This past year has been a transformative time for us at Convex. So, as we wrap up the holidays, we wanted to share some reflections on our 2023 and outline the big themes we expect to invest in throughout 2024.
Growing the Convex product
A year ago, the Convex backend application platform only had basic queries, mutations, and actions. Then, over the course of 22 releases in 52 weeks, the team added:
- HTTP actions for webhooks and SaaS services
- File storage
- Scheduled functions and cron jobs
- Full-text lexical search, including fuzzy and prefix search
- Vector search for AI embeddings
- Streaming import/export, and true round-trippable snapshots
- Clerk authentication
- Production telemetry: Datadog, Axiom, and Sentry support
- Preview deployments for your CI workflows
- Rust, Python, and non-React JS clients (in addition to the existing React client)
- Tons of ergonomic and API improvements
- Tons of improvements to packaging and server-side JS runtimes
- So many dashboard features: table filtering, function running, deployment logs, default environment variables
- Dozens of templates, libraries, demo projects, and Stack posts to share best practices for using Convex
After such a productive year, and after listening closely to all our users, we believe the platform finally delivers on our mission: Convex represents a new paradigm for backend development, and it is now the fastest and best way to build high-quality full-stack apps. If you're using another backend stack with a regular ol' database, you're moving too slowly.
Along the way, we stabilized a 1.0 API that provides a long-term foundation for teams to build lasting products. As anticipated, this was a crucial milestone in enabling projects to really invest in us! In December 2022, around 60 teams were using Convex 0.6 beta. Today, one year later, nearly 2,000 teams are building their project on Convex 1.7.
Growing our team and community
We strongly believe an amazing team and user community will be the crucial ingredients to our success. And so 2023 was all about building a bigger team, a bigger community, and having all those folks spend a lot of time together. We needed to go really deep with people who were both passionate about and (constructively 😄) critical of our platform.
Here are some highlights throughout the year:
What to expect in 2024
In short, we'll be emphasizing two major themes throughout 2024. The first is to make Convex even easier to use and more useful for a larger pool of developers. The second is to keep our promises to the new, growing pool of companies now building projects at scale using Convex.
More useful and easier
While Convex already has the best DX for full-stack development, it's still pretty low-level. There is so much more you all would like to do with it–we know because you tell us every day in our discord community!
And we agree the platform could provide better support for building more useful, more opinionated, higher-level ergonomics and sharing those with each other.
So a major focus During Q4 2023 and Q1 2024 will be to ship a component system. This component system will make it easier to rapidly build and deploy open-source libraries that provide really useful new capabilities on top of Convex. We imagine the component ecosystem will be a joint effort between Convex and the larger Convex user base.
What sorts of components might we focus on?
- Migration systems
- Bindings to other ways to model data and computation like xState or Effect
- New forms of/services for authentication
- Modular options for authorization like RLS
- New import/export systems
- Optimization layers such as debouncing, single-flighting, throttling
- Sophisticated integrations with 3rd parties like Stripe and OpenAI
- Product features like waiting rooms and LLM agents
In addition to components, we'll continue to publish useful guides, how-tos, builder stories, etc. on Stack.
Keeping promises to companies
While having the absolute best DX and developer efficiency is the reason teams adopt us at work, within companies another factor starts to matter: risk. Companies increasingly need a clear path to safely build and scale on Convex over many years. It's a long-term and significant relationship with us.
So through the last quarter of 2023, and increasingly in 2024, Convex will be focusing on the needs of these companies.
Some of the major investments will include:
- Compliance. Convex is currently preparing for our SOC 2 audit and will follow soon after with GDPR and HIPAA.
- Scale. Our team constantly invests in load testing and backend scaling to stay ahead of our largest customers. This need will get even more serious in 2024 as we have larger accounts going into production on the platform.
- Profiling/optimization. Currently, projects with scale have to rely too much on asking the Convex team for help to understand how to optimize their codebase. We'll be focusing on better documentation and systems to profile and optimize your Convex project for both performance and cost.
- Pricing for scale. Customers with lots of traffic need plans that give them more control over costs as their user base grows. Convex will introduce plans that better serve the needs of these teams with more fine-grained pricing that "passes through" more of the benefits of their optimization.
- Open source. Because Convex is a really novel method for making backends, "lock-in" is a very real and understandable worry. Companies need more access to how Convex is built and run so they retain a last-resort option to part ways with Convex the company without a complete backend rewrite.
- Management features for larger teams. Larger teams need things like audit logs, more sophisticated ownership and access controls, single sign-on, APIs for automatic provisioning of projects and users. We'll start making progress on all these platform features throughout 2024.
- Case studies/testimonials. Everything seems great, but is it actually working for larger sites in practice? Companies would love to hear more about success stories on Convex so they know it's not too good to be true.
Time to 2024
At Convex, we're deeply appreciative of this user community that's taken a chance on our funky new way of making backend software. Throughout 2023, many of you reached out and shared your love of the platform with our team. It's hard to overstate how much that means to us. It energizes us and inspires us to stay principled and uncompromising in our pursuit of an amazing DX for Convex users.
We're carrying that energy into 2024, ready for another big year. We'll check in December 2024 and see how we did.
Happy New Year! 🎉