Archiving Processes

After a process is completed or canceled, it can be archived. Once a process is archived, the data it contains is no longer available for reporting. The default archive interval is seven days after process completion.

Data Management Tab

The Data Management tab of the Process Model Properties dialog allows you to set up process archival or deletion policies independently for each process model. By default, each process is automatically archived seven days after completion or cancellation.

Each process model can be set to its own archive interval. All processes launched from the process model take this archive interval, including previously-completed processes.

Configuring Automatic Clean-Up

To configure automatic clean-up of completed or canceled processes of a process model:

  1. Open the Process Model in the Process Modeler.
  2. Click the Properties button on the toolbar, or select File > Properties.
  3. Select the Data Management tab, which lists process archive and deletion settings in the Automatic Process Clean-Up group box.

  4. To set an archive interval for the Process Model, select the Archive processes option. In the days field, type the number of days that must elapse before automatically archiving a completed instance of the process. Type 0 as an interval in order to immediately archive a process after completion. — OR —
  5. To set an automatic process-deletion interval, select the Delete processes option. In the days field, type the number of days that must elapse before automatically deleting a completed instance of the process. — OR —
  6. To keep all completed process instances in system memory, select Do not clean up processes. The process will not be archived or deleted, regardless of the default setting.

These settings are applied to all instances of a process model, including ones that have already completed. Whenever an instance exceeds the number of days specified, it is immediately queued for the specified cleanup action.

See Data Maintenance for additional configuration options.


Most completed processes are not needed for system-wide reporting and therefore serve no essential purpose once they've finished processing. Archiving or deleting processes is a good way to clear out unneeded processes and minimize the size of the Appian databases.

Auto-archiving is a default option for processes with data and metadata that need not be retained after completion. Archiving merely provides an option for subsequent unarchiving if legal/regulatory requirements mandate recovery of process information. This setting (7 days) can be changed by the system administrator. Any interval set on the Data Management tab also overrides the default setting for a single Process Model.

Auto-deletion should only be selected for processes that never require the viewing of data or metadata after completion. No trace of deleted processes remain in Appian, once deleted. This option provides maximum space savings in Appian databases (KDBs) and on disk.

If you need to keep a permanent record of process data after completion, process data can be mapped to a separate reporting process or exported to an RDBMS. Process archives contain a great deal of information regarding execution history that becomes unnecessary overhead when performing business-activity reporting.

Archives can be used to provide an audit trail of process execution, but this feature must be implemented with careful consideration of your storage requirements. In general, you should not keep all of your archive files. Doing so can be costly in disk-space usage.


Setting an archive or deletion interval on a sub-process is the same as for any other process. There are additional issues to consider, however.

  • When setting an archive or deletion interval for completed sub-processes, take care not to remove data needed by a parent process before that process completes or before all reporting requirements are met.
  • You might need to redesign the sub-process so that all data is passed back to the parent process, if you need to archive or delete the sub-process on a different schedule than the parent-process.

Policy Considerations

Archiving a process frees system memory, but impacts your reports. The data in an archived processes is no longer available for reporting purposes.

If you keep archives of each process, have your system administrator schedule the cleanup script to remove archive files after they are no longer needed.

Historical Data

If you have key performance indicators that must be reported on historically, consider creating a separate process for storing this information.