Low-code brings a new era of software development, allowing programmers to build complex software easier, faster, and cheaper. Although the low-code and no-code development platforms have been around for quite a while, they still don’t have the recognition they deserve.
In this article, we continue to review the pioneering low-code development platforms. This time, we will review Appsmith - one of the most rapidly evolving low-code platforms for internal tool development and workflow automation.
Appsmith is the first open-source low-code internal tool builder using which you can create custom work dashboards, admin panels, CRUD tools, and automated workflows. It was founded in 2020 and now is developing really fast, acquiring new functionalities almost every week since then.
Appsmith focuses on the front-end part of the apps and doesn’t require deep coding skills to build internal tools. Appsmith’s tools can be connected to a large number of data sources. With Appsmith, you can build from 27+ ready-made components and widgets. The handy drag-and-drop interface with the comprehensive canvas lets users compile those components easily. You can literary construct your app from UI components and widgets as if from the building blocks, placing them on the open grid-style canvas. On top of that, you can code for custom data transformation and create custom business logic using JS.
Reviewing the Appsmith’s functionalities we should keep in mind that the platform has been around only for 2 years. Despite this fact, the platform has an impressive set of features, vast integration capacity, and customization capabilities.
JS customization capabilities and white-labeling.
Working with Appsmith, you are able to write custom JS code to transform data and add custom app logic. Besides, you can make branded or white-label apps by removing the Appsmith’s logo.
Unlike many other low-code development platforms, Appsmith offers multi-user support by default. If you have a large team and the per-user payments will be a burden on your budget, Appsmith is a great choice.
SOC 2 compliant
Recently the platform have got the SOC (System and Organization Controls) 2 certificate which makes it stronger in terms of security, availability, and testing.
Appsmith has pre-built connectors to extract data from databases directly or through the REST APIs. The list of data sources accessible in Appsmith includes MongoDB, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and the Salesforce CRM system. Additionally, you can connect the tools with GraphQL and Google Sheets. Moreover, Appsmith allows users to query and update the info directly from the app.
You can host your Appsmith low-code application in the cloud, on your own server, or using embedded hosting. The platform allows you to self-host on Kubernetes, AWS, Docker, Digital Ocean, and Heroku. Appsmith provides a high level of data security for cloud-hosted and self-hosted applications by encrypting the data with AES 256 encryption protocol.
With Appsmith, you can create responsive and dynamic UIs with little or no coding skills by using pre-made UI components. A simple drag-and-drop interface combined with a manageable canvas allows non-professional users to arrange the UI elements of the app.
Appsmith stands out from many other low-code development platforms, allowing users to transform Query data. This is due to the open-source nature of the platform and high extensibility. On top of that, Appsmith has a version history feature that allows developers to track the development stages and get back to any stage of the Appsmith low-code app development. All the apps can be deployed on the cloud, as a SaaS, or be a web-based application.
Appsmith has only two pricing plans: community and business. The community plan goes for free but the business plan pricing starts at a whopping $250 per month.
Pros & Cons
Pros of Appsmith:
- You can deploy Appsmith on your server in 5 minutes;
- Easy widget manipulation (drag & drop, resize and style) of widgets without HTML/CSS;
- Ability to update and query your database directly from the UI.
- Ready-made connectors for a large number of cloud and on-premise databases as well as REST and GraphQL APIs;
- Write snippets of business logic using JS to transform data, manipulate UI, or trigger workflows. Use popular libraries like lodash & moment anywhere in the app;
- Simple configuration to create flows when users interact with the UI;
- Changes in your application reflect instantly with every edit. No need to compile;
- Connect directly to any database (PostgreSQL, MySQL & MongoDB) instances;
- Control who can edit/view your applications from a single control panel.
Cons of Appsmith:
- Most of the platform’s support is provided by the user community;
- You are able to develop only web-based applications;
- Limited customization (i.e. no ability to create custom components)
- JS programming skills are needed for the creation of custom business logic.
Appsmith is one of the best platforms for creating an internal tool for data representation and management. It enables both pro and citizen developers to build full-page and iframe web apps, admin panels, reporting tools, and info dashboards in days or even hours.
An inclusive free plan and a business plan that has unlimited user permission make Appsmith an ideal option for large teams as well as individual users. A beginner-friendly interface, canvas positioning, and Then, for more advanced users there’s a lot more to do as you can freely work with the source code available on GitHub. Also, there’s quite good customer support and a knowledge base where you can find the necessary info for your app development.
Appsmith’s variety of databases, data encryption, application-side security, and customizable business logic are the perfect set of features for sufficient internal tools. Yet, it is still not catching up with such giants as Retool in terms of customization capabilities, the number of pre-made components, and support.
But let’s see what the actual Appsmith users say about their experience with the platform.
“I like how easy it is to deploy and use Appsmith. It's a complete product with all the necessary features we needed for the rapid development of our internal tools.”
“Appsmith is a great little tool to create simple internal web-apps to be shared among colleagues. It is really easy to create tools linked to existing assets and technologies via REST APIs.”
Low-code development experts
There’s no faster and easier way to build your business application or internal workflow optimization software than by using low-code. Low-code and no-code platforms make software development available, affordable, and easy for all types of businesses (SMEs, startups, and large enterprises) and individuals alike. But usually, to access the full potential of low-code you may need professional developer assistance that has experience using these platforms.
If that is your case, you can discuss your project with our low-code development experts. We have more than 7 years of software development experience including working with various low-code development platforms. Some of our developers even participated in the creation of one of such platforms. We can help you at any stage of your low-code app development: from the right low-code platform selection and process strategizing to full-scale development, customization, and integration with your existing systems. For more information, reach out to our low-code development team leads and get a free consultation.
P.S. We love writing about low-code. Subscribe to our blog to get the latest insights in your inbox.
Get 17 the Most Essential Interview Questions & Answers
Submit your e-mail to get access.