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Appian vs Power Apps vs Alpha Software: Definitive Comparison [2023]


Appian and Power Apps are both excellent app development tools for enterprises, each with their own unique selling points: Appian focuses on automating workflows while Power Apps integrates seamlessly with the Microsoft ecosystem.

But after testing them I noticed none offer great customization and scalability needs, which is why I decided to throw Alpha Software into the mix.

I'll be comparing the tools in four dimensions that define a good low-code app development software:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Functionality
  3. Integrations
  4. Pricing


Here's how they fare against each other: Appian vs Power Apps vs Alpha Software.


Comparison Summary: Appian vs Power Apps vs Alpha Software

Appian is designed for enterprises looking to create apps for automating processes and improving workflow. Power Apps is for Microsoft users looking to build beautiful apps quickly. Alpha Software is for developers looking for a development environment with every feature to create highly customizable, secure, and scalable apps right out of the gate.





Advanced analytic and process mining features to improve productivity.


Powerful integrations and features, designed for the  Microsoft environment


Build complex, mobile-friendly SaaS apps with robust reporting and analytics features.

Ease of Use


Pre-built processes and tools to quickly create and simplify workflows. 


Steep learning curve, but a simple interface and helpful resources make life easier.  


Dedicated platforms and templates for specific use cases. Need some coding experience. 



60+ integrations and pre-built connectors to leading enterprise systems.


270+ native connectors and the ability to create custom ones.


Unmatched flexibility with unlimited connections and integrations per app.



Offers a free plan. Paid plans start from $75/user/month.


30-day free trial. Paid plans start from $5/user/month.


App building platform is free. Hosting service starts at $99/month.

Best for

Enterprises looking to build apps to simplify workflows and improve productivity.

Teams using MS products with limited users looking to build powerful apps quickly.

Any software developer looking to kickstart app development and create custom, secure, and scalable apps.


Try free forever

Try free for 30 days

Try free forever


What is Appian?

“End-to-end process automation.” 📱💻🤖




Appian was started in 1999 on one simple idea: talented people will deliver amazing results when given the power and autonomy to excel. 

Today, Appian is the first choice for enterprises looking for a low-code app development platform. It combines the power of people, technologies, and data in a single workflow to increase productivity and deliver business results. Its automation capabilities are one-of-a-kind, offering robotic process automation (RPA), intelligent document processing (IDP), business process management (BPM), and APIs. However, this fixation on automation also means businesses are limited in what they can do with Appian.

So, only go with Appian if you are a large enterprise looking for a low-code application development platform to automate and optimize your workflows.


What is Power Apps?

“Powerful apps for Microsoft 365 users” 💪




In late 2015, Microsoft launched Power Apps to address the lack of mobile developers in the market by creating a tool that allows even non-coders to create and deploy apps quickly and securely.

Power Apps lets enterprises connect, create and share business applications on any device within minutes. It comes with a rich feature set, 250+ connectors, and ready-made templates for creating apps with almost no infrastructure. However, Power Apps is known for its big learning curve and long load times. Which means creating a decent app takes time.  

Even with these problems, Power Apps goes a long way and should be your first choice if you are a Microsoft Business user.


What is Alpha Software?

“With great power comes great responsibility” 🦸🕷️


Alpha Software


Founded in 2013, Alpha Software unified mobile and web app development under one roof, serving over 3,000 customers across 100 countries with their distinct “no-code” and “low-code” products – Alpha Transform and Alpha Anywhere. 

Alpha Transform lets you turn any form into a mobile app within minutes on your smartphone without coding. It also lets you create more advanced app functionality with its built-in programming language. Meanwhile, using Alpha Anywhere’s low-code development platform, you can quickly develop complex web or mobile apps with enterprise-level security and external databases (including your Alpha Transform database and main SQL databases). 

Alpha Software is for any developer or development team that wants to quickly create and test web or mobile apps and easily build on them once it’s time to scale.

Appian vs Power Apps vs Alpha Software: Ease of Use
Appian and Power Apps have a steep learning curve, and you need some coding experience to get the best out of Alpha Software


Power Apps

Alpha Software





All three offer drag-and-drop app development but differ in how they add to the app-building experience.  

Appian offers an extensive array of pre-built processes and visual design tools to create simple workflows, automate processes, and improve productivity, but not many to make app building easier. 


Auto Insurance Portal


You can deploy apps natively across all mobile and desktop devices, cutting down on development time. 

Meanwhile, Microsoft PowerApps offers a lot more. 


Power Apps


It lets you add buttons, create forms, use AI models, and more. This means it has a big learning curve, but its detailed documentation and a very vibrant user community make finding answers to your questions easy. 

Moreover, if you are a Microsoft power user, Power Apps is perfect for you as it integrates seamlessly with the entire Microsoft ecosystem. 

Alpha Software, on the other hand, offers a lot more flexibility. Alpha Anywhere’s approach to rapid application development lets you quickly create apps without compromising on your vision. You can choose between Alpha Anywhere’s low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile apps OR Alpha Transform’s no-code app builder to convert your physical forms into powerful mobile apps without writing a line of code. 


Alpha Five Builder


However, the flexibility comes with a caveat: It’s not the easiest to use for non-developers but collaborating with your development team will speed up the process. 


Power Apps has over 500+ templates for various use cases. Appian and Alpha Software have templates addressing specific use cases. 

Alpha Software has a library of specialist-designed apps and forms to use as templates while building on the Alpha Transform and Alpha Anywhere platforms. You also get step-by-step instructions to customize your apps.


Alpha Anywhere Sample Apps


Meanwhile, Power Apps offers templates for any use case like budget tracking and site inspection checklists. Templates come with sample data to help you understand how data sources are connected and you can also edit them by using the code editor. 


In addition to the Power Apps templates, you also get access to 500 sample apps created by the Power Apps community. 



Similarly, Appian offers packaged solutions to specific business cases like customer onboarding, claim processing, and insurance underwriting. Using these reduces app development time while ensuring you have the flexibility to customize the apps to meet your needs using Appian’s low-code design capabilities. 



Winner: Alpha Software makes web and mobile app development quick and easy with dedicated platforms: Alpha Anywhere and Alpha Transform. And it offers customizable app templates for specific use cases.


Appian vs Power Apps vs Alpha Software: Functionality

All three offer low-code and no-code app development. Appian for improving processes, Power Apps for getting the best out of Microsoft products, and Alpha Software for building customizable apps


Power Apps

Alpha Software





Appian helps teams work more efficiently with process mining.

Appian offers a holistic, low-code development experience to create and deploy apps reliably and securely. You can orchestrate data connections across multiple systems easily in real-time, so you get access to the latest data while using the apps.  

With process mining, you can identify and address workflow bottlenecks by automating tasks and processes without compromising user experience and employee experience. 

Appian offers tools for optimizing and automating your workflows at a large scale. But, it still lacks a little bit in terms of its reporting functions which is critical for any organization. 


Power Apps is highly-capable as long as it's in the Microsoft environment.

Power Apps is perfect if your business is already using the Microsoft ecosystem. You can seamlessly integrate your app with Microsoft Power Platform, Dynamics 365, Teams, Office, and Sharepoint. 

You can build powerful apps with multiple databases, automated processes, chatbots, and webpages from scratch without any code within a few hours. 

Although Power Apps offers a lot of flexibility, there are limitations with regard to the database size, number of records, connections, etc. To really get the best out of Power Apps, you need to export it to the Azure DevOps ecosystem. 


Alpha Software keeps things simple, flexible, and customizable.

Alpha Software is the perfect tool for building complex apps for iOS and Android, especially if you are someone with zero coding experience. 

You can use Alpha Anywhere to create web and mobile apps, business and SaaS apps, for iOS and Android, from scratch. Or, leverage Alpha Transform for complex task-based apps for data collection. All in a secure and scalable cloud-based system—hosted on Alpha Cloud.

Alpha Software also has the most comprehensive reporting options among the three. From charts to business reports, you get access to more tools than you need to create robust, mobile-friendly reports. 


Winner: Alpha Software. It has dedicated platforms, like Alpha Anywhere and Alpha Transform, to create powerful apps with robust reporting and analytics capabilities.


Appian vs Power Apps vs Alpha Software: Data Integration

Appian and Power Apps have in-built connectors, Alpha Software is the most customizable with unlimited integrations


Power Apps

Alpha Software






Appian offers 60+ integrations and pre-built connectors to leading enterprise systems.

You can quickly create apps and workflow automation by easily connecting data across systems without any coding. You get the flexibility to sync only the data you want, ensuring increased performance while reducing the cost and resources used.



Power Apps offers 270+ native connectors AND the ability to create custom ones.

Power Apps offers over 275 native and third-party integrations called connectors to help you quickly build apps. They are classified into three types:

  • Standard, for commonly used data sources that don’t require special licensing
  • Premium, for connecting to external applications like Salesforce, DocuSign, and Amazon
  • Custom, for connecting to external data sources, like the ones you have built



Alpha Software offers unlimited connections and third-party integrations.

Compared to the other two, you get unmatched flexibility and scope with Alpha Software’s low-code approach to app building.



With its open architecture, Alpha Software offers a powerful API and tools for integrating your app with most web services, data sources, and workflows. For any programmer pros, the Python integration unlocks a vast library of prewritten, open-source packages and modules. You are free to customize your apps to your heart’s content, without any limitations on the number of third-party integrations or data connections. 


Winner: Power Apps because of its 250+ integrations that let you quickly build apps in the Microsoft environment. Alpha Software, for its flexibility thanks to unlimited data connections and unrestricted customization capabilities that let you build scalable apps for your specific business needs.


Appian vs Power Apps vs Alpha Software: Pricing

Appian is the most expensive, Power Apps is more flexible, and Alpha Software offers the most value & is the most affordable


Power Apps

Alpha Software





Appian’s pricing focuses on use case but mandates a minimum price, making it most expensive.

Appian offers four pricing plans: 

  1. Free, for the individual looking to quickly create and deploy apps

  2. Application, for a team or small business with a specific use case

  3. Platform, for end-to-end automation at the enterprise level

  4. and Unlimited, to scale dramatically with unlimited apps and users






Full access to Appian platform for up to 15 users




Custom Quote

Priced per user with
unlimited apps

Custom Quote

Priced per development
with unlimited apps


Minimum 100 users


Minimum 100 users


Minimum 500
input-only users


The Application Plan is further split into three levels to address different use cases: 

  1. Standard, with admin access, development capabilities, and normal day-to-day functions
  2. Infrequent, for infrequent usage with up to three, 24-hour sessions per month
  3. Input-only, where an internal or external user can submit forms/requests


All plans come with complete automation, process mining tools, and access to the Appian Cloud. You also get onboarding help and access to 24x7 support and customer success teams.

The caveat of Appian’s pricing is that its minimum monthly price is $900 on the “Infrequent” plan and every other plan is more expensive because of the minimum required user amount.


Power Apps bases its pricing on apps and users.

Power Apps offers only two types of plans, making its pricing model less complex than Appian’s: 

  1. The Subscription Plan is for businesses who want to run one or more apps at a time. It has two levels: per-app – perfect for enterprises, and per-user – perfect for individuals and small businesses

  2. The Pay-as-you-go Plan is for businesses who want the flexibility to pay only when an app is run


All plans come with Power Automate and premium connectors but have a limit on database and file capacity.


Subscription Plans

Pay-As-You-Go Plan

Run one app or
portal per user

50 MB database capacity

400 MB file capacity

Run unlimited apps and
portals per user

250 MB database capacity

2 GB file capacity

Based on the number of unique
apps a user runs each month

1 GB database & file capacity 

per enabled app


Power Apps’ pricing is more flexible and friendlier than Appian because it doesn’t mandate a minimum price. For example, you can have one active app and 50 users and it will cost you a minimum of $250/month on the per-app subscription plan.


Alpha Software’s pricing looks at the number of deployments.

Developing apps with Alpha Software is completely free. They offer a community edition of their software with full-stack development capabilities where you can create unlimited apps, connect to third-party sources, and even get help from a dedicated customer success manager. 

You pay for cloud hosting services, depending on how many “compute units” you need monthly. Those include server licensing, dev-ops, redundancy & monitoring, and in-or-out data transfer. So the more users you have, the more compute units you’ll need.






Develop An Unlimited
Number of Apps


100 Compute Units/mo

5 App Deployments

5 GB In/ Out Data Transfer


500 Compute Units/mo

10 App Deployments

25 GB In/ Out Data Transfer


1000 Compute Units/mo

20 App Deployments

50 GB In/ Out Data Transfer


Depending on usage, 100 compute units lets you serve around 50 users. That makes Alpha Software’s pricing the most affordable per user because it effectively decreases as you scale to more users.



Winner: Alpha Software. For an app with 50 monthly users, Alpha Software costs $99/month, while Power Apps and Appian would set you back $250/mo and $900/mo respectively. And that doesn’t include the fact that it gets even more affordable as you scale your user base.


Appian vs Power Apps vs Alpha Software: Pros & Cons



Appian Pros

Appian Cons

✅ Free plan available

❌ Limited integrations

✅ Advanced app analytics features

❌ Confusing documentation

✅ Process mining and visual tools

❌ Underwhelming reporting features

✅ Drag-and-drop components


Power Apps Pros

Power Apps Cons

✅Comprehensive documentation and helpful community

❌ Steep learning curve

✅250+ built-in connectors

❌ Expensive pricing structure

✅Drag-and-drop components

❌ Sudden drops in performance and lag

✅Ready-made templates

❌ Works best only in Microsoft environment

✅Apps are mobile compatible

❌ No free version

Alpha Software

Alpha Software Pros

Alpha Software Cons

✅Free version available

❌ Requires coding knowledge 

✅Super-rich feature set

❌ Templates only for specific use cases

✅Apps are easily customizable and scalable


✅Powerful reporting features


✅Unlimited data connections and integrations


✅Secure and quick deployment



Final Verdict: Appian vs Power Apps vs Alpha Software

Enterprises looking to automate processes will love Appian. Businesses using Microsoft 365 will prefer Power Apps. Developers looking for a scalable option will go for Alpha Software.



Power Apps

Alpha Software

Best for:

Enterprises looking to build apps to simplify workflows and improve productivity.

Best for:

Teams using MS products with limited users looking to build powerful apps quickly.

Best for:

Software developers looking to quickly create complex apps that grow with their business.


Use Appian if:

  • You are an enterprise-level business.
  • You are looking to build tools for a limited number of users.
  • You are looking to build apps for automating processes and improving workflow.

Click here to try Appian.


Use Power Apps if:

  • You are a Microsoft 365 user.
  • You don’t want to hire a developer.
  • You want to create simple apps for quick deployment.

Click here to try Power Apps.


Use Alpha Software if:

  • You are looking to build complex apps for scale.
  • You want to quickly kickstart app development and prototype ideas.
  • You are looking for a secure platform that can manage multiple data connections.

Click here to try Alpha Software.


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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.