Top 10 Retool Alternatives: Pros and Cons

Such tools as Retool allow for creating internal apps to automate business processes easy and fast. But since you’re here, you might have faced the cons Retool has, and need an alternative to it.

Let's look through a comparison table containing 5 Retool's low-code competitors. Discover the details about these and the other Retool’s alternatives below the table.

Ability to try all features for free
Editing only
No
No
Yes
Yes
Monthly price
From $10/month per end-user
From $599/year per developer
From $4,000/month per 100 end-users
From $25/month per developer
Not available to the public
Ease of use
Not so easy
Rather easy
Not so easy
Rather easy
Rather easy
Responsive design
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
App branding
With custom CSS only
Yes
With custom CSS only
No
Yes
Automatic deployment
Via Docker or Kubernetes
To IIS, FTP, or Azure
Yes, not free
No
Yes
Hosting on a custom domain
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
Code export
No
Only data export in Excel or CSV format
Yes, not free
No
Yes, by request
Email support
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Integrations
APIs, plugins, 3rd party systems, databases
3rd party systems, databases
3rd party systems, databases
APIs, business apps, databases
APIs

Starts from $10/month per end-user

Free plan available

For developers and citizen developers

Pros:
  • A drag-n-drop building technique.

  • Out-of-the-box building blocks (Tables, Lists, Charts, etc.) are available.

  • Ready-made templates you can use for free.

  • Connection to most databases or anything with a REST, GraphQL, or gRPC API.

  • An ability to write data with queries (no need to worry about handling errors from the backend).

  • An ability to add custom Javascript code if needed.

  • Quite a lot of integrations are available (PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Firebase, etc.).

Cons:
  • The price is set per end-user, so the final app price increases greatly.

  • Responsive design leaves much to be desired.

  • You need to know Javascript to squeeze as much as possible from Retool.

  • Deployment is possible via Docker or Kubernetes only, and you can't host an app on your own domain.

  • Annoying modals according to users’ feedback.

Starts from $599/year per developer

Free plan available

For citizen developers and low-code makers

Pros:
  • A convenient drag-n-drop editor.

  • An ability to add custom code when needed.

  • Connection to any database you need to build a full-fledged web app (MSSQL, MySQL, Oracle, OData, Swagger, REST services).

  • 1-click app deployment to IIS, or FTP and Azure.

  • Built-in templates and ready-to-use UI components available for free.

  • ReportViewer is available to embed SSRS reports in your web app so your users can view them online.

  • An ability to build an application with an unlimited number of pages for free.

  • An ability to add custom business logic as well as custom UI components.

Cons:
  • Exists in a desktop version only.

  • App branding opportunities are available only within paid plans.

  • A high subscription cost for extended features and support.

Starts from $4,000/month per 100 internal users, or 10,000 external users

Free plan available

For developers and citizen developers

Pros:
  • A handy drag-n-drop UI editor.

  • An ability to build cross-platform apps.

  • Single-click app deployment and rollback with no manual efforts.

  • Back-end development is available.

  • An ability to collaborate in the platform to share feedback on the created apps, and thus simplify change management.

  • Integration with ERPs, CRMs, external databases, legacy systems, etc.

  • Pre-built templates & patterns are available for free.

  • An ability to create custom reusable extensions.

Cons:
  • Definitely a high price.

  • OutSystems IDE is rather slow-responding according to users' feedback.

  • Very little functionality is available for use for free.

  • No ability to download an application you’ve built within a free plan.

  • Lack of flexibility according to users’ feedback.

  • Not enough training videos and tutorials are available to get to the bottom of the platform work. Confusing documentation.

Starts from $1,917/month per 50 internal users, or 500 external users

Free plan available

For low-code makers

Pros:
  • 1-click deployment.

  • 2 different IDEs for business users and mature developers.

  • A built-in collaboration tool for effective feedback & change management.

  • A built-in React native framework for mobile apps development.

  • An out-of-the-box integration is available with various APIs, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, etc. is available.

  • Rich reusable components library with over 400 building blocks.

  • High enterprise-grade security level.

Cons:
  • Rather a high price.

  • Due to the license system, Mendix is inaccessible for smaller budgets.

  • Very few ready-made app templates are available.

  • There’s only a desktop version of Mendix Studio Pro. Moreover, if you use macOS, you need to run Windows on Parallels with no ability to install Studio Pro on macOS directly.

Starts from $25/month per developer

Free plan available

For low-code makers

Pros:
  • A convenient UI builder.

  • All the Builder features are available even within a free plan.

  • Allows for connecting with various data sources like PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB, Stripe, Salesforce, etc.

  • An ability to combine data from databases and business apps without integrations, coding, SQL.

  • An ability to plug in complex business logic with custom code. 

  • Customer data protection is ensured.

Cons:
  • Onboarding and training is offered only within the most expensive plan.

  • No code export is allowed.

  • Limited number of data sources you can connect to, and business apps you can integrate with are available.

  • Only up to 5 users are allowed to work on the project within a free plan, each additional user is charged for.

  • No ready-made templates.

  • No ability to deploy your app on a custom domain.

Paid plan available for large enterprises with over $10 million in revenue or funding only

Free plan available

For no-code and low-code makers

Pros:
  • Easy drag-n-drop controls.

  • An ability to try all features within a free plan.

  • Allows to build web apps with a responsive design.

  • Very comprehensive documentation and tutorials allowing you to comfortably onboard.

  • Over 500 ready-to-use building blocks are available for use.

  • An ability to create custom components & share them with others.

  • A high level of native performance due to app optimization.

  • Integration with a range of pre-built APIs is available.

  • An ability to host your app on a custom domain.

Cons:
  • No ready-made app templates for use.

  • A very expensive paid plan with private cloud deployment (for enterprises with over $10 million in revenue or funding). 

  • Only one user (developer) per project is capable of accessing the project for free.

  • An app built within a free plan is not suitable for production use since AppGyver doesn’t ensure availability, scalability, and integrity of data in it.

Starts from $19,99/month per team (20 developers)

Free plan available

For no-code makers

Pros:
  • A convenient drag-n-drop interface builder.

  • An ability to create both web and mobile apps.

  • Free plan provides absolutely everything needed to build your first small project.

  • An unlimited number of apps you can create within your team (20 members).

  • Quite comprehensive documentation with useful how-to's and videos.

  • Ready-made templates are available.

Cons:
  • No code export possibility.

  • The platform is new and not feature-rich yet.

  • Fits mostly for building database type apps.

  • Each additional member within paid plans is charged for additionally.

  • No integrations are available yet.

  • No ability to add custom code.

  • No app deployment is available.

Pricing is not available to the public

For no-code and low-code makers

Pros:
  • A drag-n-drop visual builder.

  • An ability to create workflows with complex logic without coding.

  • An ability to build both front-end and back-end components.

  • Version control is available.

  • Ready-made app templates are available for use.

  • Integration with legacy systems, APIs.

  • An ability to run apps on AWS, GCP, Microsoft Azure, and other clouds.

Cons:
  • A lot of documentation that’s not always easy to get through to find what you need.

  • Not available for non-enterprise users.

  • App deployment & hosting on a custom domain is not available.

  • Live support is not very vibrant.

Starts from $5/month per end-user

For no-code makers

Pros:
  • Quite a large library of sample apps you can use as templates.

  • A created app is compatible across various devices.

  • Integration with MailChimp, Salesforce, Amazon Web Services, etc.

  • Custom branding is available.

  • Background data syncing and offline mode is available.

  • App lifecycle monitoring & management (incl. version control, error alerting, etc.).

  • A vibrant YouTube channel with a lot of useful videos, tutorials, etc., and how-to webinars.

Cons:
  • The need to pay for each end-user (“active user”) of your created application.

  • No free plan, only 10 users are available for free.

  • Live chat support is available only within the most expensive plan.

  • Quite a lot of functionality is available only within paid plans (integration with databases, enhanced security, analytics).

  • You need to reach the AppSheet team to build your app on top of your SQL databases.

Starts from $10/month per developer

Free 15-day trial available

For developers and citizen developers

Pros:
  • A convenient drag-n-drop interface builder.

  • Web, macOS, and Windows versions are available.

  • An ability to access Zoho Creator from any device, even from a mobile phone.

  • Integration with REST APIs.

  • About 40 types of charts are available for use to visualize your data.

  • An ability to quickly transform data from databases, legacy ERPs, etc. into dashboards.

  • AI is available to enable trends analysis, sales prediction, objects identification, etc.

Cons:
  • You can’t build an app – Zoho Creator only allows you to gather all the tools you use for sales, marketing, project management, CRM, etc. at one place.   

  • Necessity to learn Deluge – the scripting language used in Zoho Creator.

  • Due to the existence of several Zoho Creator versions in deployment, it’s not easy sometimes to find the appropriate documentation for the product.

Starts from $16/month per developer

Free plan available

For low-code makers

Pros:
  • Popular Open Source UI library under the hood.

  • A UI builder allowing you to create corporate, white-label apps, MVPs with a responsive design.

  • An ability to export the app Angular code, and use it outside the platform.

  • Predefined layouts, widgets, and more UI components are available.

  • Free ready-made web app & dashboard templates. Plus, you can request a template if needed.

  • A customizable Design System under the hood allowing you to match your app with your branding.

  • Data connection & API integration is available.

  • 1-click app deployment & hosting on the UI Bakery or a custom domain available within a free plan.

  • Vibrant live support.

  • An ability to create an unlimited number of pages within one app.

Cons:
  • Doesn’t allow you to build a backend for your web app.

  • Very few third-party integrations are available for now.

  • Reusable components are not available (coming soon).

Before opting for a certain web app builder to automate internal processes with a corporate app you’re going to build, try various low-code app development platforms offering free plans. 

Taste the water before diving deeper.