Monitoring View

Overview

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This page covers all the features in the Monitoring View of Appian Designer.

The Monitoring view contains two tabs, Process Activity and Process Model Metrics, and appears at the top of Appian Designer. It is also available within an application. Here, it will only show process models and process instances found within that application.

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For more information about application operations, see Applications page.

Process Activity

The Process Activity tab shows a list of all process instances currently on the system.

By default, the processes list displays processes that have started in the last 7 days. Each process has the following information:

  • Status Icon A quick reference visual indication for each process. Processes will show one of six statuses:
    • running_blue.png Active
    • active with error process Active with Error(s)
    • iconIndicatorStatusOk.png Completed
    • iconIndicatorProgressPaused.png Paused
    • iconIndicatorStatusError.png Paused by Exception
    • iconIndicatorStatusNotDone.png Canceled
  • Name The name of the process. Hyperlinked to open the process in the process modeler.
  • Model The version of the process model executed by the process instance. Hyperlinked to open the process model in the process modeler.
  • Started By The initiator of the process. Hyperlinked to open a user profile dialog.
  • Errors Unresolved errors associated with a process. Hyperlinked to open a Process Errors dialog that displays the error message and details. process_error_dialog.png
  • Active Tasks The number of active tasks within a process. Will only have a non-zero value for processes in an active, pause, or paused by exception status.
  • Start Time The date and time when the process was started.
  • End Time The date and time when the process was completed or canceled.
  • Selection Box Checkbox selection of an instance allows the Designer to perform various process options.

Selecting Show process details in the upper right above the processes list will display additional columns:

  • Process ID The ID of the Process
  • Engine The execution engine the process is currently running on.
  • Memory (AMU) The amount of memory the process is consuming. Process memory is expressed in AMU (Appian Memory Unit) to make it easier for Designers to compare the memory usage between different process instances. This process memory calculation runs in the background and is not real-time. Any process instance marked as “N/A” represents a calculation that has not yet occurred.

See the Process Model Metrics section to learn more about AMU and monitoring the memory usage and performance of your processes.

Process Error Warnings

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A banner above the processes list notifies designers of unresolved errors that have occurred in the last 24 hours. Clicking on View all errors will open a dialog listing detailed information about all process errors, with the ability to filter on them.

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By default, the list will only display the unresolved errors that require attention. Resolved errors can be viewed by clicking Show resolved errors in the upper right.

Being able to view process errors in Appian Designer is a new feature released in Appian 18.2. Any errors that have occurred prior to being upgraded to 18.2 will not be available in the Process Activity tab. If an alert was configured and hasn't yet expired, the error can still be viewed on the Alerts page in the legacy Application Portal.

Search & Filters

The left-hand pane of the Process Activity tab contains the search and filter options. By default, a search term will be run against process names. Once searched, the default search option can be changed to Search ID, which will run the search term against the process ID.

Filters

Designers can also filter process results in the following ways:

  • Processes with Errors Only processes with at least one unresolved error will show up in the process list.
  • Process Status One or multiple process statuses can be selected. The process list will only show the selected statuses.
  • Started By One or more users can be selected. The process list will only show processes started by selected users.
  • Process Model One or more process models can be selected. The process list will only show processes from selected process models.
  • Time Range Time range can be filtered to show processes started within the last 24 hours, last 7 days, or any other date and time range. When Custom is selected, designer can chose to filter either by started or ended time. By default, processes that have been started in the last 7 days are shown.

Options

When a process is marked for selection, options will appear above the processes list. Multiple processes can be selected at one time, which will allow for bulk operations. However, not all options support bulk operation.

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The following options available in the Objects view:

  • Security (Single-Choice) Allows a process administrator to adjust the security of an individual process. For more information, see process security.
  • Resume (Multiple) Allows process administrators to resume paused processes.
  • Pause (Multiple) Allows process administrators to pause active processes.
  • Cancel (Multiple) Allows process administrators to cancel active processes.
  • Delete (Multiple) Allows process administrators to delete selected processes.
    • This will also delete any synchronous sub-processes and pending tasks in the selected processes.

Bulk Operations

In addition to acting on multiple processes on a single page, designers can act on multiple pages of processes. This option appears when all processes on the current page have been selected.

/processes bulk actions

The gray banner below the toolbar displays the option to select all processes that match the current filter criteria, up to 10,000 processes.

Process Security

In addition to configuring the security settings associated with a process model, Appian allows users with sufficient rights to configure the security associated with a process. By default, all processes inherit security from their process models. The inherited security can be overridden through the Modify Process Security Smart Service or by selecting the Security option in the Process Activity tab. Selecting the Security option will open a process security dialog.

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Process Role Permissions

The different roles that can be assigned to actors in a process are described in the following tables. Only Process Administrators of a process model and System Administrators have the necessary security rights to provide other users and groups access to a running process.

Managing Tasks
Operation Process Administrator Editor Manager Viewer Initiator
Reassign tasks assigned to me, when reassignment is enabled Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
View tasks assigned to other users Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Reassign tasks assigned to other users, regardless of whether reassignment is enabled Yes Yes Yes No No
View and complete tasks assigned to other users Yes Yes No No No

Any user, by default, can view and complete tasks assigned to them.

Making Process Edits
Operation Process Administrator Editor Manager Viewer Initiator
Add attachments/notes to a process Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Update process variables Yes Yes Yes No No
Remove attachments/notes from a process Yes No Yes No No
Change process security roles for other users and groups Yes No No No No
Perform in-flight modifications to the process Yes No No No No
Stop or pause a process Yes No No No No
Delete a process Yes No No No No
Viewing Process Data
Operation Process Administrator Editor Manager Viewer Initiator
View a process report and process variable values Yes Yes Yes Yes No
View a task report containing tasks from this process Yes Yes Yes Yes No
View a node report Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Deny Role

If a user or group is assigned the Deny role they cannot perform any action associated with the selected process. The right to view assigned tasks cannot be removed.

Customizable Report

In addition to the search and filter options on the left-hand pane of the Process Activity tab, there is a link for designers to switch to the customizable report. Clicking this link opens the All Processes process report in a new tab. Changes to the All Processes report do not affect the Process Activity tab in Appian Designer and vice versa. This report does not allow you to view process errors.

Process Model Metrics

The Process Model Metrics tab shows metrics related to the memory usage of process models on the system. By default, process models are sorted by total memory usage from largest to smallest. Only process models with process instances on the system are shown in the report. Designers will only be able to view metrics for the process models that they already have at least Viewer permissions to.

Process memory is expressed in AMU (Appian Memory Unit) to make it easier for Designers to compare the memory capacity that has been allocated to a particular process instance and overall by a process model. This process memory calculation runs in the background and is not real-time.

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  • Process Model The name of the process model. Clicking the linked name will open the process model in the process modeler. Note that for instances on the system whose process models have been deleted, these instances will be aggregated into one row, with a name of [deleted].
  • A quick reference visual indication for each process model based on the current total calculated AMU of all active instances of that model. Each icon represents a different size status:
    • green_smile.png Displayed for models whose current total calculated size is less than 100,000 AMU. The memory usage of this model's instances is generally considered low.
    • orange_meh Displayed for models whose current total calculated size is between 100,000 and 1,000,000 AMU. The memory usage of this model’s instances could potentially affect the system.
    • red_frown.png Displayed for process models who current total calculated size is greater than 1,000,000 AMU. The memory usage of this model’s instances is high.

The qualifications of Low, Medium, and High are based on average resource allocation and usage. Your systems and expected usage may not reflect these boundaries. If you have concerns, contact your system administrator.

  • Total Memory (AMU) The total size of the process model, derived from the aggregated memory of the individual process instances. This size is based on what instance memory has currently been calculated.
  • Avg. Instance Memory (AMU) The average amount of memory each instance of the process model is consuming, based on what instance memory has currently been calculated.
  • Instances The total number of instances that exist on the system for the given process model. Clicking the linked instance count will open the Process Activity view, filtered on the selected process model with the Time Range filter defaulted to "All".
  • Completed The percent of instances that have completed for the given process model.
  • Clean-up Days The number of days set in the clean-up policy for the process model. This can be a number between 0 and 999, otherwise it will be "Never" if the process model is set to not automatically clean-up processes.
  • Clean-up Type The clean-up policy for the process model. This can be set to Archive, Delete, or N/A if the process model is configured to not automatically clean-up processes.

It is important to look at all of the dimensions available in the Process Model Metrics tab, when determining how to optimize the performance of your process models and instances on the system. While the total size is a good initial indicator for potential memory intensive process models, it is often necessary to look beyond just this value in isolation.

Monitoring Process Model AMU

For process models using a significant amount of memory:

  • Is the average instance memory high? View the memory of the individual instances in the Process Activity tab to verify that there are no outliers that may be causing the average memory to spike. If all of the instances are consistently using a large amount of memory, then this might indicate that the model's design needs to be improved to reduce its overall memory footprint.
  • Are there a lot of instances? Consider updating the clean-up policy to archive or delete completed processes more frequently, especially if the completion percentage is consistently high.
  • Are the model's instances completing as expected? A low completion percentage could mean that the model is often encountering errors or generating uncommonly long-lived processes, due to incorrect or inefficient model designs. As a result, this might indicate the model's design needs to be improved to reduce its overall memory footprint.

If you're updating the design of a process model, consider the following factors which impact the memory footprint of your process models and instances:

  • The definition of the process model itself
  • The definition of each process node
  • The number of process variables
  • The values of each process variable
  • The length of the process history
  • The values being stored in the process history
  • Any notes and attachments that the process may carry
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