No-code is becoming the preferred alternative to conventional software development. Now anyone can build software from scratch, with simplicity and with zero coding requirement. Apps, platforms and tools built using no-code are creating buzz everyday. No-code has created avenues for hustlers with non-technical backgrounds to bring their vision to reality. Open Source no-code platforms, especially, are popular for their easy accessibility, affordability, and helpful communities.
Read this article if:
- You want to understand how open source no-code platforms are being used by other makers & entrepreneurs
- You want to know what all can you build using these platforms
- You want to utilize these platforms to grow your revenue or scale your business
- You want to derive the maximum value from these platforms
Let's start with the basics:
What are Open Source No-Code Platforms?
Open source no-code platforms, as the name says, are open to everyone. They are easily accessible. They can also be easily modified and shared. Open source’s code is readily available for anyone to inspect, understand and change. They allow users to build required tools on top of it.
The opposite of an open source platform is a proprietary platform which is closed in nature. In these platforms, the code is not visible to the users. Users cannot make any modifications to the code. The users tend to sign an agreement which disallows them from doing any changes in the code, without the permission from its author.
- Their Advantages:
- One of the major advantages of open source platforms is the absolute transparency that it allows. Unlike proprietary platforms, the code is readily presented to the users.
- Open sources also allow more flexibility. In a proprietary platform, one can only request for changes in the form of tickets. Ultimately it is the author who gets to decide the modifications. However, in open code platforms users can fix the code by themselves. They can engage with the code as the open source model runs on a community-driven approach.
- Since the code is openly available, it undergoes intense and timely reviews from the members of the community, ultimately leading to its enhancement.
- Another major benefit of open source no-code platforms is that there is no vendor lock-in. Any user can use the platform for any purpose, without having any restrictions.
- Open source platforms are controlled by the community of developers who engage with the code continuously. The control lies within the community and not a single developer
- There is more reliability compared to proprietary platforms as users do not have to depend on code authors for changes and updates.
- Their Disadvantages:
- In some scenarios, all the members of the community may stop engaging with the software leading to the project becoming stagnant. This is known as “orphan software.”
- There are also concerns about security, warranty and support as most of the open-source platforms are not profit driven
Now, let's get to the list:
13 Best Open Source No-Code Platforms
An open source platform, Budibase lets you host your own apps using Kubernetes, Docker and many other options. It allows connection with an external database to gather data from a Rest API. You can either import a CSV or start fully from beginning using the platform's built-in database.
What You Can Build With Budibase:
- Customized business apps that you can self-host
- Forms that provide smooth integration
- Effective approval workflow softwares
- Admin panels with easy designs, can be made in minutes
Top 5 Features of Budibase:
- You can connect and get data from external data sources such as S3, CouchDB, Airtable etc.
- API integration platform to integrate with your APIs
- Built-in Database and tables to create apps from scratch
- You get to assign access controls to your data
- Buildbase helps you generate auto-screens when you build an internal table
Limitations of Budibase:
- Only available for web
- Might require some coding experience for some use cases
Check out their official website: https://budibase.com/
Lets you build a highly scalable collaboration platform and management system in minutes using data tables and fields, layout of blocks and data tables and fields. You can get this from GitHub.
What You Can Build With NocoBase:
- Internal management systems
- Extensive collaboration platforms
Top 5 Features of NocoBase:
- Access controls for user’s configuration rights, menu access rights and data action rights are provided as per user’s role
- No limitations with regard to the number of menus
- Automation of frequent tasks
- Tech stack includes React, Koa, Forminly, Ant Design etc.
- Easy and simple architecture that can be extended
Limitations of NocoBase:
- Limited flexibility and functionality for complex scenarios
Check out their official website: https://www.nocobase.com/
Platform that helps you create online databases that can be self-hosted on Docker, Ubuntu, Cloudron and Heroku or can be hosted on SaaS on the Baserow website. This open-source platform is an alternative for Airtable
What You Can Build With Baserow:
- Student planners, Book writing guides and other materials related to education
- Applicant tracker, performance review, employee directory etc. for HR department of businesses
- For small businesses, Baserow can be used to build lightweight CRM, project tracker, management, expenses manager, app pitch planner etc.
- Product roadmaps, project trackers, performance reviews, team checkins etc. for project management
Top 5 Features of Baserow:
- Offers flexibility to cater to your needs
- Real-time collaboration
- Unlimited rows
- Easy to use, single interface
- Simple integration with other softwares
Limitations of Baserow:
- Level of performance might depend on number of fields, views and filters after 100K rows
Check out their official website: https://baserow.io/
StackStrom lets you automate DevOps by simplifying complicated workflows. It acts as an extensive automation machine. It allows quick integration with current infrastructure by tying together your existing workflows and application environment.
What You Can Build With StackStorm:
- DevOps automation
- Automation of workflows for different events
- Extensive software for IFTTT operations
- Automates continuous deployment, remediation, chatOps optimization and security response
Top 5 Features of StackStorm:
- Allows integration with existing infra through sensors
- External events known as triggers that can be either generic or integration
- Outbound integration known as actions; either generic, custom or integration
- Units of content deployment known as packs
- Rules that map triggers to actions
Limitations of StackStorm:
- Limited range of extension packs
- The workflow system can be sometimes complicated
Check out their official website: https://stackstorm.com/
Enterprise-grade open source no-code/low-code platform. Offers scaled deployment and a huge list of capabilities particularly suited to assist enterprises. There are two parts to this platform, one which focuses on no-code and another on low code. These are known as Convertigo No-code studio and Convertigo low code studio.
What You Can Build With Convertigo:
- Mobile banking applications and self banking portals
- B2C retail mobile apps
- Insurance mobile apps such as claim portals
- Travel, leisure and hotel apps
Top 5 Features of Convertigo:
- Data security
- Back-end business logic and flows
- Can be used on cloud or premises
- Has data and API connectors
- Task scheduler, offline data and user authentication
Limitations of Convertigo:
- The free plan does not include many features
Check out their official website: https://www.convertigo.com/
This platform lets you build apps through connecting databases and creating cloud functions. Through this businesses can get a UI similar to Airtable quickly. Code is in API, JS or any npm package. It's a platform for firebase and firestore.
What You Can Build With Rowy:
- Workflows on database
- Mobile apps
- Tools such as expense management tool
- Other products such as flutter apps
Top 5 Features of Rowy:
- Real-time collaboration with your team
- More than 30 fields are supported
- Built in VS code editor and fully extensible with code
- Granular role based access control
- Data of your product stays within your firebase
Check out their official website: https://www.rowy.io/
Basetool is a platform that will help businesses take care of their data in an improved manner. It allows collaboration through this easy management of data. It lets its customers focus more on business while data is fully handled.
What You Can Build With Basetool:
- MVPs for your product
- Internal tools
- Many other applications
Top 5 Features of Basetool:
- Interface optimized for mobile
- Can be self-hosted
- Permissions to control who can get access to and handle the data
- Automatic matching of DB columns to the perfect basetool fields
- All data sources at a single place
- Complete security to your data
Check out their official website: https://www.basetool.io/
A platform to create games easily and intuitively. Gdevelop has an event system that is easy to use. You can also publish your games on iOS, Steam, Android etc. These games can run everywhere and can be exported easily.
What You Can Build With Gdevelop:
With this platform, users can build games of all types with no limitations. These include games such as indie games, hyper-casual games, shoot’em up etc.
Top 5 Features of Gdevelop:
- Ready made objects from asset store can be used or you can create from scratch
- Visual effects known as shaders
- Additional behaviors can be directly exported and added to game objects
- Advanced levels and interfaces
- Live preview which provides quick development
Limitations of Gdevelop:
- Not suitable for 3D games
- Cannot be used to build complex games
Check out their official website: https://gdevelop.io/
PocketBase helps to create SaaS and mobile apps. Users can self-host their apps. This platform allows users to build apps specific to business use cases. PocketBase has real-time embedded database.
What You Can Build With PocketBase:
- Various custom apps
Top 5 Features of PocketBase:
- Embedded performant real-time database that
- Hassle free authentication using email/password and OAuth2 signups
- Extendable and can be used as a standalone app or as Go framework
- Storage of files locally or in S3 storage
- Offers admin dashboard
Limitations of PocketBase:
- Apps can be only self hosted as the platform does not offer hosting
- Scales only on a single server
Check out their official website: https://pocketbase.io/
What You Can Build With Directus:
- Websites such as next.js websites, react websites
Top 5 Features of Directus:
- Easy-to-use, intuitive interface
- Mirrors your database
- Access to data through SDKs, Directus APIs and Direct to Database
- Its extensible and modular
- Quickly layers on top of any SQL database
Limitations of Directus:
- Can only use relational database
- API has certain features that one needs to adjust to
Check out their official website: https://directus.io/
ToolJet offers tailor-made open source solutions to build internal tools that are highly critical to business processes. It lets you build complicated front ends without using CSS, React and event HTML.
What You Can Build With Tooljet:
- HR management systems
- E-commerce refund apps
- Coupon code managers
- Personal job application trackers
- Bug tracker apps
Top 5 Features of Tooljet:
- More than 35 in-built UI components to create frontend using drop-and-drop
- Redux-like state inspector helps to assemble the app quickly
- Custom components can be imported
- Connect with more than 100 tools
- Collaborate and build with your team
Limitations of Tooljet:
- Support isn't free
- Free plan allows only two people and applications
Check out their official website: https://www.tooljet.com/
This platform can be used to turn all of your databases in smart spreadsheet. It connects to new or existing SQL databases. This platform is free and apps can be self-hosted. It is a preferred alternative for Airtable
What You Can Build With NocoDB:
- Business workflows
- Visual applications
Top 5 Features of NocoDB:
- Instant REST APIs with Swagger
- Business workflow automation with Slack, WhatsApp, Discord, Email etc.
- Fine grained access control for team collaboration
- Free and self-hostable
- Connect to new or existing SQL
Limitations of NocoDB:
- Consistency issues
Check out their official website: https://www.nocodb.com/
13. Motor Admin
Motor Admin allows users to launch tailor-made admin panels. It helps you manage data easily using a simple UI. You can also analyze your data. It helps you save your time, safeguard data and offer community support.
What You Can Build With Motor Admin:
- Supabase admin panel can be built in less a minute for internal users
- Apps for sales team without requirement of third-party SaaS apps
- Admin panel with access reports and audit logs for healthcare and are HIPAA compliant
- Handle Customer support in admin panel
- Dashboards with SQL
Top 5 Features of Motor Admin:
- Convenient UI to operate data
- Analyze your data with custom reports with SQL
- Custom forms to solve any task
- API integration to automate Email via API integration
Check out their official website: https://www.getmotoradmin.com/
Why Should You Consider Open Source No-Code Platforms?
Open source no-code platforms are often more accessible, transparent and flexible. The community centric approach offers more reliability as they can be easily modified and shared. These platforms are innovative and intuitive. They offer various pricing plans that you can choose from. These platforms are affordable and have easy-to-use UI interfaces. These platforms are a good alternative to closed no-code platforms due to the community based support, ease of access and flexibility they offer.
Hope these open source no-code platforms have caught your attention and hope you find some time to check them out.
If you want to know more about open code, check out the following video: