10 best Airtable automation alternatives in 2024

Thijs van As
Thijs van As
Founding Head of Product

Does your team swear by Airtable?

Airtable automation is a great way to create custom workflows by setting up automated triggers-to-actions processes within Airtable.

Airtable automations screenshot

However, if your team utilizes other business apps and needs a tool to handle complex workflows that extend beyond Airtable, we recommend looking for an Airtable Automation alternative.

According to our research and customer reviews, the best ones are Relay.app, Zapier, Make, ActivePieces, PabblyConnect, Integrately, IFTTT, n8n, Pipedream, and Zohoflow.

But first, let's explore why people think you may want to consider an alternative in the first place.

Why look for Airtable automation alternatives?

Although Airtable's built-in automation may save costs and simplify your databases, it has some significant drawbacks.

To help you make an informed decision, let’s consider the three most common ones:

1. Airtable automation lacks integration with most apps

Airtable automation supports integration with Asana, Basecamp, Box, Dropbox, and Instagram.

Understandably, since Airtable is not an automation tool, the company isn’t adding new integrations quickly.

Airtable review

Source

2. Non-Airtable collaborators can struggle with Airtable’s learning curve

Setting up automated processes often involves people in teams like IT, Revenue Ops or Enablement.

Airtable, although an amazing product, can be intimidating at first for people who’ve been used to either Excel or Google Sheets for years.

Airtable review

Source

3. Airtable automation doesn't support some core automation functionalities

Airtable lacks functionalities that you would expect from regular automation platforms, like the ability to filter for conditions before automations run or not. It also doesn't support triggers based on multiple conditions.

Airtable review

Source

For instance, you might want reminders for tasks only if they’re overdue and assigned to a specific team member.

What are the best alternatives to Airtable automation?

The best alternatives to Airtable automation are:

  • Relay.app — Human in the loop and collaborative workflow automation.
  • Zapier — Business automation with tables
  • Make — Visually appealing no code automation tool
  • Integrately — Extensive template library
  • ActivePieces — No code, open-source automation platform
  • PabblyConnect — Extensive library of apps with lots of lifetime plan
  • IFTTT — Home and business automation platform
  • n8n — Low code, open source automation tool
  • Zoho Flow — No code visual workflow software
  • Pipedream — Low code AI-powered automation tool

1. Relay.app

Relay.app is an excellent Airtable alternative for users with broader automation needs who want to create personalized workflows.

The tool integrates with modern apps across different industries, allowing you to create simple and complex workflows.

You don't need to know how to code or automate workflows to use Relay.app. The user interface is intuitive even for non-tech-savvy users.

Some Airtble customers opt to automated workflows with Relay.app because of key features like:

  • Human-in-the-Loop
  • 1-Click AI Assistance
  • Collaborative Workflow Automation

Let's dive into these three features:

Feature 1: Human-in-the-Loop

While automation can improve efficiency and productivity, human input remains crucial for strategic decisions and creative workflow inputs.

To enjoy the benefits of both worlds, Relay.app’s human-in-the-loop feature lets you incorporate human judgments into automated workflow steps.

Try it ⤵️

You can leverage that feature in four ways:

1. Get approval: Automatically routing tasks to the relevant stakeholders for their input or approval.

For instance, in a marketing campaign workflow, when a campaign is ready for launch, the workflow will pause and Relay.app will notify the marketing manager for approval before sending it out.

2. Select a path: Use this feature when different scenarios determine the next step in the workflow and you trust human judgment over rule-based paths. For instance, you may want to offer different deals to different categories of leads. 

Simply create paths for the different offers and assign a team to choose a path corresponding to the lead's needs. Relay.app allows you to create as many paths as you need.

3. Get data input: When your team needs specific data inputs to continue workflows, click "get data input" to request the required data via email or Slack. The workflow will pause until the assignee submits the data. 

4. Complete tasks: This feature enables you to assign a task to a team member and pause the workflow until the assignee marks it as complete. 

For instance, in a customer support workflow, tickets created from a chatbot can be assigned to an agent for resolution, and the customer receives real-time updates via Zendesk.

Why is Human-in-the-Loop important?

At Relay.app, we believe that automation is designed to replace repetitive tasks, not humans.

So, while automation handles repetitive, low-value tasks, human input are crucial for navigating complexity, uncertainty, and interpersonal dynamics within workflows.

Here are some scenarios where human-in-the-loop is essential:

  1. Personalization: Human-in-the-loop ensures tasks are tailored to individual needs or preferences, particularly in customer-facing processes where it enhances satisfaction and engagement.
  2. Error handling: Humans identify and correct errors that automation might miss, ensuring accuracy and quality control, crucial for maintaining data integrity and preventing costly mistakes.
  3. Approval: Certain tasks or decisions require human approval, especially in sensitive or critical situations, ensuring accountability and compliance.
  4. Decision-making: Humans bring nuanced judgment and context to decision-making processes, particularly in complex projects or ambiguous situations where rules-based systems may fail.
  5. Negotiation: Human interaction is vital for negotiation, whether with clients, partners, or within teams. Empathy, understanding, and compromise play crucial roles.

Feature 2: 1-Click AI assistance

If your inability to prompt effectively hinders your ability to harness AI's full potential in your automations, don't fret.

Relay.app’s native AI autofill feature enables you to extract dynamic data or summarize content directly within the context you need with just one click.

For instance, when setting up a QuickBooks and Slack workflow (referred to as a playbook in Relay.app) to notify your team of a new payment, you can use autofill to effortlessly extract data and give detailed reports such as the vendor name and amount due, as well as summarize the reason for the billing.

This eliminates the need to open QuickBooks to understand the payment details.

Feature 3: collaborative workflows

Relay.app is a top pick for teams that prioritize teamwork. The collaboration feature allows you to involve your team members in every aspect of your automation and foster collective success.

You can…

  • Add collaborators to create and edit playbooks.
  • Assign roles to your team members or use data from your project management tool like Trello or CRM like HubSpot to ensure you assign the right task to the right person.
  • Assign multiple steps to the same person in a playbook.

Relay.app integration

Relay.app integrates with various modern apps across different industries, including marketing, sales, support, and engineering.

It includes apps like Hubspot, Calendly, Trello, Asana, Quickbook, Google Sheets, Google Drive and more.

Besides being easy to deploy and use, our team constantly adds new apps.

Relay.app pricing

Unlike Airtable Automation, which charges per automation run, Relay.app charges per user seat. This lets you easily predict your scaling costs without worrying about exceeding limits.

To start using Relay.app, sign up for free, and enjoy 200 automation runs and unlimited access to all its features.

If you want more, choose from these three yearly plans:

  • Professional: $9 per month (2 seats, 10k automations per month).
  • Team: $59 per month (unlimited seats, 25k automations per month)
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing for larger teams.

How does Relay.app compare to Airtable automation?

Airtable Automations vs Relay.app

While Airtable automation is suitable for straightforward automation within Airtable, Relay.app offers a more comprehensive solution with extensive app integrations and advanced features.

Looking elsewhere is unnecessary if you want to automate repetitive tasks within Airtable.

Need to extend to other apps? Get Started in Relay.app.

Relay.app pros and cons

✅ More extensive integrations compared to Airtable.

✅ Full-fledged automation tool not tied to any other tool and with advanced features.

✅ AI assistance without the need for prompts.

❌ Unlike Airtable automation usage included in your Airtable plan, you have to pay separately for Relay.app.

❌ It’s not deeply integrated with Airtable.

2. Make

Make is a visually appealing alternative to Airtable automation. It's a no-code platform that allows customization and the creation of complex workflows.

Who is Make for?

Make is ideal for anyone with some level of technical skill looking to build complex workflows.

Make’s features

  • Extensive integration library of 1200 apps spanning different industries.
  • 3000 free pre-built templates for simple automation tasks.
  • Visual workflow builder using drag and drop interface.
  • HTTP connector allowing integration with publicly available API apps.
  • “My app” for creating custom apps accessible to multiple team members without the need for individual API connections.

Make’s pricing

Make offers a free forever plan with 1000 operations per month for individual users.

For additional features, choose from any of the four yearly paid plans:

  • Core: $10.59 per month
  • Pro: $16 per month
  • Teams: $34.12 per month
  • Enterprise: Custom Pricing

Make’s pros and cons

✅ Easy to get started with templates.

✅ Offers extensive customization options.

✅ Free plan provides access to unlimited users.

❌ Hard to use for non-technical teams.

❌ Costs can escalate with increased operations.

3. Zapier

Zapier is a versatile platform allowing users to build automated processes, called "zaps," by linking various apps. It supports a wide range of app integrations and customization options.

Who is Zapier for?

Zapier is ideal for users seeking an Airtable automation alternative with native table tools.

Zapier features

  • Custom logic, filter, and multiple conditions for more workflow flexibility and control.
  • Over 7000 app integrations increase the possibility of easy and fast integration across your tech stack without API or Webhook workarounds.
  • AI workflow builder that creates workflows from text descriptions.
  • Ready-made workflow templates for a quick and easy start.

Zapier pricing

Zapier charges are based on tasks, which increase significantly as usage rises. It has a free forever plan with 100 monthly tasks, unlimited workflows, and only 2-step zaps.

Zapier offers three paid plans which include:

  • Professional: $19.9/month
  • Team: $69/month
  • Enterprise: On-demand, contact sales.

Zapier pros and cons

✅ Offers native tables.

✅ Has the largest library of integration apps.

✅ Various ways of building workflows.

❌ Zapier's workflows only offer basic access to tables; full access requires a separate payment.

❌ Poor customer support.

4. ActivePieces

ActivePieces is an open-source business automation tool designed for effortless customization and heightened security through self-hosting.

Who is ActivePieces for?

It’s for you if you want to enhance your security and customization through self-hosting.

ActivePieces features

  • Over 142 prebuilt templates to kickstart your automation journey.
  • Conditional logic, loop, wait step, and branching for highly tailored workflow.
  • Custom font and color to match your brand identity.
  • Auto-retry step to automatically retry failed runs.
  • Multilingual feature supporting nine languages.

ActivePieces pricing

ActivePieces provides a free forever plan with one user, one project, and 1000 monthly tasks.

Its paid plans include:

  • Enterprise: $99 per user per month, including 1000 tasks.
  • Embed: $1,200 per month, including 25 users and 1000 tasks.

Additional users can be added for $10 each, and extra tasks cost $1 each.

ActivePieces pros and cons

✅ Gain more control and flexibility with self-hosting.

✅ Enjoy increased customizable features with its open-source nature.

✅ Monetize automation as part of your product.

❌ Still relatively new with occasional bugs.

❌ Limited features and integrations, similar to Airtable automation.

❌ Pricing isn't transparent and budget-friendly.

5. Pabbly Connect

Pabbly Connect stands out for its affordability and straightforward pricing plan. Its lookup table feature, which allows users to match and retrieve data from different databases, makes it a great alternative to Airtable.

Who is Pabbly Connect for?

It's an ideal choice if you need an automation tool with a lifetime plan and similar features to Zapier.

Pabbly Connect features

  • Logic, filter, delay, and scheduler enable you to create sophisticated workflows tailored to your specific needs.
  • Over 1500 apps, ensuring extensive integration options across your tech stack.
  • Webhook and API to connect with external tools.

Pabbly Connect pricing

Pabbly Connect offers a free forever plan with unlimited workflows, team members, and 100 monthly runs. However, like most tools on the list, it charges based on tasks, so costs can increase as your tasks do.

Here are its four annual plans billed annually:

Standard: $14/month

Pro: $29/month

Ultimate: Starting from $59/month, based on task execution

Enterprise: Contact enterprise team.

PabblyConnect pros and cons

✅ Over 6000 video tutorials.

✅ More affordable than Airtable automation and Zapier.

✅ Active community.

❌ Lacks unique offerings besides being more affordable than Zapier.

❌ Slow customer support.

6. n8n

n8n is an open-source workflow automation tool similar to ActivePieces. Though it gives you the option to use code for advanced customization or the UI for simpler tasks, its design favors users with technical skills.

Who is n8n for?

n8n is designed for technical teams who want to build complex workflow.

n8n features

  • Self-hosting option for enhanced customization and security.
  • Branching, looping, and merging data for more flexible workflows from a centralized platform.
  • Over 800 community-created workflow templates across various industries.
  • Drag-and-drop visual workflow editor.
  • Integration with over 500 popular and lesser-known apps and services.

n8n pricing

n8n offers only a free basic self-hosted version on GitHub and a free trial of its cloud version.

Choose from any of these n8n three paid plans:

  • Starter: $24 per month
  • Pro: $60 per month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

n8n pros and cons

✅ Large community of over 55,385 members.

✅ Native integration with a wide range of AI tools.

✅ Active GitHub contribution accelerates product’s improvement.

❌ Steep learning curve with technical documentation.

❌ No free plan on the cloud version.

7. Integrately

Integrately is another no-code workflow automation tool with a simple user interface and many templates. It is also more affordable than Zapier.

Who is Integrately for?

Integrately is perfect for anyone seeking an affordable alternative to Zapier, with plenty of templates for streamlined workflow usage.

Integrately features

  • Over 20 million automation templates to kickstart your automation.
  • Integrates with over 1100 apps in one click.
  • Webhook for connecting external apps and services.
  • Drag and drop visual workflow builder.

Integrately pricing

Integrately is more expensive than apps like Relay.app. For instance, its free forever plan offers only 5 automations and restricts access to premium apps and conditions. The starter plan limits you to only 2000 tasks, 20 automation, three premium apps, and no path access.

Here are Integrately's three pricing plans billed yearly:

  • Starter: $29.99 per month
  • Professional: $49 per month
  • Growth: $124 per month
  • Business: $299 per month

Integrately pros and cons

✅ Excellent customer support.

✅ The number of templates available makes it easy to get started.

❌ Expensive compared to other app on the list.

❌ Integration setup seems to be a common complaint as it's a frequent reason for dissatisfaction among users on review sites.

❌ Lacks a strong value proposition besides templates and being a more affordable version of Zapier.

8. IFTTT

IFTTT, or If This Then That, as the name suggests, allows you to automate tasks based on trigger and action by creating workflows called “applets”. It’s easy to use and suitable for creating simple workflows.

Who is IFTTT for?

With its wide integration with home and mobile apps, IFTTT is perfect for personal users looking to streamline their tasks and routines.

IFTTT features

  • Over 900 integrations across various home and business apps.
  • Extensive template library for basic automation.
  • Mobile app on both IOS and Android to create and manage your workflow from your smartphone or tablet.
  • GPT assistant plugin that allows you access over 800 tools within the ChatGPT interface.

IFTTT pricing

While the free option allows unlimited runs, users can create only two applets.

Subscribe to one of its two annual paid plans to unlock more features.

IFTTT Pro: $2.92/month

IFTTT Pro+: $12.50/month

IFTTT pros and cons

✅ One of few workflow automation tools with a mobile app.

✅ Strong community of 27 million users.

✅ Easy to use with an intuitive interface.

❌ Not suitable for multistep workflows.

❌ Unreliable pricing as users complain of frequent changes.

9. Pipedream

Pipedream is a code-first automation tool that allows users to write code directly within their workflows using Node.js.

Who is Pipedream for?

Pipedream distinct itself for software development teams who want to deploy custom workflows and business processes.

Pipedream features

  • AI-Powered workflow builder
  • Extensive library of over 5000 prebuilt workflow templates
  • Supports integration with over 2000 apps with apps like Firebase and admin SDK for developers
  • Access to npm & PyPI packages enabling developers to leverage a wide range of pre-existing libraries and modules in their workflows.

Pipedream pricing

Pipedream employs a credit system where the cost per credit decreases with larger purchases. Though its free plan offers access to most of its additional functionalities, the limitation to three workflows makes them barely useful.

Pipedream’s yearly paid plan includes:

  • Basic: $45 per month
  • Advanced: $149 per month
  • Business: $299 per month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

Pipedream pros and cons

✅ Extensive number of built-in integration.

✅ Real-time trigger whether from HTTP request or webhook.

✅ Well commended by developers

❌ Complex and unpredictable pricing.

❌ Not suitable for non-technical users.

10. Zoho Flow

Zoho flow is part of the Zoho ecosystem, which comprises Zoho books, Zoho sheets, Zoho desk, Zoho CRM, Zoho Cliq, Zoho Creator, and many more. It's a no-code automation tool with advanced features for creating custom workflows.

Who is Zoho Flow for?

Zoho is ideal for users who are invested in the Zoho ecosystem.

Zoho Flow features

  • Over 850 apps and 150 templates common workflows make it easy to start with automation.
  • Fun and flexible drag-and-drop workflow builder.
  • Delugo, Zoho's Scripting Language, allows you to enhance your workflows by adding advanced decision trees, performing mathematical calculations, or reformatting data to ensure seamless integration between your apps.
  • Monitor and troubleshoot your workflow easily with timely email alerts and an option to manually resume or restart workflow.
  • On-prem agent for building different combinations of integrations between your cloud and on-premise apps.

Zoho Flow pricing

Zoho Flow only offers a 15-day free trial without a free plan. It has two paid plans and they include:

  • Standard: $29 per month
  • Professional: $49 per month

Zoho Flow pros and cons

✅ Seamless integration with Zoho products.

✅ Suitable for building simple and complex workflows.

❌ Inconsistent UI across multiple platforms.

❌ Customer support receives numerous complaints on review sites.

Integrate your apps without limit

As mentioned before, Airtable automation is effective for basic workflows and custom applications within its ecosystem. However, if you are looking to leverage a more comprehensive automation tool, consider alternatives like Relay.app, where you gain:

  • Expanded access to integration apps
  • Human-in-the-loop steps for insightful human input into your workflows
  • AI autofill for extracting and summarizing data
  • Multiplayer capability for seamless team real-time collaboration.

Sign up here for a free trial, no credit card required.

What will you automate?

Sign up and get started with your first Relay.app workflow today.
Background imageBackground image