Tide (Tide Platform Limited) is a UK fintech company that provides digital-first banking services for SMEs.

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Executive Summary

Tide works to enable businesses to create current accounts and attain immediate access to multiple financial services, like automated bookkeeping and integrated invoicing. Tide is the answer for small businesses, freelancers, and independent professionals’ financial needs. It empowers businesses to get the most out of their finances and covers their financial management needs. 

Initially, Tide engaged amarti to help with domain-driven design. However, upon completion amarti was asked to continue supporting Tide by overseeing and managing the integration of Retool. As such, our work with Tide has been encompassed by two main projects. However, our second project was layered and was divided by many parts and milestones. 

Customer Challenge

  • Bring the talent and skills necessary to smoothly deliver the domain-driven design project. 
  • Manage and implement the company-wide integration of Retool. 

Phase 1 - Domain Driven Design Project

Tide partnered with amarti initially to work on a domain-driven design for back-end engineering.  

Amardeep Sirha, our Head of Delivery and Co-founder, worked closely with Tide’s Head of Engineering – Rafael Tedín Álvarez – and together with an assembled team, they set out to complete Tide’s vision for the delivery of domain-driven design for back-end engineering. 

Phase 2 - Retool

Once the domain driven design project was completed, amarti was asked to stay on to help with the smooth integration, implementation, and management of Retool software into Tide.

Retool is an interface that can be connected to data sources within your organisation. Retool allows organisations to service, read and write data whilst building and reusing components and is specifically designed to manage any back office operations.

Tide looked to move to Retool as their back-office system was no longer fit for purpose from a security and scalability point of view. With a scaling vision for the future Tide needed a system that would optimise its growth, members, and agents.

Amardeep continued on as Programme Manager during this project. We brought in amarti engineers to help smooth and optimise the transition from the back office system to Retool applications.

The Groundworks

Part 1 - Learning Retool

The entire team needed to learn Retool workings and capabilities, as for the majority of the team this new SaaS company was unknown. 

Once the education of Retools’ purpose and functions was completed on a company-wide scale, the roadmap became clearer, along with any additional pieces to be put in place. 

Part 2 - Laying The Foundation For The Retool App Builds

The next step before setting off building the Retool applications was that the team needed to establish whether Tides architecture was suitable for the build. 

Retool necessitates an API-first architecture, and Tide was in fact working towards their API-first architecture. However, the APIs were not ready at that stage for Retool. 

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Part 3 - New Governance Implemented

It wasn’t as simple as just plugging in the new product – new governance needed to be put into place and ways of working needed to be amended to facilitate the build. 

As Retool needed to be implemented as quickly as possible, and because it required an API-first approach, the new governance allowed users to hit the database directly in accordance with the right information security rules. 

Part 4 - Onboarding Tide Teams

A number of processes and ways of working were implemented making it easier for product managers to carry out their duties. After this, it was time to onboard the wider Tide community.

Going from a one-and-all platform to Retool was difficult because Tide’s initial system worked completely differently. Tide went from a single system to multiple applications separating different sections of the business. 

Part 5 - Creating Target Architecture, Implementing API’s & Creating The Retool Apps

The team needed to create the target architecture, put in a set of APIs, and finally make the Retool applications. The retool implementation needed to be aligned with the target architecture – becoming a multiple work stream. 

The team also needed to align the sunsetting of Tides’ old architecture and back-office platform. For this, it was decided that users would be directed to the new applications and once all the ‘teething’ problems had been suffered it would be more manageable to deprecate the legacy platform. 

The next phase was dividing one platform into several applications and managing cross-dependencies – ensuring everyone within Tide has access to what they need to carry out their jobs. 


Part 6 - Deployment Of Different Apps In Different Regions Worldwide

Another obstacle the team faced was the deployment of different applications in different regions. However, each different country and region has its own set of data rules and regulations. So, our team has worked closely with Retool to change their ways of working and their products slightly so that they can successfully have multi-region instances. 

Part 7 - Keeping Retool Up To Date

Another obstacle our team faced was ensuring that Retool as a product remained continuously updated. Retool aims to keep releasing new features every spring, so everything needs to be kept perpetually updated in line with these releases. To help with this, we enlisted the cloud engineering team at Tide so that they could implement these regular releases as well as ensure that any bugs are taken care of, implementing UAT and QA into the Retool process. 

It became quickly apparent that Retool is a powerful product that could give Tide the world, but we need to move fast alongside it. 


All in all our team has completed a successful rollout, trained engineers, built Retool applications themselves, changed processes, and made it possible for anyone at Tide to utilise and benefit from Retool. 

Another successful project completed! 

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