Reuse Promotion

Skills Covered

Reusing Appian components and interfaces ensures a consistent look and feel to your applications, while also promoting efficient development practices. 

Skills Checklist:

  • Identify benefits to reusing Appian components and interfaces in development.
  • List three frequently reused Appian components.
  • Identify strategies to ensure proper handling of reusable components. 

Platform Consistency

Ensuring applications built on the same platform have a consistent look, feel and flow is a key strategy for improving user experience and accelerating adoption. Enabling the reuse of Appian components and interfaces is one way to achieve this consistency. In addition, application object reuse enables enterprise-wide programs to more efficiently deliver solutions. Reused objects in the form of complex process models, web APIs, business rules, and integrations aid the implementation teams from having to ‘reinvent the wheel’ every time they start a new application. While maintaining reusable code does require developer attention, that maintenance actually serves as another advantage, as enhancements and bug fixes need only be implemented in one place.

Plan for Reuse

Appian recommends that project teams ‘plan’ for reuse during project kickoff – sprint 0 – and on an ongoing basis during the planning sessions – sprint planning and design sessions. The degree to which functionalities can be reused are only limited to the amount of thought put into defining which areas should be reused in order to accelerate delivery. Teams should discuss shared interfaces early to determine which interfaces will be shared and developers can build for reuse. During the planning sessions, Appian recommends identifying business objects that may be reused within the same project/application as well as by other projects/applications within Appian as utilities and outside of Appian as web APIs.

Utility functions and process models are common candidates for the reusable objects; for example rules and process models that handle text/data manipulation, document generation, audit history logging, etc. Appian allows for a high degree of re-usability from user interfaces, integrations, processes, and business rules.

To foster proper change management and enhanced transparency around the reusable components built on Appian, Appian recommends naming conventions which must be clearly documented and followed by all teams. Testing and impact analysis processes are also necessary to ensure that modifications to reusable components doesn’t break other applications.

BulbPractitioner Tip: Don’t Overlook Potential Change Management Risk

Change Management is critical for program success. However, it is often overlooked and left until the application is ready to launch. It is important to define the change early with business and technical stakeholders, identify change agents, create the plan, pilot it and rollout to the end users. There are several factors to keep in mind here including technology transition, end user training, support needs, monitoring adoption, managing feedback from users and planning future changes.