Using Retool as a SaaS platform for verticals

I have a long-time client, a locksmith, who uses an ancient (and super messy) MS Access application which I have kinda been suckered into maintaining (not my dev). Retool makes it finally affordable for him to replace this system and I have just about sold him on rebuilding it.

In our discussions over the years he has mentioned reselling whatever we replace it with to other locksmiths and he asked how that would work with Retool if he were to actually pursue that. Got me thinking.

My two ideas so far are:

  1. Sell the system complete to another client and fork all of the apps to a new Retool account.
  2. Add new Retool accounts to the system and use access control to split the database into separate accounts.

I do not like the first one - too many problems. But feel free to change my mind.

The second seems promising and I wonder what problems I will run into. Would this be a viable way to provide a SaaS system for vertical markets?

Is there another way to do it?


Hey @bradlymatthews :slight_smile:

Super cool use case for Retool! I can't wait to see all of the inevitable SAAS solutions that come from Retool in the future.

The first one is pretty rough to implement effectively, what is to stop someone else from just downloading the JSON and sending it a different locksmith?

I think the second will work for you relatively well. Make sure that you toggle prevent query variable spoofing for the current user


Good advice, thanks!

@bradlymathews Sorry to bump this thread 2 years later but I was wondering how your ideas unfolded? Did you find a workable solution?

Welcome to the Forum @CalMacFarlane !

Retool was not quite ready to tackle this when I first posted this, but I think it is now with Portals and Embedded as well as pricing changes, amongst other improvements.

I had a lunch meeting with this same client last week to discuss options now. We are exploring market potentials and may move forward.

There are other conversations that have been had on the subject in recent months including this one:

Hi @bradlymathews
Thanks for the welcome!

I had actually perused that thread right before I came upon this one, ha. I'm glad to see you and others here have had this same idea. My colleague and I are in a very similar position, building a tool we want to effectively "sell" to others.

The general feeling I get is that there isn't a clearly defined way of doing this kind of business from Retool's perspective (unless the Portals is precisely it?). This makes me wonder whether what we're trying to do is contrary to Retool's expectations. I don't know why I worry about it; the people we want to sell to are small businesses who have virtually no available resources to develop solutions, even with something as brilliant as Retool, and we are seeing that as a great opportunity to sell our solution onto them, and a win-win scenario where we get business, they get a great solution, and Retool inadvertently gains more users.

It would be neat if Retool had an official way of approaching this scenario (or maybe they do and I haven't caught it yet!)

I would be very interested to hear how you get on with your product plans. Thanks