You can design specific actions to be available to users of the Appian for Mobile Devices application when they are not connected to the Internet. This allows users to start processes when they are offline and queue them for automatic submission when their devices regain a connection. Offline actions can be made available in Tempo for iOS and Android.
Offline actions for sites are only available on iOS at this time.
The sections below describe how to design actions for offline mobile use. Before you get started, make sure that offline mobile is enabled on the environment in the Appian Administration Console.
The first step to designing an action for offline mobile use is to create an interface that will be used as the start form for the action. The interface must be designated to be available for offline in order for the action to be available offline.
To make an interface available offline, open the Interface Properties dialog in the interface designer and select the Make Available Offline checkbox. Learn about setting interface properties.
When this checkbox is selected, an offline indicator appears in the interface designer header.
You may also start with the Example Offline Form template. Learn more about starting with a template.
When designing an interface that will be used offline, the key thing to remember is that the interface should not rely on any dynamic behavior that requires an internet connection. Dynamic behavior on interfaces only functions as expected when users are online and may cause confusion when they don't function as expected when users are offline.
Avoid using the following components when designing interfaces for offline use.
|Image||Images do not render when offline.|
|Links||Links render when offline, but users can only interact with document download links. Interaction with any other links will result in network error. Start process links will also not function while the user is online on the mobile application if the interface is configured to be offline enabled.|
|Browsers||Browsers will render offline, but users cannot interact with them. For example, a document browser will render, but tapping on a folder does not display its contents and tapping on a file does not download it.|
|Org Chart||User photos in the org chart do not render when offline. Tapping on a user does not make them the focus of the org chart.|
|Pickers||Pickers do not provide suggestions as the user types in the field and therefore the user cannot select a value. Tapping on a selected item does not remove it.|
Use of the following component when designing interfaces for offline use should be limited and carefully considered because its functionality is limited when offline.
|Paging Grid||The grid renders, but paging and sorting do not function when offline. Images in the grid do not render when offline.|
Follow these additional guidelines when designing interfaces for offline use:
Testing of offline interfaces is best done directly on a mobile device that is offline. Once you have defined an action start form with an offline-enabled interface, take the following steps to test your interface:
Users who do much of their work offline will less often have an Internet connection, so any changes to the interfaces that they are working with may not be reflected for them for some time, depending on when they regain a connection. If a form that a user is working with changes while they are offline, the change will be brought to their attention when they regain a connection and they will be given an opportunity to review and modify their form inputs before submitting the form. However, this should be avoided if possible in order to provide the best experience for users and to avoid unnecessary delays in submitting users' forms.
Make changes to forms seamless to users by deploying changes when the majority of users are not working offline and when they are likely to receive the changes before going offline again. This might be during night or weekends, but may differ depending on your organization and your use cases.
To make an action available to users when they are offline, create a start form that meets the following criteria: