Data Storage
  • 06 Oct 2022
  • 9 Minutes to read
  • Contributors

Data Storage


When working with data, it’s crucial to maintain organization to avoid clutter and centralize information. With Tulip, storing and managing your data is made easy with multiple options based on your needs.

Data Storage Options

There are 3 options for transacting your data in Tulip, Tables, Completions, and Connectors. Each of these options offers advantages and use-cases, so you can determine which method best suits your needs.

Tables

Tables are a cross between spreadsheets and relational databases that are customizable to however you need to present your data. They are sharable datasources that multiple apps can use.

When starting a table, you create the Fields which hold and organize the data by records. Fields act as columns, records are the rows of specific data, and each individual piece of data is a Table Record Field. These components are important to understand when working with tables and interacting with data. Tables can be embedded into your app to create, modify, and display records relevant to your tasks.

You can also use Tables to import your existing data into Tulip in easy steps, outlined in this guide: How to Import a Spreadsheet into a Table.

If you don’t want to create your own table, but also don’t have existing data to import, you can use one of Tulip’s preloaded tables that come loaded on your Instance. These give you an idea of the different fields you can use in tables and general types of data that can be logged. The options for data types include:

  • Text
  • Integer
  • Number
  • Boolean
  • Datetime
  • Interval
  • Color
  • Image
  • Video
  • File
  • Machine
  • Linked Record

Each of these fields will correspond to data inputs used in your application. To view the records in a table, navigate to the table screen via your Tulip instance page. Hover your cursor over “Apps” and select “Tables”.

Go to Tables.gif

Here, you’ll find a list of tables that you have created or have access to for use in your apps. When you select a table, you’ll be able to edit the fields and records themselves, as well as create Queries and Aggregations which allow you to leverage table data within apps. Tables can also be linked to eachother (for usecases like product geniology).

To learn more about using Tables, visit:

Completions

App Completions are ideal for storing and organizing production data. Metadata fields are automatically generated and stored once a user completes or Cancels the app. These fields include:

  • App duration
  • Start and end time
  • Logged-in user
  • Station name
  • Comments
  • App version
  • Execution ID
  • Canceled (whether or not the app was canceled)

Unlike data stored in Tables, data stored in app Completions cannot be edited. This ensures the information is absolute: unable to be manipulated or changed and an accurate reflection of the app’s utilization.

Completion data can only be used by one app and is also less accessable from outside systems.

To access the app Completion data, select an app from an app group in your Tulip instance. Once at the main screen for the app, select the “Completions” tab.

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For more information on completions, visit:

Data in Tables vs Completions

With completions being automatic to your app, you may wonder when you would want to set up a table for data instead. Completion data can’t be customized, whereas the fields within tables are created based on your needs. Table data also writes from your app based on the triggers and variables that you set; however, completion data only writes when a user either completes or cancels the app. While completion data offers ease and instant automation, table data can be made unique to your app and has flexibility to use the data across multiple apps.

Connectors

Connectors allow you to connect to external data sources with Tulip. Integrating your company’s existing IT infrastructure through Connectors lets you send data between Tulip and systems such as HTTP APIs, SQL databases, and OPC UA servers. HTTP and SQL connectors can read and write to external systems, while OPC UA connectors can read from external systems.

Most connectors are self-service, enabling anyone familiar with query language to be able to set up a connector that can be used in a Tulip app. For a catalog of existing connectors you can utilize within your apps, the Tulip Library offers a selection of popular integrations here. Simply select a connector you want to add to your Tulip Instance, select “Add Connector”, and enter your Account URL.

To view Connectors attached to your instance, hover your cursor over the “Apps” tab and select “Connectors”.

Go To Connectors.gif

The Connectors page will show the type of Connector along with its name, which applications use it, and its status of connectivity. Use this page to manage, edit, duplicate, or delete any Connectors you have.

With different types of Connectors and varying purposes for them, there is a wide opportunity to accomplish goals in your application using external data. For information on how to set up these connectors, visit:

Interacting with Data in Apps

To display, edit, or enter Table data in your apps, you’ll first need to become familiar with Widgets. Input Widgets allow you to edit and enter data that will reflect in your table. Embedded widgets display your information and can be configured so you can interact with your tables. For a full tutorial on incorporating table data, see:

Completion data can be displayed in your apps through Analytics. You’ll first need to create an analysis using your completion data and then embed that analysis into your app. To learn more about using completion data to create an analysis, see How to analyze Data from Multiple Apps.

How Tulip Stores Your Data

Because Tulip is a self-serve platform, you can determine which of your data is transmitted and stored. The Tulip Cloud stores your data on AWS, using either a MongoDB or PostgreSQL database. Tulip uploads all images, videos, and PDFs automatically to Amazon’s S3 storage, eliminating the need for you to worry about managing storage or keeping track of your collected data.


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You can also head to community.tulip.co to post your question or see if others have faced a similar question!


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