Retool Grid

Retool Grid is the fast and secure way for teams to view and edit databases.

This guide walks you through what Grid is and how to set it up.

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Beta information

Grid is in limited release, so you might not see it in creator mode. If you're interested in early access, please register here: https://retool.com/products/grid. If you have feedback, please email [email protected].

Grid is a spreadsheet UI on top of your Postgres databases. It lets you view and edit SQL databases faster, and it comes with granular security controls to ensure your data stays protected.

With early access to Grid, you can:

  • Query and edit PostgreSQL databases with a spreadsheet UI.
  • Set up permissions to view and edit databases.
  • Enable teams to safely make changes to data with staged edits.
  • Provision a PostgreSQL database from scratch, edit the schema, and use the database as a Retool resource.

Getting started

You can create a Grid from your own Postgres resource or create a new Retool-hosted Postgres database from scratch.

Connect to an existing resource

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Supported databases

Grid currently only supports PostgreSQL database.

If you haven’t connected a resource to Retool, you need to do that first. Sign in to Retool and navigate to the Resources page. Click Create New and follow the instructions outlined in our integrations docs to connect your PostgreSQL database.

Once you connect your PostgreSQL database to Retool, navigate to the Grid page and click Create from resource. Select your resource, namespace, and type a name for the Grid. You can also select whether you want the schema to be edited in Grid. Click Create when you're finished.

Create a Retool hosted database

If you don’t have an existing resource or want to create a new one, you can do so in Grid. Navigate to the Grid page and click Create new. Name the Grid, then click Create. Grid automatically creates a PostgreSQL database for you that’s connected to Grid.

Turn on schema editing

To edit schema, click the top-left dropdown containing your Grid's name, then ensure the Allow schema editing toggled to show that it's turned on.

Import a CSV

You can import a CSV into your table or create a new table from an import.

  • Click Import CSV, and select whether you want to import CSV data into a new table or the current table that you're viewing.
  • Select or drop the CSV file that you want to upload.
  • Ensure the schema mapping is configured correctly. Change the database field names and adjust field types to match your data in the CSV. If you need more information about PostgreSQL schemas and data types, check out the PostgreSQL documentation.
  • Rearrange column placements by clicking and dragging the icon, and ordering columns above or below other columns.
  • In Import settings at the bottom, you define primary keys and column headers.
  • Click Create table.

Deleting Grids and tables

To delete a Grid, click the top-left dropdown containing your Grid's name, then click Delete Grid. For security, you'll need to type in the Grid's name to confirm the deletion.

To delete a table, right-click the table or click the selected table's dropdown arrow. Then click Delete table. You'll need to confirm your action.

Set up permissions

After you create a Grid, you need to define Grid-level permissions. These permission settings can also be updated later by clicking the Invite button within a Grid.

By default, your account—the Grid’s creator—has Manage permissions.

With Permissions, you can:

  • Restrict Grid-level and table-level access.

    • Grid-level: permission settings are applied to all tables within a Grid.
    • Table-level: permission settings are applied to specific tables. To set and update table-level permissions, click the table’s name dropdown, and click Table permissions.
      • Table-level permissions override Grid-level permissions.
  • Restrict access by individuals and groups.

    • Add individuals and assign their permissions.
    • Add groups and assign their permissions.
      • Individual permission access overrides group permission access.
    • By default, the Grid’s creator has Manage access. All other accounts have no access by default.
  • Control manage, edit, and view access.

    • Manage: users can edit schema and user access, and can read and write data.
    • Edit: users can read and write data, but can't edit schema and user access.
    • View: users can only read data.

Users with View access can suggest edits without publishing changes—also known as staged edits—in Bulk Edit mode. See the Bulk edit approval workflow below for more information.

Users are notified when they are granted access to a Grid.

Permissions controls in GridPermissions controls in Grid

Query and edit data

Once your data is loaded in Grid, you can filter, sort, and hide fields to create unique views of your data. Use the Filter, Sort, and Views buttons to get started.

Adding a filter in GridAdding a filter in Grid

Save views

Teammates can have individual views to see only the data they need. Once you’ve applied your filters, sorts, and hidden fields, you can name the view, save it, and share it with your team.

Search

If you want to search for records, click the magnifying glass icon, then type in the data you’re looking for. You can also access the search field by hitting the CMD + f (Mac) or Control + f (PC) shortcuts.

View activity logs

To see all changes made to your data in a specific table, click the clock icon. This shows you the current table's activity log. You can see changes made by any user and the timestamp when the edits occurred.

Viewing table-level activity logsViewing table-level activity logs

Expand each row, and click Activity to see row-level changes in the activity log.

Viewing row-level activity logsViewing row-level activity logs

Bulk edit workflow

You can enable other teams like customer service, sales, or product teams to suggest edits to your database. Then you can review, approve, and publish those edits to the database.

When you're ready to share your Grid, table, or view, click Bulk edit to enter a staging mode where edits can be suggested by View-level users. Suggested edits can only be published by a user with Edit or Manage permissions.

Share the bulk edit URL with your team, ask them to make suggestions, review their edits, and then publish them if they’re approved.

Toggle Preview edits to see suggested edits only, giving you a quick glance at what needs to be reviewed and approved.

Previewing staged edits in Bulk edit modePreviewing staged edits in Bulk edit mode

Access foreign key data

See your data in one place by linking records together across tables. Foreign key data is highlighted in blue. When the cell is clicked, users can see more information about where the data comes from. For example, they can see which table the cell data is part of and other associated details.

Viewing foreign key data from a cellViewing foreign key data from a cell

Security

Retool takes security seriously given the nature of our product—connecting directly to databases and writing back. Retool cloud is hosted in US data centers that are SOC 1, SOC 2, and ISO 27001 certified. Our data centers have round-the-clock security, fully redundant power systems, two-factor authentication, and physical audit logs.

When connecting an existing database to Retool Grid, your data is secure and is always stored by you. When a query runs, the Retool backend proxies the request to the database, applying the credentials server-side. None of the data returned by your database is stored on our end. We do this because having the end-user's browser connect directly to your database would expose credentials and require you to whitelist every user, rather than just the Retool server. Activity log data is securely stored and lets users audit all changes to their data.

For provisioned databases, we store data in a Postgres cluster managed by our cloud provider. The cluster is accessible by only our servers using the same stringent security applied to our external DB connections. End-user data may be colocated on a single Postgres instance (reach out to Retool if you are interested in having a dedicated Postgres instance.) Connection credentials are auto-generated using a cryptographically-strong random number generator and is stored encrypted at rest, the same as all resource credentials in Retool.

Read more on our security page.

Keyboard shortcuts

Grid comes with keyboard shortcuts to improve your efficiency.

  • Save a record: CMD + enter.
  • Search for fields: CMD + f.
  • Open a table: CMD + k.

Dark mode

Grid matches your operating system’s preferred visual mode: light or dark. To enable dark mode, navigate to your operating system’s preferences, click General, then in Appearance, select Light, Dark, or Auto.


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