Retool DB Data/Schema Migration

I've been exploring Retool's capabilities, particularly regarding its data migration features, and I've encountered a few critical areas that I believe need improvement for it to serve as a reliable database management tool.

One significant issue is the current data migration process, which seems to overlook table constraints and foreign key relationships. This oversight results in tables being added in a sequence that doesn't account for their dependencies, leading to migration failures. This limitation is particularly problematic when dealing with complex databases, where the interdependencies between tables are crucial for maintaining data integrity.

To navigate this challenge, the process often requires a multitude of manual interventions, making the migration task cumbersome and prone to errors. Such an approach is not only time-consuming but also undermines the efficiency and reliability of using Retool for database management.

I propose that Retool should enhance its migration tool to include a feature that can intelligently recognize and respect table relationships and constraints. This could involve a more sophisticated analysis of the database schema to ensure that tables are migrated in an order that honors their dependencies.

Furthermore, to facilitate backups and version control for the DB (not the apps), Retool could introduce a feature that allows users to download all database tables at once (zip) or generate a comprehensive file that encapsulates the entire database structure and data. This would significantly streamline the backup process and ensure that users can maintain versions of their database with greater ease. - if you have 30 tables right now you'll have to download each one individually.

By addressing these issues and enhancing its data migration capabilities, Retool can become a more robust and dependable tool for database management, especially for complex databases that require careful handling of dependencies and constraints.

Hello @Matti!

Thank you so much for this great feedback, I agree that table dependencies make migrations very complex.

A feature that can crawl through the tables and across foreign keys to understand the context in which tables are connected would make migrations much easier. As well as a way to download all tables at once would be helpful although it could be slow and cumbersome, as well as potentially a ton of data.

May I ask about more specific details about the types of databases you are migration from and to?

Are you migrating from the Retool Cloud to a self hosted database as described here?

Or are you migrating from a self hosted database to the retoool cloud as described here?

Are you using a Retool database or an external Postgres DB? There are some further docs on best practices for such here

Let me know more about the current situation where you are hitting the shortcomings you described above and if they docs on the subject are lacking so I can update them or make a feature request to our engineering team!