Retool vs. Databricks: Which Low-Code Dev Platform is Better?

Discover a comprehensive comparison of Retool and Databricks, two leading low-code development platforms. Explore their features, pricing, and advantages for your business!

Retool vs. Databricks: Which Low-Code Dev Platform is Better?

In today's rapidly evolving tech landscape, businesses strive to stay ahead by adopting innovative tools that boost productivity and efficiency. Low-code development platforms have emerged as a game-changer, enabling companies to build applications with reduced coding efforts and faster deployment.

Retool and Databricks are two prominent players in this arena, each offering unique features tailored to different use cases.

In this blog, we'll delve into a detailed comparison of Retool and Databricks, exploring their overviews, features, open-source aspects, pricing, advantages, and drawbacks. Let's dive in!

What is a Low-Code Development Platform?

Low-code development platforms empower both developers and non-developers to collaborate effectively and create applications without extensive coding knowledge. They utilize drag-and-drop interfaces and pre-built components to streamline the application development process, reducing the time and resources required to bring ideas to life.

A Low-Code Development Platform (LCDP) and a traditional development platform differ significantly in their approach to application development.

Traditional development platforms require extensive manual coding to build applications from scratch. Developers need to write code for every component, functionality, and integration, which can be time-consuming and complex. While traditional platforms offer a high level of customization and flexibility, they often require a skilled development team and considerable development time to create even simple applications.

On the other hand, a Low-Code Development Platform takes a more visual and declarative approach to application development. It offers a drag-and-drop interface and pre-built components that allow developers and even non-developers to assemble applications with minimal coding effort.

LCDPs significantly reduce the development time and complexity, enabling businesses to build applications quickly and efficiently. While low-code platforms may have some limitations in terms of advanced customization, they make up for it with their ease of use, agility, and accessibility, making them an excellent choice for rapidly developing applications and addressing changing business needs.

What is Retool?

Retool is a versatile low-code development platform that allows developers to build internal tools, admin panels, and dashboards with incredible speed and ease. It offers a user-friendly interface, enabling developers to connect directly to their databases, APIs, and other services, all while using their preferred programming languages, including JavaScript and SQL.

Features of Retool

1. Connectors and Integrations: Retool supports a wide range of connectors to popular databases, such as Snowflake, allowing users to effortlessly query data and transform the output using React lives.

2. Data Transformation Capabilities: Retool provides functionalities to change date formats in Snowflake effortlessly, allowing for smooth handling of date-related data.

3. User Permissioned Data: Security is a top priority for businesses, and Retool ensures it by allowing user permissioned data access, ensuring that sensitive information remains secure.

4. Customizable Dashboards: Retool empowers build engineers to design and create visually appealing and informative dashboards for data visualization and analysis, including store performance dashboards.

5. Extensive Library of Components: The platform offers a vast library of pre-built components, including Discord time converter, JSON viewer for React Native, React JSON viewer, and React JSON view, easing application development.

Open-Source Aspect of Retool

Retool is not open-source, meaning the platform's code is not publicly accessible or freely modifiable. However, the platform does offer an extensive range of functionalities in its standard version, making it highly attractive for developers and businesses alike.

Pricing of Retool

Retool offers tiered pricing plans, including a free trial, a basic plan, and an enterprise plan. The pricing varies based on the number of users, data sources, and the scale of usage. Businesses can explore these plans to find the most suitable fit for their specific requirements.

Advantages of Retool

1. Speed and Efficiency: Retool's low-code approach significantly accelerates the development process, allowing teams to iterate and deploy applications faster.

2. Flexible Integration: With Retool's extensive list of connectors, developers can seamlessly integrate with various databases and APIs, enabling smooth data handling.

3. User-Friendly Interface: The platform's intuitive drag-and-drop interface ensures that both developers and non-developers can quickly grasp and utilize its functionalities.

4. Versatility: Retool's capability to work with multiple programming languages, including JavaScript and SQL, empowers developers to leverage their existing skills effectively.

5. Rich Component Library: The diverse range of pre-built components saves time and effort, enabling developers to focus on adding value to their applications.

Drawbacks of Retool

1. Limited Customization: While Retool offers a vast library of components, some advanced customizations may require extensive coding or might be challenging to achieve.

2. Pricing Concerns: As businesses scale up, the pricing plans might become a significant factor to consider, and larger organizations may need to explore the enterprise plan.

What is Databricks?

Databricks is a cloud-based unified data analytics platform designed to process massive amounts of data and perform analytics tasks. Developed on Apache Spark, it enables businesses to build data pipelines, run queries, and perform machine learning tasks seamlessly.

Features of Databricks

1. Apache Spark Powered: Databricks leverages the power of Apache Spark to process and analyze vast datasets, making it highly efficient for big data analytics.

2. Collaborative Workspace: The platform provides a collaborative workspace that fosters seamless teamwork among data engineers, data scientists, and analysts, allowing them to build data pipelines and analyze results together.

3. Scalability: Databricks' cloud-based nature ensures easy scalability, enabling businesses to accommodate varying data sizes and analytic requirements.

4. Unified Analytics: The platform offers an integrated approach to data engineering, data science, and business analytics, eliminating silos and promoting cross-functional insights.

5. User Permissions and Access Control: Databricks emphasizes data security with user permission management, ensuring that sensitive data remains protected.

Open-Source Aspect of Databricks

Databricks was initially built on Apache Spark, an open-source big data processing engine. However, Databricks itself is a proprietary platform and not open-source. Users can access Apache Spark's open-source version separately, but Databricks as a managed service comes with its features and pricing.

Pricing of Databricks

Databricks offers a tiered pricing model, with different plans designed to cater to specific business needs. The pricing is based on usage, the number of collaborators, and the scale of data processed. Businesses can opt for a trial version to assess the platform's compatibility before committing to a specific plan.

Advantages of Databricks

1. Powerful Data Processing: Databricks' foundation on Apache Spark ensures exceptional performance and scalability, making it ideal for processing large-scale data.

2. Unified Platform: The platform's seamless integration of data engineering and data science functionalities fosters collaboration and accelerates the data analytics workflow.

3. Comprehensive Analytics: Databricks supports SQL queries, streaming data, machine learning, and deep learning tasks, providing a comprehensive environment for diverse data analytics needs.

4. Security Features: Databricks prioritizes data security with robust user permissions and access control, ensuring data integrity and compliance.

5. Auto-Scaling and Optimization: The platform automatically scales resources based on the workload, optimizing costs and performance for businesses.

Drawbacks of Databricks

1. Steep Learning Curve: Databricks' advanced analytics capabilities may require a steeper learning curve, especially for non-technical users.

2. Cost Considerations: While Databricks offers excellent performance, the pricing might be a concern for smaller businesses or startups with limited budgets.

Comparison Between Retool and Databricks

Retool and Databricks are two prominent platforms that serve distinct purposes in the technology landscape. While Retool excels in low-code development, enabling users to build internal tools and dashboards quickly, Databricks focuses on data analytics and processing, empowering businesses to perform advanced analytics tasks on massive datasets.

Let's compare Retool and Databricks based on various key aspects:




Use Case

Low-code app development, dashboards

Data analytics, big data processing


Drag-and-drop interface, SQL support

Apache Spark, unified analytics

Data Source Integration

Connectors to various databases

Scalable data pipelines, data connectors

Data Visualization

Customizable dashboards

Low-code data visualization

User Permissions

User permissioned data access

Access control for data security

Open-Source Aspect

Not open-source, proprietary platform

Built on open-source Apache Spark


Tiered pricing with free trial option

Tiered pricing based on usage


Extensive customization options

Advanced analytics capabilities

Learning Curve

User-friendly, suitable for non-devs

May require technical expertise


Suitable for small to large projects

Scalable for big data analytics

Retool and Databricks are both powerful low-code development platforms, each excelling in different aspects. Retool offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface with extensive customization options and a wide range of connectors. It is a top choice for businesses looking to build internal tools and dashboards quickly. On the other hand, Databricks focuses on big data processing and comprehensive data analytics, catering to data engineers and data scientists.

Before choosing between Retool and Databricks, businesses must evaluate their specific requirements, technical expertise, and budget constraints. Both platforms bring distinct advantages and drawbacks, making the decision dependent on the unique needs of the organization. Regardless of the choice, embracing a low-code development platform can undoubtedly elevate a business's application development and data analytics capabilities, leading to enhanced productivity and growth.

Introducing ILLA Cloud: A Low-Code Alternative for Retool and Databricks

ILLA Cloud is a cutting-edge Low-Code Development Platform (LCDP) that empowers users with remarkable advantages and exceptional features for application development. With ILLA Cloud, users experience the true potential of low-code technology, enabling them to streamline the process of building internal tools, connecting to external databases, and creating apps with pre-made blocks with unparalleled ease and efficiency.


Advantages of ILLA Cloud

1. Low Code Data Visualization: ILLA Cloud offers a powerful data visualization tool that allows users to present data in engaging and insightful ways. This feature simplifies complex data sets, making it easier for users to understand and derive valuable insights, thus facilitating data-driven decision-making.

2. Low Code React Builder: Building feature-rich React applications has never been easier with ILLA Cloud's Low Code React Builder. Users can leverage drag-and-drop functionality and pre-built components to craft sophisticated user interfaces without writing extensive code.

3. Building Apps with Premade Blocks: ILLA Cloud boasts an extensive library of pre-made blocks that cater to various business needs, accelerating application development significantly. Users can simply select the desired blocks and assemble them like building blocks, saving time and effort.

Whether it's creating automation dashboards, connecting to external databases, or developing customized applications, ILLA Cloud's Low-Code Development Platform offers an awesome open-source solution with a user-friendly drag-and-drop app builder that truly sets the standard for efficient and innovative application development.

Join our Discord Community:

GitHub page:


Try Free
Build Your internal tools at lightning speed!
Try For Free