FAQs

You've got questions, we've got answers.

What does Retool do?

Retool lets you build front-ends quickly around any sort of datastore.

What does Retool connect to?

Retool connects to most SQL databases (Postgres, MySQL, MS SQL, BigQuery, Redshift), as well as any API (eg. Google Sheets, Salesforce, etc.).

How long does it take to learn Retool?

It generally takes an engineer around ten minutes to understand the concepts of Retool, and another hour for it to feel natural.

Who is a user in Retool?

A user is anyone with their own login access to Retool. All users in your Retool account are billed at the same plan rate per month. You can learn more about our pricing here: https://retool.com/pricing/

Who uses Retool? Engineers or non-technical people?

People who know SQL pick up Retool pretty easily. At this point, a good chunk of Retool users are non-technical.

How does Retool compare to Looker, Periscope, Metabase, or some other BI tool?

If you're looking for business intelligence, Retool is probably not for you. BI typically involves asking questions about your data, like "what's my revenue over time, and how much is it growing by?" If you're looking for aggregate statistics and only reading from your database, you should probably be using Looker, Periscope, or Metabase.

If you're looking to build tools that allow you to drill down into particular users, and allows you to write back to your datasources, Retool is probably for you. Typical tools built in Retool today include approval workflows, user management (search + drill down + actions on each user), etc. These are tools you wouldn't be able to build in BI tools, because BI tools a) don't support writes, and b) aren't good at drill-down.

What kind of software do people build with Retool?

Primarily, software for internal consumption, like internal tools for operations, customer support, sales, IT teams, etc. We've got a gallery of templates on our site with sample apps you can browse (inspired by real use cases!). You can also check out our community show and tell section to see what people are building in Retool.

I have complicated logic in my app. Will Retool work for me?

We recommend you handle complicated logic in an API. For example, if cancelling an order involves multiple API calls (Stripe to refund the payment, SNS to send an email, etc.), you should make a cancelOrder API endpoint, which you call from Retool.

What can't you do with Retool?

If you're building very complicated front-ends, Retool probably isn't for you. For example, if you need an autocomplete that activates on specific character sequence (eg. the @ sign in Twitter), you should probably build it from scratch.

But you'd be surprised at the amount of stuff you can do in Retool. We're hackers ourselves, and work hard on making Retool hackable. Everything in Retool is a Javascript object, you can write Javascript anywhere, query anything with SQL, and extend Retool in interesting ways.

What if I want a component that Retool doesn't yet have?

If you have a use case that isn't handled by Retool's built-in components, you can build your own custom component to solve that use case.

Is Retool secure? Where's my data stored?

We treat security seriously at Retool, and have a section dedicated to it. If we don't answer your question there, let us know.

Which browsers and operating systems does Retool support?

We continuously work to improve Retool's browser support and accessibility. If you have specific concerns, please reach out through our customer support chat. Currently we offer this coverage:

  • Fully supported: latest versions of Chrome & Firefox on MacOS and Windows.
  • Majority supported: Safari (version 13.1+) and Anaheim/Edge.
  • Partially supported: IE (both ≤ IE11 and Spartan/Edge).

File a complaint about Retool's service

We are committed to providing a great service, but if something goes wrong we'd like to hear about it. You can file a confidential complaint to [email protected]

I have an infrequently asked question!

Great! We'd love to answer it. Send us an email, or chat with us in the bottom right corner. You can also post on our community forums!


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