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Resolve Source Control merge conflicts

Learn how to resolve merge conflicts when using Source Control.

Available on:Enterprise plan

You can resolve merge conflicts using either:

  • Your source control provider's UI. GitLab and GitHub support merge conflict resolution using the web UI. This is often the simplest method for resolving conflicts.
  • Your local Git CLI. You must have local access to your Git repository (e.g., SSH key) to use this option. See GitLab's documentation to learn how to resolve conflicted files and update your remote branch from your CLI.

Toolscript-specific resolution strategies


Toolscript is available on Retool Cloud and self-hosted Retool versions 3.6.0 and later. See the migration guide to learn how to migrate your apps from YAML to Toolscript.

It is important to understand how Toolscript files are structured to resolve merge conflicts correctly. Malformed Toolscript files can result in failed Source Control deployments and prevent builders from pushing new commits.

Metadata files are located in app/.metadata.json. They hold metadata about the application, such as the Retool version the app was edited on and app-level settings.

If the conflict is in the version field, you should keep the later version number.

Most other fields in this file reference app-level settings. If two builders modify the same setting, keep only one valid change in the final commit. If two builders toggle different settings, it is safe to keep both settings.

Merge conflict prevention strategies

The development processes you use can help prevent merge conflicts from arising in the first place.

Keep branches and pull-requests short-lived

Trunk-based development best practices recommend branches are used for short-term feature work and kept open for a week or less. The faster a pull request is reviewed and merged into the main branch, the less likely it is for conflicting changes to be merged in during the same period of time.

Use modules to divide work

Retool modules are an excellent way to encapsulate a body of work, allowing one individual to develop on an isolated part of an app without affecting others. Before working on a complex app, it can be useful to plan what pieces of the app can be designed as reusable modules.

Assign different responsibilities to builders

Dividing responsibilities among builders helps ensure that builders make changes in different parts of the codebase. For example, you can assign one builder to work on the executable pieces of the app (e.g., queries and transformers), while another builder works on the visual pieces of the app (e.g., headers, titles, and images). Since the former exclusively affects files in the lib/ directory while the latter primarily affects files in the src/ directory, the chances of a conflict are minimal.

Preview changes in Retool after resolving conflicts

After the remote branch has been updated, you may want to preview your changes again in Retool before merging to ensure your conflict resolution was completed properly.

To do so, open your branch in Retool and use the "Reset branch” option to then select the branch and pull the updated branch into Retool to preview.

After completing your visual and interactive review, you can proceed with merging the updated branch and pull request.