BlogRetool Review: Features, Pricing, Comparison and Alternatives

Retool Review: Features, Pricing, Comparison and Alternatives

Ambar on February 26, 2021

We are evaluating Retool, a low-code application development platform based on features & functionalities, pricing, and its alternatives.


As the global pandemic’s impact continues well into 2021, IT leaders will continue to rely on rapid, agile low-code application development platforms to roll out business-critical solutions and expand digital channels. Platforms that integrate holistic multi-experiences and easy enterprise data access will enable organizations to navigate continued economic uncertainty.

During this pandemic, people from all business segments — developers, IT, and business users — have seen what these platforms are capable of, making them a more viable option nowadays. Gartner predicts that by 2023, over 50% of medium to large enterprises will be using low code as a strategic application platform. As business users need a way to transform their manual, office-based processes into ones that could be accomplished online, many turned to low-code to help get that done.

This blog will help you evaluate between two low-code platforms which are serving millions of users.

What is Retool?

Retool is an enterprise-grade low-code platform that allows you to build customized internal tools for your organization, including tables, textboxes, and dropdowns.

Difference between DronaHQ and Retool 

User Persona (Target Audience)

Retool is a good choice for IT departments, developers, and engineers with a strong grasp of important database tools such as MongoDB, SQL, or Excel. Here, the IT team launches an internal tool using Retool, and non-technical team members such as marketing, operations, and customer support can access the tool in “user-mode.”

DronaHQ is used by business users, citizen developers, and developers. It offers a visual builder to drag and drop components and an intuitive builder for integrations, process automation, workflows, or even action-flows to enhance the ability to build frontend applications just by point-and-click. Also, a marketplace consisting of pre-built templates, components, and controls is available. It also offers the Studio to create your custom controls or extend with your code; skilled developers and designers get to work on complex areas wherever they need it. So it’s safe to say that DronaHQ is a platform for all types of users, starting from a pro developer to a business user.

Frontend Features

You can build internal tools on Retool by connecting their drag-and-drop building blocks to databases and APIs. They provide a process of connecting with data sources and assume that you have a basic-level knowledge of SQL, databases, and other related tools. They have a template gallery of around 20 options, with explanatory pages for each template, and extend using JS or import React, Vue.

DronaHQ provides a great UI Builder for building apps with great UI and UX and can also build event B2C apps on this platform. It has 100+ components and templates; the Designer allows you to make custom components. If you need a powerful, hosted backend to support your app, DronaHQ lets you connect and launch an API declaratively without writing any code.

Use Cases

Retool is a backend tool for engineers or developers, whereas internal teams like customer support teams, product marketing teams, admin panels are just the users.

DronaHQ works best for any type — B2B, B2C, SaaS apps for web & mobile. You can build dashboards, data collection apps, approval workflows, process automation apps, microsites, CRUD apps, admin panels, embeddable forms, internal tools, multilingual apps, learning & training apps, and much more. 

Taking an example, Retool doesn’t allow you to build multilingual apps. Using DronaHQ, you can build localized apps with multilingual apps by displaying the right language, currency & formats.

Plans & Pricing

Retool’s pricing is based on the number of users/month. Every plan comes with editor mode, which lets you write queries and design UI actions.

– Free Plan: This plan allows you to connect to any database or API, except Salesforce. This plan will enable you to use the query library to build, share, and resume queries for any database or API. Free subscribers receive 10 queries per app. 

– Startup Plan: It costs $10/user per month, with user mode, allowing the app outside of the editor interface. This option also provides versioned releases & revision history features so that you can revert your app. 

– Pro Plan: In addition to the previous plan, it costs $50/user per month, allowing you to create user groups and assign them to specific permissions within the app. It gives an audit logs feature that authorizes you to track every written query, including reading & writing, from API and databases. You can also integrate with Salesforce and other SQL servers. Pro subscribers can work with the Retool team to develop other customized features.

– Enterprise plan:  This plan provides version control with Git. The Retool team will work together with the subscribers to build custom connectors. Each of these subscribers receives a dedicated success manager from the Retool team and a shared Slack channel.

DronaHQ offers usage-based pricing that is based on the number of tasks per month. It provides three variations in its pricing –

  – Starter Plan: It prices at $100 per month, provides 10 published applications, 5,000 records, 20 workflows, 20GB storage, 2 admins, and 5 connectors. 

  – Business Plan: It gives 20 published applications, 50,000 records, 40 workflows, 40GB storage, 10 admins, and 25 for $500 per month. 

  – Enterprise Plan: To get this plan, you need to provide DronaHQ with information about how many users you intend to have and what features you are looking to include in your app. They will help you in further processes.

All the plans contain features like UI builder, workflow builder, sheets database, and analytics. Additionally, custom functions, code blocks, Designer, and customized controls are supported by the Business plan. Enterprise plan gives all the features mentioned above along with a few more customized to your requirement. 

Another part of DronaHQ pricing is that it provides you add-ons like PDF generator, Approval Workflow, Public Forms, UX Designer Studio, Automations, etc. So it doesn’t matter which plan you choose, you have a chance to use this as your add-ons. Also, DronaHQ gives you the liberty to choose between annual and monthly paid options.

Alternatives for Retool

If you’re a large company/corporation looking for an alternative low-code platform with an enterprise focus, DronaHQ is a good alternative. 

Outsystems is a good alternative for engineers and developers who have a strong grasp of important scripting and database languages such as Javascript and SQL.

If you are looking for a storing database creating and sharing relational databases, Airtable is a good option. The user interface is easy-to-use and allows you to spin up a database in minutes. You can store, organize, and collaborate data — like employee records, product inventories, etc.

Another alternative is Tableau. It is used to create interactive visual analytics in dashboards. These dashboards make it easier for non-technical analysts and end-users to convert data into understandable, interactive graphics. It focuses primarily on visualization and cannot work with uncleaned data. To efficiently use it, you need to do proper data cleaning in the underlying database first.

About DronaHQ

DronaHQ is a comprehensive, low-code application development platform. It offers a Studio for forms-based, workflows automation and dashboard-based applications and more complex apps using its SDK. With DronaHQ, companies and organizations can digitize and enrich the user experience, enhancing their rigid legacy applications to modern digital applications capable of working and integrating with new technologies.

The software simplifies how a company can build a digital factory to innovate and digitize solutions with applications for all its processes by providing solutions for business users, developers, employees, shareholders, customers, partners, and more. DronaHQ is SOC II and ISO 27001 certified. It offers enterprise-grade features and app containerization to host all micro-apps in one place. 

DronaHQ is trusted by world leaders like Mondelez, LTI, Nestle, Wipro, Pfizer, McKinsey & Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Bosch, Deloitte, Cipla, and many more.


Evaluating any software is always a difficult task. There are so many options available with a ton of features. If you’re looking for an affordable no-code, low-code solution to create simple, automated business applications like data collection apps, process apps, automation apps, internal tools, or complex apps with the latest technology like AI or RPA. 

Try Evaluation Tool by DronaHQ, which will consider various parameters for you to evaluate the platforms. It will provide you with a clear picture and a way forward to choose the perfect platform for you.


Originally published at Medium.