From react apps to retool - what did you change in your development approach?

My team makes some internal apps using react to run internal business processes, so seems like a perfect candidate for retool.

I started investigating by trying to port an existing react app to retool and realized that we have A LOT of business logic inside the react app. For example:

  • munging data from one format to another
  • counting record types
  • conditionals based on combinations of record types
  • small state machines
  • etc.

I could figure out how to get it all into retool, but I feel apprehensive about writing that much javascript in something that’s notoriously hard to develop in and test. So it feels like I’m doing it wrong.

Anyone else have this experience? Have you changed your app building approach? I’m thinking for this particular app the answer is either a) to complicated for retool or b) move business logic to a separate service and simplify UI.

I think B is still useful, I don’t like building UI, but I wanted to hear what others have done.

What sort of backend(s)? My opinion would be your proposed option B. In my experience it has been best to keep Retool lightweight where possible.

We are likely setting on have a consolidate reporting API layer built in something like FastAPI (not web devs) that we serve to Retool / other places.

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Backends are rest APIs from node/java/python and Graphql. Thanks for the response jacks, helpful perspective.

We also try to bring as much of the business logic into the data as possible. It certainly is not applicable in all cases but for example “conditionals based on record types” we would use joins and queries to facilitate the logic. Therefore Retool is dealing with minimal logic while the rest is driven by the data structure.