Refine: Headless React framework leveraging the power of open source

Enis Hulli
3 min readJun 10, 2022

I was going to write an introductory paragraph on enterprise low-code / no-code tools but decided not to🙂. Yes, it is hyper-competitive, yes scalability is a question-mark creating a glass ceiling.

Refine is different.

Decoupling the backend from the frontend to enable extra customization

Refine is a React-based open-source front-end development framework letting developers build and deploy the best web experiences in record time and with unforeseen flexibility. Being headless by design, refine decouples UI from frontend application logic to offer developers ultimate control for styling and customization.

Refine’s application productivity platform helps organizations build data-intensive applications like admin panels and dashboards, moreover, the company is adding features (like SSR support) to make it a viable option for public-facing applications. A case in point could be a project like “finefoods” that showcases how both customer-facing and admin-facing apps for a delivery company can be built with refine in record time.

It connects to any REST or GraphQL backend and has out-of-the-box support for NestJs CRUD, Airtable, Strapi, Supabase, Altogic❤️, Hasura, Firebase, Appwrite, Nhost and Directus — supporting any UI-Kit or custom design; refine ships with two powerful, enterprise-grade UI frameworks: Ant Design & MUI.

You can even travel back in time and create as if it’s still the good old days 😎

Cracked initial developer adoption🚀

Refine has already shown early signs of product-community fit, with 40+ contributors, 2,300+ GitHub stars, 10k+ monthly downloads and hundreds of daily active users in its Discord channel. According to, Refine was the best performing repo in the last month as its documentation quality has also been applauded by its users, underpinning the team’s adeptness at achieving the quality required to implement product-led growth. The bottom-up community building; demonstrated by the steep organic growth, proves to be a vital component of their go to market strategy.

Serial entrepreneur trio with experience in building enterprise tools

Refine’s founders, Civan, Omer, Eren, have created a number of social websites and e-commerce platforms that were hugely successful in Turkey and in the past decade have been working on developing enterprise applications. Very active in the open-source community since 2018, they have developed Refine for their internal use initially and now successfully turned it into a product amassing a loyal base of users executing open source product-led-growth in a bottom-up approach.

Expanding on the existing integrations and ensuring enterprise-grade security, Refine is looking to build additional features including export project, Git syncing, on-premise deployment, and SLA functions which are crucial for servicing the enterprise segment. With a crystalized go-to-market strategy and an ever-growing community of developers, Refine has already proved its differentiation and tackled most of the toughest questions around scalability in the low-code space.