Today, we are excited to announce the launch of ToolJet. ToolJet is an open-source low-code platform for building and deploying custom internal tools. ToolJet can connect to existing datasources of companies such as databases, Google sheets, API endpoints, external services and more. ToolJet's drag and drop app builder can quickly create UI widgets such as tables, charts, forms, etc and connect these widgets with the data from datasources.
What is low-code?
The worldwide low-code development technologies market is projected to total $13.8 billion in 2021, an increase of 22.6% from 2020
- Gartner ( source )
By year's end, 75% of development shops will use low-code platforms
- Forrester: Software Development Predictions 2021 ( source )
Why use no-code platforms for building internal tools?
a) Time/Speed - Building applications using no-code tools are extremely time-efficient.
b) Cost - No-code tools requires only minimal engineering resources. Companies can use their talented engineering resources for building the core product.
c) Maintenance - Deploying and scaling tools made with no-code tools doesn't require any DevOps skills, deployments are just a click away.
- Data Privacy
To build internal tools using no-code platforms, the platform needs access to the databases and other datasources. Sharing data with third-party tools isn't something that companies are comfortable with. Companies that are concerned about data-privacy thus build their internal tools using frameworks such as ActiveAdmin, DjangoAdmin, etc that can be hosted within the premises. But the tools like ActiveAdmin are designed to work with a single database as the datasource and extending the software is difficult as the underpinnings are tightly coupled with libraries like ActiveRecord. ToolJet can be self-hosted and can connect to multiple datasources.
Whenever a SaaS application is introduced to an organization, there has to be some changes in the process to accommodate the application. With open-source tools, the companies have the freedom to extend/modify the software according to their needs.
- No vendor lock-in
You can do anything with ToolJet's code and host it anywhere.
Open-source products evolves around the community of users and developers. Thus is product is being actively improved to become a better product.
- You can even fix the bugs yourself !
With proprietary software, a lot of feature requests and bug reports goes straight to the deep freezer to be prioritised after ages. Sometimes these feature requests are for minor changes but the company might not do it as it is not needed for other customers. With open-source software, you can always check the status of an issue and you can fix the issue and send a pull request or if the change is specific to your organization, you can maintain a fork of the software.
Why not open-source?
Open-source softwares has some cons too:
- Support - Support is either available at a cost or is just community support. This might be an issue if you ran into an issue while installing the software, it might takes hours or days for someone from the community to respond in many cases.
ToolJet offers paid support plans for the self-hosted versions and provides support for even deploying ToolJet on-premises.
- Abandoned software - Sometimes the maintainers of the software stops maintaining the software. The same can happen with proprietary software too but with open-source software, even if the creator is not maintaining the codebase, the codebase is available for anyone from the community to maintain.
The source-code of ToolJet platform is available here: https://github.com/ToolJet/ToolJet/
ToolJet also offers a hosted solution of the platform: https://tooljet.io