Process Reports

NOTE: For information on Tempo reports, see also: Tempo Reports and Tempo Report Design

Appian process reports typically pull data from the active processes of a process model, the tasks assigned to certain users or groups, or from specific process instances. Each process execution engine is paired with an analytics engine to gather the real-time report data contained in your active processes. Reports that you dispatch are divided between the available process analytics engines for calculations and data processing.

Process models can pull data from various sources, such as web services, Data Stores, or other relational databases.

Creating a report involves creating a new report in Appian Designer and configuring the Report Options Dialog Box, which is opened from the toolbar after opening the report. Each report created from scratch includes default columns that you might need to delete.

You might be able to save time when building your report by using an existing report as a template. This is the default option when creating a new process report.

  • The reports you create mainly rely on process data. If you've archived or deleted a process that the report is looking for, that data is not available for inclusion in your report.

  • If you create a long-running sub-process for reporting, you can retain important process data or metrics while allowing parent processes to be archived or deleted. What's more, you can perform necessary calculations within the sub-process (or in the parent process) to reduce your report generation times. See Using a Sub-Process to Tabulate Report Data

Keep in mind that complex reports can be resource intensive to generate. See Report Performance for guidance on how to keep reports from consuming too many resources.

Creating New Process Reports

New process reports are created in Appian Designer.

  1. Click the New menu in the application designer, and select Process Report.
  2. To create by duplicating an existing report, search in the Process Report to Duplicate field and select a report.
    1. You can click on the selected report in the picker to view it in a new tab.
    2. Its context type is visible below the picker.
    3. Edit the prepopulated Name and Description.
    4. Enter or edit the Save Location as necessary. Process reports can no longer be saved in the Default Community.
  3. To create a process report from scratch, select the Create from Scratch radio button option.
    1. Enter a Name and Description.
    2. Choose a Report Type. The table below lists the different options available for each report type:
      Report Type Context Options Comment
      Process Model
      • All process models
      • Models created by user
      • Models last modified by user
      Gather data from different process models. This report type is commonly used to view the status of all running processes.
      Process
      • All Processes
      • Processes initiated by user
      • Processes by process model
      Gather process data from all executed process models, from each execution of a single process model, or from each process executed by a single user. Select this report type if you are unsure which report type to choose.
      Task
      • Task
      • Tasks attributed to user
      • Tasks assigned to group
      • Tasks by owner
      • Tasks by process model
      • Tasks by process

      Gather task-related data. Select this report type if you need to report on task completion and status. Task reports list tasks that are Accepted, Assigned, and Paused.

      • Tasks attributed to user lists tasks with Accepted, Assigned, and Paused status for specified users.
      • Tasks assigned to group lists tasks with Assigned and Paused status for specified groups.
      • Tasks by owner lists tasks with Accepted, Assigned, Paused, Completed, Cancelled, and Cancelled by Exception status for specified users.
      • Tasks by process model lists tasks with Accepted, Assigned, Paused, Completed, Cancelled, and Cancelled by Exception status for selected process models.
      • Tasks by process lists tasks with Accepted, Assigned, Paused, Completed, Cancelled, and Cancelled by Exception status for selected process instances.
    3. Select a Context Type. Once a report type has been specified, the context type is used to determine the scope of the report.
    4. Select a Save Location. Process reports can no longer be saved in the Default Community.
  4. Click Create & Edit to open the new report for further configuration.

Configure the Report Options

After opening the new report, click Edit in the toolbar at the top of the page to open the Report Options dialog.

  • Select Include data from sub-processes if your report needs to include data that resides in a sub-process.
  • (Optional) Specify a custom toolbar. This option is for advanced users only. It requires access to the Appian server.
  • Click the Data tab. The following default columns are displayed for each report type.
Report Type Default Columns
Process model
  • process model name
  • process model description
  • process model creator
Process
  • process name
  • process status
  • process start time
Task
  • task name
  • task status
  • process name
  • task start time
  • (Optional) Delete all existing columns from your report by selecting the checkbox in the toolbar and clicking delete\_button.gif.
  • Click new\_report\_data.gif on the toolbar. The Add/Edit Data dialog box is displayed.
  • Type a name for the column in the first text box.
  • Click ee-icon.gif next to the Definition field. The Expression Editor is displayed. The available data is listed on the Data tab (and on the Rules & Constants tab). Create an expression that results in the data that you want to use in your report.
  • Select the appropriate format for your data from the Formatting list. (The format you use here often matches the data type of the process variables used in your definition expression.)
  • (Optional) Select the Link to more information checkbox if you want the user to be able to click the data displayed and view supporting details. For example, selecting Process Details from the Link to list allows your report viewers to examine the raw process variable values for a process that the report used for its context. Click Save. A row is added to the list of columns that appears on the data tab. Repeat the steps to add a column, for each column in your report.

Grouping Rows

  • (Optional) Grouping collapses rows that have the same values within the same column into a single row.
    • The collapsed data in the other columns (which aren't selected for grouping) list a number indicating how many rows are represented.
    • You can perform calculations on rows that are collapsed by grouping, which is called aggregation.
    • When rows are aggregated, a calculated result is displayed, rather than the number of collapsed rows.
  • Select a column(s) to use for grouping the report data.
    • If you want a single column used for grouping the data, select the checkbox next to the column name and click the Move Up button until it appears as the first row. Then select the Group By checkbox for the desired column of data (which is displayed as a row in this view).

Aggregation

  • (Optional) Aggregations are calculations that you can perform on rows collapsed by grouping.
  • Once you've selected a column for grouping (or multiple columns) click each non-grouped item to display the Add/Edit Data dialog box. A new Aggregation Field is displayed (on non-grouped data columns) with the following options.
    Aggregation options.gif

  • The way that you aggregate data can have an impact on report performance. See Report Performance Details for additional information.

Sorting

  • (Optional) Select a column to use for ordering your report data.
    • Sorting a column that lists Appian objects, such as process models, may not result in the expected ordering of your data. These objects are represented as integers internally. The integer ID of an Appian object bears no relation to its name. For this reason, it is not practical to apply a sort ordering to columns that list Appian objects.
    • Avoid sorting on columns that are defined using logical expressions, Appian functions, or custom function plug-ins. See also: Report Performance Details.
  • The report is sorted using the selected column of data, in descending order.
  • Users can click the column to reverse the sort order, or click a different column to use for sorting the report.

Filtering

  • (Optional) Click the Filters tab and add a report filter to narrow the report results using certain criteria. You can specify a default filter, create a custom default filtering rule, configure a set of filters, or create dynamic filters that can be applied by users.

Report Templates

The following categories of existing reports are available for use as report templates.

  • Process model reports
  • Process optimization reports
  • Process reports
  • Summary reports
  • Task reports
Using an Existing Report as a Template
  • Open a report and click Save a Copy on the toolbar. The Save Reports to My Reports dialog box is displayed.

    save\_reports\_to\_my\_reports\_wizard.gif

  • In this dialog box, specify the name of the report and the folder to save it in. Optionally add a brief description of the report. Click Save.

  • The My Reports folder is available in the Objects View of Appian Designer.

  • If you want to share your report with other users, do not save it in the My Reports folder in the My Private Knowledge Center under the Personal and Teams community (or other locations in My Private Knowledge Center). Instead, use a folder that other users will have access to.

  • The text area provided for entering the report description is restricted to 1000 characters by default. This limit can be increased by an application administrator with access to the server.

Along with creating your own report, Appian includes predefined reports and report categories. but you can add data columns to any report. Expression functions and Custom Function Plug-ins are available for use in data columns, except for Scripting Functions and System_Functions.

Display as a Chart

The process report views feature has been deprecated and will be removed in a future release of Appian.

Use a!queryProcessAnalytics and SAIL Charts to display your process report data as a chart. For more information about Tempo reports, see Tempo Report Design.

For information about views, see the Appian 16.2 documentation.

Viewing a Report

To view a report, filter by Reports in the Objects View or in an application that contains the report. Select the report.

Report Categories

All standard reports are separated into categories, each of which is represented as a folder in the System Reports folder of the Default Community. Once a report is selected, the data rendered by the report is displayed in a table.

Report Toolbar

The following toolbar options are available when viewing a report.

  • The toolbar display is configurable by the report designer, who may decide to not display it on a page that includes your report.
  • Certain options are only displayed when you have sufficient user rights.
Item Description



Sort the report using data in the selected column.

  • When the report is sorted by a given column, an arrow appears next to its name, indicating whether it is sorted in ascending or descending order.


  • Click the heading again to reverse the sort order.
  • To obtain the fastest report generation times, reverse the sort order rather than viewing the last report page.



Save the current report view. You must have administrator rights for this option to be displayed.



Save a copy of the report view, in order to create a customized version.



Print a report view.



Email the report view to a selected users or groups within the system.



Export the data displayed within the report view to Microsoft Excel.



Configure the report view. Click Edit to display the report View Options dialog box in a new window. This dialog box allows you to:

The resources and objects needed for certain report changes are only available to users that hold the necessary user rights.



Refresh the report view.



When a report contains more rows of data than the number of rows per page set by the report designer (which is 25 rows, by default) the report paging controls appear in the toolbar.

  • Click |< to view the first page.
  • Click >| to view the last page.
  • Click < to view the prior page.
  • Click > to view the next page.
  • Click page number to display that page of the report.

Drilling down into subsequent pages of a report can be slower than viewing the first page, as the report is regenerated each time.

  • The data set that must be rendered becomes larger as you drill deeper into the report results.
  • The total number of pages rendered for your report is limited (approximately 10,000 rows worth of pages in a standard configuration).
  • If the calculated number of rows for the report exceeds the number of rows that can be displayed, the paging controls do not allow you to view report pages that would exceed the report limit.

Click Columns to display the list of data columns included in your report.


Each column that is currently displayed by the report is selected.

  • If your report contains data columns that are not already displayed, you can also show these columns.
    • Select the checkbox next to each column you want to show.
    • Click Update.
  • To remove a column from the grid, clear the checkbox next to its column name. Click Update.
  • Click Add or Update Columns to modify the column definitions used in your report.
Click the Views button to display (and apply) chart options for your report. See: Display as a Chart .
Click the Filters button to display the filter options for your report. See: Adding Filters to Reports.
Click to view the Report Performance Details page.
Display dynamic filters.
Hide dynamic filters.
A count of the total number of rows in the report is displayed when rows are not combined by grouping.

Formatting a Report

Report data can be formatted and displayed in various ways using Columns, Chart Views, and Filters. You can also define drilldown paths for report data.

Columns

  • You can define additional columns for your reports, remove columns, or set whether a column of data is displayed. (Some data columns are used only for sorting.) See Adding Report Data.

Configuring a Chart

Reports that contain properly-formatted data can be charted by selecting one of the available chart formats from the View list on the report toolbar.

By default, all data is displayed in a table. Pie charts can only display information about one metric at a time. Only the first numerically formatted data column is displayed.

Filters

  • Report filters allow you to restrict the data that appears within a report. When editing a report, new filters can be added on the Filters tab of the Report Options dialog box.

  • You can also create a set of Quick Filters that allow users to toggle between different views of the data from the Report toolbar. See Quick Filters.

  • The report toolbar displays dynamic filters for certain report data formats. Dynamic filters allow users to filter report rows based on values they type.

Dynamic Filters

All reports (and any views that are based on reports) display a toolbar that provides the dynamic filtering options for report data.

  • A dynamic filter allows you to enter your own values and criteria for filtering the report rows, after the report is generated.
Button Description

Clicking this button displays filter options above report columns that contain data in the following formats:

  • Normal Text
  • Number
  • Date
  • Time
  • User Name
  • User or Group Name

The following buttons are also displayed on the toolbar when this button is clicked. When the dynamic filter options are displayed, press this button to hide them again (or press <Esc> if a dynamic filter field is selected).

Press this button to hide the secondary toolbar from the report or view.

The dynamic filter options that are displayed at the top of your report (or view) columns vary according to the format of the data in each column.

Data Format Filter Instructions
Normal Text Type your desired text match. Click or press <Enter>.
Number Select the operation to use (equals, less than or greater than, less than, less than or equal to, greater than, greater than or equal to). Type the comparison number in the field provided.
Date

A Date text box is displayed when this option is selected. The following comparisons also appear in a dropdown list:

  • After
  • Before
  • Between
  • On
  • Not
  • Type a date

Select a comparison from the list. If Between is selected, an additional Date text box appears for entering the end date for your range of values. Click or press <Enter>. Date comparisons only work when the actual data type of your column (not just the format) is Date. (For example, it is possible to display Date & Time data with a Date format. Such comparisons are not available. A column of Date & Time data can be converted to a Date data type using the todate() function.)

Time

A Time Text Box is displayed. The following comparisons also appear in a dropdown list:

  • After
  • Before
  • Between

Type a time (or a date and time). Select a comparison from the list. If Between is selected, an additional text box appears for entering the end time for your range of values. Click or press <Enter>.

User Name, User or Group Name A text box with autocomplete allows you to select the user or group you want to use as a filter. Only one user or group can be selected. Wildcards are not supported in this text box. Select the desired user or group from the list that appears as you type. Click or press <Enter>.
  • If you apply a dynamic filter when viewing a secondary page (such as page 6) of a report, the first page of the dynamically filtered report is displayed when the data is refreshed.

If your report (or view) contains data in other formats, you must create Quick Filter. Dynamic filters are not available.

If you have the right to save your report after applying a dynamic filter, and do so without changing the name of the report, the report definition is changed so that the filter is applied for all other users. This is also true when you apply Quick Filters.
To restore a dynamically filtered report (or view) to the way it appeared before applying the filter:

  • Press Clear\_dynamic\_filter.gif‎. — or —
  • In the dynamic filter field, press <Backspace> or <Delete> to clear the field. Press <Enter>.

Grouping and Aggregation

When designing a report that displays a table of report data, you can summarize or calculate results from multiple rows by grouping and aggregating your data.

Report Descriptions

The System Reports folder of the Default Community allows users to select one of the out-of-the-box reports. Each of these reports is explained in further detail below.

See also: Creating a Report

Process Model Reports

Report Name Description
All Process Models

Each process model is listed, showing its name, description, creator, and when it was created.

  • This report is used to display process search results.
Process Details per Process Model This report requires that you select a process model. Once a process model is selected, statistics are displayed for all instances of the selected process model.
Process Model Versions This report first requires you to select a process model (the report context). Once a Process Model is selected, the different versions of the process model are displayed, along with statistics – such as the number of completed processes – and running processes for each version of the process model.
Running Processes This report requires you to select a process model (the report context). Once a Process Model is selected, all running processes of the selected process model are displayed, along with statistics for each process instance (each activated process).

Process Optimization Reports

Report Name Description
Default Process Model Optimization Metrics Select a process model (the report context). The average lag time and average completion time of the tasks from each process are displayed.
Default Process Optimization Metrics Select a process instance as the report context. The actual lag time and actual completion time of the tasks in the selected process are displayed. These report columns are also displayed as metrics within the process modeler when editing a running process and the View > Display node statistics option is selected.

Process Reports

Report Name Description
Active Processes Active processes that you can view are displayed on this report.
All Processes Processes that have been started are displayed. Processes that are active, processes that have been completed, and canceled processes are listed.
Cancelled Processes Processes that have been canceled are displayed.
Completed Processes Processes that have completed execution are displayed within this report.
Starred Processes Processes that have been marked as a favorite by the currently logged in user, are displayed in this report.
Paused Processes Processes that have been paused are displayed within this report.
Processes Started by Me Processes started by the currently logged in user are listed.
Processes with Problems Processes that have been started by the currently logged in user are displayed.
Sub-processes per Process This report first asks you to select a process (the report context). All sub-processes that have been triggered by the given process are displayed.

Summary Reports

Report Name Description
Favorite Process Models Process models that you have selected as favorites are listed, including their descriptions, who created them, and when they were created.
Most Active Process Models

The most-frequently used process models are listed based on the number of times each process model is launched.

  • The process model must be started at least once to be listed in the report.
  • The current user must have a minimum of view authority for each process in order for it to be counted by this report.
  • Tasks that are canceled by exception are not displayed on this report. See the Activity Exceptions tab on the Process Model Details page to view running processes with tasks that are canceled by exception.
Statistics Across Processes Executed processes are listed, regardless of the current state. Statistics for each process are also included.

Task Reports

Report Name Description
Active Tasks All active tasks assigned to the currently logged in user appear within the report.
All Tasks All tasks that have been assigned to you (completed, canceled, or active) appear within this report.
Completed Tasks All tasks that you have completed appear on this report.
Current Tasks for Process This report displays active tasks for a selected process (the report context).
Starred Tasks Tasks that have been selected as a favorite by the currently logged in user are displayed.
High Priority Tasks All tasks issued by a process can have one of three priority levels: Low, Medium, or High. If no priority level is set, this field remains blank. Task priority must be configured in the Process Modeler, through the Configure <ACTIVITY NAME> dialog box, or as a default for all tasks in a process in the Process Model properties dialog box. This report displays all active tasks, assigned to the currently logged in user, that have been designated as high priority.
Overdue Tasks Lists all active tasks that have exceeded the deadline date.
Tasks Due Today Lists all tasks that have their deadline date set to today.
Task for Group Using a picker, select a group in which you are a member of. You can be a group member or an administrator. All tasks that have been assigned to the group are displayed on the report.
Tasks for Group Members This report requires you to first select a group. This report displays all tasks assigned to the group, but not yet accepted by anyone and all tasks accepted by any group member (regardless of original assignment).
Tasks per Process Model This report requires you to first select a process model. Using a picker, you can select one or more process models. Upon selecting a process model, all tasks issued by processes of the given process model(s) are displayed within the report.

Creating a Custom Report

All of the reports listed above can be used as report templates to generate a custom report. When viewing the report, click the save as button. Once you've saved a new copy of the report, click the Edit button on the toolbar to configure your report options.

Certain process model and task reports are included in standard views in the /designer interface, and are translated into all supported languages. We do not recommend editing these reports within the Appian page where they appear, as only the language strings for the Administrator's preferred language are saved, yet the changes are displayed for all users. Instead, save a copy of the report in a different location before customizing it.

My Reports

All reports saved under the My Reports folder, which resides in the My Private Knowledge Center under the Personal and Teams community, are listed. By default, any report generated by Appian is dynamic, therefore saving a report, and re-opening the same report at a later time, results in the report being regenerated, and thus the report includes any new data associated with the report.

Emailing a Report

Once a report has been created, it can be sent as an email to users and groups within the system.

To email a report:

  1. Click the Emailbutton on the reports toolbar.

    email\_a\_report.gif

    The Email Report dialog box is displayed.
    email\_report\_wizard.gif

  2. Specify the recipients of the report. Type a username in the recipient field, or click Directoryto select the groups or users you want to receive the report.

  3. Optionally, type a message to be included in the body of the email.

When sending a report as an email, only the first five pages are printed.

Exporting a Report

Once a report has been created, it can be exported to Microsoft Excel (before or after it is saved).

export\_a\_report.gif

To export a report to Excel, click the Export button on the Reports toolbar and select a location on your local computer in which to save the report.

If the report is configured to use a process model context, the process model's unique ID is not exported with the report.

NOTE: All rows and columns are evaluated, serialized, and returned when the report is exported. This includes more calculation than simply viewing the report and may cause a report that normally renders with no issue in Appian to time out.

When exporting a report, up to 5000 rows are exported (by default).

See also: Printing or Exporting Reports to Excel.

Printing a Report

Select a process view or report. Click the Print button on the toolbar. Two new windows are displayed, one a preview of the process view that will be printed, and the other a Print dialog from which you must select the printer. When printing a report, the print output is limited to the first 5000 rows (by default). See Post-Install Configurations.

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