Your Retool app isn't worth much if it doesn't get used! This module will walk through different ways to use and share your Retool apps.
Retool apps have two modes: editor mode and end user (preview) mode.
- In editor mode, you build: drag and drop components, write queries, and all that jazz. You can think of this as your IDE.
- In end user mode, you view and use your finished app. You can think of this as your user loading what you've built in their browser.
- The most common workflow in Retool is for developers to build and edit apps in editor mode, and then publish them for their stakeholders – be support, success, marketing or other teams – to use in end user mode.
Here's what edit mode looks like:
When you click the "Preview" button on the top right in edit mode, your app changes to end user mode.
If you're using releases and versioning in Retool, clicking on the little dropdown arrow will let you select which release to display in end user mode.
Beyond end user mode for users in your organization, you can share Retool apps in a couple of other ways.
You can embed Retool – and the apps you've built in it – in your favorite tools like a web page, or even something like Front. Embedding works through Retool's SDK, and a basic script:
<script src="<https://cdn.tryretool.com/embed.js>"> </script> ... <script> var rt = window.retool.RetoolDashboard(document.getElementById('container'), '<http://yourco.retool.com/editor/test_embeds>') </script>
You can read more in depth in our docs here.
You can make your Retool app publicly accessible via a URL without authentication, if you so choose. This is a good fit for public projects, dashboards, and forms, but not for internal apps that deal with sensitive information. And since your public app users aren't authenticated with Retool counts, you're not charged for them using your apps.
You can read more about public apps here.
Public apps are only available on the Business plan.
You can export your Retool apps into a JSON file by clicking the three dots up top in edit mode.
The output isn't particularly human readable, but it's useful if you want to import that app in another Retool organization, or share it with a friend.
You can import an exported app in Retool by clicking "Create new" on your home page:
And then uploading your JSON file:
Another use case for exporting Retool apps is bulk changes. If you need to rename a resource used across many queries, or update a reference in a popular query, you can export your app, do a find and replace in your favorite text editor, and then re-upload it again.
Let’s step back from app-building and talk organizations, users, and permissions for a second.
Retool supports granular permissions across all of your apps. You can organize your organization's Retool users into groups, each group with unique access levels to individual applications and data sources, along with splits between admin, editor, and viewer levels. See the User permissions documentation for more information.
User-level permissions are only available on Business and Enterprise plans. All accounts on Free and Team plans have global Edit access by default and group attributes cannot be modified.
Anyone with a Retool account counts as a user pricing-wise, editor or otherwise. On the Business and Enterprise plans, you do get the public apps feature, which lets you build unauthenticated apps that are publicly available to anyone with the URL. Whoever uses that link won't need a Retool account, so you won't be charged for them. Since the app is completely public though, you wouldn't want it to have any user-specific information or dangerous functionality (I.E. deleting rows in a database).
Right now, users can only belong to one organization at a time. If that user already created a Retool account before you invited them to your organization, then they already belong to another organization and aren’t invite-able to yours.
The current solution is to write into support with permission from the user to have us archive the user’s account, then re-invite them. Users can’t carry their resource setups to new orgs, but can export their old org’s apps for import into their new org.
If you'd like to belong to multiple organizations at a time (or invite a user who wants to be in multiple organizations at a time), you can use aliases! Go ahead and invite your user with a
+insert_word_here after their email and before the @, like [email protected] This way, they can still use one email but belong to as many organizations as needed.
Archiving a user removes their account from Retool’s list of active accounts, and allows the user to be invited to another org. Disabling a user, which can be done by admins in Settings > Users, simply removes their access to your org.
Updated 6 days ago