What are Connectors?
  • 08 Jul 2024
  • 3 Minutes to read
  • Contributors

What are Connectors?

Article summary


What are Connectors?

Here's how to connect your company's existing software systems with Tulip.

Tulip is an open platform designed to integrate seamlessly with your existing IT infrastructure. This integration is facilitated through Connectors.

Connectors are a feature of Tulip that allows data exchange between HTTP API, MQTT, and SQL databases and Tulip. They are crucial for connecting to external servers and systems, including the Table API. Setting up a connector enables you to pull external information into your Tulip apps, enhancing your Tulip experience and streamlining your processes.

Types of Connectors:

  1. HTTP - Access data from external APIs.
  2. MQTT - Write to your MQTT namespace.
  3. SQL - Access external databases outside of Tulip.

To access connectors, hover over the “Apps” tab from anywhere in your Tulip account and select Connectors from the dropdown menu.

Accessing Connectors

On the Connectors page, you can view the status, description, and the last update time of your connectors.

Connector Status

Hovering over the status pill provides additional information about each environment’s status.

Status Information

Each Connector can have multiple Connector Functions or queries that are triggered within an app.
Here’s an example of a Connector function:


Using Connectors:

Connectors can be utilized by Triggers or Automation Actions. For example, you can create a trigger in a Tulip app that executes the following sequence:

  1. "When the operator scans a barcode"
  2. "Look up that barcode in my SQL database"
  3. "Then navigate to one of three different steps based on that data."

Alternatively, you can create a sequence like:

  1. "When the operator presses this button"
  2. "Send a request to my HTTP API that tracks production issues on my factory floor."

Both methods are self-service. If you can query an SQL database or an external software service (like an MES or ERP), you can write the query within Tulip.

Below is an example of calling a connector function within a Trigger in the App Editor:

Calling a Connector Function

Connector Environments

The Environments tab allows you to set up multiple servers for each connector function. Environments allow you to segment were information is impacted, based on the lifecycle of your applications and automations.

More details on environments are available here.

Environments Tab

Technical Details of Connectors

Since connectors communicate with external systems, understanding how to configure them to fit your custom IT environment is essential. The Connector Host is a component of the Tulip platform that manages these connections.

For databases and APIs that are openly available from your Tulip Cloud, no additional configuration is needed. However, if issues arise or you need to connect to a database, API, or machine not openly available from the Tulip Cloud, refer to this article on Connector Hosts.

Further Reading

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