Custom Mobile Applications

Overview

Appian lets you create a custom version of the Appian mobile application with your organization's colors, icons and introductory experience using the self-service Mobile Branding application on Appian Community.

To create a custom version of the Appian mobile application for your organization, follow these steps:

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

Enroll in a mobile developer program

iOS Applications

There are two different approaches your organization can take in order to enroll into the mobile developer program for iOS. The approach that's best for your organization depends on the level of in-house development experience your organization has with iOS applications, how you want your users to access the application, and how quickly you want the application to be available.

  1. Public Deployment
    • The application is published to the App Store for any iOS user to install it.
    • Your organization acts as the publisher by submitting it to Apple.
    • Pre-release testing is possible via TestFlight in 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 submitting applications to the App Store.
  2. Enterprise Deployment
    • The application is not added to the App Store and not available to the general public.
    • Your organization 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.
    • 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 organization 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, potentially including signing of applications.
      • Infrastructure for notifying users of new versions of the application and distributing the installer for updates.

Android Applications

There are several distribution options available to you: the app marketplace, email, or an internal website. More details can be found in Google's alternative distribution options.

  1. App Marketplace
    • The application is published to the Google Play Store for any Android user to install it.
    • Appian provides you a branded application that must be signed using your organization's signing or upload key.
    • Your organization acts as the publisher by submitting the app to Google.
    • Pre-release testing is possible via a closed or internal test group in the Android Play Console.
    • The application (and each new version) must go through the Google review process before it is published. This may take a few hours.
    • Membership in the Android Developer Program is required.
  2. Email or Internal Website
    • The application is not added to the Google Play Store and not available to the general public.
    • Your organization 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.
    • The application (and each new version) does not need to go through Google's review process. This speeds up the time it takes before it is available to your employees.
    • Your organization can install the application on an unlimited number of internal devices (those belonging to your organization or its employees) for testing.
    • Your users must opt-in for installing unknown apps in order to install apps from a webpage or an email. Note: this allows applications to be installed from any source, not just your organization's application.

Create a mobile application request

Visit the Mobile Branding site on Appian Community and select whether or not you wish you create an iOS application and/or an Android application.

Click either the "+ New Android App" or "+ New iOS App" depending on the OS you wish your application to run on.

New iOS App

Because an iOS requires information on how it will be code signed, the beginning of the process is different than when creating a new Android app.

Upload Provisioner File

Provide the name of the particular app configuration and upload a Provisoner File.

In order to build a branded iOS application, Appian requires code signing information.

For applications that you want Appian to sign for you, this information is in the form of Certificates, Provisioning Profiles, and Keychains.

For applications that you intend to sign, this information is in the form of a Provisioning Profile and Certificate metadata.

When you finish running the Appian Provisioner, it bundles this information into a file that we will call the provisioner file.

The Appian Provisioner sends your Apple Developer account credentials only to Apple, and no other system.

To create the provisioner file:

This must be done on a Mac.

  1. Download the Appian Provisioner tool.
  2. Double-click the AppianProvisioner.dmg to mount the virtual disk image.
  1. Double-click the Provisioner application and follow the prompts to create the files required by Appian to create your custom mobile application.

    Any sensitive data is encrypted.

  2. Upload the generated file to the Provisioner File file upload field on the Upload Provisioner File page and click Next.

For more information on the Appian Provisioner tool, please view the video tutorial:

Android & iOS Configuration Settings

Follow the instructions for each field on the Configure Settings page.

If you wish to use your own icons, you must adhere to these requirements:

  1. All images must be provided, each using the PNG format.
  2. All images must have the correct dimensions. For example, for the image field 100 x 35, must be 100 points wide by 35 points high.
  3. The iOS icons and Android Launcher images may not have any transparency.
  4. For iOS, images should not have any rounded corners or effects as the OS handles that.

Once completed, click the Next button at which point you'll be presented with a Confirm page.

Review the configurations, and, if everything is correct, click Submit to save the application configuration and to issue a request for a new branded build.

This request will be processed automatically in minutes. Once it is complete, you will receive an email notification and you will be able to download your mobile application via the Mobile Branding site.

If you requested the app be signed, it will be ready to be distributed immediately. If you requested an unsigned app, you will need to sign it before it can be distributed.

Sign your unsigned mobile application

Android Signing

  1. Download Android Studio
  2. Sign your application

iOS Signing

This must be done on a Mac. Choose this option if you would rather manage your signing credentails yourself.

You will need a keychain with an Apple certificate and a private key. The private key's Access Control's allowed applications must include codesign and security. Keychain Access Control's allowed applications If you do not yet have such a keychain, follow these instructions:

  1. Install the fastlane tool system by typing in a Terminal window:
    1
    
     brew cask install fastlane
    
  2. Create a new, empty, keychain on your Desktop:

    You will be prompted for a new password. Store that password in a secure location that you will remember.

    1
    
    fastlane run create_keychain path:$HOME/Desktop/custom_branded_app.keychain
    
  3. Update the keychain with an Apple certificate and private key by typing:
    1
    
    fastlane cert -u <your Apple ID email> -k $HOME/Desktop/custom_branded_app.keychain
    

    Keep this keychain in a secure location. It contains a private key which you will need to sign the mobile application in the future.

Once you have your keychain setup, follow these steps:

  1. Download the AppianSigningTool.
  2. Double-click the AppianSigningTool.dmg to mount the virtual disk image.
  1. Double-click the SigningTool application and follow the prompts to sign the unsigned ipa that Appian Support provided you.
FEEDBACK