GW Apps and Zoho Creator are both application development platforms that enable you to create custom applications. In many ways, Creator and GW Apps are similar, especially when it comes to form customization and features. Both products allow you to collect data, automate business processes, have approval workflows, visualize data, and integrate with external applications.
The main difference between these two products is that GW Apps is entirely No-Code, while Zoho Creator is Low-Code. Coding in Creator enables you to have more flexibility and control, but at the cost of greater development complexity and a steeper learning curve. GW Apps’ No-Code solution is both easy to use and simple to learn, while simultaneously providing features that enable you to build enterprise grade applications.
GW Apps offers a highly versatile yet easy to use form builder. Its drag-and-drop approach offers a visual way for users to build their applications, with multiple layout options and lots of customizability. It’s a proven platform for building applications that manage tasks like Purchase Approval, Asset Management, Employee Time Sheets, Service Requests, Requisitions or any number of typical business process use cases. We found Zoho Creator to offer a competitive form builder, with a similar blend of powerful features and drag-and-drop approach. They’re both among the better form builders on the market.
GW Apps Workflow Builder allows you to easily model complex business approval processes, with features like multiple levels of approval, routing, automatic and scheduled triggers, conditional actions, email notifications, granular security and more. User permissions are controlled by custom roles and can be configured all the way down to individual fields at a specific step in the process (i.e., workflow stage). GW Apps also allows you to create Shared Global Roles – roles that can be configured at the platform level and used in any application, thus saving considerable time when building multiple applications.
Zoho Creator also has very similar workflow automation capabilities. The main difference between the two products is that, since Zoho Creator is a Low-Code platform, users can create custom workflow actions using their Deluge scripting language. This can provide more capabilities in the Zoho platform, but it requires investing time to learn the proprietary Zoho programming language.
No-Code vs Low-Code
When using a Low-Code platform, you will still need developers to complete most applications, as some coding is still required. With Low-Code, IT is typically building at least some of each application. No-Code platforms eliminate the need for any programming skills, and extend application development to line of business users. The business is then far more involved or is even doing all of their own software development.
Low-Code reduces the time to build enterprise applications from months to weeks. No-Code allows you to shrink the development time even further, to a couple of days in most cases.
GW Apps is built on the Google Cloud Platform and takes full advantage of the scaling and security features of the platform. The Zoho Creator Cloud data centers are in the US & EU. Zoho Creator has two deployment options: Zoho Creator Cloud and Zoho Creator On-Premise. With On-Premise, the customer can host Creator in their own environment. GW Apps can be configured with all application data hosted on the client’s premises. Both GW Apps and Creator allow you to access and interact with external data, if you need to.
Access to live human support is an important resource to help you understand and build apps on the platform. Many GW Apps users have built complex applications with minimal support, while others have needed a helping hand from the beginning. We provide live support to all our users. GW Apps continues to invest in online support content, and we welcome your call anytime you need to get answers or help with your next step.
Zoho support used to get poor reviews for support. It was one of their weakest points. To its credit, Zoho has recently invested more resources and developed a channel of Zoho partners to help clients create complex applications. Zoho partners are a resource when you’re building web applications that need to integrate with Zoho CRM or Accounting.
GW Apps offers 4 plans for businesses: A starter plan of $5/user/mo, the SMB value plan for teams of up to 100 users ($300/mo), and two additional plans targeted at mid market and large enterprises, with an average price of $2/user/mo. The free trial plan has no feature limitations, enabling new users to try the platform, build a test application and fully validate its effectiveness.
Zoho Creator starts with a Professional plan at $25/user/month. The next available plan is the Ultimate plan, which costs $400/mo, includes 10 users, and then costs $25/additional user/month. The Ultimate plan offers many additional features over the Professional plan. The free trial version has feature limitations, meaning that in order to fully experience the product you must subscribe.
GW Apps allows users to quickly and easily create audit-ready applications for secure business transactions where it is vital only identified people can see or edit specific data, at each stage in the process life-cycle. If your goal is to capture, manage, and view company data via forms, and easily create complex workflows around your data, and you’re not already using other Zoho products, then GW Apps is a strong candidate to evaluate. Also important is the fact that GW Apps is No-Code, allowing business users to create and deploy an entire app without the need for IT skills or support.
Creator is part of a suite of software modules from Zoho, the most popular being Zoho CRM and Zoho Accounting. As these products have been on the market for 15+ years, they have built a large customer base. These are the customers that would benefit the most from Zoho Creator and they are the principal audience for Zoho Creator. However, Creator can still be an effective solution for new customers who are not using other Zoho modules. However, to make use of all that Creator has to offer you will need to learn the Deluge scripting language. As a result, business users might not be able to create their own apps using Creator, without significant IT support.