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Top 7 low-code tools that can compete with Stacker

By

Eugenia Evtushenko

To turn your idea into life, you need to develop your app backbone first. Software development requires using code. Well, it used to. Now, you don’t necessarily have to spend time on hand-coding from scratch to create business logic, build an interface, etc. 

With the use of a low-code internal tool builder, you can assemble your app from the pre-made templates and building blocks. You can further connect your database to it, share the app with your team, investors, stakeholders.

With modern low-code platforms like Stacker, Retool, UI Bakery, you can build almost anything – from CRUD apps to complex internal tools and web applications.

Benefits of low-code and no-code platforms

  • The low-code development approach is several times faster than hand-coding. You can create an app in days or hours depending on its complexity.
  • You don’t have to spend money on hiring a professional development team to get what you need.
  • Low-code and no-code tools are easy to use even for non-techies. What you need is only general web development understanding.
  • Most internal tool builders allow for easier debugging and app maintenance.
  • An app you build with low-code is usually automatically tailored to work on different devices.

Top 7 alternatives to Stacker

Stacker is one of the most well-known low-code players. To figure out if it’s what you need, check out our list of the 7 best alternatives to Stacker with a brief review of each tool.

#1. Stacker

Stacker interface

Free 30-day trial. 

Starts from $59/month per 5 admins.

Pros:

  • A clean and understandable UI building interface.
  • Instant team collaboration and easy file sharing. 
  • Easy forms creation and design.
  • An ability to provide 3rd-party access to a limited part of your Airtable database.
  • Unlimited external users within any plan.
  • An unlimited number of apps you can create regardless of your pricing option.
  • Comprehensive tutorials with helpful screenshots and videos. 

Cons:

  • Lacks flexibility and customization capabilities. A lot.
  • Few third-party integrations are available for now.
  • The filtering feature leaves much to be desired. 
  • Too complicated version control.
  • Much more expensive than competitors.

#2. UI Bakery 

UI Bakery interface

Free 14-day trial.

Starts from $49/month per account.

Pros:

  • A customizable Angular UI library – under the hood.
  • Fast CRUD app builder as a separate solution.
  • Free full-value training and onboarding for new users.
  • An ability to write JavaScript code anywhere you need within your app.
  • Helpful regularly updated documentation.
  • Properly performing responsive design.
  • Automatic data structure generation.
  • Fair pricing: unlimited number of developers and users within one account.
  • Ready-made templates and dashboards (customer search, CSV export, SMS sender, CRM dashboard, and more).
  • Predefined layouts and various UI components coming out-of-the-box.
  • A constantly extending list of integrations with business apps, APIs, databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL, Firebase, Google Sheets, Airtable, Stripe, HubSpot, etc.).
  • Quick live support available during business hours.
  • Unlimited app pages regardless of your subscription level.

Cons:

  • The price is set per end-user.
  • The need to know JavaScript to build a more complex internal tool.
  • Not suitable for mobile app building.
  • No forever free plan.

#3. Retool

Retool interface

Free plan.

Starts from $10/month per user.

Pros:

  • Predefined building blocks (Tables, Charts, Wizards, and more).
  • App templates and dashboards (admin panels, CRMs, refund tools, etc.).
  • REST, gRPC, GraphQL API connection.
  • Quite a lot of 3rd-party integrations: Amazon, BigQuery, DynamoDB, SQL Server, Jira, etc.
  • Rich customization opportunities including an ability to modify your internal tool with JavaScript and add reusable components.
  • An ability to keep Retool behind your VPN for stronger security.
  • An ability to write data with queries.
  • Vibrant customer support.
  • Helpful comprehensive documentation. 

Cons:

  • Learning curve.
  • Responsive design is malfunctioning sometimes.
  • A little buggy UI when switching between editor and viewer modes.
  • The need to know Javascript to build a complex internal tool.

#4. Airtable

Airtable interface

Free plan.

Starts from $10/month per seat.

Pros:

  • In-built online team collaboration via native desktop or mobile apps.
  • An ability to gather the data from multiple forms into one place.
  • A forever free plan (up to 1,200 records included).
  • An ability to customize and brand your internal tool as you need.
  • Ready-made templates for product management, bug tracking, and more.
  • Salesforce, Jira Cloud, Microsoft Outlook, Firebase integrations.
  • Educational webinars, knowledge base, email support – available within any plan.

Cons:

  • Slow table updates sometimes.
  • Formatting limitations when syncing between two bases in one workplace.
  • Automatic table syncing – not available for free.
  • Strict records limitations.

#5. Knack

Knack interface

Free 14-day trial.

Starts from $39/month per 3 apps.

Pros:

  • A range of ready-made templates.
  • Automatic responsive design.
  • Unlimited users with any plan (each user counts as a database record).
  • SEO-friendliness thanks to the in-built SEO plugin.
  • Notifications, reminders, status indicates, approvals workflows.
  • An ability to add JavaScript when you need to extend app functionality.
  • Third-party integrations (Zapier, Google Drive, MailChimp, etc.). 
  • Automatic Form creation on top of the selected database objects.
  • HIPAA compliance.
  • CSS embedding.

Cons:

  • No forever free plan.
  • App branding is available only from the Pro plan.
  • Few third-party integrations.
  • The number of apps you can build within each plan is strictly limited.

#6. AppSheet

AppSheet interface

Free trial.

Starts from $5/month per user.

Pros:

  • A library of fully customizable sample apps for a variety of industries.
  • A comprehensive guide on “How to build a no-code app” right on the website.
  • Very affordable price.
  • App branding and customization available within any plan.
  • Email, messages, notifications automation.
  • Airtable, Smartsheet, Dropbox, MySQL integrations.
  • Role-based user management.
  • Educational documentation and community.

Cons:

  • Few third-party integrations available for now.
  • Built-in workflows for SMS or email don’t work until you pay.
  • Not optimized app speed and slow syncing.
  • Tech Support is often useless (better turn to the community).

#7. Quickbase

Quickbase interface

Free trial.

Starts from $600/month per 50 apps.

Pros:

  • WYSIWYG.
  • Visual workflow orchestration.
  • Automated and fast data management.
  • Personalized real-time visibility over your processes for each employee.
  • HIPAA, DFARS, SOC 1/SOC 2, EU-US Privacy Shield compliance.
  • Salesforce, Slack, Zendesk, Dropbox, and a range of other integrations.
  • Developer Sandbox that allows you to manage the changes before rolling them out.

Cons:

  • Not enough customization opportunities.
  • No free plan.
  • Very high price (not suitable for startups).
  • Sandbox, custom branding – not available within the cheapest plan.

#8. Zapier

Zapier interface

Free plan.

Starts from $19,99/month per 750 tasks.

Pros:

  • An intuitive UI. 
  • More than 2,000 integrations (Google Sheets, Mailchimp, HubSpot, etc.).
  • Free plan and free trials for paid plans.
  • Filters, formatters – available within the cheapest plan.
  • No need to code at all to move data between apps.
  • An ability to create cross-platform actions and triggers.

Cons:

  • The free plan is very limited (100 tasks/month and 1 zap).
  • Task-based pricing may be a shortcoming for someone.
  • Frequent performance issues and failures.
  • Lacks flexibility.

Summing up

Low-code and no-code platforms like Stacker, Retool, Zapier, Quickbase, UI Bakery, and others are not meant to replace coding and leave developers unemployed. There are still cases where low-code platforms are not enough.

However, when you need to automate business processes, develop CRUD apps, create an internal tool or a business app fast and without spending all your budget on that – that’s when you need a low-code tool. In most cases, all you need is a general understanding of how web apps work. No need to be a coding whiz at all.


Before you dive in, drop by to watch a live demo to find out whether the low-code approach fits your needs.

September 10, 2021

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