Full comparison of the top 6 low-code in-house tool builders in 2021

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Depending on your technical skills and possibilities, there are two approaches to creating internal tools: with and without code. The second option involves the use of an internal tool builder.

While the coding is much more flexible, using in-house tools allows you to build the application you need faster, with less effort, and without spending your entire budget on it.

Comparison of internal low-code tool builders

What is an internal tool builder

An internal tool is generally internal software that you create to automate or simplify certain internal operations within your company. The main objective of creating internal tools is to automate microprocesses, increase the productivity of your teams, improve customer support and ticket management, etc.

An internal tool can be a CRM, a database graphical interface, an administration dashboard, etc. Since custom internal tools are always created with your business processes in mind, they outperform general out-of-the-box solutions.

There is a huge amount of low-code, low-code in-house application builders available in the market today. Let’s see the main criteria you need to pay attention to when choosing the right one for your team.

Criteria for choosing an in-house toolmaker

How easy is it to integrate and start building your internal app within this platform? Is it nice to use this internal tool generator?

Does an internal tool created automatically adapt to different screen sizes (laptop, tablet, mobile)?

  • Construction components and predefined models.

Are there any out-of-the-box UI components that you can use so that you don’t build your app from scratch?

Does this internal tool builder integrate with data sources such as third party APIs, databases, line of business applications, plugins?

Can you extend the functionality of your in-house tool with custom code if needed?

What types of support does the in-house tool builder vendor provide? Email support, community support, phone calls, video guides, etc. ?

How comprehensive and useful are the tutorials and documentation provided by the vendor to their users?

Do you have the ability to create an internal white label tool and brand it according to your corporate style guide? Is this a paid option?

  • Deployment and hosting of applications.

Does this internal tool builder allow you to deploy and host your internal software?

Where is your data stored? How secure is it?

What is the price? Is it a monthly / annual subscription? Do you have to pay for every developer, end user, app?

With these criteria in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the most feature-rich in-house tool builders you can try out today.

1 – Bakery UI

Bakery user interface interface

No free plan. The paid subscription starts from $ 7 / month per end user.

Main characteristics according to the criteria:

  • Very intuitive drag-and-drop build interface.
  • A customizable Eva Design System – under the hood.
  • Unlimited number of internal app pages you can add.
  • Automatic responsive design working perfectly.
  • A large number of predefined layouts and user interface components such as tables, charts, maps, links, entries, buttons, etc. In addition, you can create and use your own components.
  • A growing library of ready-to-use application templates.
  • Almost unlimited data connection and API integration capabilities with your own APIs, databases, third-party tools like Google Sheets, Airtable, Firebase, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Salesforce, Zapier, Stripe, etc.
  • Ability to add JavaScript code to modify your application.
  • Dynamic customer support (live chat, email support, community, online onboarding meetings, demo calls, webinars).
  • Tutorials, how-to guides, video guides available in the UI Bakery documentation.
  • Deployment and hosting of applications on UI Bakery or on a custom domain – available at an affordable price.
  • 100% Data Security Guaranteed: UI Bakery does not store your data.
  • Very affordable price compared to competitors.

Main weaknesses:

  • The app’s personalized branding is not available for free.
  • Not many ready-made templates yet.

2 – Retool

Retooling interface

Offer a free plan. Paid subscription starts from $ 10 / month per end user.

Main characteristics according to the criteria:

  • A convenient drag-and-drop build interface.
  • Predefine the building blocks you can use so you don’t start from scratch (text, input, dropdown, button, wizard, etc.). In addition, you can create custom components.
  • Over 40 ready-to-use application templates.
  • Integration with databases, third party APIs – PostgreSQL, Firebase, MongoDB, Stripe.
  • Support for custom JavaScript code anywhere in your internal tool.
  • Dynamic support (community, support forum, email, live chat).
  • Very comprehensive documentation including practical guides, FAQs, etc.
  • High level of security: Retool does not even store part of your data.
  • Rather affordable price.

Main weaknesses:

  • Poor responsive design and annoying modals.
  • White labeling is only possible under the most expensive plan.
  • Deployment is possible via Docker or Kubernetes only.

3 – Internal

Internal interface

Offer a free plan. The paid subscription starts from $ 25 / month per user.

Main characteristics according to the criteria:

  • A handy drag and drop user interface builder.
  • Predefined building blocks like tables, entries, texts.
  • Ability to connect with data sources – PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB, Stripe, etc.
  • Ability to add a piece of JavaScript code to modify your business logic.
  • Fairly comprehensive educational documentation with various tutorials.
  • SOC 2 Type II certified platform ensuring a high level of security.

Main weaknesses:

  • Email support only (other support options are chargeable).
  • A limited number of data sources that you can connect and business apps that you can integrate with.
  • Only a maximum of 5 users are allowed to work on the project under a free plan.
  • Very few ready-made models.

4 – JetAdmin

JetAdmin interface

Offer a free plan. The paid subscription starts from $ 24 / month per end user.

Main characteristics according to the criteria:

  • A simple drag and drop user interface creation interface.
  • Over 50 predefined user interface components to speed up the process of building in-house tools. Moreover, you can create your own components using HTML / CSS, Javascript, React, Angular, Vue.
  • Integrated team collaboration functionality.
  • Third-party integration with tools like PostgreSQL, Firebase, GraphQL, MySQL, Google Cloud Storage, SendGrid, etc.
  • Live chat, email support.
  • Structured and comprehensive documentation of the platform.
  • Automatic deployment of applications.

Main weaknesses:

  • Slow bug fixes and customer support.
  • Custom domain available only on a paid basis.
  • The branding of the app is only available on a paid basis.
  • 2FA only available in the most expensive plan.
  • The need to pay for every viewer, not just the publisher.

5 – DronaHQ

No free plan. The paid subscription starts from $ 100 / month for 2 administrators.

Main characteristics according to the criteria:

  • A rather comfortable drag-and-drop internal tool builder.
  • Responsive mobile design.
  • Over 150 predefined controls like texts, toggles, buttons, inputs, graphics, dashboards, etc.
  • Over 24 ready-to-use web application templates for various use cases.
  • Third-party integration with databases (MySQL, MongoDB, Oracle), APIs (Airtable, Github, GMail, Freshdesk, Twilio, HubSpot).
  • Ability to add JS code to API or database response.
  • Active community support, live chat, email support.
  • ISO 27001 and SOC-II certified, including GDPR compliant.

Main weaknesses:

  • A very high price compared to the competitors.
  • No educational documentation.
  • Custom app brand available only for $ 500 / month or more.
  • Custom domain available only for $ 500 / month or more.

Choose a perfect from a range

All of the internal tool builders listed have their pros and cons. They vary in terms of customization opportunities, price points, the data protection they can provide, third-party integration capabilities, level of customer support, etc.

Before committing to any particular internal tool / internal database app builder, you had better see and try them all on the inside. Most of the internal tool builders we mentioned offer either a free trial (UI Bakery, DronaHQ) or a free forever plan (Retool, Internal, Jet Admin). Typically, these plans set limits on what features you can try. However, you will always be able to get a taste of the comfort of working within a particular internal tool creation platform.

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