Question

Thoughts on Retool?

I've been using Retool for a bit to build internal tools, and I'm becoming a fan of this type of system. If you haven't seen it, check it out: https://retool.com/.

I really like the concept, definitely think it's a little slow at times. But for the most part, it's actually a really fast way to get some of that frustrating work out of the way.

Spreadsheets get a lot of the tasks done, but there's definitely some stuff I'd like to keep out of a spreadsheet interface.

Any other really solid tools to do this sort of thing?

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raja's avatar
2 years ago

I like Retool, however I feel like it adds some new challenges and create new learning curve. Depending on the use case and the user's software background, it might be challenging. So not for everyone but I'm sure is good for people who are smart enough to write software tools but dont have time and want some app built quickly.

4 points
abbybarsky's avatar
@abbybarsky (replying to @raja )
a year ago

Hey @raja, creating onboarding guides by adding comments and annotations on your Retool app may help fix this. We just wrote about how you can use Cord to do this right in Retool: https://cord.com/post/build-together-in-retool-with-cord

1 point
MichaelandMa's avatar
2 years ago

I'm a big fan of Retool too, really useful if you need to build something quick and know a limited among of coding.

A combination of Airtable and Zapier may accomplish something similar. Flowdash, Clay run are similar type tools.

4 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @MichaelandMa )
2 years ago

I was going to suggest Airtable for teams who want something simpler—or other database builder apps like Zoho Builder. They're a bit closer to Microsoft Access-based tools back in the day, with a database and forms to enter or sort through data, but can be a super easy way to stand up in-house apps for simple stuff, with automation to do the heavy lifting without coding.

1 point
PhilipLakin's avatar
2 years ago

I love "backend as a service"but Retool is a bit too complex for me (not great with queries and formulas). I'm. really liking what Intenral.io is doing on this front. Way more No Coder friendly. Just my thoughts though :)

4 points
DhruvPatel's avatar
@DhruvPatel (replying to @PhilipLakin )
2 years ago

Oh yeah I've heard of internal.io. Never used it, is there anything super specific you like about it?

1 point
PhilipLakin's avatar
@PhilipLakin (replying to @DhruvPatel )
2 years ago

it is really intuitive, you can create data tables from multiple sources with no coding knowledge, and the user permission is completely custom.

2 points
KByatnal's avatar
2 years ago

As a developer, Retool is life-changing. It takes about 15-20 minutes to onboard and understand what's going on, but once you do, it allows you to move incredibly fast.

Recently, I've been using it to build MVPs. Want to test out a new product idea? Spin up a Retool page that does some CRUD updates on your database, hook into Twilio/Sendgrid with their built-in integrations to send some notifications, and throw on some buttons to manually operate the entire thing. Bam - you're done in a couple of hours.

In a previous job (at a 500+ person company), Retool was how our entire Sales/Support team got their job done. For example, say a customer needs to contact their bank to replace a credit card. Have a developer spin up a Retool page to do some CRUD on your cards table or talk to a backend API, throw on a few buttons ("terminate", "replace") and you have a tool that anyone in your support staff can use in a couple of hours. It basically takes away all the menial work of building frontend components when you just want to throw something together and move on.

3 points
brnt's avatar
2 years ago

Retool is awesome. You can build almost anything with it. This flexibility comes at a cost though, in terms of product complexity. Building powerful yet generalizable products is very hard.

My startup humanlambdas.com is building something along those lines but more verticalized. It's easily customisable internal tooling but specific to one category: manual routine workflows.

In a way, we're proposing an alternative model to spreadsheets or tables.

3 points
vora_kinjal's avatar
a year ago

While Retool and Internal.io provide a great web app, tools like DronaHQ and Zoho Creator provide web as well as mobile apps. Aiming at not only developers but also citizen developers, business users can quickly quip a custom tool, automating or integrating different systems.

1 point
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