How to use Appian Records

Skills Covered

Appian Records bring together all important and relevant enterprise data into a searchable collection of information.

When you leverage Appian Records, each row of source data is displayed as a record in Appian. But a record is more than just a row of data—it’s a combination of record views and actions, so users can gather insights and take action in the same place.

As such, records are a foundation for solutions built in Appian.

Record Type Use Cases

What makes a good record type?

Ideal Use Case

  • Enable data sync whenever possible so you can leverage additional features that accelerate app development. See when to use data sync.
  • Create a record type for each entity in your business.

    For example, a customer and their orders are two key business entities in almost any organization selling products or services. So you would have two record types: a Customer record type and an Order record type.
  • Create a record type for reference data. For example, customer locations, like the state and country are unlikely to change and may also be referenced in orders. So you could have a reference record type called Countries or Locations.
  • Connect data using record type relationships. Seamlessly reference related data by connecting them using relationships. For example, you can connect Customers and Orders to easily display a customer and their relevant order information.

Wrong Use Case

  • Create record types based on security. You can easily secure the records in your record type using record-level security, visibility expressions, or source filters to ensure that only the right users can see the right information.

When building out your record type, including the data model, record views, actions, and list, consider the following:

Data Model

  • A record type can connect to data from a relational database, integration, or process. So you should have a record type for each of your sources.
  • Use record type relationships to relate your enterprise data—regardless of where it lives. This allows you to seamlessly reference related data from your base record type.
  • Set any username or group fields to the Appian data type User or Group. This allows you to reference these fields in your record-level security.
  • Create custom record fields to extend and manipulate your data and save it as a new field on the record type. This allows you to sort or filter by transformed data, or simply display it in a grid, report, or query.
  • Learn more about data modeling with Appian Records.

Record Views

  • Create unique record titles so they’re easily identifiable in the record list.
  • Display dynamic information on the top of the summary view so users get the most recent information first.

    For example, a case’s status, assigned engineer, and the latest case comment would be important to have at the top of the view.
  • Create additional record views to display reports or related information.

    For example, a Case record could have a summary view to display relevant case information, and a Customer view to learn more about the customer associated with the case.
  • Add record links so users can learn more about related records. What orders do I have for this customer? Which user opened the support case?

Record List

  • Configure your record list directly in the record type. When you create a records-powered grid, the grid will automatically populate with your record list configuration.
  • Do not display all fields from your record type in the list. The list is meant to give a high-level overview of the information in each record. Users can always drill into an individual record to learn more.
  • Add user filters and a search box to your list to allow users to filter and navigate to the appropriate record.
  • Consider whether to display a grid-style or feed-style list. Feed-style lists can only display the first 100 records, so if you have a larger dataset, consider a grid-style list.

Record Actions

  • Configure record list actions to display on the record list so users can add new records to the list.
  • Configure related actions to display on your record views so users can perform specific  actions, like Edit or Delete, from the record. Each related action starts a process using the record’s context.

Record Security

To ensure your enterprise data is only available to the correct users, Appian provides a layered approach to securing your records.

  • Record type security: Determine who can see and edit the record type object using groups and role maps.
  • Record-level security: Determine who can view which records. This security option is only available for record types with data sync enabled. If your record type does not have data sync enabled, you can use default filters to determine user access.
  • Record view and record action visibility: Configure visibility expressions on your record views and record actions to determine which record views they can see and which actions they can take.

Learn more about Security in Appian Records.