Comparison with Grist

Is there a comparison with the philosophy, underlying architecture, licensing, scope, and business model of Grist? Seems like Grist is actually levelaging type checking (typescript) while baserow doesn’t use mypy at all, and Grist already has features like revision history. Baserow seems to be more popular though, or at least has better SEO.

I particularly appreciate clear distinction between open source and proprietary feature sets, and a business model that only uses “open core” to release some features early as proprietary extras, but always makes it libre/free software after a certain amount of time.

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Hey! We answered this on the Grist side. Wanted to share it here in case others are curious too. Comparing Grist and Baserow

Admittedly, we know way more about Grist than Baserow, and welcome additional comments and feedback. :slight_smile:

Hey @kxra,

First of all, welcome to the Baserow community! Apologies for the late response! I had to look into Grist a bit more to make a good comparison. I have to admit that I’m not that familiar with Grist to make a good comparison, but I’m going to try! I would urge you to try out both Baserow and Grist! That would be the best way to figure out which tool is the best for you.

Philosophy

With Baserow we’re building an open source no-code tool-chain. This year we will be focusing on the database, but we’re also going to include workflow automation and application building in the future. We aim to build a tool that works out of the box, works performant with high volumes of data, has a great user experience and can scale to thousands of simultaneous users. It’s our philosophy that Baserow can be used by everyone, from a hobbyist who will use the hosted version to a large organization that uses Baserow at scale in their own data center.

It seems that Grist is a bit more focused on technical users and Baserow more on users that don’t have technical experience.

Architecture

Licensing

Baserow is licensed under the most permissive license there is, the MIT license. The premium folder that contains additional features has a proprietary license, additional features can be enabled if you have a license to the premium version. Everything is in the same public mono repository (https://gitlab.com/bramw/baserow), we’re transparent about our roadmap and everyone can follow our development progress (https://gitlab.com/bramw/baserow/-/boards/1510200?milestone_title=1.9). We never plan of limiting users in the amount of collaborators, groups/workspaces, rows, column, API requests, etc, in the self hosted version of Baserow.

Grist (grist-core) is licensed under the Apache License 2.0. I’m not sure which license their private repository has, but I don’t think they indend to make that public.

Feature comparison

Baserow and Grist have a lot of shared or similar features. I’ll be highlighting the differences below. I also want to point out that I’m not that familiar with Grist, so it could be that I’ve missed certain functionalities.

  • Baserow has an easy way to create forms.
  • Baserow has a Kanban view.
  • Grist doesn’t have templates included directly in the self hosted version, although you might be able to easy export them from the hosted version.
  • Baserow supports multiple languages, currently English and French, but more languages like Dutch and German will follow soon.
  • Both Baserow and Grist have good API documentation and are API first, Baserow also has automatically generated API docs for your table to make it even easier.
  • Baserow has a Rating, URL, Email and Phone field.
  • Baserow has a variety of filters tailored to each field.
  • With Baserow you can add comments on row level.
  • Baserow provides formula fields with a language that is exactly like all the other spreadsheet tools you’ve used before to ensure non-technical users can still use it.
  • With Baserow you can publicly share a view and embed it on your website for example.
  • With Baserow you create an API token and set permissions on group, database and table level. This token can safely be shared publicly.
  • Everything can be ordered by drag and drop in Baserow.
  • Baserow has powerful aggregation functions in the formula field.
  • Baserow will soon have footer aggregations, multiple copy and paste and even an Airtable migration tool!
  • You can create unlimited groups/workspaces for free in Baserow and have unlimited collaborators.
  • Baserow doesn’t yet have charts.
  • Baserow doesn’t yet have undo redo.
  • Baserow doesn’t yet have revision history.
  • Baserow doesn’t yet have role based access control.
  • Baserow doesn’t yet have importing into an existing table.

All the features that Baserow doesn’t have like undo redo and role based access control are going to be implemented in the upcoming months. We’ve been moving at a very fast speed, but it has just been a year ago that I, the founder, started working on it full time. Since then we’ve grown to a team of 5 devs of which the last three joined in the last months. Having an open core business model allows us to hire developers to work full time on the project.

Business Model

Baserow and Grist both have an open core business model. @anaisconce explains well what the business model of Grist is. Below I’ll explain ours.

There are going to be three version of Baserow, the open source, premium and enterprise version. All source code will be public, but the premium and enterprise version have a different software license that enforces you to purchase a license.

The hosted version (baserow.io) is currently free with a fair use policy, but this is going to change in the near future. We’re going to introduce data limitations and depending on the usage, users will need to pay on per user per month basis.

The self hosted version will never have data limitations, but if you want to get access to the premium, enterprise of additional support, users need to pay on a per user per month basis. Below an overview of the pricing we have in mind. Some features will move to the free open source version at some point.

Hosted version (baserow.io)

Free plan

  • Access to the open source features
  • Maximum of 3.000 rows per group/workspace
  • Maximum of 2GB of storage
  • Maximum of 10k monthly API requests
  • Support via the community, tutorials, FAQ, user docs

Premium plan (5$ / €5 per user per month)

  • Everything the free plan has
  • Access to the premium features (Kanban view, row comments, etc)
  • Maximum of 10.000 rows per group/workspace
  • Maximum of 5GB of storage
  • Maximum of 20k monthly API requests

Advanced plan (30$ / €30 per user per month)

  • Everything the premium plan has
  • Maximum of 100.000 rows per group/workspace
  • Maximum of 10GB or storage
  • Maximum of 100k monthly API requests
  • Direct and guaranteed support via live chat

Self hosted version

Open source plan

  • Access to the open source features
  • Unlimited groups, rows, storage and API requests
  • Support via the community, tutorials, FAQ, user docs

Premium plan (5$ / €5 per user per month)

  • Everything the open source plan has
  • Access to the premium features (Kanban view, row comments, etc)

Enterprise plan (30$ / €30 per user per month)

  • Everything the premium plan has
  • Access to the enterprise features (SSO, Audit log, Admin dashboard etc)
  • Direct and guaranteed support via live chat

Best regards,
Bram Wiepjes
Founder Baserow

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