove Type setting screen. They will be NOT accessible by admins.
Use Table as a default screen for Type management. (NOTE: this is a special screen with its own top area - set color, delete Type, rename Type - Table is used as a UI to manage fields).
Show all Types as Tables in an App left menu
Embed Import into the app creation flow