The 5 Best Retool Alternatives for Devs & Non-Devs | 2024

The 5 Best Retool Alternatives for Devs & Non-Devs | 2024

The idea of building a custom app for your business is exciting — it can streamline workflows, boost efficiency, and bring in new revenue. But then comes the hurdle: Choosing the right platform to build it on.

You might have stumbled upon Retool, a popular software-building option with a user-friendly interface and plenty of integrations. But, as you read some more, you may have questions: Do you need more powerful features than what Retool offers? Is their pricing structure a concern for your budget? Or maybe security is paramount, and you require HIPAA compliance right out of the box?

This guide explores the best Retool competitors. We'll explore several powerful platforms that might be a better fit for your specific needs — whether it’s advanced functionality, cost-effectiveness, or top-notch security, we've got you covered.

Let's dive in and find the perfect match for you.

Why People Switch to a Retool Alternative

While Retool is great, it may not be ideal for every business or use case — here are some common reasons why people might consider switching to one of the many Retool competitors:

Not User-Friendly For Non-Developers

Retool is designed primarily for developers, which makes it challenging for non-technical users to navigate and use.

Non-developers might struggle with its interface and functionalities, and need additional training or reliance on technical staff, which can slow down the development process and increase dependency on IT departments.

Expensive For Large Organizations

Retool's seat-based pricing model can become expensive for large organizations. Each additional user requires a separate license, significantly increasing the overall cost as the team grows.

This can make budgeting difficult and may deter larger enterprises from fully adopting the platform, especially if they have a large number of users who need access to the tools.

Lacks Out-Of-The-Box HIPAA Compliance

Retool does not come with HIPAA compliance built-in. For businesses in healthcare and other regulated industries, ensuring HIPAA compliance is crucial. Achieving this with Retool involves additional configurations, third-party tools, and potentially higher costs. This extra effort to meet compliance standards can be a significant drawback, diverting resources and attention away from core business activities.

Designed Primarily For Internal Tools

Retool is optimized for creating internal tools rather than customer-facing applications. While it excels at building dashboards, admin panels, and internal workflows, it lacks the flexibility and features needed for developing external applications or portals. 

Businesses that need a platform for external solutions may find Retool insufficient, prompting them to look for alternatives that can handle a wider range of use cases effectively.

Top 5 Retool Alternatives in 2024

  1. Blaze.tech

  2. Appsmith

  3. Noloco

  4. MS Power Apps

  5. Airtable Interfaces

#1: Blaze.tech

Blaze empowers businesses to create custom applications without relying on large developer teams. Its user-friendly interface makes application development accessible, allowing anyone to build tools tailored to their specific needs, regardless of technical background.

Blaze stands out as the best Retool alternative because it can be used to build powerful, secure applications suitable for both internal and external use. This makes it a versatile platform for developing customer-facing applications and portals.

Blaze prioritizes robust data security. It offers features that meet industry standards, such as SOC 2 and HIPAA compliance. This makes Blaze a strong choice for applications handling sensitive information, even for customer-facing use cases in highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance.

Advantages Over Retool

  • Completely no-code: Blaze is a no-code platform, making it accessible for anyone in your business to use, not just IT professionals. This democratizes app development and allows more team members to contribute to creating solutions.

  • Flat monthly fee: Unlike Retool’s seat-based pricing, Blaze charges a flat monthly fee. This can be more cost-effective, especially for larger organizations with many users.

  • HIPAA compliant: Blaze is HIPAA compliant right out of the box. This is crucial for businesses that handle sensitive health information and need to meet strict compliance standards.

  • External use: Blaze isn’t just for internal tools. It’s powerful enough to create external, customer-facing apps and portals, broadening the scope of what your business can achieve with it.

  • Expert support: Blaze offers comprehensive support, including help building the first version of your application. This frees your team to focus on core business functions while Blaze handles the technical complexities.

  • All-in-one builder: Blaze's intuitive drag-and-drop interface lets you build and connect multiple applications seamlessly. This, combined with its powerful backend capabilities, significantly reduces development time and complexity.

Ideal Users

  • Organizations that need powerful applications but don’t want to hire a dev team: Blaze’s no-code platform allows you to build complex, custom applications without requiring extensive engineering resources.

  • Organizations wanting powerful custom applications: If you’re looking to create sophisticated, feature-rich applications, Blaze offers all the tools and components required to bring your vision to life.

  • Organizations in regulated industries needing high data security: With built-in HIPAA and SOC 2 compliance, Blaze ensures that your sensitive data is secure, making it perfect for healthcare, finance, and other regulated sectors.

  • Organizations building solutions requiring multi-departmental collaboration: Blaze fosters seamless collaboration across departments. With its intuitive interface, multiple teams — from marketing to operations — can contribute to building and maintaining custom applications.

Pricing

  • Internal Use Plan ($400/month): Ideal for teams building secure, custom applications for internal use. This plan offers unlimited users, applications, data storage, and robust security features, along with data syncing and integration tools. However, it does not support external users.
  • Enterprise Plan (Custom Pricing): Designed for organizations that need advanced security and external user access.

    This plan includes everything in the Internal Use plan, plus features like unlimited external users, custom branding, and public web applications. Additionally, our implementation team helps build your app from start to finish so you can focus on growing your business.

The Bottom Line

Blaze emerges as a clear winner among Retool alternatives. Its no-code advantage, flat pricing structure, enterprise-level security, and comprehensive feature set make it an excellent choice for businesses aiming to build and manage applications efficiently.

If you need to create complex internal tools, customer-facing apps, or apps that handle a lot of sensitive data, Blaze provides the speed, security, and flexibility to meet your needs.

#2: Appsmith

Appsmith is an open-source alternative to Retool. This means it is freely available to use and modify, which is great for organizations that have a tight budget for building apps.

Unlike Retool, which is a commercial platform with a set of features and functionalities, Appsmith offers the flexibility to adapt and extend its core functionality with its open-source structure.

This can be a significant advantage for organizations that need a high degree of customization. However, it's important to consider the trade-offs involved.

Advantages Over Retool

  • Open-source: Appsmith is free to use, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious organizations. You can download and start using it without any upfront costs.

  • Customizability: As an open-source platform, Appsmith allows for extensive customization. You can modify the source code to fit your specific needs, providing flexibility that proprietary software often lacks.

  • Community support: Appsmith has a strong community support system, including forums, documentation, and tutorials. This community-driven support can be a valuable resource for troubleshooting and finding solutions.

Ideal Users

  • Startups and small businesses: Ideal for those with limited budgets who need a robust platform without the high costs associated with commercial software.

  • Tech-savvy teams: Organizations with technical expertise that can leverage the open-source nature of Appsmith to customize and extend its functionality.

  • Developers: Individual developers looking for a cost-effective tool to build internal applications quickly.

Pricing

  • Free tier: Appsmith includes a free tier with unlimited users and basic features, perfect for individual developers and small teams.

  • Business tier: The business tier is priced at $40 per month for 100 hours of usage, includes more advanced features such as granular access controls, custom branding, and priority support.

  • Enterprise tier: For more security and scale needs, Appsmith has an enterprise tier with features like continuous delivery, custom integrations, and managed hosting.

    However, if your usage scales, costs can add up, especially for larger teams. You’ll need to contact their sales team to get information on pricing for this tier.

The Bottom Line

Appsmith is a cost-effective and flexible alternative to Retool, especially for small teams and those who know how to code. While it may not have the same level of features or ease of use as Retool, its open-source nature provides a high degree of customizability and community support. 

#3: Noloco

Noloco is very easy to use, offering a no-code platform that allows anyone to build applications without any technical expertise. It’s designed with non-developers in mind, making it accessible and intuitive. 

However, it does have some limitations in functionality compared to Retool. Users are restricted to using the pre-built components provided by Noloco, which can limit the customization and complexity of the applications you can create.

Additionally, it’s not HIPAA compliant, which may be a significant drawback for businesses handling sensitive health information or operating in highly regulated industries.

Advantages Over Retool

  • User-friendly: Noloco is designed for non-developers, offering an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy for anyone to build applications without needing technical expertise.

  • Professional-looking UI: Noloco features a polished user interface and a familiar app navigation sidebar, providing a seamless and application-like experience for users, enhancing both usability and aesthetics.

  • Pre-built components: The platform includes a variety of pre-built components, such as user roles and permissions, which simplify the development process and allow for the quick creation of functional and visually appealing applications.

  • External-facing capabilities: Unlike Retool, Noloco supports the development of external-facing tools, enabling the creation of applications that can serve both internal users and external clients or partners.

Ideal Users

  • Non-developers: Perfect for teams without a dedicated development staff who need to build and manage internal tools.

  • Small to medium-sized businesses: Noloco provides features like assigning different levels of access and control to users (roles and permissions) which might come in handy for businesses that have different levels of security within their app infrastructure.

  • Organizations needing external-facing components: Suitable for businesses that need to create internal tools with external-facing components, such as client or partner portals.

Pricing

Noloco offers three pricing tiers to suit various business needs:

  • Starter: $39/month, ideal for small teams building apps and simple client portals. Includes 10 monthly active users, 5,000 rows, 2,500 synced rows, and 1,000 workflow runs.

  • Pro: $119/month, for growing teams building client portals and internal tools. Adds 50 monthly active users, 50,000 rows, 25,000 synced rows, 3,000 workflow runs, custom domain, record-level permissions, field-level permissions, and custom code capabilities.

  • Business: $255/month, for businesses needing connected solutions. Adds 100 monthly active users, 150,000 rows, 50,000 synced rows, 10,000 workflow runs, 3 builders, unlimited user roles, and priority syncing.

The Bottom Line

Noloco is a strong alternative to Retool for businesses seeking an easy-to-use, no-code platform. Its ability to create both internal tools and external-facing components expands its use cases, particularly for small businesses.

But keep in mind that it’s limited in functionality compared to more robust platforms and is not HIPAA compliant, which might be a consideration for businesses in highly regulated industries.

#4: MS Power Apps

MS Power Apps is a powerful platform designed to seamlessly integrate with the entire Microsoft ecosystem, making it an ideal solution for enterprises already heavily invested in Microsoft products.

It can be configured to meet HIPAA compliance standards, making it a secure choice for healthcare organizations and other industries that handle sensitive data. The platform offers a pricing structure similar to Retool, but with added benefits for those using multiple Microsoft services, making it particularly suitable for comprehensive internal app development.

Advantages Over Retool

  • Seamless integration with Microsoft ecosystem: MS Power Apps integrates smoothly with other Microsoft products such as Office 365, Azure, and Dynamics 365, providing a cohesive experience for enterprises already using these tools.

  • Can be configured for HIPAA compliance: MS Power Apps can be configured to meet HIPAA compliance standards, making it a reliable choice for healthcare organizations and other businesses handling sensitive information. However, this isn’t built-in.

  • Enterprise-grade features: The platform offers robust features like AI Builder credits, custom and pre-built connectors, and extensive automation capabilities, which enhance its utility for large-scale operations.

  • Scalability: MS Power Apps is designed to handle large-scale deployments, making it suitable for enterprises with extensive app development needs.

Ideal Users

  • Enterprises using Microsoft products: Perfect for organizations already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem, ensuring seamless integration and consistent user experience.

  • Large teams and departments: Suitable for large organizations that need to develop multiple applications across various departments, benefiting from its scalability and enterprise-grade features.

Pricing

MS Power Apps offers several pricing tiers to accommodate different business needs:

  • Power Apps Developer Plan: Free. This plan allows developers to build and test unlimited apps or automation flows with access to three developer environments, pre-built, custom, and on-premises connectors, and 750 automation flows per month.

  • Power Apps Premium: $20 per user/month. This tier enables licensed users to build, modernize, and deploy unlimited applications.

  • Power Apps Premium (with 2,000-seat minimum): $12 per user/month. Best for businesses that want unlimited apps for their users and purchase a minimum of 2,000 licenses. It includes the same features as the standard premium plan but at a reduced cost per user due to the large volume.

The Bottom Line

MS Power Apps is a powerful alternative to Retool, especially for enterprises in the Microsoft ecosystem. Its seamless integration with other Microsoft products, potential for HIPAA compliance, and enterprise-grade features make it a strong contender.

Although its pricing is similar to Retool, it offers scalability and extensive support for large-scale deployments, making it an excellent choice for large organizations. If you are looking for a comprehensive, user-friendly platform that plays well with Microsoft tools, MS Power Apps is the way to go.

#5: Airtable Interfaces

Airtable Interfaces is a fantastic option if your organization already uses Airtable. It’s HIPAA compliant, ensuring data security for healthcare and other regulated industries.

The platform is very user-friendly, making it accessible even for non-technical users. One of its significant advantages is cost-effectiveness, as it is cheaper than Retool.

But the downside is that Airtable Interfaces are somewhat limited in functionality, making it best suited for creating dashboards or simple portal use-cases rather than complex applications.

Advantages Over Retool

  • Cost-effective: Airtable Interfaces is cheaper than Retool, making it a budget-friendly option for organizations.

  • Ease of use: The platform is very user-friendly, allowing even non-technical users to build and manage applications with ease.

  • HIPAA compliance: Airtable Interfaces is HIPAA compliant, making it a secure choice for handling sensitive information in regulated industries.

  • Integration with Airtable: Seamless integration with Airtable makes it an excellent choice for organizations already using Airtable for their data management needs.

Ideal Users

  • Organizations using Airtable: Perfect for teams that are already familiar with Airtable and want to expand its functionality.

  • Non-technical users: Ideal for non-developers who need to create and manage simple applications or dashboards.
  • Regulated industries: Suitable for organizations that require HIPAA compliance and robust data security.

Pricing

Airtable Interfaces offers several pricing tiers to fit different needs:

  • Free: Perfect for individuals or small teams. Includes unlimited bases, up to 1,000 records per base, 5 editors, 1 GB of attachments per base, 100 automation runs, and access to the Interface Designer.

  • Team: $20 per seat/month (billed annually). Adds value with 50,000 records per base, 25,000 automation runs, 20 GB of attachments, sync integrations, extensions, Gantt and timeline views, and expanded formatting options.

  • Business: $45 per seat/month (billed annually). Expands capabilities with 125,000 records per base, 100,000 automation runs, 100 GB of attachments, premium sync integrations, verified data, two-way sync, admin panel, and SAML-based single sign-on.

  • Enterprise Scale: Custom pricing for large organizations. Offers 500,000 records per base, 500,000 automation runs, 1,000 GB of attachments, on-premises sync integrations, Enterprise Hub, advanced security controls, Enterprise API, and detailed audit logs.

The Bottom Line

This platform is ideal for Airtable users who need simple dashboards or basic portals. It offers a user-friendly, cost-effective, and HIPAA-compliant option within the Airtable ecosystem.

However, its functionality is limited to these specific use cases and won't handle complex applications with custom logic or workflows. Think of it as adding a user-facing layer to your Airtable data, not a full-fledged app development platform.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best Retool alternative?

Blaze is the best alternative to Retool due to its powerful functionality, HIPAA compliance, and ability to create both internal and customer-facing applications.

With its intuitive drag-and-drop interface, extensive library of pre-built components, and advanced workflow automation capabilities, Blaze is a versatile tool that can handle a wide range of business needs, from internal tools to customer-facing portals. 

What is the cheapest Retool alternative?

Appsmith is the cheapest Retool alternative — it’s a free, open-source tool. However, keep in mind that open-source solutions often require more technical expertise to maintain and customize compared to a commercial platform like Retool.

There may be additional costs associated with the development resources needed to adapt Appsmith to your specific needs.

Is there a free version of Retool?

Retool does not offer a free tier. They have paid plans with different features and user limits.

What is the difference between Airtable and Retool?

Airtable and Retool target different app development needs. Airtable is a no-code tool for building basic databases, dashboards, and portals. It’s ideal for Airtable users and beginners with its user-friendly interface. However, its functionality is limited compared to Retool.

Retool focuses on complex internal applications. It offers more power and flexibility for building sophisticated apps with custom logic, workflows, and integrations.

While Retool requires more technical skill, it's ideal for organizations needing powerful internal tools. Airtable is better for simpler needs and faster deployments.

Is Retool HIPAA-compliant?

Retool lacks built-in HIPAA compliance, requiring healthcare organizations to configure data protection and security features to meet HIPAA standards. Blaze, on the other hand, offers out-of-the-box HIPAA compliance with built-in security features, making it a more convenient and secure option for healthcare and other HIPAA-regulated businesses.