Is your business looking for an easy way to create database applications, without having to worry about writing complicated code? If that sounds like you, you might want to invest a bit of time with a new platform called NocoDB.
NocoDB claims to be an Airtable alternative, and it can be deployed to your network via a Docker container. What’s special about NocoDB is that it offers a very user-friendly means of creating database-driven applications with point-and-click simplicity.
I’m going to show you how to deploy NocoDB with the help of Docker so you can get started building your first database application.
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What you’ll need
NocoDB can be deployed on any desktop or server machine that supports Docker. I’ll be demonstrating on Ubuntu Server 22.04, but you can use whatever operating system you choose.
How to install Docker
The first thing we’ll do is install Docker on Ubuntu Server 22.04. To do that, log into your Ubuntu instance and add the necessary repository with the command:
curl -fsSL https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu/gpg | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg
Next, add the Docker repository with:
echo "deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg] https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu $(lsb_release -cs) stable" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list > /dev/null
You’ll next need to install a few dependencies with the command:
sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl gnupg lsb-release -y
Update apt and install the Docker engine with:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli containerd.io -y
Add your user to the docker group with the command:
sudo usermod -aG docker $USER
Finally, make the system aware of the changes with the command:
How to deploy NocoDB
Before we deploy the container, we need to create a directory to be used for persistent data. Create this directory with:
You can place that directory wherever you want or need it. I placed it in my home directory for simplicity.
Finally, deploy NocoDB with the command:
docker run -d -p 8080:8080 --name nocodb -v /home/jack/nocodb:/usr/app/data nocodb/nocodb:latest
Notes: If external port 8080 is already in use, go with a different port and make sure you edit the path to the nocodb directory you created.
How to access the NocoDB UI
Once you’ve deployed the container, you’ll need to give the services enough time to spin up. After a few minutes, open a web browser and point it to
SERVER is the IP address of the hosting server).
You should be greeted by the NocoDB welcome page (Figure A).
Click Let’s Begin and you’ll be prompted to create a new user (Figure B).
Type an email address and password and then click Sign Up. You will then be taken to the My Projects page (Figure C).
Congratulations, you’ve successfully deployed the NocoDB platform. You now have the power of a very easy-to-use no-code database app-building solution. In my next entry, I’ll walk you through the steps of creating a simple note-taking app.
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