ToolsPublished February 1, 2024

Why Glide is the Best of the Alternatives for Building Custom Internal Tools

Empower more of your team to build custom business apps with Glide’s intuitive no code platform

Wren Noble

Wren Noble

Head of Content

Why Glide is the Best of the Alternatives for Building Custom Internal Tools

The best tool is the one that’s designed to do the job. You won’t get far trying to drive a nail with a power drill, no matter how many fancy features the power drill has. What you need is the tool that suits the job you have at hand and empowers you to build whatever it is that you’re dreaming of building.

When choosing from the wide range no code and low code platforms available, there are a lot of options. You can evaluate them by features, functionality, or process, but the most important question is — out of all the no code tools, is this the one that is designed to build the kind of software I need?

Bubble is one of the most well-known application builders out there. It is well-suited for helping build public-facing apps. However, if you want to build business apps, you need a no code platform designed especially for business application development. 

Glide is a Bubble alternative that shines when building data-driven business tools to power internal company workflows. It has extensive data capabilities, beautiful design support, an easy learning process, and pricing plans that are all designed specifically to help you create amazing internal tools for your team. 

Read on to discover why more teams are choosing Glide as the best no code tool to help their teams build the tools they need to power their business. 

Learn easier and build faster with a more intuitive UI

Bubble’s interface offers extensive customization options. The trade-off for that complexity and control is a much steeper learning curve. G2 reviews mention Bubble’s challenging learning process and that the complex data editor feels clunky and outdated. 

You’ll have to be patient and have time to dedicate to learning Bubble to build successful apps. Some coding experience, such as a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, or Javascript, may be needed to add functionality or polish your design.

Glide stands out in the no code development landscape for its uniquely intuitive and user-friendly interface. With Glide, all members of your team can build a highly functional app without having any coding knowledge. It has an easy learning curve, and you can use resources like templates, Glide University courses, and the supportive Community forum to learn even faster. 

Glide’s drag-and-drop interface has the added benefit of helping users of all experience levels build apps much faster than they could elsewhere. The app development process is straightforward and accessible, so users can quickly create whatever tool they need for work. 

Professional design takes more effort to achieve with Bubble, while Glide offers an automated design system with high-quality elements that keep the look of your app polished and up-to-date.

Power your business data with custom software

Bubble is designed primarily for creating connections between existing work tools, while Glide focuses on visualizing and interfacing with your essential business data. What this means in practice is that Glide is better for data management, giving your team a more organized and intuitive interface built on top of spreadsheets like Google Sheets, Airtable or SQL databases.

Bubble’s backend has less scalability when it comes to data. Uploading data in bulk is difficult, and you can’t do complex data visualization or transformation. This makes it challenging to organize, edit, and customize the data you use to power your apps. 

Glide uses a data transformation programming language to manipulate, write, and export data in various file formats to efficiently create tools that manage your business data. The powerful open-source Glide Data Grid ensures your app works fast and reliably no matter how much you scale your databases. You also get the Glide API, Call API, and numerous SQL data sources to power your apps.

Make mobile-optimized apps without extra work

Business apps need to be accessible on whatever device your team is using in their daily workflows. Your application development platform should make it easy for you to design mobile apps.

On Bubble, mobile application development requires a wrapper and other customizations. You can create a native app that can be published to the app store by paying for various plug-ins. However, you’ll have to create entirely separate designs for both Android and iOS.

Glide builds web apps with adaptive design that makes them mobile-optimized by default. No additional design and customization steps are required. You can switch between previewing the mobile and desktop versions of your app in real time as you create your app. Web applications offer users a seamless experience across devices, making them the ideal format for creating consistent and easy-to-use business tools.

Build the internal tools your team needs

Bubble is great for entrepreneurs building public apps. Their features, such as SEO optimization tools, restricted data sources, and the ability to create a Native front-end (for a fee), are more tailored toward primarily customer-facing use cases, like creating prototypes and MVPs or SaaS products you publish to the app store.

Their plans are designed around the assumption that users are building one singular app. If you need to build multiple apps, you’ll need to purchase a plan for each. This makes sense if your focus is creating a public-facing app for your business, but doesn’t work as well for internal use, where you need to be able to create many interconnected apps for specific tasks.

Glide is designed with the needs of internal teams in mind. It’s perfect for building tools like CRMs, dashboards, project management apps, and portals of all kinds.

It offers support for multiple data sources, so you can build on top of the data you’re already using instead of having to move any of it. It has enterprise-grade security features and customization options tailored for building business apps. 

Glide also gives you fine-grained control over visibility and access to your apps and data, unlike Bubble, which limits this ability to Enterprise customers only. 

Pricing plans that let you build all the tools you need

The initial sticker price of Bubble is lower at the entry level, but their plans become significantly more expensive than Glide’s business-focused plans as your needs grow. The primary difference between Bubble and Glide’s pricing is the way each scales.

Bubble pricing plans scale by app. Each plan gives you the ability to build one single app, and you have to purchase additional plans to build any additional tools. Their Team plan lets you create sub-apps, but the cost is still 30% more than Glide’s Business plan, which allows unlimited app builds.

Bubble also scales by editor seats, limiting you to one editor on the Starter and Free plans and scaling to two and then five on Growth and Team. This model works best when you have one or two technical team members focused on building external-facing apps.

Glide pricing offers two types of plans, each focused on meeting the needs of either those creating customer-facing apps or businesses that need internal tools. The Maker plan enables you to create one public-facing app with unlimited personal users — perfect if you need to affordably develop a public app. 

The Team and Business plans let you build an unlimited number of apps with a smaller number of users, which you can scale at an additional cost. Each Glide plan also offers double the number of editor seats so that more of your team can participate in building and customizing their own tools. 

If you need to create both internal and external apps, purchasing a Maker plan just for your customer-facing app is a much more affordable way to get the best of both worlds.

Choose the alternative that is tailor-made for your business needs

Glide is a no code development platform that is focused on empowering businesses to create the software they need. 

Glide is really powerful in that it allows businesses to build something extremely fast without having to hire traditional development teams. Not only that, but the level of customization that we can get to when building with Glide is something extremely unique and extremely powerful for our clients.” - Jesus Vargas, Founder LowCode Agency

Everyone from small businesses to the largest enterprises uses spreadsheets to interact with their business data. Glide helps you build front-ends for that data that increase efficiency, create smoother workflows, and are more intuitive to interact with on mobile and desktop.

Glide turns all the members of your team into citizen developers, creating custom software that meets their exact specifications. If you’re looking for a no code app builder that empowers more of your team to build the tools they need at work, Glide is the right tool for you. 

Read more about how Glide compares with other Bubble alternatives like Retool, FlutterFlow, and PowerApps.

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