Setting up Webflow’s hybrid app example locally with Ngrok

Learn to set up Webflow’s hybrid app with Ngrok

Setting up Webflow’s hybrid app example locally with Ngrok
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Webflow apps offer a world of potential, especially when it comes to hybrid apps, the versatile app types that include both server-side and client functionality. While Webflow has a thorough guide for using the hybrid example app with codespaces, I wanted to share an example of running it locally using NGROK. Webflow needs apps to use a publicly accessible HTTPS URI for redirects. Ngrok allows you to do this while testing locally. This approach is useful if you're thinking of using the hybrid app example as a foundation for your future integrations.
 

About the Hybrid app example

The hybrid app example enables users to generate images using OpenAI’s Dall-E and add them to their Webflow assets. I'm fond of this example for several reasons:
  1. It's built on Next.js, offering a glimpse into constructing data-client apps in this framework.
  1. It illustrates the process of integrating third-party APIs within Webflow’s Hybrid apps.
  1. It highlights how data from these APIs can be channeled into designer extensions, allowing users to view the info directly within Webflow.
 
It’s a demonstration of functionality that you could use to build many different kinds of hybrid apps within Webflow.
 
 
Gif of the Webflow hybrid app example taken from the Hybrid app example
Gif of the Webflow hybrid app example taken from the Hybrid app example

Running the Hybrid App with Ngrok

Before diving into running a Webflow hybrid app locally using Ngrok, make sure you meet the prerequisites. These tools and accounts are crucial for following along with this guide. Prerequisites
  • Node.js 16.20 or later
  • A Webflow site for development and testing
  • A Webflow site for development and testing

Step 1: Configure Webflow App

Follow Webflow's guide to create an app. Enable the data client and designer extension options. Set the following scopes:
'assets:read',
  'assets:write',
  'authorized_user:read',
  'cms:read',
  'cms:write',
  'custom_code:read',
  'custom_code:write',
  'forms:read',
  'forms:write',
  'pages:read',
  'pages:write',
  'sites:read',
  'sites:write',

Step 2: Clone the Repository

Clone the Webflow hybrid example repository. Use this command in your terminal:
git clone https://github.com/Webflow-Examples/Hybrid-App-Example.git
 
 
Once cloning is complete, switch to the new project directory with:
cd Hybrid-App-Example

Step 3: Set Up Ngrok

Webflow needs apps to use a publicly accessible HTTPS URI for redirects. Ngrok allows you to do this while testing locally. While these instructions largely follow Webflow's own guide, note that for the hybrid example, you should use port 3001 instead of 3000 and set the redirect URI to /webflow_redirect instead of /auth.
  1. Sign Up: Create a free Ngrok account.
  1. Install: In your terminal, run $ brew install ngrok.
  1. Authenticate: Use $ ngrok config add-authtoken <your-token> to add your auth token.
  1. Start Tunnel: Open a tunnel on port 3001 with $ ngrok http 3001.
  1. Configure Webflow App: Copy the Ngrok forwarding URI. Set this as your App's homepage in Webflow.
    1. notion image
  1. Add /webflow_redirect to the end of this URI for the Redirect URL. For example: https://939c-136-33-253-184.ngrok.io/webflow_redirect.
    1. notion image
 

Step 4: Set Up Environment Variables

  1. Create an .env.local file in both the data-client and designer-extension folders.
    1. notion image
  1. Add the following variables:
    1. CLIENT_ID=your_client_id
      CLIENT_SECRET=your_client_secret
      OPENAI_API_KEY=your_openai_api_key
      NEXT_PUBLIC_BACKEND_URL='your_NGROK_URL example https://939c-136-33-253-184.ngrok.io/'
      

Step 5: Install Dependencies

Run npm install in the data-client and designer-extension folders as well as your main folder.

Step 6: Run the App

Execute npm run dev to start the app and log in
notion image
 
After authorization, copy your token
notion image
 
 
and then log into your test site, and launch your development app to start generating images
notion image
 
There you have it! If you try running the Webflow app example locally, I'd love to hear about it. Drop me a tweet at @ojabowlola or send a quick note to hey@lunchpaillabs.com. Always keen to learn and connect!
 

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Written by

Lola
Lola

Lola is the founder of Lunch Pail Labs. She enjoys discussing product, SaaS integrations, and running a business. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.