October 28, 2022

When not Retool

No doubt automation is top-of-mind to most managers these days. Who wants to waste a precious minute on mindless, manual tasks? Or worst - waste a precious minute of dev time solving a team’s tech struggles?

Abstra Cloud and Retool are a part of the Automation Club™, platforms dedicated to saving professionals’ time by both automating manual processes and empowering them to build tools faster, with smart power-ups.

We’re frequently asked “So what do you guys got going on for you? Why not Retool?”.

So here’s that: let’s go over key comparisons between Abstra Cloud and Retool, in order to clarify each platform’s strengths.

Abstra Dash Editor

Retool's editor

1. Due to it’s no-code nature, Retool works best for simpler processes.

Since Retool is a no-code admin front-end builder, it’s great for creating simple requests to your back-end. However, this means you… have to build a back-end.

Also, when you need more logic - to make a calculation or add a few conditions - it falls short. Retool logic is constrained to Javascript snippets meant to be used only to transform fetched data. This means lots of work arounds, and full-blown building limitations.

Bottom-line is: Retool’s best use case is an interface to realize very straightforward back-end tasks.

Abstra on the other hand is Python-based, with key simplifications for building UI and integrations. This means it’s best equipped to grow along with your processes, as they develop into more robust systems.

Think radical freedom. Need to add logic? As simple as writing an ‘if/else’s. Want to integrate with files? Easy, since it's run locally. Add CI, unit tests, import your favorite Python libs, and even integrate to your own code base 🚀

2. Your Retool apps are forever stuck on Retool.

Chained to your costly monthly subscription, the apps and logic you build can’t be reused anywhere else. No chance to test different tools, or insert successful processes into your core product - it’s a big commitment  💸💸💸

Abstra is open-source and all code is your own. So you can ship features from Abstra into your own main product continuously, over time. The inverse process is also easier: in minutes, adapt life-saving scripts into shareable apps for your whole company to benefit from.

3. Retool is built for internal tools - and it's just plain expensive 🙃

The no-code builder charges you per seat, instead of usage. This means extra cash any time anyone new needs to benefit from your app. Also, quite limiting when success ramps up and you want to start sharing tools with your customers - no way to create self-serve portals for clients.

With Abstra, you pay as you go, per execution, with no limit of builders seats. This way, your project’s users are yours to decide, we’re just here to provide the magical tooling.

So be that for internal uses, or customer-facing projects shareable and embeddable via a public URL, we’re seeing a wide varieties of projects - onboarding flows, portals to retrieve account info, and much more. All with fair prices, proportional to usage.

Still considering your options? We’d love share more thoughts, and help you set up your first project in 15 minutes. Click here to chat.

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