Healthy Comparison, versus to other App Builders

Hi All,

I am taking my risk here, but it is worthy for advancement of App Builders/Makers community.

I have an example of healthy comparison about two products, which accidentally used by two app builders I want to focus on.

Discourse is still the winner, but they allow discussion like this happening in their own front yard.

This can also be a confirming sign that the winner still believe that they are still the winner.

But as we know that as of now in the no-code world, the winner seldom takes all, maybe in another 20 years, we could see something like that, but that could be dangerous time for consumers.

But, if somehow that this thread has more negative effects then I will withdraw, because this should be community efforts which resulted open-ended conclusion, but the arguments and process to that conclusion is very vital to our needs, if we should spend more or spend less, less likely to be binary choice, either spend or not spend, because in no-code world, they complement each other, and we need to get help from any of them, so making enemy or completely dislike something is not recipe to succeed.

My comparison of choice is Draftbit, which is founded around the same time of Adalo (maybe from previous name).

I have not had resources to do this yet, because I am super very slow and need lots of time to digest and still need more time to do simple experiments, while others have gone to the moon with it.

But I believe that if this is allowed, both App Builders can get meaningful feedbacks as to how its users want it, not necessarily apply it yet, and what are the trend its users hype about, not necessarily true and followed, but feedback data is there, how it is believed or followed up, it is yet another layer of decision.

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Simple examples are like this

Adalo has user friendly left panel, while Draftbit has left and right panel.

Adalo has custom list and built-in linked data to next screen, while Draftbit… (I am not sure yet)

Draftbit has tutorial about Supabase, Sheety and soon Xano, while Adalo already has Integromat, Mixpanel etc

BTW, Adalo choose Discourse and Draftbit choose Circle for their community.

This could be an effect of avoiding other competitor’s vendor, who knows.

For those who read my posts, I think it is clear that I still prefer Adalo (bringing this issue into Adalo’s forum is another proof of that), but recent updates are making me to reconsider that I need to split my attention to other complementary products which may or may not be consider competitors, it will bring down my productivity, because I have to relearn, unlearn, co-learn or whatever terms, which is not ideal because of splitted focus.

If you have come to this sentence and still don’t know what this is all about, forgive me, this is about comparison of Adalo and Draftbit from Builders/Makers perspective.

There are no rights and wrongs, I believe they complement each other and should be treated as friends or even business partners.

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The main limitation I see for Draftbit is that I can’t make a webapp for desktops yet, maybe something to add into the comparison.

I mainly use Airtable for my Adalo apps, so you could also do a comparison with V.One - the easiest no code platform for building your v one. It seems interesting, and it’s also very userfriendly. But I’m not sure if its performance is good enough (based on YouTube videos which shows laggy performance), and there’s no free trial yet.

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Thanks for your input, but currently Vone is not within my radar, because I categorize it as App Wrapper, not app builder, we need to have control over our own app as much as possible.

Other app builders are not worthy for comparison due to their long term vision is not aligned for individual persons like us, or too much focus on design, not logics.

But that is a good point to mention, that Adalo can have desktop web app, progressive (mobile) web app and native app to both android and ios.

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Yep that is certainly a strength of Adalo that we can use it to make it for different sizes (which will only get better once the unified builder for mobile + web comes).

Don’t know if V.one is an app wrapper, but it’s user interface and design approach seems very close to Adalo’s, more so than other no-code app builders.

Also yes, the logics part about Adalo is also a strength. The platform’s flexibility allows one to achieve really complicated logics in a simple way, or at least through workarounds.

I don’t have access either, but seeing those tiktok videos created by them and from video review in youtube, I can’t have more distraction to spend more time with them, because focusing in Adalo is already hard enough for me.

Adalo is my first love in no-code world, but I have a feeling, I need more love but with worthy companion.

I remember knowing Glide around last year, but never play around, just taking a glance, and recently I visit their forum, it seems not much has changed, because the underlying technology is spreadsheet, that is what worries me in the future, the underlying technology defines the future, so I am trying to understand what these app builders underlying technology are, because we spend lots of time and bonding with them day and night, so it seem fair enough to know, if in the future our vision is sync enough.

Just an update,

After few weeks reading and experimenting with Draftbit, here is my current view,

Draftbit is not really comparable to Adalo, as they are in the low-code space, people using it are taking advantage of exported code which is react native code and will be cooked again to get the final result.

Visual tools are still limited, drag and drop only apply to rearrange layer of components inside the screen, not positioning a component on the screen, this is huge difference.

Since there is no internal database, external collection are encouraged which means more flexibility and features, because their engineering team are heavily invested in making as much as possible database connection through REST API, this thing what I think will make them more shining and bright to people that have an urgent need for external collection.

For non technical person, Adalo is still the way to go, embrace it with its very powerful internal collection, it is still the easiest no code tools with SQL based database.

When the time comes and we need an upgrade for performance in the area of external collection, there is Draftbit that welcome us, and if we need some tricks/workarounds in order to achieve what really we want it to happen, there is still the exported code that we can play around, with professionals of course.

My current need can be filled with Adalo, but I will be watching Draftbit very close, as soon as I need their help, hopefully I will have knowledge of what to do next and making the transition smooth.

So, for me, Adalo with its internal collection is still the main concern until I hit something big that requires me to move to Draftbit, which hopefully performs well with database API, either SQL or NoSQL.

Other low code tools worth mentioning is Flutterflow, which I guess will become a fight of React vs Flutter too.

If we stay in no code, and our situation doesn’t require us to be in low code, I think we are safe in Adalo, perhaps someday Adalo can have plan for our own dedicated hosted Postgresql in regionals cloud server with accessing using port and have the same functionality as current internal collection. That will be awesome. :grinning:

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Another update, just to satisfy curious mind.

This is a recent video from low code app builder that connect to firestore (nosql) and looked like the same concept with internal collection in Adalo, it is just they have panels for the left and right, so our eyes and head are moving along with it, so quite an exercise for our neck. :grinning:

No hot reloading or preview yet, so that would bring down a lot of productivity.

But the nicest thing is to see a product evolved into something similar to Adalo and our no code skill can applied there, at least partially.

They start with the strong foundation, fast and scalable database, even though it is nosql, but still can be integrated into visual tools, which is unimaginable before.

But to become the champion of native no code tools like Adalo, it will take some years, and hopefully Adalo has evolved to embrace nosql too as easy as flipping our hand to use internal collection or nosql collection.

Draftbit just demo their integration to firestore (nosql), which is around the same time as Flutterflow, so I think these two low code are competing each other around the same phase, though Draftbit is founded a lot earlier.

When I see their struggle to do this, I really appreciate if someday Adalo can have true firestore integration, which makes no code can play the same level as low code, and can be used beyond MVP, which make use of our struggle when learning Adalo’s way.

Watching more and more videos about low code and no code, getting lost in the editor, doing workaround, forget what to do, or just unable to think through, these are normal and expected, so even though barrier of skill is lower than code, but logical thinking is not.

So working toward the original goal that more people can build apps, there will need some elaboration of what kind of apps, if it needs some logical thinking, I guess not much growth can be achieved, because the barrier is not much different. But if the app is just directory or keeping notes, more people can make that kind of apps.

NoSQL + Adalo is the resolution for next year. :grinning:

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Hi Yongki,
Are you using Firebase still? Wondering about the costs? I actually doing a Hybrid Flutterflow/Adalo and considering using Firebase for both or just XANO for both. Thanks

No, it is just a hopeful wish if Adalo can do connect to Nosql such as firebase/firestore, they are for high frequency transactions, but I am not too optimistic. :grinning:

I am still using internal collection, but would like to move to supabase/xano once the timing is right.

Looks like indeed flutterflow/flutter is the next step in this journey, draftbit is standing still, not much progress after months.

Ah pitty, I love XANO, but would like to test other DB’s.

I gave up on Draftbit (Was my first low code app), they take too long to develop things, and others you need a lot of customer code that goes beyond the concept of “Low Code”.

FlutterFlow is quite great but I hate they focus too much in “locking” people in Firebase, but I still love the simplicity of Adalo, I really hope these guys improve.

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Ahh, you like to test other products…

Maybe you are interested in ycode, as they have internal collections too and connect to airtable natively or using external apis, much like adalo.

But they only do web apps, but seems responsive, but for batch processing is still unknown, adalo seems leading because of this.

For performance, they can be hosted to our choosing.

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Thanks for mentioning ycode, it seems very interesting.

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Yeah, it seems that the core engine is similar, but still doesn’t have change input value which is useful for app variables.

But again their workflow is oversimplifying the logic which makes difficult to get a quick overview of what is going on, I wonder if the developer of these no code builders are using their own workflows or actions to do their own personal apps to get the feel what is like to see or troubleshoot their own logic.

It may change the trajectory. :grinning:

I am moving away from WordPress definitely to NoCode/LowCode, so want to know as much tools as I can that are beneficial for my customers. I believe this is the future, WordPress dependency on its own database and complexity of plugins, will be in the past.

I like to test but also because I really need a responsive web-app and geolocation for my apps and Adalo is not there yet. I will check this ycode definitely thanks, it seems similar to Bildr (which is great btw for webapps).

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I never considered Bildr when looking for alternatives, how does it compare to Adalo?

As a webapp, I think it is a better better since you can make it responsive using Bootstrap, you can also use more advanced features, but it is not intended for Mobile Apps. On top, as a much higher learning curve than Adalo, so if you have patience :slight_smile: go ahead. I think a mix Bildr/Adalo, Bubble/Adalo can work well together. Hopefully Adalo will make webapps fully responsive.

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