Form to database, instantly

James Lee
James Lee
Mobile @ Retool

Feb 15, 2024

Retool Forms is the fastest way to build a form on top of your database—and it’s now available for free.

Why we built this

Engineers build custom forms for tons of internal use cases, from updating customer information to onboarding new employees. These processes often require data to live in your system of record—but most form builders today are a dead end. They try (very hard) to keep you stuck in some sheet, proprietary data table, or their UI with no ability to filter with SQL, let alone find a connection string to port the data elsewhere.

Most teams solve this with a maze of ETL pipelines to stitch together form input data into their downstream datastores, apps, and reports. Which means hours spent updating stale data, debugging flaky Zaps, and trying to build apps with sheets as a backend.

So we decided to fix the problem. We built a form builder that is:

  • Able to send data directly to your database (Postgres in our case), your data warehouse, or wherever else you want it.
  • Built into Retool, where you can turn form input data into CRUD apps, join it with other data using SQL, or visualize it for BI.
  • Customizable with code, while skipping the boilerplate involved in writing your own form in React or wrestling with libraries like Formik or React Hook Form.

Introducing Retool Forms

We built Retool Forms to help developers build faster without losing the flexibility of writing code. Retool Forms are:

  • Native to your data source: Get started by generating a form on top of any SQL datastore (Postgres, MySQL, Snowflake, Redshift, etc) in one click.
  • Your form, your DB: If you don’t want to use your database, we’ll give you your own Postgres DB. It’s yours to keep and comes with a connection string if you want to take it elsewhere.
  • Code-first: You can write JS almost anywhere, including libraries like moment and lodash, for custom validations, conditional logic, and data parsing.
  • The start of other processes: Build apps and workflows on top of your data to join data sources, send updates to Slack/email, and take action on your results.
  • Secure: Forms are public but the data, apps and workflows you build are permissioned securely with granular access controls. Plus self-host Retool in your own VPC behind your VPN.
  • And the best part, it’s free: No arbitrary limits on the number of users, forms or submissions.

We now use Retool Forms for product beta signups, contractor management, all hands Q&A, and dozens of other internal use cases at Retool. Since launching to beta, hundreds of customers and thousands of developers—including teams at Mapbox, NimbleRx, and FINN—have used Forms to onboard customers, collect vendor data, and run employee surveys. We can’t wait to see what you’ll build with it next!

Getting started with Retool Forms

Retool Forms is now available for free for all customers. To get started, sign up for a free account or check out the docs.

We’re just getting started and we’ll be adding lots more features. If you have any feedback that would help you build faster in Forms, we’d love to hear from you!


James Lee
James Lee
Mobile @ Retool
Feb 15, 2024