Simple guide to learn auto-binding in Bubble

Simple guide to learn auto-binding in Bubble

Himanshu Sharma
Himanshu Sharma

Table of Contents

You have an input field that displays the Name of an Item in your database. You want your user to be able to update it, so you create a workflow.

Is there a way to auto-update a field without using a workflow?

In this tutorial, we'll learn how we can allow auto-binding in our Bubble apps.

What is auto-binding?

Auto-binding is a feature that lets you modify and update a field in your Bubble database without using a workflow. It allows you to reduce the number of workflows in your app and make the UX better for your user.

If an input is set to auto-bind a field, the target field's value is updated when the user updates the value and presses enter or clicks anywhere else.

You will need to set up privacy rules for aut0-binding to work. And also give the parent group of the input a Type of content.

Why use auto-binding in Bubble?

Auto-binding is useful when you don't want the user to start a workflow by clicking on a button or you cannot have the user click on a button.

Say you have a repeating group that displays a list of Employees. The Admin should be able to update Employee Position by editing the input field in the repeating group.

Users may not know that the field is auto-updated from a UX perspective. Try to have an alert message to let the user know that the field has been updated.

How to configure the input element

  1. Give the parent group of the input element a Type of Content and a Data source.
  2. Enable Auto-binding on the Parent element's thing.
  3. Create Privacy rules for the data type you want to update.
  4. Create an alert message to let the user know that field has been updated.

Assigning a Type of content

We have two input fields on the page - an input element for the Name and a dropdown for the Country Option set.

If Auto-binding hadn't been used, the input element's configuration would have been like this.

Input element configuration without autobinding in tutorial nocodeassistant
Input element configuration without auto-binding

To enable auto-binding, we will begin by assigning a 'Type of content' to the parent group of the input element. The field's data type is Item, so we can put the Type of content as Item. You can configure the data source as per your application, but I have set it as the first Item record for this tutorial.

You will not be able to enable auto-binding without assigning a Type of content to the parent group.

Enable Auto-binding on the input

The next step is to enable autobinding. We need to check the 'Enable auto-binding on the parent element's thing' checkbox to do this.

Bubble will give you an option to select a 'Field to modify'. We will choose our option from this list.

The workflow will run immediately. It will not wait for any trigger or conditional statements. 

Configuring the Privacy rules

Privacy rules are a way to restrict access to the database using specific rules.

An everyday use case is for users to be able to view only the information created by them. Another example is to restrict a company only to view their customers.

They are applied server-side, so only the permitted data is downloaded to your user's browser. To use auto-binding, we need to grant permissions to our users to auto-update their data.

When you enable auto-binding, Bubble will alert you that you need to define the Privacy rules to allow your users to auto-update this field.

Go to the Privacy section in the Data tab of your Bubble app.

Data - Privacy

Choose the relevant data type and click on define a new role. Give a name to this role and click Create.

We now need to define the rule.

If we want to grant auto-binding privilege to only the Item creator, we can define the rule as below.

You can define the rule according to your use case. It is simple business logic. And finally, check the 'Allow auto-binding' checkbox for this rule.

A good data security practice is to uncheck the permissions for 'Everyone else' and create multiple rules. It would be best to allow the find and view permissions to everyone only in the rarest of the rare cases.

Creating an alert message

The alert message will disappear now that you've created the privacy rules.

All that is left is to show the user a success message that the field has been updated. Drag and place a new alert element on your editor. Style and position it to your liking.

Check the 'Show an alert on success' checkbox. Choose the alert element that you just created.

Repeat the same for all the other inputs fields.

That's it. You now have input fields with auto-binding.

You can follow the same process for input fields in a repeating group. 

Editor -

Preview -

Backend workflows for Beginners |
Backend workflows are server-side workflows in Use them to schedule actions in the future or work with a big list.
Honest Review - the most user-friendly and powerful app builder?
Bubble is an amazing platform to build your business. It’s easy to use and can be up and running in a very short time. However, there are some limitations to what Bubble can do. Get an honest review of the pros and cons of

If you need some help with your Bubble app or a team of Bubble developers to build a Bubble app for you, reach out to me at [email protected]. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Join the conversation.