Documentation

Welcome to Retool! We're a fast way to build custom internal software.

You'll find the 5 minute demo, quickstart guide, and documentation for each of our connectors and components here. If you've got any questions -- chat with us on the bottom right!

Get Started    Guides

Setup

Setup Retool in your own VPC.

Retool can be setup on premise in around 15 minutes. You should use either Docker, Kubernetes, or Heroku. If you're not sure what to use, use Docker.

First steps

  1. Spin up a new EC2 instance of Ubuntu 16.04, of at least t2.medium
  2. Open up port 443 and 80 in the network security group, so you can connect to your VPS
  3. Whitelist your VPS's IP address in your database, so you can connect to it
  4. SSH in
  5. git clone https://github.com/tryretool/retool-onpremise.git
  6. cd retool-onpremise
  7. Follow the instructions below for Docker or Kubernetes

A license key is required for on-premise deployments.

You'll need a license key before you can start creating pages in Retool. Contact us if you'd like to move to on-premise, and we'll get a license key for you.

Docker

  1. Run ./install.sh to install Docker and Docker Compose
  2. Run sudo docker-compose up to start the Retool server
  3. Navigate to your server's IP address in a web browser to get started.

Obtaining a LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate when using Docker

  1. First set up a DNS so that retool.yourcompany.com points to the Retool server
  2. The edit the docker.env file and change the following line:
# Before
DOMAINS=XX.XXX.XXX.XXX -> http://api:3000

# After
DOMAINS=retool.yourcompany.com -> http://api:3000
  1. Edit the docker-compose.yml file and make the following changes:
# Before
...
  https-portal:
    ...
    environment:
      STAGE: 'local' # <- Change 'local' to 'production' to use a LetsEncrypt signed SSL cert
    networks:
      - frontend-network
...


# After
...
  https-portal:
    ...
    environment:
      STAGE: 'production'
    networks:
      - frontend-network
...

Kubernetes

  1. Navigate into the kubernetes directory
  2. Copy the retool-secrets.template.yaml file to retool-secrets.yaml and inside the {{ ... }} sections, replace with a suitable base64 encoded string.
    1. If you do not wish to add google authentication, replace the templates with an empty string.
    2. You will need a license key in order to proceed.
  3. Run kubectl apply -f ./retool-secrets.yaml
  4. Run kubectl apply -f ./retool-postgres.yaml
  5. Run kubectl apply -f ./retool-container.yaml

For ease of use, this will create a postgres container with a persistent volume for the storage of Retool data. We recommend that you use a managed database service like RDS as a long-term solution. The application will be exposed on a public ip address on port 3000 - we leave it to the user to handle DNS and SSL.

Please note that by default Retool is configured to use Secure Cookies - that means that you will be unable to login unless https has been correctly setup.

To force Retool to send the auth cookies over HTTP, please set the COOKIE_INSECURE environment variable to 'true' in ./retool-container.yaml. Do this by adding the following two lines to the env section.

- name: COOKIE_INSECURE
  value: 'true'

Then, to update the running deployment, run $ kubectl apply -f ./retool-container.yaml

Heroku

Installing

To quickly get going, visit our Github repo and click "Deploy to Heroku"

You'll need at least 1GB of RAM for Retool to start successfully.

Updating a Heroku deployment

To update a Heroku deployment that was created with the button above, you may first set up a git repo to push to Heroku

$ heroku login
$ git clone https://github.com/tryretool/retool-onpremise
$ cd retool-onpremise
$ heroku git:remote -a YOUR_HEROKU_APP_NAME

To update Retool (this will automatically fetch the latest version of Retool)

$ git commit --allow-empty -m 'Redeploying'
$ git push heroku master

Manually setting up Retool on Heroku

You may alternatively use the following following steps to deploy to Heroku

  1. Install the Heroku CLI, and login. Documentation for this can be found here: https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/getting-started-with-nodejs#set-up
  2. Clone this repo git clone https://github.com/tryretool/retool-onpremise
  3. Change the working directory to the newly cloned repository cd ./retool-onpremise
  4. Create a new Heroku app with the stack set to container with heroku create your-app-name --stack=container
  5. Add a free database: heroku addons:create heroku-postgresql:hobby-dev
  6. In the Settings page of your Heroku app, add the following environment variables:

    • NODE_ENV - set to production
    • HEROKU_HOSTED set to true
    • JWT_SECRET - set to a long secure random string used to sign JSON Web Tokens
    • ENCRYPTION_KEY - a long secure random string used to encrypt database credentials
  7. Push the code: git push heroku master

To lockdown the version of Retool used, just edit the first line under ./heroku/Dockerfile to:

FROM tryretool/backend:X.XX.X

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