Ten must-have tools (Part 2)

Happy Viz Extension Launch!

Hi everyone,

Tableau 2024.2 is out! Everyone can now enjoy Viz Extensions.

Thanks to everyone who has already purchased a license and given us feedback. With the official launch, we updated the FAQ that was published two weeks ago.

Speaking about Viz Extension, there is currently a bug directly in the code of the Viz Extension API that prevents anyone to save a workbook that uses Measure Values in a Viz Extension. This is not on our end and it impacts all extensions (even Tableau’s own Sankey). Tableau is already working on a fix, and we’ll keep you updated.

Finally, before continuing with part 2 of our ten must-have tools, we have already released some updates to the Figma to Tableau Plugin. You can check the version history to see the new features.

Next week’s newsletter will focus on the plugin with a significant change, so stay tuned!

Ten must-have tools (Part 2)

For this second part, we want to focus on the tools we use to build our products and Saas.

These tools allow us, a small studio of two, to build Viz Extensions, the Figma to Tableau Plugin, or BANg… without any knowledge about back-end technology!

Neither Jessica nor I like back-end (not surprising for a data visualization company!).

All these tools focus on front-end and API calls to generate, activate, and verify licenses, create accounts, manage a user base, and deploy and host a website.

This second part is more technical and probably not for everyone. However “How do you build your tools?” is a question we get from time to time. If you ever thought about selling a data visualization product, here’s how you can start. Sorry for the non technical people, we are back next week with simpler stuff!

  1. Lemon Squeezy 

    Lemon Squeezy handles the payment processes, products, and licenses. It also acts as a Merchant of Record (so we don’t have to handle any tax withholding ourselves or invoices).

    We can create different products at a one-time cost or with a subscription, and they offer many other payment methods. Their API allows us to activate licenses and verify the validity of the key, and they also create a store to display your products.

    We chose this over Stripe because it allows us to sell worldwide without the hassle of tax calculations depending on our customers' countries.

    Cost: Lemon Squeezy takes 5% + 50¢ of each sale.

  2. Firebase / Firestore

    Firebase is a technology from Google Cloud that allows us to handle user authentication (to use Advviz and BANg) and a cloud database without SQL.

    All the Authentication processes (creating a user, logging in, handling passwords and resetting them, and changing email) are managed by Firebase, and we can’t access any of your secure information.

    For some tools, we need to store some extra information (the remaining trials in the plugin, for example), and we use Firestore. Again, we do not need to host anything; we can quickly read and write information via API calls.

    Cost: they have a generous free tier, and then it’s paid by usage.

  3. Zapier

    When we need to synchronize Lemon Squeezy and Firestore, we use Zapier.

    It is an automation tool that will, for example, automatically detect that Lemon Squeezy has generated a new license and write that information in Firestore.

    I don’t have much more to say; it’s a pretty famous automation tool, and we use it purely to share technical license information between Lemon Squeezy and Firestore.

    Cost: you can start for free at 100 automation per month and then scale as you need.

  4. Netlify

    I have been using Netlify to host and deploy our projects since 2019!

    It is a very easy-to-use deployment tool. If you have a static web page, you can drag and drop the folder, and your site will be deployed automatically and instantly for free.

    Like us, you can connect Netlify to your GitHub repository and have Netlify automatically redeploy your site with your changes every time you push updates.

    In our case, Netlify also handles the forms when you contact us and API calls with Netlify functions.

    Cost: They have a generous free tier, perfect for starting your app!

  5. Svelte

    Ah, Svelte….

    We probably would never have started building products without Svelte. It reconciled me with coding after not writing a single line for five years.

    Svelte makes d3 easy. If you ever want to learn how to build visualization on the web, it is now easier than ever. We collaborated with Connor in the past to rebuild our website, so I can only recommend his Svelte course about data visualization.

    All our Viz Extensions, the Figma to Tableau plugin, BANg, our website, and even our most minor fun project are coded using Svelte.

    Cost: free!

Hopefully, some of you will find it helpful!

We will be back next week with a very visual update!

That’s it for this week!

You can reach us easily over there:
‣ Website: https://www.ladataviz.com
‣ Twitter/X : https://twitter.com/ladataviz
‣ Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@ladataviz
‣ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ladataviz/
‣ All other links: https://linktr.ee/ladataviz

If you have any suggestions, feedback is appreciated!