Retool Workflows pricing change

Recently got an e-mail that Retool will be making changes to pricing of workflow to be run-based vs data throughput.

Right off the bat I got to say, I am a massive retool fanboy. If I was given the options of building any kind of app today and my choice were bubble or uibakery or anything else.. I'd still force a way to use Retool. I have embedded in multiple ways how I work in my accounting practice and use it perform internal functions and to create unique ways to process and handle transactional data on day to day basis.

That said for me, when it comes to run based pricing it becomes extremely expensive overnight as my data throughput is minuscule, way less than 1GB since its text data only, but very high runs, anywhere from 80k to 300k depending on client data. Thankfully, they are giving a 1 year timeline to not charge any cost yet to give us time to make changes. So on that I at least appreciate that move.

That said I knew going self-hosted was the next best step since eventually I was looking to begin working with sensitive data, and wanted more security on it.

However, I reached out to support to double check if the pricing change would be applied to self-hosted also. I was sure they would say no since self-hosted had no additional cost for data throughput which makes sense since all of the processing is happening on the self-hosted end's resources. But support responded back stating the change is for both cloud and self-hosted deployments..

Got to say I'm disappointed with the move if this is true. Most other competitors don't charge a per run cost for self-hosted deployments. Again, these are runs no longer utilizing retool's own server resources so to impose a per run cost is crazy in my opinion.

Can someone from Retool really confirm is this true, that the price for per run will be imposed on self-hosted deployments?

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Valid point @DannyF!

I haven't had such an e-mail (yet), but I would be disappointed too. We're on self hosted enterprise and for us already special conditions apply. No it's not unlimited workflows/data/runs although everything is self hosted.

I do appreciate the previous price change which which made it easier to start with Retool. I also do understand that Retool does need to earn money for there great services, but some decisions I don't like. Let's await what the price will be...

Agreed that Retool needs to earn money to continue development, 100% love that they've made insane gains this past year alone. I think that with this change though some users can possibly see insane increases once it goes in effect (granted it seem they will grandfather current users for 1 year).

The breakdown they shot to me was:

• 5,000 runs per month, with a $75 charge for every additional 5,000 runs per month
• Unlimited data throughput
• Unlimited workflows
• Unlimited workflow steps

So in my incase when it goes into effect next year I go from base fee, to now as high as $3k to $4.5k a month. Again, very specific to my use case to be clear.

No additional context was given if its based on the plan you're in or not and simply says to check pricing page for more details. To which is outdated still at this time, so I figure will be updated later.

But you stated your self-hosted deployment doesn't have unlimited data throughput currently? When I spoke to support a few months ago about self-hosting I was assured there's no data throughput costs or tracking since its self-hosted. Pricing table on the site currently still has self-hosted showing workflows as coming soon but data throughput as "-" which I took as not applicable since its running on your hosted environment.

I see that Retool has posted the pricing update on their price page now and is live. No indication of volume discounts for Business or Teams plans.

5,000 runs is honestly really low, and not having a way to obtain more runs at discount is going to hurt. I'm hoping they give more information on this and provide options for users that are highly tied to workflows. It's great that you're giving us 1 year with no cost right now. But right now I feel like the run based approach should at least consider discount or volume pricing on all tiers at the very least.

Hey @DannyF, I’m Mack, the product manager for Workflows. First, thank you for being both a big Retool fan and a Workflows power user—we genuinely appreciate all the feedback!

I apologize if someone mentioned that we would not charge for Workflows on self-hosted, non-enterprise plans. That was a miscommunication on our part as we had not formally launched Workflows pricing for those plans until today. If you’re open to jumping on a call, I’d love to chat more about pricing. Will DM you a calendar link!


Thank you Mack. Yeah I think the info received prior for self-hosted deployments is what threw me off when seeing the new changes. I guess the shock in terms of my utilization is what really pushed me here and will likely have to come about rethinking my entire approach when it comes to using workflows and optimizing usage.

That said I did book a call w/ you thru the link received and we'll talk then. I do appreciate the follow up and look forward to the call. Thanks again!


Hey @MackL. For comparison, BuildShip offers 50,000 Workflow runs for $79 /month. Retool offers 5.000 for $75. Thats 10 times less. That's a significant difference..


Also a Retool fanboy.

The new workflow pricing is more consistent with automated task handling platforms like 'Zapier' and 'Make'. The previous pricing model was more consistent with ETL/data handling platforms like Fivetran (with a focus on data size or handled 'rows'). Given the broad use-case of Retool, and particularly how the templates put an emphasis on ETL/data handling, the new pricing strategy would become prohibitive if making frequent calls. On the other hand, if you're using workflows to handle more task-based automations, like updating a database and sending an email after x happens, then the pricing might seem more digestible, but you would have to compare with other workflow automation tools. Make sure you're comparing apples to apples though. For instance, 'Make' refers to operations, but an operation would be identical to any Retool workflow 'step' interacting with another API.

I'm a prospective customer that has been building and testing workflows before I dove full in. This pricing change has completely ruined any plans I have to move onto this platform. It would be one thing if workflows had proper support (nestable loops, variables...etc) so that you could contain a complete automation in one workflow, but the reality is a single automation requires many many workflow calls. The documentation itself encourages breaking down automations into multiple workflows, making this pricing change that would discourage that behavior even more bizarre.

The pricing is completely absurd when compared to most other automation platforms. Consider for example a workflow with a single task (something you might find in a very basic webhook triggered automation); does 5,000 tasks for $75 make any sense at all?

The worst grievance of all is that the pricing is identical for self-hosted plans where the customer is paying for the hosting costs anyways; I have literally never heard of a hybrid saas product with this kind of pricing model.

My short feedback on this change is that it is completely disconnected from workflow usage design (engineering) and the automation market at large. As a prospective customer, I'm worried that Retool will fail to see the folly in this pricing change before it's too late. The 1 year grace period means that no one has any reason to be up at arms currently. Is this grace period going to be extended to free account holders and why were we not notified of this change?


Hey @Stephen_W, appreciate the feedback. Agree that breaking down tasks into multiple workflows is a more expensive pattern under this pricing model, and I’m sorry to hear that the timing was jarring. Our goal is to bring more modularization and sophisticated looping so that you can capture that complexity in a single workflow! It sounds like you talked to Coltyn on our team yesterday, but would love to connect to get more info on your product feedback and talk through pricing. Will send you a DM!


I would like to throw a suggestion into the pool here in that maybe management can consider a similar pricing method as other workflow platforms that allow self-hosting.

One similar platform being n8n (for workflows that is) allow for self-hosting with unlimited runs but a limited number of active workflows based on the plan you're on. So you can be on a plan that allows for 5, 10, 15 and etc based on different tiers. But at least you can run as many runs as you want since its your own resources being used.

I think this would be a more fair and middle ground approach for users that at least go enterprise/or self-host route. This way retool can monetize and make money based on larger scales, and the users can scale as they need without the heavier restrictions and to their liking.


Hi @MackL, I spoke to you in some emails from my work account in early October, but haven't been able to take you up on your offer of a chat over a call (very busy time of year for me).

Is there any time frame for the more sophisticated looping? I only have till 19th January 2024 to come up with a solution before the new plans come into effect for me.

I'll explain my use case:

I manage couriers for a small, growing pathology lab, their runs are all boards that they update on their mobile phones. We have 8 cars running multiple shifts each on business days, from 6.30am to 9pm. I always wanted a way to show an overview of how much work everyone was bringing in (there's 3 different counts to track), to display on the big TV in the lab... but Monday's limitations foiled my every attempt to make a useful dashboard.

I got doing the logic and sending it back to Monday to display, but the Monday API doesn't give me totals, so Make's pricing per workflow "step" makes it financially impossible to have it doing all the sums every few minutes.

I discovered retool near the start of this year. It started with just playing around to see what was possible, and then you brought out Workflows, and it quickly became my secret passion project, worked on at home in my own time. I didn't even know JavaScript before this!

A week before the pricing change email came, I showed my completed app to my boss, and it's been the only thing displayed on the giant lab TV ever since! It shows how much work the lab has already received that day, how much is on board with the couriers and how far through their run they are.

When a courier indicates that they are returning to the lab, a more thorough overview of what they're bringing in is displayed, their location is retrieved from our car tracking service, and the "time to return" is obtained from Google Maps - updated every 2 minutes.

When the last courier gets back, it automatically stops updating and changes to a static display of the day's totals... Ready for someone to hit the start button again in the morning.

I was always confused how I've managed to get the whole thing made and in use without it costing anything. My boss is happy to pay for something that has proven useful for the lab staff (they time/organise their work around the courier drops). And I fully support paying for your wonderful product! But as others mentioned, I followed the advice to break repeated tasks into multiple Workflows since looping is so limited. My Workflow run count is so far past the standard plans that I shudder to think what an enterprise plan would cost us. I have 1 user and 1 app (+ another copy that just displays the other app's data so I can view it on my office pc). If it wasn't for the new Workflow run limit, a Team plan is all I need. There's no way my boss will pay much more than that. So either I put all the logic work into my MS Power Automate which won't cost us anything extra (except my sanity!), or I learn how to program properly and make an actual Monday integration app.

I'd much rather redo my retool Workflows with proper looping, and pay for a reasonable plan, than have to learn how to recreate everything elsewhere - and just use retool as a free GUI.

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