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Windmill Compared to its Peers

We are aware other frameworks exist out there. Some of them might suit your specific needs. We believe Windmill is the only solution to provide this comprehensive set of feature and to be fully open-source at the same time.

Out of transparency, here is our (subjective) impression on other players you might come across.

No-code solutions

Those names are well-known to the general public and contributed to grow awareness in the workflow building space. They are made for operational teams, have pretty UIs but are limited in terms of use cases, power & flexibility. We do not compare ourselves to them.

examples: Zapier or Make

Code-based workflow engines

On the opposite side, you could choose to go on code-based solutions. They give a solid foundation for building your workflows and clean up your code. However, these solutions are less intuitive as they are complex to set up and operate. Also, they do not allow to share scripts easily or build UIs.

Although these approaches are interesting, these players do not seek to reduce the same problems as Windmill.

examples: Temporal & Airflow

Admin panels builders

Getting closer to Windmill. Those players have a blent on admin panels. Therefore they are strong on UIs and now-code features. They allow you to use code in the process. However we believe they lack flexibility for building complex workflows.

examples: Retool and their open source alternatives Tooljet & Appsmith

Workflow builder: n8n

n8n has no UI builder and is source-available but not open-source. n8n only supports javascript and is not centered around organizing your scipts, it is mostly around building workflows with pre-made integrations and inlined javascript code. n8n require pre-installation of the dependencies and does not handle per-node dependency. It is centered around integrations to external services.

Workflow builder: Pipedream

Pipedream has no UI builder and is not open-source (although their library of integrations is). Pipedream itself is neither open-source, nor self-hostable. Forthermore, it is centered around integrations to external services.

Most comparable players

Those ones have comparable set of features, they have the flexibility of code and are time-saving for developers. Yet, they may show limited workflow engines, they are not open-source and have no open APIs and are not made for scalability.

examples: Airplane and Superblocks

and ... Windmill

We are working to build a solution with a clear approach (targeting developers who do not want to compromise on flexibility) and the aim to solve main issues (scalability, technicity for advanced use cases, open-source).

We believe Windmill is different because:

  • it allows building internal tools through code much faster, without sacrificing on one side intuitivity and visibility, and on the other side, control, reliability, performance, flexibility and scalability
  • it empowers semi-technical users to access and edit that code without being overwhelmed by the usual barriers to entry (git, IDE, local environments, secrets managements, etc.)
  • it is compatible with senior/staff software engineers high standards for production-grade yet flexible yet customizable with code.

We ourselves have our own limitations. We believe we can do better in terms of product education and having prettier UIs, all the rest is ready for scale.

Please note that this comparison is made with at least two biases: 1. we want to convince you of the power of our product and 2. we are never safe from hiding things from ourselves about the strengths of competitors.

Anyway, we are committed to the culture of transparency and of confronting the facts, so if you have any objections or suggestions, please contact us at [email protected].