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This letter was written and sent to the Tulip team by a real user, and published on his behalf with his consent.

Dear Tulip,

I started using Tulip’s Frontline Operations Platform in early April 2022. I started with viewing marketing videos and materials and quickly moved on to taking some of the free Tulip University courses they offer. I also joined and read through the Community and Knowledge Base. Eventually I started a free 30-day trial license of Tulip. During my time with Tulip, I was able to build example apps for build instructions, and connectors to ERP systems, SQL Servers, and other web services. I created applications that utilize table linking and queries and aggregations. I was able to provide real-time dashboards for SPC and further analysis to my team.

When I started using Tulip, I had just started a project where I was tasked with selecting and implementing a MES solution for a manufacturing operation. Initially, having built MES systems before, by hand, in everything from VB6, to C#-.NET, and MS-Dynamics AX, I thought I could best build a system in C#, or Java more effectively than could be achieved by using a third-party tool. Frankly, given most tools I have viewed (and I did do a fair amount of background research into various MES software vendor’s offerings in addition to Tulip), I thought I could probably write something easier to use, more customizable, and extensible myself, rather than use a third-party’s monolithic solution.

Being a seasoned developer, when I had heard the terms “low-code and no-code” before I had, quite frankly, usually balked, and usually found that those platforms did, fairly early on, require some sort of actual coding expertise. To my pleasant surprise, and experience overall, the platform that Tulip offers is truly a “low-code, no-code” platform, as good or better than any I have ever seen. It allows a non-programmer, or citizen developer, to develop apps as easily as they would develop a PowerPoint presentation.

Admittedly, some of the trigger logic felt a little ‘dumbed down’ for a seasoned programmer such as me, who is used to writing ‘If-Then-Else,’ ‘Switch-Case’, and ‘Try-Catch’ blocks of code. But it does accomplish 95% of what I could do using those and other typical programming constructs and patterns. The ease and speed in which I could develop new apps was truly impressive. Tulip’s expertise in the MES world is second to none!

The fact that it also includes device connectivity, as well as actual hardware platforms, such as Edge IO and Edge MC, only completes the capabilities that Tulip offers further. Tulip is constantly expanding its reach into the world of IoT and IIoT.

The connectivity functions, or Connectors, provide easy access to SQL Servers and Oracle databases as well as most RESTful web services. The Tulip Tables API also allows for the easy importation, and download, from Tulip’s internal tables to whatever third party platform you may wish to use (Excel, Tableau, etc.). The platform also provides for easy and intuitive access to JSON documents.

Also, the fact that the Tulip apps could be hosted on a number of platforms, AWS, Azure, AWS GovCloud, all while hiding the billing and idiosyncrasies of those platforms is truly a great advantage. It provides for ease in extensibility and scalability, as well as visible pathways to solving any performance or connectivity issues that may arise.

Eventually, to satisfy my own craving to write ‘real code’, I found I could write what Tulip refers to as Custom Widgets using HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and a selection of JS libraries such as ChartJS, D3, and jQuery. I have written three or four of those that I used within Tulip apps.

In Tulip, there is an active and ongoing community that helps answer questions, solve problems, and give examples and new tools, made up of both internal Tulip employees and customers alike. Whatever shortcomings, or enhancements are readily addressed, and I have seen, first-hand, that Tulip is constantly adding even more capabilities and enhancements to its platform.

There are entire lists, bulletin boards, and discussions going on within Tulip, and the Tulip community around many of these suggestions already, as well as many others. One of the great things about this company is their responsiveness to customer’s needs, suggestions, and wants.

Without fail, the support I have received from Tulip, in terms of technical, licensing, and business questions has been second to none. I compliment the entire team I have worked closely with. Bravo to you all!

Thank you,

William D. Kurth