Custom Mobile Applications

Overview

Appian makes it possible for you to work with our Appian Technical Support Team to customize Appian for Mobile Device applications and create a mobile application that displays your organization's logos and a customizable introductory experience.

The process for creating and deploying a custom mobile application is dependent on you as the customer deciding how you want the application customized and then working with Appian to create it. We have divided the process into two main steps:

  1. Gather the Custom Attributes
  2. Create and Deploy the Custom Application

Depending on the mobile device you want to create the application for, your company needs to meet the following requirements:

  • iOS Applications - Membership in the iOS Developer Program, iOS Developer Enterprise Program, or iOS App Store Volume Purchasing Program for Business depending on the development approach you decide on.
    • The three approaches vary depending on how you want the application distributed and how much in-house iOS development experience you have.
    • For a full description of each approach and more information on their requirements, see below: Create a Custom iOS Application
  • Android Applications - Publisher account in the Google Play Android Developer Console.

NOTE: When a new version of an Appian for Mobile Devices application is released, you must request a new build from Appian Technical Support and repeat the process for building the application. This includes going through the Apple or Android review process if your deployment approach requires it.

Gather the Custom Attributes

The attributes listed below can be customized for your Appian for Mobile Device application. Gather this information in preparation, then proceed to the "Create and Deploy the Custom Application" subsection for the mobile device you want the custom application for.

  • Application Name
    • The application name is how users will search for it in the application store for their mobile device.
    • The base application name is Appian; we recommend not including "Appian" in your custom application name to avoid confusion when users search for it.
    • Names are limited to 24 characters and should be specified in your users' primary language.
  • Customized Images
    • This includes the icon used to identify the application in the mobile device's application store, the icon used to launch the application, and the logo displayed in the title bar.
  • (Optional) Welcome Screen Background Image
    • If you choose to customize the Welcome Screen, follow the Welcome Screen background image specifications listed below and pick the images.

For iOS applications, the following attributes are also customizable:

  • (Optional) Appian Forum account as an option on the Account Management screen.
    • If this option is enabled, as it is on the base iOS application, the Accounts screen will always include the user's Forum account.
    • This provides users with a shortcut to setting up access to Appian Forum without having to add the account and specify its URL.
    • See also: Creating and Managing Mobile Accounts
  • (Optional) iOS Tint Color
    • This optional attribute allows you to customize the tint color for the application. The tint color is used for much of the navigation controls across the application, including the main tab bar.
    • You will need to provide the desired RGB integer values, which will be used to specify the tint color.
  • (Optional) Self-Signed Certificates
    • If your organization opts to become a publicly trusted authority and issue its own signed certificates, those certificates will need to be added to a custom Appian for Mobile Device application. Otherwise, attempting to access your servers will result in an "Invalid Certificate" error.
    • Provide Appian Technical Support with your self-signed certificates at the time of your custom application request.

Follow the image specifications listed in the subsections below for the mobile device in question:

iOS Images Requirements

  • Select the .PNG (24-bit) image format for your images.
  • iOS automatically applies image effects and rounds the corners when your images are displayed.

Icons

Create application icons to replace the default icons. The icons will be used as the launch, search results, and settings icon for iPhone and iPad. Provide the application icons in the following sizes: 29 x 29, 40 x 40, 50 x 50, 57 x 57, 58 x 58, 72 x 72, 76 x 76, 80 x 80, 100 x 100, 114 x 114, 120 x 120, 144 x 144, 152 x 152, 167 x 167

Example (default) icon: Iphone icon.png

NOTE: Ensure that your images conform to the iOS Human Interface Guidelines.

App Store Artwork

Image and Placement Required? Size Example
App Store icon Yes 512x512
Click to view full size image.
App Store icon (high-resolution) Yes 1024x1024
Click to view full size image.

Logos

Create application logos to replace the default logos below.

  • Larger or smaller images are resized automatically when displayed.
Image and Placement Required Size Example Example with Background
Low-resolution logo
  • Appears on the light-gray title bar
  • Yes 100 x 35 pixels
    • Use transparency as needed.
    • The image is automatically resized to fit.
    Click to view full size image.
    Appian logo ipad.png
    High-resolution logo
  • Appears on the light-gray title bar
  • Yes 200 x 70 pixels
    • Use transparency as needed.
    • The image is automatically resized to fit.
    Click to view full size image.
    Appian logo ipad@2x.png

    Welcome Screen

    To enable a Welcome Screen, create background images for it based on the specifications in the table below.

    Image Required Size Example
    iPhone 4s high-resolution Yes 640x960 pixels
    Click to view full size image.
    iPhone 5 and later Yes 640x1136 pixels
    Click to view full size image.
    iPad portrait Yes 768x1024 pixels
    Click to view full size image.
    iPad landscape Yes 1024x768 pixels
    Click to view full size image.
    iPad portrait high-resolution Yes 1536x2048 pixels
    Click to view full size image.
    iPad landscape high-resolution Yes 2048x1536 pixels
    Click to view full size image.

    Android Images Requirements

    Icon

    This icon is used to launch the custom application on mobile devices. Create an application icon to replace the default icons below.

    • Select the .PNG (24-bit) image format for your images.
    • See also: Icons
    File Name Required? Size Example
    launcher_72.png Yes 72 x 72 pixels
    Click to view full size image.
    launcher_96.png Yes 96 x 96 pixels
    Click to view full size image.
    launcher_144.png Yes 144 x 144 pixels
    Click to view full size image.

    Welcome Screen Logo

    To enable a Welcome Screen, create a logo for it based on the specifications in the table below and select a background color.

    File Name Required? Size Example
    welcome_bg.png Yes (if welcome screen enabled) 400 x 220 pixels
    Click to view full size image.

    By default, the background color is set by the following property in customize.properties:

    welcome_screen_background=#FFFFFF
    

    Google Play Image

    Create a high-resolution icon for Google Play to replace the default icon below.

    High-Resolution Icon

    Required? Size Example
    Yes 512 x 512
    Click to view full size image.

    See the "Graphic assets, screenshots, & video" help page for more information about using graphics and other media on Google Play.

    Create and Deploy the Custom Application

    iOS Applications

    There are three different approaches your company can take to deploy a custom application for iOS. The list below details possible pros and cons as well as detailed requirements of each one.

    The approach you select depends on the level of in-house development experience your company has with iOS applications, how you want your users to access the application, and how quickly you want the application to be available.

    1. Volume Purchasing Program (VPP) Deployment
      • Appian publishes a custom Business to Business (B2B) application for your company.
      • There is no need for an iOS Developer Account or in-house developer expertise.
      • The application (and each new version) must go through the Apple review process before it is published. This may take more than a week.
      • Appian manages the application submission/update process, and your company manages the redemption key distribution.
      • Requirements include the following:
    2. Public Deployment
      • The application is published to the App Store for any iOS user to install it.
      • Appian provides an unsigned branded application that must be signed using your company's certificate.
      • Your company acts as the publisher by signing the provided application and submitting it to Apple.
      • Ad-hoc installs for pre-release testing are possible through the iOS Developer Program.
      • The application (and each new version) must go through the Apple review process before it is published. This may take more than a week.
      • The application becomes available for all users to install when Apple approves it. It is possible to delay availability by specifying a future release date when submitting the application.
      • Requirements include the following:
        • Membership in the iOS Developer Program.
        • Access to a development environment that satisfies the minimum requirements for iOS application development.
        • In-house development expertise related to iOS application distribution procedures, including signing and submitting applications to the App Store.
    3. Enterprise Deployment
      • The application is not added to the App Store and not available to the general public.
      • Your company has control over and is responsible for how the application installer is distributed to employees, such as via a web page link, email attachment, etc.
      • Appian provides an unsigned branded application that must be signed using your company's certificate.
      • The application (and each new version) does not need to go through Apple's review process. This speeds up the time it takes before it is available to your employees.
      • Your company can install the application on an unlimited number of internal devices (those belonging to your organization or its employees) for testing.
      • Requirements include the following:
        • Membership in the iOS Developer Enterprise Program.
        • Minimal in-house development experience related to iOS application distribution procedures, including signing of applications.
        • Infrastructure for notifying users of new versions of the application and distributing the installer for updates.

    After you decide on a development approach and meet the requirements listed above, complete the following steps in conjunction with your Appian Technical Support Team. The steps below differ depending on your deployment approach.

    VPP Deployment Process

    1. Gather the custom attributes detailed in the earlier section.
    2. Send the attributes and your VPP membership Apple ID to Appian Technical Support.
    3. Appian Technical Support creates your customized application and submits the custom application to the App Store for approval.
      • The application goes through the standard Apple application review process. This normally takes at least a week and Appian has no control over the time-frame.
    4. Once approved, to distribute a custom application to users, log in to the VPP App Store and purchase the required number of application licenses.
      • This creates a spreadsheet of redemption codes and corresponding download URLs for the application.
    5. Distribute the code and URLs to employees as desired.

    Public Deployment and Enterprise Deployment Process

    1. Appian will generate an unsigned branded application and send the .ipa file for the application along with an MD5 checksum to your company.
      • The checksum is a hash of the provided .ipa file.
      • You are encouraged to generate an MD5 hash of the provided .ipa file and compare it against the provided MD5 checksum.
      • The checksums must match before you can proceed. If they do not match it means that the file has changed during transit. Please contact Appian to get a new .ipa file before proceeding.
    2. Use your distribution certificate to sign the provided .ipa file.
      • Distribution certificates can be generated in the “Distribution” tab of the “Certificates” section of the iOS Provisioning Portal.
      • For testing, use the Ad-Hoc provisioning profile in the “Distribution” tab of the “Provisioning” section.
      • NOTE: Signing the .ipa file is a simple process and there are third-party utilities that can be used to do this (e.g., iReSign).
    3. Deploy the signed application by double-clicking the file to add the application to iTunes and then sync with a test device.
    4. Perform any testing as necessary.
    5. If any issues are identified during testing please contact Appian before proceeding. Otherwise please continue with the following steps for App Store submission.
    6. After testing and verifying that the application contains all desired customizations, the application can be submitted to the App Store.
      • For App Store submission, use the App Store provisioning profile in the “Distribution” tab of the “Provisioning” section.
      • Submission requires a Mac with Xcode and the distribution certificate installed.
    7. For Public Deployment:
      1. Visit iTunes Connect and begin the application submission process.
      2. When the application binary upload is requested, start Application Loader on the Mac. This can be found by performing a Spotlight search.
      3. Sign in with the Apple ID associated with the developer account, choose the signed application file, and start the upload.
        • The upload may take some time to complete. Any error messages displayed should be sent to Appian Technical Support for review.
        • If the upload is successful, the application will be placed in “Waiting for Review” status. The mandatory Apple review of all applications may take several days to complete. After approval, the application will be available for user download.
        • NOTE: since an Appian server instance is required to access app functionality, a URL and credentials for an externally-accessible site must be provided to Apple for use during the application approval process.
    8. For Enterprise Deployment:
      1. Make a link to the signed application file available to your employees.
        • Following the link from an iOS device prompts the user to install the application.

    Android Applications

    Custom Appian applications for Android devices are created by Appian and then must be submitted by your company to Google Play for publication or directly distributed by you to your employees.

    Custom Appian applications for Android offer the ability to configure two new optional features during custom application creation:

    • Hardcoded Server URL
    • Device Sharing

    Hardcoded Server URL: - Enabling this configuration will ensure every device using your custom application targets the designated server URL and no other. It also removes a step from individual application setup on those devices.

    • To configure for your application, provide Appian Technical Support with the server URL you would like to use for all your users’ mobile devices.

    Device Sharing: - The Device Sharing feature is intended for those customers with teams of users sharing a single Android device for their work. The feature enables the team to quickly log in and out of their accounts as needed.

    • Device Sharing requires a Hardcoded Server URL to be provided to Appian Technical Support at application creation time. Custom applications with Device Sharing enabled must have this setting.

    • You will also need to consider an idle timeout period for Device Sharing. This makes it easier to ensure applications are only accessed by authorized users at all times. For example, if a user is logged into the application when the device goes to sleep for more than the allotted idle timeout period, the application will force the next user to attempt to access the application to authenticate. The timeout can be any increment of minutes you prefer, starting at 1 minute and up to "never." The default configuration is 10 minutes.

    To have your custom application created, contact Appian Technical Support and send them the custom attributes. They will create the application and send it to your company once it is complete.

    NOTE: App store images (for example, the Google Play icon) are not part of the generated application package and need not be included in the package. Whoever is responsible for submitting the application to Google Play, however, will need those images.

    The submission process usually takes between 15-60 minutes. Once it passes submission, it will be available for download by your users.

    MDM Support

    Good MDM is supported by a dedicated iOS app, Appian For Good, in the Good Marketplace.

    For most other Mobile Device Management (MDM) vendors, Appian supports application wrapping. A custom mobile application and coordination with the MDM vendor is required. For more information, see Securing Data for Mobile Users.

    Contact Appian Technical Support to have your custom application created. They will assist in providing your MDM vendor the necessary files for wrapping.

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