If you’re looking for a non-scripting way to handle advanced automations & advanced integrations with Airtable, the 2 most popular options in the USA are Zapier and Make.
Many years ago, I started off as a Zapier guy – but that was only because I had not yet discovered Make.
Make was partially created as a response to Zapier, because the CEOs of Make challenged themselves to make a product that was better than Zapier. In my opinion, they definitely succeeded. Not only is Make much better than Zapier, but it is also much cheaper as well.
These are just a few of the main advantages that Make has over Zapier:
Make has almost none of the limitations that Zapier has. Just as one example out of dozens of examples, Zapier only allows 3 conditional branches, whereas Make allows unlimited conditional branches. Another example is that Make has a purely visual drag-and-drop environment that makes it much easier to visualize entire automations at-a-glance.
Make is SIGNIFICANTLY more powerful than Zapier. For example, Make has an entire library of functions and tools built into the platform that let you manipulate your data in ways that Zapier doesn’t allow at all. Other examples: Make allows you to aggregate groups of Airtable records together, and Make lets you choose just the “latest X number of records” — neither of which are possible with Zapier. There are so many more examples like this.
Make is significantly cheaper than Zapier, even though it is way more powerful than Zapier.
In general, Make seems to have better tech support than Zapier, although sometimes I have gotten incorrect answers from Make’s tech support which I ultimately figured out on my own.
However, the one major downside to Make is that there can be a big learning curve. When I first started using Make, I found it highly confusing and they didn’t have any training videos. But I kept pushing forward with it, and eventually it became second nature to me.
To help people jump in faster than I was able to jump in, I recently created this very brief navigation video for Make, along with providing the link to Make’s relatively new free training courses, which are something like 8 hours of training videos!
Ultimately, I think that people will be highly rewarded by choosing Make over Zapier.
Yeah Make is pretty great!
I started using Integromat (what it used to be called) in early days because I needed something less expensive than Zapier.
It was already more customizable even then!
Ah yes, I should’ve mentioned that I started on Integromat too! Otherwise, people might think I’m a newbie.
You’re a Make/Integromat expert for sure!
Awww, thanks, @Hannah_Wiginton!!
Why not n8n? I find it to be better than both.
I found Make/Integromat easier to learn and configure than Zapier.
Slightly off-topic, but curious who leads the backup race and is by chance Make part of a backup strategy?
A few of my clients use Make as an “archiving” strategy by sending Airtable records to an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheets spreadsheet.
Also couldn’t agree more that Make is FAR superior than Zapier from a cost and UX standpoint. I am totally up for being proved wrong though let the automation wars begin!
The only caveat to that, is that Zapier is a FAR better name than Make…
Lol, so true!! Totally agree! You can’t choose one of the most common nouns in the English language and expect it to be searchable anywhere!!
I find myself griping about this every time I am trying to figure out a scenario that is not working as I had hoped.
@Appleapi7 They have some extensions that neither Make or Zapier has, that is true, the main motivator for me to use them is because they are free if it is self-hosted or local workstation. But overall it causes some headaches to figure out how to set it up, by far not as good with documentation. Go knock yourself out if there is an issue. But they have a supportive community.
The main reason I moved from Zapier to Integromat was the interface. It’s like a playground. No need to read the manual. Zapier, you never know at which end of the spaghetti chain you are and fixing things, good luck, need to go through clicking till the end again. Zapier has wider support I find, a lot of smaller software companies in North America support automation start with Zapier support and they never extend to Make. But I think Make as done a great deal nurturing their ecosystem that was quite distinct and Make as better international appeal, lest not forget they started in a different geography, European software market is highly fragmented with 100’s of business applications, every country has their unique ones and Make did support many early one, while Zapier couldn’t care less for the smaller local international apps.
It was a detailed comparison for those who know both of the platforms very well.
You’re right on all the points you’ve mentioned.
I’ve just completed this series All Products - Make Academy and it covers almost everything that we can do with Make.
Welcome to the community, @dilipborad!
And thank you for the kind words about my posts above!
Also, thanks for that link to that new page on Make’s site for Make Academy!
I’ve also started learning it after checking your Make Partner Training link.
I also need to complete that too.
OK my first post so a touch apprehensive about the improve the conversation warning. I only just found this forum after looking for some Smartsuite vs Airtable info and was pleased to find that pain point post as I’ve been a little disappointed with Airtable for a while, particularly about the seemingly Enterprise first ethos (or ignore the little guys). Then I spotted this post and was a little surprised as I have been getting a similar feeling with Make for a while now, i.e. focus on the Enterprise and ignore the little guys. I was never a Zapier fan but when I found Integromat I quickly became a fan of theirs and put up with their issues as I felt confident they would be addressed quickly. Then they got acquired and changed to Make (or the other way around, can’t recall) and then a series of changes and improvements, clearly aimed at Enterprise customers and still no fixes for long term issues. For example there was at one point statements that the partner module to the router called the converger, i.e. bringing conditional branches back together would be developed, now they say no-one wants it because everyone is happy with the expensive complicated workarounds! For example a retry option in their error control has been promised for many years but you have to do a somewhat complicated workaround using loops and variables (at extra cost again). For example their new marketplace which is a new revenue stream for them but means potentially much higher costs for us. Plus some big price increases and some features designed to push you to higher tiers rather than because they are only useful for true Enterprises. e.g. log searches or global variables.
I guess what I’m saying is Make seem to be making the same mistakes that Airtable were criticised for in the Smartsuite solves Airtable pain points post. i.e. stopped listening to customers, or at least maybe listened and then ignored.
I did have a play with Pipedream, but they seem to be heading down the same path, i.e. push small guys into buying higher tiers they don’t really need (in terms of resources used) just to overcome some arbitrary limit. They may end up being OK but not at the moment they are missing key features (no conditional branches or loops).
I also had a good play with n8n but struggled with cookie handling in their http request nodes, but that was a while ago, so maybe they’re worth another look, soon.
I have moved a lot of my Make scenarios onto Node-RED. It is significantly more flexible than Make but needs to be self hosted and is more low code than nocode, but is extremely good once you’re comfortable with it. One big disadvantage is you have to handle logging yourself which can be a little tricky. Note: you can actually do Airtable Upserts with Node-RED, something Make doesn’t really support (Make’s upsert implementation is based on the record ID only, where as the API allows up to 3 fields to merge on).
I guess my rambling point is; yes Make is way better than Zapier both for price and functionality, but their focus has shifted away from customers first to profit first. I would really like to know about an integration platform that was focused on solving problems, i.e. what customers want. I’m no business guru but I’m pretty sure it’s well known that businesses who focus on their customer’s profits are themselves more profitable!
Well I hope I’ve added and welcome any comments, especially if you know about an alternative to Make that worth checking out.
It’s interesting you brought both companies together. They are similar in one important aspect. They have a unique product design that everybody is copying. Including Zapier that is copying both Integromat and Airtable product design.
Maybe Make will take all the free consulting from you and other and will close the shop to public and offer it as part of their enterprise suite portfolio.
Airtable doesn’t have that luxury and that choice is not just economical.