Tulip has integrated with a variety of MES and ERP systems.
However, since there are many MES and ERP products on the market, it is difficult to say how easily Tulip can connect to your particular MES or ERP. It depends on:
- the MES/ERP product itself
- The complexity of your company’s IT environment
- Your IT team’s capabilities around working with the ERP/MES system
In order for Tulip to determine the details of an integration, here are some questions that can guide the process:
- Does your ERP/MES have an API? Or does it allow you to build an API?
- If your ERP/MES is sending data to a SQL database, can a third party connect to that SQL database? And if so, what privileges can it have?
- Does your ERP/MES send data via any industrial protocol, like OPC?
- Can the ERP/MES be accessed from the cloud?
Generally, Tulip connects to external software systems via one of three methods:
If your ERP/MES has a REST API, Tulip can send and receive data through those endpoints.
You might be able to configure the API from the administrator interface of your system. This information should also be available on the software provider’s website.
Existing SQL Database
If your ERP/MES is already sharing data with a SQL database, then Tulip can also access that database and share data. This may require you to write some new queries within your ERP/MES in order to access the new data from Tulip.
If the SQL database is strictly deployed on-premises, then Tulip can deploy a Connector Host on-premises that allows the database to work with Tulip’s cloud platform.
New SQL Database
Some organizations store their MES/ERP data in a sensitive database that is not accessible to third parties. But, they still want to share data with Tulip. So, they set up a new database where they can share specific data from their software systems, and Tulip can share data without any security concerns.
If your ERP shares data via an industrial protocol, like Modbus, MTConnect and OPC UA, then Tulip can connect via a server that is running the Tulip Connector Host.
For more detail, see the “Overview of Data Flow” section in our article about communicating with Tulip via industrial protocols.
One-Way Data Sharing
Some MES/ERP systems have built-in methods for taking in data from external systems, but make it difficult to send their own data into other systems.
If this is the case, you may need to choose whether one-way data transfer is acceptable, or if you want to invest more time and energy into finding a way to make two-way data transfer possible.
For example, you may be satisfied with making Tulip your primary system for collecting data on the shop floor. Then, after sending the data into your MES/ERP system, you can align shop floor data with the existing data in the system.
Let’s say that you use NetSuite as an ERP, and you want to know whether it can connect to Tulip. You can search “Netsuite api” on Google and you will find this page that describes SuiteTalk, NetSuite’s tool for integrating with third parties.
Here’s what SuiteTalk does:
It looks like SuiteTalk allows you to build REST APIs, so this would be the simplest way to integrate it with Tulip.
You can either create the endpoints yourself within the administrator portal for your MES/ERP, or work with a Tulip Partner that can create the endpoints for you.