I think that a really cool use case for Retool is using it to create a client portal or customer facing portal. However, I don't feel that the pricing model is currently condusive in doing so.
While I think Retool's pricing is beyond fair for internal teams, 50$ for pro adds up quick when it comes to trying to build an app for thousands of users. If there was a pricing model that perhaps limited a user to a single application for a lower price per user, or a client portal pricing model. I think that it would open Retool up to a lot more use cases.
We have the same issue with the existing pricing model. While the original model works for small teams, the moment you try to use Retool for anything more than that, it gets expensive really fast and you absolutely must have the Pro version for the ACL stuff...
It would be great to see different price tiers for a different type of users. Not every user is a "app builder" for example. Or maybe have a "platform cost" and lower per user cost.
Literally joined the community and posted this just to get notified in case this is implemented.
I am looking for a simple customer portal and have failed to find one...I don't need a full e-commerce suite - just a simple order update page with user authentication. I thought, "ok, maybe I'll just whip something up in an app builder." Almost all of them are surprisingly lacking in terms of capability and/or complexity. Retool is easily my favorite no-code app builder (I've literally tried them all in the last week), but I just need to be able to make an external-facing portal.
Just in case this is helpful, on the Business Plan (which is $50/user/month), you do get the public apps feature, which lets you build 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 public though, you wouldn't want it to have any user-specific information or dangerous functionality (I.E. deleting rows in a database).
Thanks for the response! It's good to know about the public apps on the business plan.
Are you planning on adding any capability for non-public information - i.e. where a customer would need to first log in to an external app? My customers should only be able to access their own orders and the order information cannot be public.
Public apps aren't really meant to be a secure access point (public apps), so they don't support any of the same authentication methods that you get when users log in through Retool. We don't track any user information on public apps, so that limits what we can do. If you were to embed the normal /app/ version in a page, it would prompt the users to log in if they weren't already authenticated and work normally otherwise!
Hi @richelliott! For now, building upon the public app functionality to support auth + public users isn't on any upcoming roadmaps, but I've passed this feedback along to the team. Thank you for taking the time to share your plus one here, it absolutely helps us know what to prioritize in future plans.
I along with the other people on this post, am very interested in a client portal pricing model, the other company I have looked at is JetAdmin, which I'm sure you are familiar with. Their external pricing model is very attractive, however, I think ReTool might have some advantages to JetAdmin and I have finally started to learn how to work my way around ReTool. What are the chances that ReTool could adopt a similar plan to JetAdmin?
It's great that this issue has been raised. For our company is a real deal breaker and has us on the cusp of deciding to creating lots of mini apps with Django or some other quick development web framework that don't add critical business value.
If you consider a use case where a company's customers log into a Retool app a few times a month, enter some information, read a graph and log out, Retool would be awesome but there is no way that the benefit outweighs the cost per user (> USD 50 / month with decent security features). That amount is reasonable for internal users (though certainly on the expensive side of the spectrum of business SaaS).
For a B2B company with 30 employees, 200 customers and 2 users per customer, the bill goes through the roof with over USD 21k a month! And that same company's Google Workspace Enterprise Plus (which includes AppSheet) bill is only USD 675. It makes retool 16x more expensive.
The alternative is to build separate apps (one Retool app for internal use and a custom one for external users) that are tightly coupled on the data storage... The CFO might be happy but the engineers will be very sad
We're looking for a solution here as well. We need a build a client support portal based on the products they purchased. For the products they own, there would be various download options and user manuals along with support plan renews and upgrades. I know we can do most of this we Retool except for the costly user authentication.
Hi folks! I'm the PM working on Retool for external use cases (like client-facing portals). Please shoot me a note at email@example.com - would love to learn more about how you're thinking about leveraging Retool!
Singed up to post about this. I just discovered this issue too... very disappointing for us.
We want to build both a supplier management portal and a customer management portal. $10/m for Suppliers does make sense, but to add hundreds of customers .. will make Retool far and away our biggest SaaS spend.
Also signing up for this post - Retool looks great with lots of functionality but I need to build a cost-effective client portal and from I can see, the pricing model won't support this.
My use case requires data to be behind a log in for order submissions, analytics and tracking but also requires public access to elements of the data.
I'm looking to deep link limited edit forms to a QR code which should be publicly accessible or behind a password/pin with no log in required. As I'm building for a client, I need the back end only accessible to me, so the app must consist of a client admin portal, a client-customer admin portal and the public facing element.
Ideally the database would be shared with a WordPress site, so MySQL.
I would then be looking to use Retool for building solutions for other clients.
Right now, Glide App seems to be the best solution, but it can't have MySQL as the data source.
So I'll be keeping a close eye on Retool - hopefully in the future it will become more competitive for my use case(s).
Thank y'all for all your feedback! Keep it coming We're working on a new way to build and share public apps, which should hopefully help with the price per user issue. Coming soon™️!
Anyone with a Retool account counts as a user pricing-wise, editor or otherwise. On the Business Plan, you do get the public apps feature, which lets you build 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 public though, you wouldn't want it to have any user-specific information or dangerous functionality (I.E. deleting rows in a database).
Currently, public apps are meant for simple apps with no authentication or security. In portal-like use case where there's a notion of authentication, public apps won't be your best option since they don't collect any sort of user info. feel free to shoot Antony, the PM working on externally facing Retool apps (like client-facing portals), a note at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to share more about your use cases.
I must be the odd ball here.... I would think everyone would want a much cleaner, productive, and more personal customer facing portal than using Retool. Retool is a amazing for internal tools. Hands down the best service there is. But for customer facing? Hire offshore.
Here is your cost effective stack: