Developing Coda as all-in-one SaaS builder

Hi, I would like to request some features which may or may not alter Coda development course. I know I’m currently just another Coda user, but I really think Coda has much more potential than the current state, because I’ve tested using Coda to build a small SaaS within 2 weeks from scratch with no prior coding knowledge whatsoever, and have successfully do so, but now I’m already stuck because of some inherent limitations of Coda in handling user groups access and frontend-backend issues. Which I think also won’t be solved by ‘Locking’ features found in Team plan.

So, what I really need in order to make things work and turn Coda into one-of-the-kind SaaS builder are as follow:

  • Multi-tiered user group along with role and access management. (like the one implemented by Softr)
  • Ability to hide and lock table/view under certain conditions/ for certain user groups using formula similar to Filter (So Doc makers can create powerful, dynamic, and directly editable front-end pages for their customers/clients. For example, within a single page, one table is editable while another is just viewable to provide additional information/reference).
  • Ability to hide and lock column using formula (So Doc makers can hide certain columns under certain conditions/ for certain users. For example for multi-currency situation, or any other use cases that require different views for different user/situation, without having to create multiple table views or different pages which will become very confusing very fast with different table names).
  • Ability to hide and lock pages and sub-pages (So people can create ‘backend’ pages that are only accessible to certain users/team while leaving other ‘frontend’ pages to be accessible to their customers/clients/visitors).
  • Action to create Table with dynamic names.
  • Custom user Icons or if possible later, UI designer tools (like what’ve been offered by Airtable).

Adding more SaaS friendly features will help people to build online portals, software and platforms which will generate explosively huge new user sign-ups for Coda as underlying platform, which will then turn those users’ users into potential paid Coda customers whenever they decide to, as they have been exposed to Coda workflow and are already familiar with the workspace, because they’ve learned to use the apps built by more advanced Coda users who will teach their clients the basic workflow of their apps.

In return, the more users joining Coda platform, the more familiar they’ll be in using any portal software or SaaS built on Coda. Because from end user’s standpoint, it’s like adding new apps and functionalities into their lives without having to learn how a new layout and workflow works. So, the network effect is tremendous.

But in order to do so, Coda should be willing and ready to take direction as the new and one-of-the-kind CMS and software builder in the market. And not just another ‘internal tools’ software that focusing on management and collaborating use cases. Because I do think Coda has potential to replace Wordpress (as customizable CMS), Wix (as hosted website builder but with backend), even Airtable+Softr(as SaaS builder). All with new approach that integrates everything from ideation, spreadsheets, web UI, programming, down to databasing, from single workspace. And this kind of software is really needed by online entrepreneurs with ideas but no coding skills, but tired and confused of using multiple software and services.

So, all Coda needs to do (as far as I’m concerned) are just adding functionalities of locking and hiding for every element including pages, tables, and column, user group access and rebrandable SSO, and later down the road, a better UIX design tool to manipulate table views. With rebrandable Coda SSO, every new user will also be Coda’s user, and I’m sure app creators will love to promote Coda to their customers using their affiliate links.

This way, Coda will incorporate the more powerful features and possibilities than any of other separate tools such as Softr, Airtable, Notion, and Wordpress combined, while also have the unique position that attracts the simplest users who need the simplest tools. Like an all-in-one cloud OS. Of course, if Coda one day decides to integrate even more data source (like what Webflow does for example), it will open much more possibilities and suck away users from other builder apps.
Another addition to make Coda database functionality even more powerful, is the ability to pull data from other APIs, and present them in a column (just like what StackBy did).

I’m sorry for the long read, but I really hope someone will take this seriously and develop things at the direction I’m visioning Coda for soon.