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What is Retool in 2023?

July 26, 2023


What is Retool in 2023?

What is Retool in 2023?

July 26, 2023


What is Retool in 2023?
“Build any business software, remarkably fast”

Retool is a game-changer for developers, empowering them to swiftly develop internal apps. By utilizing its user-friendly drag-and-drop components, you can rapidly create commonly-used applications such as admin dashboards, database GUIs, and mobile apps. Moreover, Retool allows effortless customization, enabling you to align your applications perfectly with your company's specific needs using code.

Retool stands out as a dedicated developer tool, requiring proficiency in JS and SQL for effective utilization. It caters to technical individuals, setting it apart from other low-code platforms that prioritize non-technical users. These platforms often sacrifice functionality customization despite their ease of building.

Retool remains committed to preserving coding flexibility, streamlining repetitive development tasks that consume valuable developer time.

How to use Retool?

Retool works by providing developers with a powerful platform to build tools quickly and efficiently. 

Here's how it operates:

User-Friendly Interface: Retool offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that allows developers to create applications without extensive coding.

  • Data Source Integration: It connects seamlessly with various databases and external resources, including PostgreSQL, MongoDB, MySQL, Stripe, and more, enabling to query and manipulate data.
  • Customization with Code: While Retool simplifies the process with its drag-and-drop components, it also allows developers to customize applications further using JavaScript.
  • 45 Native Integrations: Retool comes with 45 native integrations for popular external resources and services, making it easier to incorporate data and functionalities from different sources.
  • Data Visualization: Retool offers a range of data visualization components, including charts, tables, and maps, enabling developers to create compelling and interactive visualizations of their data.
  • For more advanced customization and scripting, Retool provides built-in JavaScript edits, allowing developers to add custom logic and functionality to their applications.
  • Deployment Options: Retool can be deployed to various environments, providing flexibility and scalability for different use cases, whether it be on-premises, cloud, or Kubernetes.

Who can use Retool?

Actually all types of businesses, from startups to enterprises.

‍Retool is primarily made for developers and technical experts who possess proficiency in programming languages like JavaScript and SQL. It targets individuals who are comfortable with coding and provides them with a versatile platform to construct internal tools quickly and effectively.

While Retool offers a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface for ease of use, it also allows developers to delve deeper into customization by leveraging their coding skills. This flexibility empowers developers to create complex applications tailored to their organization's unique requirements.

By catering to technical professionals, Retool emphasizes providing a developer-focused experience. It offers features and integrations that enable seamless data connectivity with various databases and external resources.

A typical use case for Retool is to quickly test your ideas and develop projects like Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) or Proof of Concepts (PoCs). In 2023, we successfully assisted our customers in testing their ideas within a couple of days and with a low development budget.

Retool Dashboards

Retool Dashboards refer to the interactive and customizable visual representations of data and applications that can be created using the Retool platform. Retool Dashboards allow users to compile various data sources, visualize information in charts, tables, and maps, and build user interfaces for internal tools and applications.

With Retool Dashboards, users can create dynamic and real-time data displays, providing valuable insights and analytics to stakeholders. These dashboards can be tailored to specific business needs, enabling organizations to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), track metrics, and make informed decisions based on data visualization.

By leveraging the power of Retool's features and capabilities, developers can quickly build sophisticated and user-friendly dashboards for their internal applications, enhancing productivity and efficiency across the organization.

Mobile Internal Tools

Retool Mobile accelerates native iOS and Android app development, supporting JavaScript and SQL for instant creation and deployment. It seamlessly connects to various databases and APIs, allowing the building of customizable apps, harnessing native features like photos, scanning, geolocation, and NFC tag reading with a visual editor and code power.

Here is the case study where we created a mobile app using Retool.

Retool workflows

Retool workflows are composed of interconnected queries or code blocks (JavaScript,Python). Choose how you want your workflow to run, via a cron schedule or webhook. Integrate seamlessly with any database or API. Visualize your data paths instantly by connecting, rearranging, and duplicating blocks on the canvas. Modify data with JavaScript to handle complex conditional logic, string transformations, and more.

Retool offers pre-built building blocks for simple logic, while Loop, Filter, and Branch blocks accelerate common patterns. Automate tasks, alerts, notifications, and data updates. Move data wherever needed.

Exciting new features include On-prem hosting, Python support, Webhook responses, Custom libraries. Empower your development with Retool's enhanced capabilities.

Retool Templates

Retool templates are pre-built and ready-to-use application templates offered by the Retool platform. These templates serve as starting points for developers and help accelerate the development process of various internal tools and applications. Instead of starting from scratch, developers can use these templates as a foundation and customize them to suit their specific needs.

Retool provides a wide range of templates designed to cater to different use cases and industries. These templates cover common internal applications like admin dashboards, database management tools, customer support tools, reporting dashboards, and more.

By utilizing Retool templates, developers can save significant time and effort in building their applications. They can access a library of templates that are pre-configured with relevant components, data integrations, and logic, allowing them to focus on customization and fine-tuning.

Templates in Retool can be easily modified to match the unique requirements of an organization, making it a valuable resource for streamlining the development process and creating powerful internal tools efficiently.

Currently, there are 230+ pre-built templates available.

Retool Portals

With Retool's portal feature, you can build custom portals in a matter of hours, not months, creating dedicated portals and apps for customers, vendors, and partners to elevate their experience. The drag-and-drop interface offers over 100 UI components and end-to-end branding for effortless construction of personalized client portals.

Retool allows incorporating code across the platform for updates, data transformation, and business logic management. Provide customers with a secure, tailored way to interact independently with company data, products, and services. Out-of-the-box access controls, user management, and security ensure relevant data visibility.

This feature enhances brand identity with custom domains, themes, branded signup, login pages, emails, and onboarding. Retool's portal feature is available for business and enterprise plans, empowering you to create exceptional stakeholder experiences.

Learn more on how we created an internal admin portal using Retool in 48 hours.

Retool $25k for StartUps program

Startups, whether bootstrapped, angel-funded, debt-funded, pre-seed, seed, or Series A, and founded within the last 10 years, as well as new and existing customers on the Free plan, can receive up to $25K in Retool credits for a year. These credits can be utilized to automate manual tasks with custom internal tools. This approach exemplifies Retool's strategy in assisting startups to operate more efficiently and achieve faster growth through the use of internal tools.

Retool Pricing

The pricing for Retool starts at $10.0 per user per month. There are 2 types of users in Retool - standard user (can make edits and create workflows) and end user (can’t make any edits). 

Retool has 4 different plans:

  • Free, limited in number of features and up to 5 users
  • Team at $10/month for standard user and $5/month for end user
  • Business at $50/month for standard user and $15/month for end user
  • Enterprise at $100/month for standard user and $25/month for end user

To learn more about Retool pricing you can visit this page.

What are Retool alternatives?

The low-code industry is experiencing rapid development, with new products regularly emerging on the market, posing competition to Retool. Our main competitors include:

We have published a detailed article highlighting 10 low-code platforms to consider for use in 2023. This article provides in-depth descriptions of their features and functionalities.

What is Retool as a company?

Retool was founded in 2017 by David Hsu and Greg Koberger. David Hsu had prior experience at Google, while Greg Koberger was an early Airbnb employee. Both had extensive software development backgrounds and understood the challenges developers encountered when creating internal tools.

The platform swiftly gained traction in the developer community, experiencing rapid user base growth. Its popularity stemmed from its capability to connect to various data sources, databases, and APIs, alongside its visual editor and code integration.

Currently, Retool boasts 340+ employees, 50+ enterprise customers, including Fortune 500 companies like Amazon and Boeing, and has raised a total of $141m in funding.

What is Retool not so good for?

While Retool is a powerful platform for building web and mobile applications, there are some scenarios where it may not be the most suitable choice. Here are some aspects where Retool might not be the best fit:

  • While Retool offers a lot of flexibility, it may not be the ideal choice for extremely complex applications that require extensive customizations and integrations beyond its capabilities.
  • For large-scale enterprise applications with complex workflows and thousands of users, a more specialized and scalable solution might be preferred.
  • If your application requires real-time data updates or involves heavy computational processes, other dedicated platforms might be better suited.
  • While Retool offers pre-built UI components and some branding elements, it might not be the ideal choice for those seeking highly customized and unique user interface designs.

It's essential to carefully evaluate your project requirements and consider factors such as scale, complexity, performance, and specific needs before choosing any development platform, including Retool. While Retool is an excellent choice for many use cases, it's essential to ensure that it aligns with your specific project goals and requirements.


To summarize, Retool is a potent platform offering a wide range of products that expedite internal tool development for developers. With Retool, companies can create apps within hours and days, maintaining technical excellence without compromising efficiency.

Retool is ideal for crafting a variety of internal tools, from simple to advanced. It seamlessly integrates data from all sources to build practical, functional apps facilitating data reading, writing, and action across the company.

Competitively positioned, Retool surpasses its rivals with a comprehensive suite of products and a well-established product and support team.

If you require further consultation for your specific project, reach out to us. We are an international software development company with over 7 years of experience in low-code development, including 2 years of expertise in Retool development.

What is Retool in 2023?
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