Retool vs. Bubble vs. Blaze: Which Is Best in 2024?

Retool vs. Bubble vs. Blaze: Which Is Best in 2024?

Are you evaluating different no-code and low-code platforms but not sure which to choose? With so many options available, picking the right tool can be overwhelming.

Retool vs. Bubble vs. Blaze.tech — which one is right for you? In this guide, we've provided an overview of these three popular platforms: Retool, Bubble, and Blaze.

We'll break down their features, pricing, and ideal users to help you understand which might be the best fit for your needs. And at the end, we’ve included a handy checklist to make your decision even easier. 

Read on to find out which platform will help you bring your application ideas to life.

Retool vs. Bubble vs. Blaze: Head-to-Head

  • Retool: Best for developers who need to build internal tools quickly. It combines no-code UI with custom JavaScript and SQL, ideal for technical teams that want robust integrations and customization.

  • Bubble: Great for ambitious no-coders creating web apps and PWAs. It offers a powerful drag-and-drop interface, a built-in database, and extensive plugin support, though it has a steeper learning curve.
  • Blaze: Perfect for businesses wanting custom applications without coding. It excels in ease of use, fast development, and enterprise-level security, making it ideal for healthcare, finance, and other regulated industries.
 

Retool

Bubble

Blaze

Target

users

Developers,

technical teams

No-coders

Non-technical users,

businesses

Key

feature

Custom code

(JavaScript, SQL)

Drag-and-drop

interface

Ease of use,

rapid development

Main use

case

Internal tools

Web apps,

PWAs

Powerful custom

business applications

Security

Enterprise-grade

(SSO, audit logging)

Basic security

Maximum security with SOC 2,

HIPAA compliance

Pricing

Free plan;

$10/user/mo (Team);

$50/user/mo (Business);

Custom (Enterprise)

Free;

$32/mo (Starter);

$134/mo (Growth);

$399/mo (Team);

Custom (Enterprise)

$400/mo (Internal);

Custom (Enterprise)

Retool

Retool is a low-code tool designed to help developers build powerful internal apps quickly and efficiently. What makes Retool unique is its hybrid approach, combining a user-friendly interface for building the UI with the flexibility to add custom code using JavaScript and SQL.

This makes Retool a great option for developers who aren’t proficient at design but still want aesthetically pleasing apps.

Unlike other low-/no-code platforms that prioritize accessibility for non-technical users, Retool focuses on maintaining the flexibility of traditional coding.

Features

  • Robust integrations and automations: Retool integrates seamlessly with a wide variety of apps and databases. This makes it easy to connect all the pieces you need to build your internal tool. Plus, Retool can automate repetitive tasks within those workflows, saving your team valuable time.

  • AI-enhanced productivity: Retool integrates AI tools that assist with writing JavaScript and SQL queries. This translates to a significant boost in developer productivity. Complex coding tasks become easier to handle, leading to faster development cycles.

  • UI and programming code extending: Retool allows developers to extend both the user interface and application functionality with custom code. This flexibility enables you to meet specific UI requirements and implement complex business logic and workflows seamlessly.

  • Enterprise-grade security and control: Retool’s security features include Single Sign-On (SSO), audit logging, and role-based access control. However, it isn’t HIPAA compliant.

Pricing

Retool offers a tiered pricing structure that caters to a variety of teams and needs, from individual developers to large enterprises. Here's a breakdown of the plans:

  • Free plan ($0/month): Allows unlimited app creation (web and mobile), basic workflow automation, and supports up to 5 users. It's perfect for trying out Retool before committing financially.

  • Team plan ($10/month per standard user + $5/month per end-user): Builds upon the Free tier with increased workflow capacity, collaboration features like staging environments, and support for larger teams. This is best for growing teams.

  • Business plan ($50/month per standard user + $15/month per end-user): Includes everything in the Team plan, plus robust security features like audit logging and granular permissions. It's ideal for teams needing more control over their internal tools, and designed for advanced control.

  • Enterprise plan (Custom pricing): Offers all features from the Business tier, along with advanced security options, dedicated support, and volume discounts to accommodate extensive internal application development. It’s tailored for large-scale operations.

Ideal Users

Retool is best suited for developers and technical teams who need a hybrid approach to application development. It is ideal for:

  • Product managers: Product managers who need to create prototypes or internal tools can use the drag-and-drop interface to build functional prototypes and gather user feedback, while engineers can later add complex functionalities.

  • Backend developers: Those who excel in data management but need an easier way to build user interfaces can use Retool’s component library which simplifies UI creation, allowing them to focus on core functionalities.

  • Full-stack developers: Developers who want to streamline their development workflows. With seamless API integrations and built-in workflow automation, they can speed up deployment.

  • Technical teams: Retool is excellent for technical teams that need to blend no-code UI creation with extensive coding capabilities. It provides the flexibility to develop powerful applications quickly and efficiently.

Bubble

Bubble is a solid option for ambitious no-coders who want to build feature-rich apps. Despite its steep learning curve, it enables the creation of complex workflows and functionalities.

With Bubble, you can build web apps and progressive web apps (PWAs) that feel like native mobile apps but are accessed through a browser.

Bubble supports connections to external databases or APIs and offers design flexibility to create unique user experiences. It has a large, and engaged community that makes learning a little easier.

Features

  • Built-in database and data management: Bubble offers a built-in relational database, allowing you to manage data without needing external connections. This feature streamlines development and simplifies data management, making it easier to build and maintain applications.

  • Advanced customization and design: Bubble provides a drag-and-drop interface for visual app design. Additionally, the Workflow Editor allows for the creation of complex and dynamic workflows, enabling users to precisely define app functionality and behavior.

  • Real-time collaboration: Bubble supports collaboration for up to 40 users with customizable permissions. The real-time collaboration tools allow team members to track changes, provide feedback through annotations, and work together efficiently on app development.

  • Responsive and dynamic content: Bubble ensures that your app delivers an optimal user experience across various devices and screen sizes with its responsive design capabilities. It also supports dynamic content, enabling your app to display user-generated content or data from APIs and external services.

  • Hosting and scalability: Bubble handles hosting and provides flexible scaling to accommodate growing user bases. It also offers built-in analytics to track visitor numbers and workflow runs, as well as version control and automatic backups to manage changes and updates securely.

Pricing

  • Free: Ideal for projects that are under construction. It provides a development version for testing, API connection for data, and a component library to jumpstart design. This plan doesn't allow publishing your app live and has limitations on editors and resources for complex projects.
  • Starter ($32/month): Perfect for launching your app and testing early-stage MVPs or simple tools. Includes a live app, custom domain, and basic version control.
  • Growth ($134/month): Designed for growing your user base with consumer projects featuring more complex functionality. Offers premium version control and two-factor authentication.
  • Team ($399/month): Best for scaling your team and business with higher usage projects. Includes sub apps, additional app editors, and enhanced server logs.
  • Custom (Contact for pricing): For enterprise-level security, ideal for projects with sensitive data. Offers choice of hosting location, and unlimited backup.

Ideal Users

  • Those who have the time to learn Bubble’s complex building interface: Bubble is a powerful tool with a steep learning curve. It’s perfect for those who are willing to invest time in mastering its advanced features and customization options.

  • Those who need a web app or a PWA only: Bubble is great for building web applications and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). It’s not geared towards native mobile app development, so it’s best suited for web-focused projects.

  • Those who want to build an app with plenty of plugins: For those looking to create feature-rich applications, Bubble offers extensive plugin support and integrations.

    You can improve your app with a wide range of JavaScript plugins, use the API connector for external services, and use Bubble’s built-in features like email capabilities and multilingual support.

Blaze.tech

Blaze is a powerful, easy-to-use platform for building custom applications without any coding experience. It’s designed for businesses who want to bring their app ideas to life without needing a team of engineers. 

Its simplicity ensures you can focus on your specific needs without getting lost in technical complexities.

Data security is a top priority, with features that meet SOC 2 and HIPAA compliance standards, making it ideal for healthcare, finance, and other regulated industries.

Our vision is to empower users to build complex, multi-system applications, connect with databases, and integrate AI and automation effortlessly. Blaze's core beliefs center on being easy to use, fast, powerful, scalable, and secure, supported by outstanding customer service.

Features

  • Comprehensive support: With its enterprise model, Blaze provides an implementation team to build out the first version of your application so you can focus on refining the solution instead of learning to navigate the tool. This also speeds up the dev cycle and helps you launch your app faster.

  • Enterprise-level security: Blaze provides top-tier security with SOC 2 and HIPAA compliance. This ensures that all data is protected, making it an excellent choice for healthcare, finance, and other regulated industries.

  • Ease of use and fast development: With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, Blaze allows users to build applications 10 times faster than traditional platforms. This simplicity enables even non-technical users to create custom applications efficiently.

  • Comprehensive integrations: Blaze supports a wide range of out-of-the-box and custom integrations, including any REST API. It’s a full-stack solution that handles both frontend and backend needs, ensuring seamless performance and scalability for large-scale applications.

  • Rich collection of widgets: Blaze comes with an extensive library of pre-built components, such as maps and layouts, which are highly customizable. These widgets enable users to create feature-rich applications quickly and easily.

  • Advanced workflow automation: Blaze's powerful workflow builder allows for the automation of complex business processes. This includes scheduling workflows, triggering notifications, performing calculations, and more, enhancing productivity and streamlining operations.

  • Responsive design and PWAs: Blaze lets you build responsive and mobile-friendly applications, ensuring they are accessible and functional on any device. 

Pricing

  • Internal plan ($400/month): This includes unlimited internal users, unlimited apps, automatic multi-source data syncing, unlimited data storage, enterprise-level data security, integration library, roles and permissions, but no external users.
  • Enterprise plan (Custom pricing): This is designed for organizations with extensive security and external user needs.

It includes all features of the internal plan, plus unlimited external users, custom APIs and integrations, custom branding, white labeling, advanced roles and permissions, audit logs, public web applications, SSO and 2FA, HIPAA compliance, full implementation services, and enterprise support.

Contact the Blaze sales team for pricing information.

Ideal Users

  • Highly regulated industries: Organizations in sectors like healthcare and finance need top-tier security to avoid data breaches and compliance issues. Blaze comes with HIPAA compliance built-in –– no additional configuration needed –– making it the perfect platform for building secure applications.

  • Large enterprises: Managing a team of developers can be complex and time-consuming. Learning a new tool to build your app idea takes time and effort. Blaze eliminates the need for this additional time and effort with an implementation team that helps build the initial version of your application.

  • Organizations that need powerful customer-facing applications: Blaze’s no-code platform lets you build complex, custom applications without extensive engineering resources. This enables you to create sophisticated apps quickly and efficiently.

  • Teams requiring multi-departmental collaboration: Blaze fosters seamless collaboration across departments. Its intuitive interface allows multiple teams, from marketing to operations, to contribute to building and maintaining custom applications effortlessly.

Which Should You Choose?

Choosing the right platform depends on your specific needs and technical expertise. Here's a quick checklist to help you decide:

Does your team have the ability to code?

  • Yes: Go with Retool. It’s better suited to developers who want to build internal tools quickly with the flexibility of custom JavaScript and SQL.

  • No: Consider Blaze or Bubble for simpler, more user-friendly solutions.

Are you looking for a tool that non-technical users can easily navigate?

  • Yes: Blaze is ideal. Its intuitive drag-and-drop interface makes it easy for non-technical users to create custom applications quickly.

  • No: If you have the time to learn, Bubble can help you build powerful, customizable apps, but it comes with a steeper learning curve.

Is enterprise-level security a priority for your business?

  • Yes: Choose Blaze. With SOC 2 and HIPAA compliance, Blaze ensures top-tier security, making it perfect for regulated industries like healthcare and finance.

  • No: All the other contenders have security features that will suit your needs.

Are you a business that needs quick deployment?

  • Yes: Blaze provides a powerful feature set, making it an excellent choice for startups and small businesses. Plus you have an implementation team that does the heavy-lifting for you and builds the first version of your app.

  • No: Bubble or Retool can help you build an app but may take longer to learn and use.

Wrapping Up

  • Choose Retool if you need advanced customization and are comfortable with coding.

  • Choose Bubble if you're looking to build complex web apps or PWAs and can invest time in learning the platform.

  • Choose Blaze if you want an easy-to-use, secure platform that allows rapid development without needing coding expertise. Blaze is especially suitable for regulated industries and businesses looking to get started quickly.

Build a Powerful, HIPAA-Compliant App With Blaze

We hope this guide empowers you to make a decision between Retool vs Bubble vs Blaze for your app development needs. Blaze simplifies the process of building a powerful app, without writing a single line of code.

Here’s how you can get started:

  • Connect with our team: Schedule a free consultation to discuss your app idea. This conversation will explore the functionalities you want, any integrations you need to connect with existing systems, and compliance concerns you may have.

    We'll also showcase Blaze's capabilities through live demonstrations, tailored to your specific needs.
  • Expert support, streamlined development: Blaze goes beyond just providing tools. A dedicated implementation team assists you throughout the entire development lifecycle, ensuring your CRM aligns perfectly with your business goals.

  • Deploy faster than ever: Build and ship your solutions 10x faster than traditional coding, all while maintaining robust security protocols.
  • Seamless collaboration: Once you decide to move forward, we'll work closely with you to define a detailed roadmap for your CRM’s development.

    Additionally, you'll benefit from our expert guidance on HIPAA compliance. We'll assist you in implementing robust security measures to safeguard sensitive patient data, ensuring your app adheres to all regulations.

Contact Blaze today for a free demo.