Top 5 Retool Alternatives in 2023

Tanmay Sarkar
Posted by Tanmay SarkarPublished on May 29, 2023
6 min read
Retool Alternatives

History of internal tool/app builders

The concept of building internal tools and applications has a long and storied history, dating back to the earliest days of computer programming. In the beginning, developers would often create custom tools and scripts to automate repetitive tasks or manage internal workflows. These homegrown solutions were the precursors to today's no-code and low-code platforms, which have become indispensable for businesses looking to streamline their operations and accelerate digital transformation.

Fourth-generation programming languages (4GLs)

The rise of no-code and low-code platforms can be traced back to the 1980s when fourth-generation programming languages (4GLs) first emerged. These languages were designed to make application development more accessible and efficient by abstracting away the complexity of low-level code. Over the years, the technology evolved, and today's no-code and low-code platforms are a testament to the significant strides made in the field of software development.

These platforms empower teams with the ability to create internal tools and applications rapidly, without having to rely on traditional development processes that can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. As more companies recognize the need for efficient, tailor-made solutions, the demand for no-code and low-code platforms has skyrocketed.

What is Retool?

In the world of software development, Retool has gained popularity as a low-code platform that allows users to build internal tools quickly. However, as the demand for alternative solutions grows, developers are seeking alternatives that offer similar functionalities and ease of use.

Check out our 1-vs-1 comparison articles with Retool:

Retool Alternatives

This article explores the top five Retool alternatives in 2023, starting with Appsmith, followed by PowerApps, Budibase, Tooljet, and UI Bakery. We will discuss each tool's description, pros, cons, and unique features.


Appsmith Appsmith is a versatile open-source low-code platform that enables developers to build custom internal tools with ease. It offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, empowering users to create complex applications quickly. Appsmith supports various databases, APIs, and services, making it highly flexible for diverse use cases.


  • Open-source nature allows for community contributions and customization.
  • Usage based pricing which starts with $0.40 per hour per user.
  • Seamless integration with popular databases and APIs, providing extensive connectivity options.
  • Responsiveness via intent based auto layouts
  • Git based version control
  • Supports embedding public apps with SSO.
  • Generates clean, production-ready code, facilitating scalability.


  • The learning curve may be steep for beginners unfamiliar with low-code platforms.
  • The open-source nature may require self-support and troubleshooting.

Unique Features:

  • Built-in support for SQL queries and API endpoints, expanding data manipulation capabilities.
  • In-built authentication and authorization mechanisms for secure application development.
  • Unlimited public repos in versioning with Git feature.
  • Have Airgapped feature with the enterprise edition.


PowerApps PowerApps, a Microsoft product, is a comprehensive low-code development platform that integrates well with other Microsoft products like SharePoint and Azure. It empowers users to create web and mobile applications with ease, leveraging a wide range of pre-built templates and connectors.


  • Seamless integration with Microsoft ecosystem products, allowing for data synchronization.
  • Have both app based and user based pricing. Starts with £4.10/user/app/month
  • Allows for real-time collaboration and version control, enhancing team productivity.
  • Provides robust security measures and compliance with Microsoft security standards.
  • Extensive scalability options for applications ranging from small projects to enterprise-level solutions.


  • Limited customization options compared to some other alternatives.
  • Challenging when you need to connect to multiple data sources, especially those not part of the Microsoft ecosystem.
  • The user interface can be overwhelming for newcomers.
  • Requires a Microsoft subscription for full access to all features.
  • Advanced features may require coding knowledge, limiting the true "no-code" experience.

Unique Features:

  • Integration with Microsoft Power Automate, enabling workflow automation and process optimization.
  • AI Builder functionality for incorporating artificial intelligence capabilities into applications.
  • Integration with Azure services for advanced data analytics and machine learning.


Budibase Budibase is a powerful low-code development platform designed for building internal tools and business applications. With its visual interface and easy-to-use features, Budibase caters to both non-technical users and seasoned developers, offering a balance between simplicity and extensibility.


  • Intuitive drag-and-drop interface, requiring no coding knowledge for basic functionality.
  • Provides flexibility with custom code integrations for complex use cases.
  • Supports version control, allowing developers to collaborate effectively.
  • Offers robust user management and role-based access control for secure applications.
  • Automatic cloud hosting and deployment, simplifying the deployment process.


  • No Airgapped feature.
  • Doesn’t support embedding public apps.
  • Backups and restore is only available in paid versions (1 week - 1 year).

Unique Features:

  • In-built database management system (DBMS), reducing reliance on external databases.
  • Offers pre-built application templates for rapid development and deployment.
  • No vendor lock-in.


tooljet Tooljet is a powerful low-code platform that empowers developers to create custom internal tools and applications. It provides a visual interface and a comprehensive set of building blocks, allowing users to build complex workflows and automate business processes with ease.


  • Supports multiple environments.
  • Supports custom code integration, enabling developers to extend functionality when needed.
  • Allows for real-time collaboration and version control, enhancing team productivity.
  • Provides a flexible deployment option, enabling both cloud and self-hosted solutions.


  • Not able to import external JS Libraries
  • Customizations may require some knowledge of JavaScript and CSS.
  • Pricing is not transparent and it's available as enterprise pricing only.

Unique Features:

  • Advanced automation capabilities, including scheduled tasks and triggers.
  • Built-in authentication and access control mechanisms for secure application development.
  • Real-time data synchronization across multiple connected components.

UI Bakery

UI Bakery UI Bakery is a low-code development platform that focuses on enabling users to create visually appealing web applications with minimal effort. It offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and a collection of ready-to-use UI components, making it an excellent choice for front-end development.


  • Provides a vast library of pre-built UI components and templates for rapid application development.
  • Offers a responsive design editor, allowing for seamless adaptation to different devices.
  • Supports integration with popular databases and APIs, ensuring data connectivity.
  • Provides a collaborative environment for real-time collaboration and feedback.


  • Limited customization options compared to some other alternatives.
  • No Airgapped feature.
  • May not be suitable for complex back-end integrations or heavy data processing.
  • No embedded DB.
  • Backups are in your own manual setup i.e. backup the instance.

Unique Features:

  • Visual theming capabilities for effortless customization of application styles.
  • Offers the ability to preview and test applications in real-time during development.
  • Provides a publishing feature for easy deployment and sharing of applications.


In the rapidly evolving landscape of low-code development platforms, developers have several robust alternatives to Retool available in 2023. Each of the alternatives has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it is important to choose the one that is right for your needs.

Appsmith sets itself apart as a unique open-source option, providing users with exceptional flexibility and a wide range of customization capabilities. If you are looking for a low-code platform that is easy to use and has a wide range of features, then Appsmith is a great option. Appsmith is also open source, which means that you can customize it to meet your specific needs.

Each of these Retool alternatives has its unique set of features, pros, and cons. Depending on your specific requirements, budget, and level of technical expertise, you can choose the one that best suits your needs. As the demand for low-code platforms continues to grow, these alternatives are poised to empower developers and organizations to build internal tools and applications more efficiently in 2023 and beyond.

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All new Business instances, whether upgrading from a Community self-hosted instance or signing up for the first time, get a 15-day free trial.