Frequently Asked Questions

Is Convex a database?

Yes, but it is a lot more than this. Convex is a full cloud backend designed to replace your database, server functions, backend functionality, and the interface all the way out to your application. See the docs for a full list of features.

What makes Convex realtime?

Convex’s realtime database tracks all dependencies for every query function. Whenever any dependency changes, including any database rows, Convex reruns the query function and triggers an update to any active subscription on the client. Read more on how Convex works.

Where do Convex functions run?

Convex functions run server-side in an isolated execution environment within the Convex database itself. These provide direct efficient access to the underlying data but also to scheduling, storage, general purpose actions, etc. You can think of them like super-charged SQL queries.

What database does Convex use?

Convex has a custom database engine designed to support live reactivity, incremental schema, automatic scaling, etc. Durability is provided by a write-ahead log that is stored persistently on AWS RDS.

How is Convex different than Supabase?

Supabase is a collection of existing technologies packaged together. Convex is a rethink of how different parts of your application should stitch together. Convex query and mutation functions are designed to be database transactions in their entirety, and automatically update your web or native app.

Can Convex talk to external services like OpenAI or Stripe?

Yes! Convex provides a function type we call actions that are designed to talk to the outside world. Actions do not have the same realtime and transactional guarantees as query and mutation functions, but are designed to work with them seamlessly within your Convex backend. See the actions documentation for more details.

Is Convex open source?

Yes! You can clone, build, and run the open-source Convex backend on your own hardware. In addition, our client libraries, utility libraries, demo projects, and more can be found on our GitHub account.

Do I have to use TypeScript to use Convex?

Convex is a great fit for web applications built in TypeScript or JavaScript and has additional client support for Python and Rust, along with an HTTP client for interfacing with other languages. Convex server functions run natively in TypeScript or JavaScript but stay tuned for more general-purpose language support.

Can I try Convex for free?

Yes! We have paid plans for larger applications and endeavor to make Convex cheaper than running infrastructure yourself.

Can I build mobile apps using Convex?

We have many satisfied developers building mobile applications using React Native. Additional mobile support is on the todo list.

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