The increased demands placed on solution propulsion by programmed flow systems, such as sequential injection analysis, lab-on-value technology, bead injection and multi-commutation, has highlighted the inability of many conventional pumps to generate a smooth, consistent flow. A number of researchers have examined ways to overcome the inadvertent, uncontrolled pulsation caused by the mechanical aciton of peristaltic pumps. In contrast, we have developed instruments that exploit the characteristics of a reproducible pulsed flow of solution. In this paper, we discuss our instrumental approaches and some applications that have benefited from the use of a reproducible pulsed flow rather than the traditional linear flow approach. To place our approach in the context of the continuously developing field of flow analysis, an overview of other programmed flow systems is also presented.