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Baserow or Airtable?

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Users tell us why they switch to Baserow

In the past weeks, we conducted lots of interviews with our users community to understand their use cases and what makes Baserow appealing to them. Almost all of them are Airtable users ready to switch to Baserow, therefore we thought we share our findings as you might have similar thoughts. We believe Airtable is a great tool, so this is not about bashing Airtable. We believe many users struggle with the limitations of Airtable for their use cases and the data governance they are faced with. Let’s dive into it!

Why not simply a spreadsheet?

Our users come both from the public and private sector. They all have similar reasons why they needed a database, rather than a big spreadsheet:

  • lots of data in various formats (number, boolean, email, file, etc…)
  • relationships between multiple data fields made excel too cumbersome
  • collaboration on data in real time
  • automations to trigger downstream events
  • front end forms to capture data and update in real time

Overall, our users need a collaborative database at the heart of the applications they use to interact with customers, suppliers, scientists, developers or other colleagues. Most users have a level of technical understanding but explicitly told us they want no code tools to simplify their work.

We recognize though that over the years Excel and other spreadsheet-like tools have rooted themselves into the day-to-day workflows of millions of users. That is why Baserow keeps that look and feel of an Excel spreadsheet, while simultaneously offering more functionalities to work with — along with a more user-friendly, and intuitive interface, users can collaborate better, build automation and use much more data types than possible in Excel.

Why replace Airtable by Baserow ?

So what is so nice about Baserow that triggered Airtable users to look for an alternative to their Airtable deployment ? Here is what our users tell us:

  • SaaS and On-premise: offering the ability to deploy Baserow on-premise is a big deal for companies with strict data governance rules (Enterprise, Government). Storing all the data within your in-house servers and IT infrastructure might also provide more peace of mind: privacy is paramount.
  • Open-source: enables users to build, expand and customize Baserow if they want: no need to wait until we provide a needed feature, you can easily create it yourself. It allows for innovation as the community of users can drive new feature development. Open source is also valuable for business continuity independent of the vendor (no vendor lock-in).
  • Performance at scale: as data sets grow, the speed and stability of the database are critical for user experience. We aimed for high from the start: Baserow’s architecture is built for scale, ensuring speed and stability at huge volumes of data. Even though we offer similar functionality scope as Airtable or sole-times less features, we are different at the core design as we made the choice to focus on speed and performance at scale.
  • Interoperability: Baserow is just one of the many blocks of a no-code stack. We are at the heart of such a bundle as data capturing, processing, logic, etc. triggers actions and decisions further down the process. As an API-first platform, Baserow can be integrated with every tool needed to build a no-code stack. Our users often integrate Baserow with other tools like Make, n8n, Bubble, Stacker, Zapier, etc…
  • Deployment: as we deployed Baserow ourselves and manage it at scale, we are in good position to help our users with their self hosted deployments questions. In addition, our opensource user community is valuable to exchange practical tips & tricks.

How to switch to Baserow?

  1. Sign up: Create a new account in a hosted or self-hosted version. Choose our free, Premium or Advanced version.

  2. Pick up where you left off: Bring your data into Baserow by importing your Airtable data, and continue organizing your data and information.

  3. Invite collaborators: Invite whoever needs to be involved via email and collaborate in real-time. Changes in data are immediately visible.

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