Alternatives for Zapier

...

Alternatives for Zapier

Almost anyone who has ever used Zapier will tell you it’s a great software automation platform. It can save you hours of work and enable you to push data between applications with ease. That's the beauty of automation.

However, Zapier is also expensive and limits your automations to the Zapier ecosystem. Maybe Zapier isn’t in your budget. Perhaps the features of Zapier aren’t enough for your needs. Maybe you need more customizability or openness? If so, there’s a wide world full of alternatives out there that might be a good fit for your business needs.

Different tools or approaches will work depending on why you are looking for an alternative. Let’s look at the best alternative and two entirely new approaches that you may not have considered.

Table of Contents

  1. Reasons to seek an alternative
    a. Zapier has become too expensive
    b. Number of zaps
    c. Time delays
    d. Lacking complexity and customization
    e. Troubleshooting, set-up, or support
  2. Alternatives
    a. Automate.io
    b. DataCose: Custom Automation and Integration Engineers
    c. Self-hosting
  3. Other resources

Reasons to seek an alternative

Zapier has become too expensive

Zapier is a great tool for automating your processes. Its strength lies in the fact that it allows you to connect different apps together. This is possible due to APIs, and Zapier has written code to integrate a myriad of applications and made them user-friendly.

However, it comes with a price tag. Zaps can shock your bank rather quickly. You can only perform 100 ‘zaps’ with the free plan. A zap is any action that Zapier does or any data that it moves. 100 zaps get used rather quickly. Being familiar with the software, we can tell you that 100 zaps (and they are limited to single-step zaps) are unlikely to save any significant amount of time. Unlikely to be any more than what setting it up would take.

If you want a cheaper alternative, look at Automate.io, or if you are more technically-minded, look at “Awesome-selfhosted” Automation on GitHub for automations that you can self-host, and thus require no subscription. You can also build your own software or hire someone to do it for you, and self-host.

Too many limitations

Number of zaps

The free version will allow you to connect just five apps and an upgrade is required if you want more. And only simple step zaps are possible. The more times you execute something, the higher, more expensive plan must you get. If you have run out of zaps, they will be put on hold. This can disrupt business and strong-arm an upgrade if your business depends on them.

Time delays

There are also up to 15, 2, and,1-minute delays between a trigger and an action. This can defeat the purpose of automation altogether – why pay to save time when you must wait.

All of the alternatives listed here provide lower delays, some down to 20 seconds or less.

Lacking complexity and customization

Moreover, you may have simply outgrown it. While Zapier is very powerful, general-purpose software cannot address every need, and there are complex processes that can be automated and result in major time and money savings. It’s just that they are not always possible with Zapier.

If you have hit a wall with Zapier or its limitations have caused enough annoyance, check out custom software automations and integrations with DataCose.

Troubleshooting, set-up, or support

Finding exactly what went wrong can be incredibly difficult with Zapier. You might not even realize that a workflow failed until it is too late. You might not even realize at all. Choosing a vendor that keeps logs, has a community, or even provides quick support can fix this.

Moreover, setting these up takes time, and knowledge. We have sometimes seen non-technical people propose a solution to their pain-point that is convoluted or badly designed. Finding a Zapier expert or a Custom API integration expert can offload the problem of setting these up, and they might likely 

DataCose’s automations perform unit tests to verify that the desired result was achieved. On the rare occasion that it has not, our engineers are notified immediately. DataCose’s dashboard keeps an extensive log of every action so finding what went wrong and where is extremely easy. Then, after figuring out what happened, it is fixed, the workflow runs again, all in the background. Afterwards, we improve your code so that it does not happen again.

Alternatives

Automate.io

Many users report having tried both and being happier with Automate.io. One area where it beats Zapier is in the number and variety of trigger options. For example, Automate.io can be triggered by updating a row in table, whereas that option is not available with Zapier.

Moreover, it beats Zapier on price. Even their free plan offers more actions and a lower time delay, considered to be the best free plan from the various iPaaS platforms. A personal plan costs at $119.88/year, and their highest tier – business - is $199/month billed monthly.

Moreover, their Growth and Business plans have “excess actions” meaning that business won’t be interrupted if you run out of actions (their equivalent to a zap).

Two areas in which Zapier wins automatically – meaning that Automate.io has no equivalent – is video tutorials and their Zapier expert certification. It’s easier to find somebody who is accredited who can set your Zapier workflows for you. Albeit, chances are relatively high that the same people are proficient with Automate.io

It must be noted that both applications have received complaints that their bots “randomly stop working” and that troubleshooting them is quite hard.

At the same time, automate.io suffers from some other limitations that Zapier doesn’t face. But as a closest alternative, Automate.io is a strong performer and a very solid alternative.

DataCose: Custom Automation and Integration Engineers

Speed

We impose no limitations on how often or how many automations you can carry out. There is no time delay either. You will never be strong-armed to upgrade to another plan just because your business is doing well. Nor will your tasks be put on hold, as it happens when you run out of ‘zaps’. Our workflows get done in 20 seconds or less.

We can do this because we “push” triggers instead of “pulling” so there is no need to check every x minutes. You can set your own server, or we can set a cloud server for you, and you only pay for your consumption.

Customization & Complexity

Because we write custom-code, we can make automations that you could never accomplish with Zapier. You may have wasted hours in search and trial and error attempting to come up with a half-baked workaround, or have tried a dozen of different applications. If this is you, custom code can entirely automate a service or workflow so that you can actually see revenue growth or time savings from your digital transformation efforts. 

Troubleshooting and support

DataCose’s automations perform unit tests to verify that the desired result was achieved. On the rare occasion that it has not, our engineers are notified immediately. DataCose’s dashboard keeps an extensive log of every action so finding what went wrong and where is extremely easy. Then, after figuring out what happened, it is fixed, the workflow runs again, all in the background. Afterwards, we improve your code so that it does not happen again.

Cost

This is one area where Zapier is better. At least at the start. With us, you front-load the cost and once we integrate or automate a workflow, you have access to the code and can use it however you like. This means that ongoing costs are minimal and if you want us to set-up the server for you (after all, there has to be some machine to do the work) then you pay for your use.

If you need speed, have complex workflows, access to more premium apps, or have otherwise hit one of the various walls Zapier has, you will see yourself forced to upgrade. Team prices with Zapier start at $448.50/month when billed monthly, or $3,588 when billed yearly. Prices for their company plan are more than double.

With DataCose, each integrated software costs between $300-700, and typical server fees are between $20-30/month, but you can forego these – and the accompanying support - if you’d like to set your own server up. Your own developers or even another vendor can use the code as you please.

Self-hosting

If you really hate paying an ongoing monthly subscription, you can choose to self-host open-source automations on your own machine or an old one that is laying about. Or if you hate limitations and being tied to a plan’s tier, you can host your server on the cloud. That does mean paying a monthly fee, but it is usually lower and you only pay for what you use after the base fee.

You can check out a fantastic list of “Awesome-selfhosted” Automation on GitHub

Other resources

List of IFTTT alternatives

...

Curious How Automation Can Transform Your Business?

Save time, money, increase uptime, speed, eliminate errors, tedious tasks.

Outperform your competition and scale your business to new heights.