Pricing starts
From $10/user/month
From $49/month
From $250/month
N/A
From $140/month
From $5/user/
month
From $24/user/
month
From $60/user/
annually
Has free plan


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes
Has self-hosted version


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes
Low-code or no-code?
Low-code
Low-code
Low-code
Low-code
Low-code
Low-code
No-code
No-code
Components
90+
40+
40+
40+
100+
40+
50+
25
Custom component


Yes


Yes
No
No


Yes


Yes


Yes
No
Usability and quality
Datasources
Databases
21
11
11
12
21
14
9
10
HTTP API


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes
GraphQL


Yes


Yes
No
No


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes

3rd-party services
22
4
5
2
42
17
20
7

Embedded DB
No
No
No


Yes
No
No


Yes


Yes

Drag'n'Drop
Absolutely positioned canvas, no overlaps
Absolutely positioned canvas, no overlaps
Absolutely positioned canvas, no overlaps
Nested drop, configurable layout
Absolutely positioned canvas, PowerPoint-like overlaps
Absolutely positioned canvas, PowerPoint-like overlaps
Vertically stacked drag'n'drop
Absolutely positioned canvas, PowerPoint-like overlaps

Styling and white labelling
Only styling
Both
Only styling
Only styling
Both
Only styling
Only styling
Only styling

Custom roles & permissions


Yes


Yes
No
No


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes

Audit logs


Yes


Yes
No
No


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes

SSO


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes

Git synchronization


Yes
Soon


Yes
No
No
No
No


Yes

Scheduled jobs and webhooks
No


Yes
No
No


Yes
No
No
No

Retool is one of the best platforms to build internal tools. It can be an excellent solution for large enterprises with all the features they offer.

Pros:
  • Large number of features that allow to scale internal tool development for large enterprises.

  • Large number of components and data sources available.

  • Git integration.

  • Easy way to install a self-hosted version.

Cons:
  • Enterprise self-hosted version base cost is very high.

  • Per user pricing scales too quickly as you add more users.

  • Because of a single page app model, large applications are hard to maintain.

  • On the cheapest $10 plan, an end user has the possibility to access the app development mode and break the app.

  • Cloud instance may have performance issues.

Conclusion:

Retool is a good option if you are a large enterprise, need to build lots of internal tools for your company and have enough budget for that. Retool might not be the best option for you if you only require one or two apps that need to be shared across multiple users.

UI Bakery is one of the best alternatives to Retool. While most of its functionality is similar to Retool, UI Bakery offers some extra features to make internal tool development even faster and easier.

Pros:
  • Great development experience and performance of the builder

  • Automations feature that allows to run scheduled jobs and web hooks

  • Fair pricing model, that allows an affordable start even with lots of users

  • Multiple pages within a single app

  • Multiple action steps within a single action

Cons:
  • Not as many native data source connections, though has all most commonly used

  • Not as many embedded components as Retool has

  • Not an out of the box integration with a testing framework

Conclusion:

UI Bakery is a real alternative to Retool, especially if you need some enterprise-grade features like SSO and advanced roles and permissions, but can’t afford their enterprise version. A great choice for SMBs and SMEs.

Appsmith is another alternative to Retool. It is developed as an open source solution and can be a good option if you don’t have a budget at all.

Pros:
  • Completely free version with end-user mode for both cloud and self-hosted options

  • Open-source, which means that the other developers can potentially audit the code they write

  • Large community on GitHub

Cons:
  • Not a transparent pricing model. It’s really hard to predict the final product price

  • UI builder might be buggy sometimes

  • Doesn’t have some important enterprise features like Audit Logs, Custom roles, etc.

Conclusion:

Appsmith is a proper replacement for Retool if you don’t have a budget at all. But if you need enterprise features, you need to think twice. Because the solution is open source and has not been monetised for a long time, it’s not clear how pricing will change in the future.

Budibase is another open source product with a free version and a paid enterprise version.

Pros:
  • Implements some no-code concepts that allow people without coding skills to build internal apps

  • Open-source, which means that the other developers can potentially audit the code they write

  • Nice-looking UI

Cons:
  • UI builder doesn’t have an absolutely positioned canvas for elements, which complicates the process of UI composition

  • Building apps in Budibase requires learning additional concepts, e.g. data providers.

  • Extending the system can be hard because you can’t extend the system using the custom code

Conclusion:

Budibase can be your choice if you don’t have software development skills. But if you do, you might quickly hit the limits of the system because of their specific way of ui building and constraints for writing the code

ToolJet positions itself as an open source Retool alternative. Indeed, it has copied some of the Retool’s concepts. Let’s have a detailed look at the product:

Pros:
  • Two times cheaper than Retool with the price starting at $5/user/month. Business plan is 3 times cheaper.

  • Open-source, which means that the other developers can potentially audit the code they write.

  •  Has a free version for self-hosting.

  • Horizontally scalable multiplayer editing.

Cons:
  • At the time of writing had some obvious issues with quality, especially of the UI builder.

  • Though it has a decent number of components and data sources, often they lack configuration capabilities.

  • Lack of documentation.

  • No git integration.

Conclusion:

Tooljet can be a good fit for you if you like Retool development experience but prefer to use an open source solution. You need to be careful since most of the platform features are still at their early stage.

Drona has been in the low-code and no-code space for quite a long time with the focus on mobile experience, and recently repositioned itself to the internal tooling space.

Pros:
  • Excellent development experience, support for both web as well as mobile apps.

  • Ability to code and create reusable UI components and functions.

  • Usage based pricing, that supports unlimited end users along with free forever developer plan.

  • Third-party API integration along with ready connectors for 50+ databases.

  • Developers can easily extend functionality with JavaScript and import JS libraries.

Cons:
  • Free plan does not have end-user mode

  • Custom domain is not available in all plans

  • Free developer plan is available but users will have to upgrade to publish their apps.

Conclusion:

DronaHQ is the ideal Retool alternative as it offers a lot of components and many data source connections. Usage-based pricing on the platform makes it easier for teams of all sizes to get started and scale as they go.

DronaHQ is easier to use, the user interfaces are richer and responsive which can be accessed on an end user portal as well as a mobile app and the usage based pricing lets you add unlimited users and doesn't become a non starter for usecases which start small.

JetAdmin is another example of a no-code internal tools builder. The platform allows to easily create internal tools, partner and customer apps without coding.

Pros:
  • Nice-looking UI

  • Has an internal database - Jet Tables

  • It’s possible to build apps without coding skills

  • SSO and custom domain (sub-domain) available in cloud version

Cons:
  • With a lot of apps and users, the cost might scale rapidly

  • Limited number of options when building a layout

  • Hard to extend the system using custom coding

  • Has data synchronisation feature which means that the product downloads and caches your data in JetAdmin databases

Conclusion:

Thanks to its features and a customer portal pricing model, JetAdmin can be a good choice for building customer apps on top of Google Sheets or Airtable data. If you are building internal tools though, you might lack the ability to write custom code and an absolutely positioned layout system.

Internal is quite an old player in the internal tooling space. Their goal is to allow people without coding skills to build secure internal apps.

Pros:
  • No coding skills required for building UI

  • Easy to build CRUD apps

  •  Custom roles and permissions feature

Cons:
  • The smallest amount of components and data sources

  • Hard to extend the system using custom coding

  • The tool hasn’t added new features recently

Conclusion:

Internal.io can be a suitable solution for small and simple internal tools with additional access permissions. But if you would like to scale your internal tool development, you might soon face the limits. Besides, with the per user based pricing, you need to keep an eye on the final price.

Before opting for a certain internal tools builder alternative to Retool, you can try several low-code app development platforms. 

Start with a free training session provided by UI Bakery.