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Cover image for A list of actually useful Nocode tools and I am not talking about site builders.

A list of actually useful Nocode tools and I am not talking about site builders.

fayaz profile image Fayaz Ahmed ・3 min read

There's a lot of buzz going around the web dev world regarding Nocode, but a ton of these do the same thing and kind of miss the point of why they are to be used in the first place.

These tools are not just another Website/App builder, but actual tools that will help you develop/scale your existing apps/websites which solve production use cases.

1. PWABuilder

PWA Builder

I have used this and you will be surprised how well it works. The name says PWA Builder, but in fact it makes your PWAs - actual android apps which you can host on the Google play store, these are small light weight apps which are hardly like 1 - 2 MB in size.

PS, they even have a neat PWA component library, like Auth, Contact Picker, Install component, which you can use in your PWAs.

2. Appsmith

Appsmith

Another tool that I have fallen in love with recently, imagine building internal admin panels without code with charts, APIs, form collections, all with a drag and drop interface.

You can even connect it directly to your Mysql, PGSQL databased right within this tool.

I am surprised by how many complex use cases it handles.

PS - it's all open source and they even have the hosted version for free(for now).

3. NoCodeApi

NoCodeApi

I have been seeing NoCodeApi being built and grow since the beginning and I cannot stress enough how useful and polished this tool is, you need not read the docs of third party APIs, set up separate servers, write code, handle auth, tokens, API keys etc. All you need is an account and just get started using APIs from Google, Instagram, Twitter, Airtable, Slack and there are literally tons of other platform APIs you can use in your projects.

PS, I have seen the next update of NoCodeApi and Danish is making something really amazing for developers called Dev APIs.

4. Pipedream

Pipedream

I am not exactly sure what to call this platform, because it does so many things you won't believe. Think of it like Zapier + IFTTT + Glitch + Firebase Database combines.

It has all the automation magic and it gives you the complete flexibility of writing code, it even lets you add/edit their own hooks. Pipedream even allows you to save data on an actual database

5. Letter

Letter

People sending newsletters, you know how hard it is to make good looking emails, letter is simple yet powerful, it can import data like images, titles, descriptions from links. right in their builder

6. Mail 4 Good

Mail4Good

For sending 10,000 emails, Mailchimp charges you $200, Mail4Good does it for $1 (I am not kidding). The thing is you need to host it yourself, it is open source and it uses Amazon SES behind the curtains which makes it so cheap.

7. Descript

Descript

Descript is like magic for Independent video makers, it generates a transcript, editing videos is a breeze with this platform. Their website says video editor that works like a doc and I could not agree more.

Just look at their demo video and you will understand what I am talking about.

8.BannerBear

BannerBear

BannerBear automates Image generation for you, you just need to pass along some parameters to its API, and it will make the poster, image, text embedding, image resizing on the fly.

You can even generate these images on the bulk by uploading them to Airtable or google sheets.

9. Super

Super

Super lets you use Notion as your CMS. It even lets you connect custom domains to the site that is generated.

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Discussion (31)

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shtefcs profile image
Stefan Smiljkovic

Great list, thanks for sharing AppSmith, I was not aware of it.

Also, MailforGood is also great, and we are thinking about integrating it into our system and avoid expensive services like Mailchimp. Not sure about the mail deliverability rate, maybe that is related to domain health, or that is just the price we pay for good email delivery.

NoCodeAPI is solid, I am following it as well for a while. I think some UX could be even more simplified for "no-code" users.

Descript is no words .. Great tool.

BannerBear seems good, I saw it a long time ago. I think you can achieve a similar result using one Figma plugin + Zapier.

By the way, I am working on a powerful no-code web Automation tool automatio.co, which gives you the ability to build complex web bots or scrapers in minutes. We are in private Alpha, but I believe if it is publicly available, that it would deserve to be on this list.

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inovatik profile image
Lucian Tartea

Great article Fayaz, these are some great tools

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imthedeveloper profile image
ImTheDeveloper

Really good to see some other no code contenders coming out! I've recently been working with outsystems, but seeing an open source and currently free alternative is great!

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mohanarpit profile image
Arpit Mohan

Yes, the reason Appsmith is open source is because we believe that builder platforms should be extendable and not have vendor lock-ins.

Since you've been working with Outsystems, would love to hear your experience and what you love about that tool.

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imthedeveloper profile image
ImTheDeveloper

Whilst the platform itself as you may know works pretty well for development I found the tertiary tools in the ecosystem the most powerful parts. The logging capabilities, page analytics and such along with the environment deployment lifecycle is really impressive.

It has its pitfalls, and as you have pointed out the vendor lock can be a problem for some users. It's definitely a great product and I really do wish appsmith well on this journey we need more valid competition to these big Gartner quad guys.

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bias profile image
Tobias Nickel

do I see it right? You have been developing appsmith witjin only 6 months? that is impressive.

I would wish that in the inputs areas for properties could resize, even with a simple myAPI.data.map(row=>({...})) it gets cumbled together. However I am impressed by the autocomplete: that even worked for the dynamically loaded data with nested objects.

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mohanarpit profile image
Arpit Mohan

Thank you for your kind words. We've been working on Appsmith for 18 months now. The project was open-sourced 6 months ago.

I understand that writing code in a small text area is very cumbersome. We are working on a larger code editor which will make writing code much easier. You can track the progress of this issue at github.com/appsmithorg/appsmith/is...

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fayaz profile image
Fayaz Ahmed Author

What are outsystems?

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imthedeveloper profile image
ImTheDeveloper

outsystems.com/
Low code development platform. A huge ecosystem, I'm working with an integrator who are building a banking front end system with it based on an overall bank architecture I've designed.

A very cool tool, like ms access on steroids really. The future definitely is low code, the speed you can churn through work in a standard way makes cutting your own code a non competition.

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marcelcruz profile image
Marcel Cruz

Awesome list, thanks for sharing!

In case you're interested, I've put up some web development resources on devresourc.es, and I'll make sure to add a "no-code" section there too.

Feel free to check it out!

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mohanarpit profile image
Arpit Mohan

This is a great compilation @fayaz . Definitely bookmarking this thread for later. Also, thanks for including Appsmith (Disclaimer: I'm one of the maintainers).

The reason we started this project is that, as a developer, I needed a customizable Django Admin panel. I don't understand CSS very well. Hence, Appsmith is a framework to edit UI code visually & functional code textually.

I think the move towards more managed/no-code tools is inevitable in all industries. Descript is a great example of this happening in the video editing world. As abstraction levels increase, barriers to entry crumble. This creates greater value for everyone involved.

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fayaz profile image
Fayaz Ahmed Author

Glad you liked it.

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kalashin1 profile image
Kinanee Samson

Great one, nice new tools to learn

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steve8708 profile image
Steve Sewell

Builder.io is a great option here too - used by devs and non devs in large production sites

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davertron profile image
davertron

You should check out Retool: retool.com

I've tried a number of these tools, and Retool is by far the most mature and capable of the bunch. The only tick against it compared to some of these other tools is that it's not free, so as an individual user one of these other tools might be better, but if you're looking into this sort of thing for your job you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't check it out.

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peterwitham profile image
Peter Witham

Thanks some tools worth looking into on this list. Nice to see a list that doesn’t just make Web sites :)

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lcscou profile image
lcscou

Awesome! Very usefull! Thanks for sharing

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realtoughcandy profile image
RealToughCandy.io

Very cool! Some fun tools here.

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chandragie profile image
chandragie

This is good news in early 2021!

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adnanhz profile image
Adnan

Does appsmith support firebase firestore?

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ftonato profile image
Ademílson F. Tonato

Hey,

Assuming that Arpit Mohan is a contributor and created this issue, I will say "yes".

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mohanarpit profile image
Arpit Mohan

Yes Appsmith supports Firestore. We don't have documentation for it yet, but the integration is being used by a lot of users. Please email me on arpit@appsmith if you need help with using it.

Our list of supported datasources are: DynamoDB, ElasticSearch, Firestore, MongoDB, MS SQL Server, MySQL, Postgres, Redis & REST APIs.

Appsmith datasources

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teslaji profile image
Kuldeep Bhatt

Brilliant! Aggregations.

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cullylarson profile image
Cully Larson

Looks like Mail for Good might be abandoned; last commit was over a year ago. Great idea, though. Know of any good alternatives?

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fayaz profile image
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vagoel profile image
Varun

Thanks for these amazing tools.
Descript - is exceptionally awesome.

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mananchawla2005 profile image
Manan Chawla

great tools ty

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phongduong profile image
Phong Duong

Great list. Thank you for sharing

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pagrawl3 profile image
Pratham Agrawal

Do check out canonic.dev too!

It's focused on making API development easier and faster.

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ladykerr profile image
Kedasha

Great list! Will definitely be lookinv at DeScript + Super

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drsensor profile image
DrsEnsor

To bad that Descript only works on Windows and Mac. I wish to install it on my Linux 😢