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Welcome to Xanomorph
What is Xano? And why you might use it.
Welcome to Xanomorph, a newsletter and blog that will dive deep into best practices, tips, and tricks for building on Xano.
What is Xano, you might ask?
In one sentence, Xano is a no-code platform for building application programming interfaces (APIs), which can be used as the “back end” for an application.
This is distinct from a “front end,” which is what most people are familiar with when they think about applications. The front end has buttons, inputs, and displays that you can click on and interact with.
The back end, however, is where the magic happens, and database lookups, data transformations, and interactions with other applications occur.
When you combine a back and front end, you get a “full stack.”
Xano’s main selling point is that it doesn’t require you to write code to develop your back end. Especially when building APIs, this is a huge time saver. As a self-taught developer, I attempted to build a series of APIs for my application StackAware using Python on Microsoft Azure Web Apps, and it took a long time to just build a single endpoint. As soon as I switched over to Xano, though, I was off to the races very quickly.
You can build a wide variety of applications for all sorts of use cases with Xano. While there are some limitations, if you are going the no-code route, it’s likely that you’ll be able to solve most of your problems using the tool.
There are a growing array of no-code offerings on the market, and sometimes it can be hard to distinguish between them. To simplify things, I would break them down into three categories, along with a non-exhaustive list of examples:
Front end only
Back end only
All of these platforms have their owns quirks, and many of them (especially Bubble) have thriving communities of builders who use them. While Xano does have decent documentation and a great YouTube channel, both of which I recommend, I haven’t yet seen an alternative source of information on the product and how it works.
Thus, my goal with Xanomorph is get deep in the weeds to fill the gaps in the existing content available about Xano. As someone who is actively building an app with the tool, I’ll share my insights along the way, hopefully saving you a bunch of time and effort.
This is not a beginners guide or an A → Z type tutorial. My goal is to clearly explain certain confusing or troublesome aspects of the platform and how I got around them. The Xano documentation is the place to start if you want the former type of content.
Finally, as a disclosure, I want to make clear I am not affiliated with Xano, Inc. except for being a customer. They didn’t ask me to write this blog. If, however, you sign up for a paid plan using my referral link, I will get compensated by Xano. This is available to every one of their customers, though, so I don’t consider it to be special treatment.
That’s all for this issue. Next time I’ll discuss how to set up versioning for items in your database.
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