Blog > Company > Using Transposit to automate our alpha user onboarding (part 2)

Using Transposit to automate our alpha user onboarding (part 2)

In a matter of hours (not the days or weeks it might have required prior to Transposit) we built an application to simplify our process.

In our previous post, we discussed using Transposit and Airtable to manage a user whitelist. But we quickly discovered that the process of sending invitations by hand was prone to errors (we’ve all received that email where someone copy/pasted the wrong name) and a bit tedious.

So, in a matter of hours — not the days or weeks it might have required prior to Transposit — my colleague Nina built an application to simplify and error-proof the process.

The manual process#

We had two email templates to send: the initial email to be sent from the team member with the closest relationship to the user for personal context, and a follow-up email sent from our support team to establish the ongoing support relationship. The flow went like this:

  • Copy/pasting the appropriate initial outreach email template
  • Replacing names in the email template and sending the email
  • Once the user replied with their desired username and account email, add them to the whitelist in Airtable, and send a welcome email from our support account
  • Updating our customer tracking spreadsheet with current status

The manual steps were easily missed, leading to lost users. There was also the potential for mistakes, like incorrect values being populated in our whitelist, which meant users were denied access even after they received the welcome email. The tracking spreadsheet being manually updated meant that it would easily fall out of sync.

Applications are increasingly about integration#

As more and more of our lives are being run by third-party services, applications that help us operate more efficiently are increasingly about connecting these various services and providing easy interfaces customized for specific tasks.

For our alpha user onboarding flow, we were primarily connecting Google Mail, Google Spreadsheets, and Airtable, tying them together with some custom logic, and adding a lightweight UI.

An example application interface

Building before the days of Transposit#

To build one of these applications without Transposit, we might spend considerable time on engineering overhead, including:

  • Integrating with a sign-in provider such as Google so that we can control access to the application
  • To send the initial emails from the user, we need to integrate with GMail’s OAuth flow and expose this flow in the application
  • To send follow up emails from our support account and to update Airtable and Google Sheets, we need to securely store credentials
  • Even simple UIs require a lot of overhead to display forms, call APIs, and render results, not to mention the pains of operationalizing the servers needed to handle the OAuth callbacks

All this overhead means that even the simplest applications, once they need to integrate with various third-party services, can take weeks or months to build.

Simplicity with Transposit#

Transposit provides lightweight hosting facilities with a number of ready-to-use templates for common use cases, integrated with a unique managed authentication solution. Our managed authentication solution handles front door access to your application, but also a connect page that allows users to authenticate third-party data sources.

The real power of using Transposit to handle authentication is that it enables the Transposit relational engine to do all the heavy lifting for your integrations. Our templates and hosting mean that you can have beautiful applications with only modest frontend skills; developers can focus exclusively on the business logic that ties together these services.

Want to try it out? Sign up for early access.

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