A key benefit of the Appian platform is that it allows you to create and store development and design objects so you can easily retrieve them for future use. A developer needs to consider reuse in the way a component is built. To enable effective reuse, a minimum of parameterization is required. While this will add a small amount of additional effort, it is easily outweighed by efficiency gains throughout the application development life cycle. The following five components are commonly found in Appian projects, and therefore make excellent candidates for reuse.
Data capture, storage and retrieval are key functions of any application. The storage and retrieval of data to and from the database is efficiently managed through query rules. The functionality supporting the retrieval or update of data to a database table is one of the most common parameterized expressions you will find in any application.
To create more reusable queries, first build a query object or query expression object that returns all columns for a given row. Then add all major columns as filters and configure the query to ignore empty filters, which is done by using a!logicalQueryExpression. Once the object is created, you can source local variables within interface or expression objects using the general query object with desired filter criteria.
Appian delivers out-of-the-box drag and drop functionality of countless components which allows you to create great user interfaces. However developers often take it a step further in fine-tuning layout to the specific needs of the end-users. These needs can relate to how data is graphically presented on-screen (e.g. branding, fonts, graphs, date formats) as well as how the data is manipulated before presented on screen (e.g. accumulation, permutation, classification). Both categories of fine-tuning, the interface components and business rules, once configured can be easily reused by making them available through a shared components application.
Appian offers a robust set of frameworks, support applications, utilities and third-party integrations designed to streamline application development. Examples include audit, comments, user and group management, metrics capture, and reporting.
Simply download the application from the AppMarket and import into your environment through the Admin Console. Once the application is uploaded, you are free to use the packaged objects anywhere in your application! For the full list of available applications and plug-ins, click here.
The Appian design and admin interfaces are available out-of-the-box in multiple languages. The application that is developed as part of a project, and its included user interfaces, are built from scratch. Hence, support for multiple languages is optional and depending on business requirements. Backend functionality, a multi-language framework, is set up once and shared across the Appian platform. Appian offers an Internationalization Application on Appian AppMarket to improve performance and effectiveness of designing applications for multiple languages.
You may need to build an application that is going to be used by people in different languages. There are two levels of internationalization that need to be handled:
Platform internationalization is handled in the Administration Console in the Internationalization tab. You can select the languages available to the users, and primary locale of the site. Users will be defaulted to the Primary Language to begin with, and will be able to change their language to any language enabled through the settings. For details on how to enable additional languages for your site, see Internationalization Settings.
If multiple languages are enabled, users will be able to switch the way they see the Appian interface. For instance, if Russian is enabled, this will allow users to display Appian in Russian or English. The following will be translated into different languages:
Any displayed words that are application-specific will need to be internationalized during application design. Depending on the object type the approaches to internationalization are different.
Internationalized apps need to use an expression-backed record to load the bundle once and pass the bundle into an element of the record source CDT. In the record list view the bundle element of the source CDT can be referenced to internationalize labels and data in the list view.
A key architectural design principle in building Appian applications is to compartmentalize functional process steps. This is not only good for efficient system memory management, but also allows for reuse of repetitive business logic. To leverage a reusable process, simply add it to your business workflow as a subprocess within that process model.
Review and approval is a typical business process that can be applied to multiple areas. A frequently seen example occurs in loan origination processes within the banking industry. For some banks, different types of loans (eg. secured or unsecured) both go through the same or similar approvals. Through parameterization of the business process components the approval functionality can be efficiently reused across the platform.
Many Appian customers configure their higher environments with SAML Single Sign-On (SSO) or LDAP configurations to leverage already existing identity providers. Authentication configurations are done at the platform level, meaning that it can be reused across all applications in a given environment with minimal additional configurations.
SAML and LDAP configuration is located in the Admin Console underneath Authentication. For more detailed instructions, see Configuring Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
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