Forest VS Active Admin

Find out why ambitious companies use Forest as an Active Admin alternative.

No Learning Curve

With Forest, you don’t have to learn a fastidious DSL that’s mandatory with ActiveAdmin. We're using the same standards you already know and love, relying on Rails conventions, REST APIs, and JSON API. Additionally, users have the ability to remove Forest whenever they want by coding their own front-end based on the same (customized or not) API.”

Business Grade UX

Unlock your admin’s potential with a user experience that’s been thought from the ground up to cater to your business needs. Here at Forest, we’ve spent tremendous time looking at the common use cases businesses are facing, and came up with intuitive and fast solutions to these.

Enterprise Support

Your admin should not have to be a second-grade citizen. It should come with the same amount of resources you give to your customer-facing product. ActiveAdmin is open source but not much maintained anymore, if it fails you’re on your own. With Forest, you can count on a dedicated Customer Success team working with you to resolve any issue.

Interface Builder

Forest enables your business users to modify its layout with our powerful Interface Builder. They can easily dismiss unnecessary fields, toggle the visibility of your models, and ensure data is kept clean by setting fields as readonly. ActiveAdmin relies on code to achieve the same results, a solution that does not fit the needs of non-technical users and adds to the workload of your developers.

3rd Party Integrations

Forest plugs into your third party services such as Stripe, Intercom, or Zendesk, so that you can access and action their otherwise siloed data from one common interface. All that in a matter of 3 lines of code sitting in a config file, which would take up days of coding if you were to do it by hand with ActiveAdmin.

Your Operation’s Dashboard

Forest comes bundled with a dashboard that allows you to get the pulse of your operation in one single place. Your metrics and KPIs can be added intuitively and complex queries can run seamlessly. If the available options still fall short, you can always set up a custom endpoint on your API for Forest to get the data from.

User/Team Management

As you onboard newcomers, or employees swap teams, you need a solution that simplifies team and user management in your admin. Forest was built around a robust roles system, where you can choose between three different roles and allocate users to their respective teams.

Audit Trail

As your company grows and your admin needs grow with it, you’re increasingly at the mercy of human errors or worse. To increase accountability within your business, you need to have a view on what’s happened. Forest offers a rigorous audit trail that logs every activity that’s taking place within your admin, so that you can assess the root of any issue that might come up.


Forest itself is built so that it is extensible by default. We’re evidently doing what we’re preaching and are using industry standards such as JSON API to power our REST API. That opens the doors to Forest on web, desktop and mobile applications. Plus, it goes along the lines of Rails conventions.

Instant Admin Configuration

Forest analyzes the semantics behind your data to automatically configure the best layout to manage them. It adds a layer of intelligence on top of your models, out-of-the-box.

Data Privacy

ActiveAdmin has got the advantage to live on your application, meaning you know for sure data is not corrupted. At Forest, we wanted to replicate that guarantee and have thus settled on an architecture that respects your data privacy, by installing a client that spins up a REST API on your application, that is then consumed by your browser and at no point in time even touches our servers. Your data stays yours at any point in time.