Dabble DB

The Dabble Blog


You may have noticed that we’ve been a bit quiet lately. It’s not that we’ve been on vacation; rather we can finally announce today that our company, Smallthought Systems, has been acquired. We’re joining forces with our friends at Twitter.

To our users:

Obviously this represents a new chapter in the life of Dabble DB, both for us as a team and for the product itself. We’d like to assure you that, for now, we will continue to provide our software and technical support to current Dabble DB customers. However, we will be disabling new account signups effective immediately.

There will be further changes to Dabble's ongoing operations, and when those happen, we want to do right by you. We will provide you with 60 days advance notice of any major change. We will do whatever we need to do to make sure that, at any time, you can export all of your data, including attachments, in a structured format suitable for import into other systems.

Why we're excited:


Twitter the company feels like a bigger version of Smallthought: fun-loving, user-focused, and lots of smarts everywhere you look.  We know we'll fit in great there and help them become even better.


Twitter is simple, elegant, useful and has its own personality — just like Dabble DB and Trendly.  It's a product we all love using every day.


Like Dabble, Twitter has very passionate users, but the scale is completely different.  We're very excited about increasing the number of lives we touch by orders of magnitude.


Avi, Ben, Luke and I will be moving down to San Francisco this fall to work in Twitter's great downtown offices.  We'll certainly miss everyone we're leaving behind, but at the same time we're excited about a new adventure.  One great consequence of this is that the four of us will finally all live and work out of the same city — that has never happened before!

- Andrew


  1. Dennis McDonald says:

    Good luck! Dabble DB is great and I've been recommending it whenever I get the chance. Hope things go well with Twitter!

  2. Lux says:

    I'm happy that the team has a new purpose and a new focus. You guys deserve your success and Twitter of course is an amazing company. Congratulations.

    However, as a longtime Dabble DB customer, whose team has built a number of mission-critical workflows around Dabble, I'm pretty disappointed to hear that Dabble DB is ceasing active development. I hope 60 days will be sufficient time for us to find and implement a new solution.

  3. Grant Hutchinson says:

    While I am certainly happy and excited for you folks, the real possibility of DabbleDB being discontinued as a service frightens me. It’s fairly obvious from Avi’s post that the acquisition had more to do with Trendly than with DabbleDB. That makes the most sense from Twitter's point of view.


    However, I don't use Trendly ... I use DabbleDB. I use it (and depend on it) a lot.

    Please alleviate my (hopefully) unfounded fears.

  4. Simon Cassidy says:

    We've most of our operations running on dabble, with almost 60 users, most of clients, this is the worst news, twitter are going to shut dabble down. Bye.

  5. Grant Hutchinson says:

    Simon … I wouldn’t go as far as that.

    I truly believe that Smallthought cares about their Dabble DB users and the future of their data. There is no indication that Dabble DB will simply cease to exist … there are plenty of ways that the service could be perpetuated.

    Yes, I’m concerned about the service’s future, but I’m also not going to start panicking about it.

  6. Jamie says:


    Well, good luck to you all.

    I am really concerned to hear this news as DabbleDB has become totally fundamental to our business and I don't know f any other product which is so intuitive and flexible.

    I suppose we all have to trust in the fact that DabbleDB is a great bit of software with a hopefulyl strong following and that in itself should be a business case.

    I just hope you guys have been running to a sensible business plan and that the quality of the product is reflected in your bottom line.

    All the best.

  7. Dave says:

    Congrats on your deal, but this blog post is very lacking, in my humble opinion.

    Simple question: do you *intend* to cease operating DabbleDB in its current state even if you don't have an exact timeframe in mind? It would be really helpful to have an unambiguous answer to this.

    If you do intend to cease operations, will you make any effort to continue Dabble's existence through transferring to another organization or some other means?

    And given that you've delivered pretty sophisticated services to a relatively laymen audience, 60 days seems to be a little skimpy in terms of coming up with an alternative. 90 or 120 days would be more reasonable.

    Congrats again - it will be really nice to see your talents applied at Twitter, but please don't lose focus of your loyal users.


  8. Andrew Catton says:

    Thanks for the congrats, all. As for the concerns from our users, we've been posting in the Dabble DB Users' forum:


  9. Brandon says:

    Best of luck! Curious to see whether Twitter will start branching out into fee-based SaaS instead of just social networking.

  10. Liz says:

    Congratulations! I think you have an amazing service and I hope it can continue is some form.

    I also look forward to seeing what your talents can bring to Twitter and I hope you'll be able to share projects you're working on with users.

  11. Randall says:

    Congratulations guys, I know this is great news for you -- and Twitter. As a founder of another web based database platform your success over the past few years has been an inspiration to me. In these uncertain times though, I know your customers may be on edge wondering what will happen to their data. I also know, potential new customers who would like to use your product will need an alternative.

    If you don't mind, I'd like to offer Qrimp as an alternative to DabbleDB. http://www.qrimp.com

    We'll provide our online database at the same rate your customers are paying and help them import their data into Qrimp for free. Here's more info about that offer: http://www.qrimp.com/blog/blog.Alternative-to-DabbleDB.html

    I hope your transition to Twitter is a success. I know Twitter will be better off with you on the team and you'll have the opportunity to affect many more lives in a positive way.

  12. James West says:

    I thought it was too good to be true. Every time a company becomes bigger, the customers suffer. I literally have thousands of Veterans using my Dabbledb sites, and now that will disappear so that teenagers can tell uninterested people what they are doing. A shame....

  13. Igor Petrushenko says:

    Sad to hear you are going to down this very good service, and our long time competitor.

    But I would suggest everyone to switch to
    http://MyTaskHelper.com - free online form & database builder.

    I'll be happy if Dabble Team can update this post with the list of services where their users can migrate. It would be honest from their side.

    Good luck with Twitter, guys!

  14. Terry says:

    Heard the phrase 'No-one ever got fired for buying IBM'?
    Now you know what it means.

  15. James West says:

    After considerable searching around the Internet, and reading the comments above, I checked out http://MyTaskHelper.com. I found it is as easy, if not easier than Dabble and the SEARCH is greatly improved over Dabble. Help replies are within minutes of posting a question. So I am in the easy process of converting all of my Dabble databases over to "MyTaskHelper". I see no reason to wait for Dabble to make up their minds. While I enjoyed Dabble, apparently they didn't enjoy me.

  16. Jason Ewart says:

    Hey Everyone,

    Go to Zoho Creator. They have designed their software such that you can import your dabbledb applications easily. It is much the same as dabble and actually is far better because you are able to do 'if/else' statements, whereas dabble can only do 'and' filters on a single field. Also, they are not likely to shut down any time soon because they have over 400,000 customers! PLUS, they are cheaper. And no, I dont work for them. I was told about them from a programmer I know. I just think they are the next best solution and I probably would have started out with them had I known about them. Good luck everyone!

  17. Andrew says:

    Hi there

    I vote for http://MyTaskHelper.com too. It's in fact almost free, maximum you can pay is 20$/month, same in Zoho is 200$/month

    I've tried and absolutely love it. It looks so simple and in fact it is so easy to work with.

  18. Mike says:

    Consider MTH (http://MyTaskHelper.com) if you do not need any complex calculations from your database. You can import your database from excel, edit it and export back to excel when you need. Export all files available too.
    They can generate Google Maps based on your data too.

  19. Mike says:

    Sorry, broken link, here is correct one:

  20. Dave says:

    How can you turkeys queue up to congratulate a company that is pulling the plug on you? I bet you did nothing of commercial strength using this facility.

    Glad I kept the mission-critical stuff in Microsoft technologies, located on a good ol' LAN.

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