Building and centralizing large information systems can be a huge undertaking. LIFE NarcIS IT Coordinator Dr. Alexis Zrimec figured it would be easier to just build the project in Bubble as proof of concept, and he quickly brought everyone on board with the prototype. LIFE NarcIS (NAtuRe Conservation Information System) is a publicly funded project to build an information system for nature conservation, led by the Slovenian Environmental Agency. Alexis told us about the work their team has done and what’s next as the project continues.

Tell us about your app and what it does.

LIFE NarcIS is a publicly funded project, led by the Slovenian Environmental Agency, for building an information system for nature conservation. The app will be a single entry point to different user interfaces and online services to allow viewing, browsing, downloading, and using data from various institutional sources on biology and nature conservation. The goal is making implementation of nature conservation and environmental legislation more efficient, reducing the administrative burden and increasing data accessibility for end users.

A screenshot of NarcIS.

How does your app work?

We started by building a website to introduce the project and its objectives to our future users. We are gradually adding new features that any visitor can browse through and enjoy, such as a news feed, a periodic newsletter, and an event calendar.

Then there are prototypes of functionalities initially available only to project partners and administrators. This is because data is still in the process of consolidation and there are privacy and accessibility rules to be implemented before enabling public access. One such feature is the national catalog of plant and animal species, together with their occurrence data, classification, and protection status.

Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.

I’m not a coder by profession, but I was working with IT teams for many years. There was always this dependency on developers, and lately on slow public procurement procedures, getting the final software “as is” or “as understood,” without the possibility for continuous improvements after the project was over and done. Frustrated, I played with some simple no-code tools for better communicating my product ideas to developers, and then I randomly discovered Bubble. This changed everything as I was able to learn it in a matter of weeks and build full-scale web applications hassle-free and in a fraction of the time needed before.

Why did you build your app on Bubble?

Bubble enables me to build websites, fast prototypes, and full stack web applications. I have learned to use external APIs and develop my own JavaScript plugins, while at the same time having lots of fun creating new products. I have yet to reach the limits of Bubble, and with the community of thousands of Bubblers with solutions to every obstacle I ever encountered, that might never happen.

What have been your milestones or successes so far?

The biggest success was convincing the team and developers that no-code can deliver better results and was faster than what they were used to. Public projects are almost never planned to be agile or lean. The convincing was done by doing, not talking, and after the site was built and the prototypes worked, even the outsourced developers decided to switch to no-code and low-code frameworks for the different web services that will be accessed through the Bubble app.

What are your future plans for your app?

The most important future task is to establish an internal no/low-code team for securing a continuous development of the web application and its different services. We will develop data browsers, data-as-a-service and GIS interfaces, data and user management tools, and many dedicated app features for specific user segments, such as photo management, field data entry forms, and connectors to external databases.

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About Bubble

Bubble is a leader in the no-code movement. Bubble offers a powerful point-and-click web editor and cloud hosting platform that allows users to build fully customizable web applications and workflows, ranging from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces, SaaS products, and more. Over 500,000 users are currently building and launching businesses on Bubble – many have gone on to participate in top accelerator programs, such as Y Combinator, and even raise $365M in venture funding. Bubble is more than just a product. We are a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs that are united by the belief that everyone should be able to create technology.

Do you want your app featured by Bubble? Reach out to us and tell us about your app. In addition to this series, we sometimes select our best apps to showcase on our website.