Learn about stations and the different versions of applications.
This guide details how apps are run through Tulip and the ways of creating different app Versions while still in production. You’ll learn to assign apps to Stations and also test and run apps. If you’re new to Tulip or still learning, this article will help you understand how to optimize your app building inline with production.
What is a Station?
A Station is your virtual space that runs your apps. Each Instance needs to have a station set up in order to run. Stations are meant to imitate real-life stations on the process floor, so that you can have a production-ready environment to use your apps.
Stations are different from Display Devices, in that stations represent a physical location, whereas display devices are the devices used to run your application. Each station must map to a display device.
For more information on display devices, see What is the Display Devices Page?
Overview of the Station Page
The station page gives you information associated with the app assigned to a station. It looks like the following:
- Navigation Pane between Stations and Station Groups
- Station Name and Live-Preview of apps running on that station
- Create a new station or station group
- Station Information such as app operator, previously fired Events, and current connected devices
- Configuration Information about app assignments
- Device Information, including the Display Device, selected Timezone, and connected Edge Devices
Assigning Apps to a Station
Assigning an app to a Station determines where the app will run from, such as a tablet or machine. It gives your app a virtual place within your facility.
To assign an app to a station:
- Navigate to the Stations page by hovering over the Shop Floor tab in the top navigation bar.
- Select the Station you want to use and click Edit next to Station App Assignments.
- Click the Add an App dropdown and select the app you want to assign among the list.
- Click Save.
When building your app, there are two different versions: a Development Version and a Published Version. A development version is an iteration of the app that hasn’t been made available for public use, whereas a published version has been published and is ready for users.
Developing versions of apps are helpful when making edits to an already published version, users can still operate the published version of the app while developers are working on changes. Your data remains in the same state when you publish a new app version, carrying over from the previous one.
Testing Apps in Developer Mode
As you’re creating an application, it’s crucial that you test its functionality to ensure buttons, Widgets, Steps, and other assets are all operating as intended. This is where Developer Mode becomes essential for testing.
Developer Mode is meant to run in Google Chrome.
Developer Mode is a separate window from the App Editor that allows you to use your app without affecting its utilization in production. This means that information you input won’t write to tables, completions, or connectors. Tables are mirrored as how they start when you open Developer Mode. No changes you make in the data will be reflected in the actual records of the app.
Developer Mode is useful for giving debugging information on assets and functions in your app to ensure that your logic is working properly. You can quickly diagnose issues to understand errors that need attention. When testing in Developer Mode you also have access to the Variables and Record Placeholders that are used on every step.
Aggregations currently aren’t supported in Developer Mode.
To enter Developer Mode, click the Test button located at the top right of the App Info and App Editor pages. A new window opens that shows your app in Developer Mode.
For an overview of the features available in Developer Mode, see How to Use "Developer Mode" To Test Apps.
Running Apps in the Tulip Player
The Tulip Player is designed to run your apps and change between them effortlessly. In the Tulip Player, you experience exactly what your users do, with the ability to call to connector functions, write to tables, and talk to external machines.
The Tulip Player is an external application that runs your apps, allowing you to switch between apps under your instance. Running apps through the Tulip Player should be done as the app is ready to be used.
Before running an app in the player, you’ll need to download the Tulip Player, which you can do here: Download the Tulip Player.
To open an app in the Tulip Player, click the Run button in the top right corner of the App Info and App Editor screens (next to the Test button). The Tulip Player opens and you can begin running your app.
For an overview of how to Test Apps in the Tulip Player, see Testing Apps in Tulip Player.
Did you find what you were looking for?
You can also head to community.tulip.co to post your question or see if others have faced a similar question!