Top 25 Open Source Low Code Development Platforms in 2024

Low code development platforms are gaining popularity for their ability to accelerate application delivery by abstracting away much of the complexities of coding. The low code market is predicted to grow rapidly, with Gartner forecasting that by 2024, 75% of large enterprises will be using at least 4 low-code tools.

On the flip side, open source software also continues to gain adoption, with Red Hat finding that 98% of IT leaders have an open source strategy. So could a combination of the two trends – open source low code – represent a sort of best-of-breed approach?

This post will dive into the top open source low code platforms, discussing their benefits and limitations. We‘ll look at 25 of the top ranked projects, analyze the pros and cons of open source low code, and provide recommendations for how to evaluate these tools.

What are Open Source Low Code Platforms?

An open source low code platform allows developers to build applications through a visual, drag-and-drop interface instead of writing code line-by-line. These platforms generate much of the boilerplate code automatically, speeding up development.

As open source software, these low code platforms publish their source code publicly, allowing the community to build on top of the code. Enhancements, custom modules, and integrations can be shared across users.

Open source low code combines the productivity benefits of low code with the flexibility, transparency, and cost savings of open source communities.

Top 25 Open Source Low Code Platforms

Here are 25 of the top ranked open source low code development platforms based on stars and community activity on GitHub and GitLab:

PlatformStarsSource Code
Huginn36.5KGitHub
WordPress16.7KGitHub
Node-RED15.3KGitHub
Budibase15KGitHub
ToolJet13.3KGitHub
Amplication8.6KGitHub
PyCaret6.3KGitHub
StackStorm5KGitHub
Frappe Framework4.1KGitHub
NocoDB3.2KGitHub
Lowdefy1.9KGitHub
Baserow1.3KGitLab
SaltCorn0.9KGitHub
Steedos0.85KGitHub
Structr0.68KGitHub
Corteza0.56KGitHub
Joget0.37KGitHub
Rintagi0.26KGitHub
FormsFlow.ai0.18KGitHub
Open Lowcode0.17KGitHub
Convertigo0.16KGitHub
Tymly0.1KGitHub
nuBuilder0.06KGitHub
OpenXava0.05KGitHub
Appsemble0.02KGitLab

*Stars as of September 2022

This list contains a range of platforms targeted for different use cases. For example:

  • Full stack platforms like WordPress, Budibase, and Node-RED provide low code capabilities for full application development.
  • AI/ML focused platforms like PyCaret and Huginn simplify machine learning workflow automation.
  • Specialty platforms like ToolJet and NocoDB center on interfaces, dashboards, and databases.

Overall, these projects represent the growing developer interest in open source low code solutions for accelerating delivery across use cases. Next, we‘ll look at the benefits and drawbacks of this approach.

Pros and Cons of Open Source Low Code Platforms

Open source low code combines some of the biggest modern software trends – low code productivity and open source flexibility. But as with any approach, there are both advantages and limitations to consider.

Pros

Accelerates delivery while minimizing vendor lock-in: Like proprietary low code platforms, open source options abstract away manual coding to speed up development. But as open source, the code is transparent and portable between vendors.

Tap into open source communities: Open source projects develop organically thanks to skilled contributors collaborating. Bugs get fixed, new integrations added, and documentation expanded over time.

Cost savings: The platforms themselves tend to be free or very low cost. Some charge for enterprise add-ons like support, but overall total cost of ownership is reduced.

Customizability: Developers can modify open source low code platforms to suit their specific needs rather than being limited by vendor constraints. New modules and extensions can be openly shared.

Transparency: With full access to source code, organizations can vet an open source platform for security, compatibility, and other technical factors.

Cons

Limited to common use cases: While proprietary vendors specialize their low code offerings for niche verticals, open source projects tend to focus on more universal use cases.

Steeper learning curve: Documentation and training materials may not be as robust for open source platforms. Less hand-holding for non-developers getting started.

Harder to scale: Open source communities don’t have as much dedicated staffing to ensure performance, security, and reliability at enterprise scale the way vendors do.

Uncertain sustainability: If an open source project loses momentum in the community, it may not be maintained as vigorously as a paid vendor‘s offering.

Fragmentation: Lots of separate open source low code options means there are more tools to evaluate. Finding the right platform takes more research.

So in summary, open source low code platforms provide faster development powered by an open community, but may lack the specialization, support, and guarantees of paid vendor solutions. The right choice depends on the organization‘s specific needs and developer skillsets.

How to Select an Open Source Low Code Platform

Here are some best practices to follow when evaluating open source low code platforms:

  • Assess maturity – Give preference to platforms with a long track record and stable release cycles
  • Compare platforms – Create a criteria matrix focused on your must-have use cases and features
  • Validate integrations – Test connecting with your existing infrastructure and applications
  • Join the community – Interact with contributors on forums before fully committing
  • Start small – Run a limited pilot project first before rolling out the platform more broadly
  • Budget for talent – Factor in costs of hiring developers skilled in the platform(s) of choice

The growing ecosystem of open source low code platforms provides organizations many options to accelerate application delivery. By carefully assessing maturity, community traction, and long term viability, developers can leverage these tools to maximize productivity while minimizing lock-in.

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