Designing dynamic user interfaces with Appsmith, a revolutionary application that simplifies the creation of dynamic user interfaces for developers and businesses. Founded in 2019 by a talented three-member team, Appsmith was developed to solve interface development challenges without the need for HTML/CSS coding. What's more, this powerful tool offers seamless integration with various databases and a wide range of customizable widgets.
Open-source platform for the enjoyment of developers, it allows you to considerably improve the functionality of your applications, with no limits on optimization. What is Appsmith? Is it better than other no-code or low-code platforms? We're going to show you, in full, how Appsmith simplifies application development. Let's get started!
We're going to take a little trip down memory lane to introduce you to the creators of AppSmith and the reasons that motivated them to embark on this adventure.
Who created Appsmith?
In 2019, three passionate co-founders, Abhishek Nayak, Arpit Mohan, and Nikhil Nandagopal, came together to create Appsmith, a revolutionary application.
Previously, these visionaries worked at renowned companies such as CureFit and Accel Partners.
Arpit, a backend developer, wanted to develop native user interfaces for his projects, in particular admin panels that could display and interact with internal and external databases. However, he ran into difficulties when working with HTML/CSS. Being a backend developer at heart, he didn't like working with these two languages, especially when creating a user interface that could display data.
This gave rise to the idea of Appsmith, an innovative solution that would create user interfaces faster and easier than traditional methods such as HTML and CSS. (Appsmith is like Django Admin but without the code.) In other words, just like Django admin, you can administer multiple databases, but in low code.
The concept of low-code/no-code was still in its infancy at the time. The founders quickly realized that there was a significant gap between simple CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) applications and the complex enterprise applications offered by giants such as SAP or Salesforce.
They, therefore, chose to focus on developers and users who had not yet adopted traditional low-code products. They aimed to offer developers greater flexibility in adding features to their projects, features that could only be implemented through code.
Appsmith distinguished itself as the first product in its category to adopt the open-source model, which quickly attracted the attention of many market players. Over time, AppSmith has proven to be a valuable solution for a variety of operations related to customer management needs, including support and customer portal integration. This can help to better manage the company's marketing campaigns and generate discount codes, for example.
Over the years, AppSmith has won the trust and collaboration of medium-sized companies with up to 5,000 employees, despite its initial adoption by backend developers. Leading companies such as GitLab and Docker recognized Appsmith's immense potential and began using its open-source version.
Since its launch, Appsmith has expanded rapidly and is now used in no fewer than 180 countries. An estimated 10,000 companies benefit from its services, and its users include many Fortune 100 and 500 companies.
What is Appsmith?
Introducing Appsmith, a revolutionary open-source development tool, and competent drag-and-drop low-code application platform that opens the door to the rapid creation of internal tools such as custom dashboards, admin panels, and CRUD apps. Appsmith's intuitive drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy for users to create dynamic user interfaces. This visual approach greatly facilitates the design of captivating interfaces, offering precise control over the layout of elements.
Users can simply select the widgets they want, and drag and drop them to the desired location, enabling fast, seamless customization of the interface's appearance. But that's not all, AppSmith goes even further by simplifying the seamless integration between the user interface and the underlying data source version. Appsmith's front- and back-end harmony means that your applications are optimized for the best performance of custom application development.
What does it do?
Appsmith with his development environment enables you to optimize your productivity to achieve better results for your project development. Here are just a few of the obvious reasons why developers and companies are using it again and again.
- Easy integration with different source frameworks: Appsmith simplifies connection to databases and APIs, offering plug-and-play support for many common options.
- Accessible drag-And-Drop Environment: With Appsmith, you can enjoy a range of low-code development features that you can easily use in a drag-and-drop environment.
- Wide range of customizable widgets: You can choose from a variety of widgets integrated into Appsmith to create user interfaces tailored to your specific needs.
- Flexible application creation: whether you want to create simple CRUD apps or a complex, multi-stage workflow, Appsmith gives you the freedom to bring your ideas to life without constraints.
- Total control over data: You can write specific queries and link data to widgets, allowing you to manipulate and control the information displayed in your application( button controls, control widgets, and custom access controls).
- Team collaboration made easy: Thanks to its Git integration, Appsmith enables smooth collaboration by using branches to track changes and work as a team.
- Simplified deployment and sharing: Appsmith offers simple deployment features, so you can easily share your applications with other users by using cloud-native features and cloud access.
- Technical support and an active developer community: Appsmith benefits from an active community of experienced developers and solid technical support, ensuring that you can get help when you need it.
- Intuitive user interface: Appsmith's user interface is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it simple to create and manage your applications.
- Wide-scale adoption: Appsmith is used by a large number of companies, including some of the world's best-known names, attesting to its reliability and efficiency.
Appsmith offers its users three plans of pricing, each with distinct functionalities. The first option is the community version, which is free of charge, while the second option is the enterprise subscription, which requires payment, accompanied by customized pricing based on specific needs. We'll now take a closer look at the features of each offer.
Appsmith's free community offering includes robust, automatic cloud hosting, enabling users to enjoy a seamless experience.
Indeed, users can create an unlimited number of applications, giving them great freedom to turn their ideas and projects into reality. What's more, they have access to a wide variety of data sources and widgets, making it easy to integrate and manipulate information.
The free offer includes a selection of user interface themes to customize the look and feel of your applications. Release management is also simplified through integration with Git branches and the ability to manage up to three repositories. Authentication also includes the ability to log in via Google SSO and GitHub.
As far as access control is concerned, three standard roles are available, enabling flexible management of permissions and security. Finally, users of the free offer can integrate public applications, enabling them to easily share and collaborate with other users.
Appsmith's business offering includes a wide selection of advanced features designed specifically to meet the requirements of enterprises and professional teams. The cost of this offer is $0.40 per hour per business user, with a monthly limit of $20 per business user.
In addition to the features offered in the community option, the Appsmith business solution offering features extensive integration with various identity providers such as Okta, Auth0, Azure AD, SAML, and OIDC SSO. This integration facilitates secure authentication and access to Appsmith applications, using industry-standard security protocols.
Enterprise users also benefit from the ability to customize the appearance of their applications through personalized branding. In addition, version management is enhanced with the ability to manage an unlimited number of Git repositories, offering more precise control over the different versions of the application.
For fine-tuned authorization and security management, the enterprise offering includes advanced access controls based on roles and attributes. These controls enable organizations to precisely define users' access rights and privileges according to their responsibilities.
Another advantage of the enterprise offering is the availability of audit logs, which comprehensively record activities and changes made to business applications. This provides complete visibility and detailed traceability of actions taken.
With Appsmith business solution users can integrate private applications using SSO (Single Sign-On), simplifying centralized access and authorization management for internal applications.
Last but not least, the enterprise offer includes priority access to support, providing reactive and specialized support to meet the specific needs of professional users.
Enterprise plan: customized pricing
Appsmith's enterprise offering features customized pricing specifically designed to meet the unique needs of businesses. It encompasses all the features offered in the community package, with additional benefits tailored to business requirements.
Users of the enterprise offering benefit from dedicated support and a Service-Level Agreement (SLA), guaranteeing priority, and reactive assistance for rapid problem resolution. What's more, this offer includes the specialized technical expertise of dedicated solutions engineering, enabling us to meet the specific challenges and particular needs of businesses.
To enable in-depth customization, the enterprise offering includes integrations and pre-built widgets. These enable users to easily connect their custom apps to other tools and services, both internal and external.
Application migration services are also included in the enterprise offering, providing professional support for a seamless and trouble-free transition of existing business apps to the Appsmith platform.
What's more, the enterprise offering includes an Airgap edition, enabling companies to deploy and manage their Appsmith business applications in secure, isolated environments.
A forthcoming feature in the enterprise offering is the user provisioning and group synchronization via SCIM (System for Cross-domain Identity Management). This feature will facilitate centralized management of users and groups across the enterprise, simplifying administrative processes and improving efficiency.
Appsmith advantages and disadvantages
The Appsmith advantage
Appsmith offers several advantages:
Connecting with APIs
Appsmith offers a variety of connectivity options to different tools and platforms. If native integration is not available for a specific data source, you can use the API REST interface to establish a connection. This interface facilitates exchanges with the API by sending requests and receiving responses.
When the API requires authentication, Appsmith simplifies this process by allowing you to store the necessary information in a common data source called authenticated API data sources. This eliminates the need to manually enter headers or authentication parameters for each request. An initial configuration is all that's needed, and these data sources can be easily used for all subsequent requests.
What's more, Appsmith allows you to integrate specific data sources such as GraphQL, Google Sheets, Airtable, Twilio, and HubSpot without the need for complex configurations.
Appsmith offers a major security advantage thanks to its role as a proxy layer with no storage of sensitive data. As an intermediary, Appsmith does not store any information returned by API endpoints or database requests. When you make a request, AppSmith adds only the necessary credentials before forwarding the request to your backend,
This prevents sensitive data from being exposed to the browser and reduces the risk of security breaches. This secure approach ensures the protection of your systems and data while facilitating secure communication between your application and backend services. With Appsmith, you benefit from enhanced security and peace of mind regarding the confidentiality of your credentials.
Appsmith's sharing functionality promotes greater efficiency when collaborating with team members on your applications or end-users.
The tool offers a variety of sharing options, both at the workspace level and for specific applications. Pre-defined roles such as Administrator, Developer, and Application Viewer can be assigned, defining permissions and access levels for each user.
These fixed roles ensure precise rights management, guaranteeing that every team member has the appropriate authorization to contribute to the application. Thanks to a fluid, secure collaboration, Appsmith facilitates teamwork, encourages the exchange of ideas, and enables rapid iteration, contributing to an overall improvement in application development efficiency.
Here are a few disadvantages of using Appsmith.
Requires programming skills
This can make it difficult for users unfamiliar with programming to exploit Appsmith to the full. As an alternative, Bubble is a complete no-code option with a native interface, offering a solution without the need for programming skills.
User interface limitations
The second drawback is Appsmith's user interface, which lacks responsiveness, resulting in slow response times and a less fluid user experience. In addition, creating a responsive interface for mobile devices is complex, posing challenges for mobile app development. Bubble makes it possible to make applications responsive.
Managing UI blocks can be a little restrictive, requiring individual adjustments to control their size and appearance. Applications created with Appsmith can lack responsiveness, affecting end-user performance. Finally, application creation is limited to Web applications, excluding native mobile or desktop applications.
Appsmith has established itself as an innovative open-source development tool, offering an intuitive drag-and-drop interface for creating dynamic user interfaces quickly and easily. Its main strength lies in its ability to simplify integration between the user interface and data sources, enabling developers to design high-performance, customized applications.