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Dec 01, 2021 • Issue #71 by Aron Korenblit

Every tool has automation now part 3: Webflow launches Logic

At NoCodeConf, Webflow announced a slew of new features: Memberships, Logic and improved load time. In the keynote, Vlad framed these as part of his vision of Webflow as an app building platform.

Similar to his 2019 talk, Vlad created a straight line between software development building blocks and his vision for Webflow.

Explicitly, an app has three parts: UI, Data and Logic.

UI in Webflow is abstracted through the Designer which mimics writing HTML/CSS/Javascript. Data is managed through the CMS, a (limited) relational database. Memberships will be a special CMS collection type. Finally Business Logic will be handled by this new surface called, well, Logic.

With Logic, Webflow joins the club of software-as-a-service tools offering built in automations. As I've written about before a few times, every saas tool eventually adds its own flavor of automation.

Webflow's attempt at automations is an "if this then that" type builder which is standard. Webflow's ambitions go beyond that. Their first go includes logic branches.

Screenshot taken from webflow.com/logic

I don't know which triggers/actions are available in Logic today. But the fact that it includes logic branches right from the getgo tells me that Webflow has grand ambitions here. I expect them to start with internal triggers (when form submitted, user updated etc.) and expand from there.

I personally only see myself using Webflow Logic to automate steps that happen in Webflow. Since Webflow isn't where I manage my work—it's simply one of many CMS' where my work ends up—I don't expect to use their logic in my workflow for data that originates in Webflow such as creating CMS items on form submissions or sending emails to downstream systems. For me, Webflow will never be my single source of truth so should not have any information that isn't mirrored elsewhere.

Looking at this longer term, I have to ask myself, who is Webflow developing software for? The launch of Memberships tells me that they're focused on creators & small businesses. Their implementation of Logic tells me that Hubspot's base (medium/large marketing orgs) which has amazing automations but terrible websites might be in their line of sight. Vlad explicitly mentioned Memberships as a way to bolster their e-commerce efforts.

Webflow's goal is to disrupt software development writ large. Without a clear idea of who they're currently disrupting software development for, they may end up with something that is kind of good for a lot of people but not truly great for any of them. I hope that won't be the case, because I'm clearly team Webflow :)

Until next week, keep building!

Aron

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