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Frequently asked questions

What is Saltcorn?

Saltcorn is a program that lets you build your own web applications. You can think of it as WordPress for more structured data, which may be generated by users or by the site owners.

Is Saltcorn backend or a front end?

Saltcorn is a self-contained end-to-end solution for building web applications, so the user doesn't have to think about backends and front ends.

Saltcorn relies on PostgreSQL relational database to store its data, but it will manage the database schema and you do not have to write any SQL.

What kind of applications can I build with Saltcorn?

Applications that fit into the relational model and for which the user interface is mostly based on creating, reading, updating and deleting structured content. Some of the core use cases I had in mind during the development were:

  • To-do lists
  • Note taking
  • Project management
  • CRM
  • Catalog of books/records/mischiefs
  • issue tracker
  • Wiki
  • Blog
  • Facility bookings/reservation

Some use cases that are on the roadmap but not yet supported are:

  • Public survey/questionnaires
  • Social networks

What kind of applications is Saltcorn not be suitable for?

  • Single purpose applications. If you just want a blog, there are much better blog engines out there. If you just want a wiki, there are much better wiki engines. Saltcorn shines when you want a bit of a blog, a bit of a project management system, a bit of CRM, and it's all about your special kind of widget.

  • Interactive collaboration. Seeing live updates from other users is not something we support right now.

Why should I use Saltcorn instead of xyz?

There are many other application platforms with the same aims as Saltcorn, but very few of them are open source. For some people this won't matter, but the open source model will protect you from vendor lock in – being tied to one provider which may at any point raise its prices, cease to exist, discontinue features that you rely on. At some point you may also decide that the nocode model no longer works for you and you are ready to build something with code. At that point, how easy is it to transition your users and your content to another platform?

It is a goal of Saltcorn that people who outgrow Saltcorn at some point in the future should also not be locked into the tool but be in a good place where they can take their database and build a Rails or Node application against it.

Does it scale?

I've not put a lot of work into performance optimisation right now. However, it should be straightforward to cache the application meta data and at that point Saltcorn should scale like any other database backed web application.

Is Saltcorn secure?

Saltcorn is released under the MIT license with no warranty of any kind. That being said we do take security very seriously and scan for security vulnerabilities.

To the best of our knowledge there are no SQL injection, cross site scripting, or cross site request forgery vulnerabilities exploitable by non-admin users.

Can I use Saltcorn to build mobile apps?

Not yet, although the web applications built with Saltcorn should be responsive and work well on mobile depending on the theme.

What data does Saltcorn collect on its users?

If you are the end user of a Saltcorn application (self hosted or hosted on saltcorn.com), the application administrator may have activated plug-ins that collect various data on the end user behaviour.

If you are the administrator of an application hosted on saltcorn.com, you should be aware that error reporting analytics is in place so we can see when crashes occur. For the moment this is the only user behaviour analytics enabled, but we may enable further analytics in the future.

For self hosted Saltcorn, we have not enabled any telemetry as such. If you access the plugin store, your application will make requests to retrieve the list of available plugins and packs. Data about your installation are not sent to the store. We are actively looking for ways to improve the privacy of self-hosted Saltcorn, and we will make retrieving this list opt-in in the future.