Appian Release Notes
Release notes for the Intelligent Contact Center can be found here.

User

The following features apply to Tempo, Sites, and Embedded.

More Appian for Mobile

Appian for mobile devices has received some big improvements in this release that extends the Appian experience.

Mobile Offline Tasks

There are plenty of places and situations where you just can't get online, whether it be in a remote area, or traveling on an airplane. Appian for offline mobile has been there to keep your important applications available even if the internet isn't, and in Appian 19.1, we've taken the next step and extended support for Appian offline to static tasks so you can remain productive no matter where you are.

Static tasks are simply those that don't require a connection with Appian to pull up dynamic content or options after you've accepted the task. With offline enabled for these tasks, all the context and files you need to assess and complete the task will be available from your device, so no matter where you are, you can complete tasks. Tasks you work on while offline are queued locally and seamlessly submitted to the server as soon as you reconnect to the internet.

Learn more about Designing for Offline Mobile.

Mobile Web Content Field

The Web Content component made a big splash when we introduced it a year ago, enabling Designers to embed external content into an Interface, allowing you to view your content from multiple systems on one screen, without having to leave Appian. This was a popular addition to the platform, and in this release, we've added mobile support for it.

Performance Improvements

We've made some significant performance improvements to Records and the Rich Text component.

Records Are Faster!

We've made evaluating user-defined expressions in your Records more efficient! In our testing, we've seen load times for the record list and record view speed up by as much as 25%. The exact amount of improvement will vary based on your record type definition.

We also have improved the speed of navigating in grid style record lists, which means you can get to the configurations you need to change even more quickly!

Rich Text Performance Improvements

Rich text styles really make your Interfaces stand out, which is why we made the Rich Text component faster. Designers no longer have to choose between performance and style.

Vertical Milestone

Milestones are extremely helpful on forms and wizards. Now Designers have the option of making them horizontal or vertical. We've added a new orientation parameter to the Milestone component so you can use the space on your Interface the way you want.

Masked Barcode Values

There's a new parameter for the Barcode Field component that allows you to mask sensitive information provided by a user.

Keyboard Shortcut for Saving a Task

Save some time and save some tasks with a new keyboard shortcut. Use CTRL/CMD + S to save tasks in Sites and Tempo.

Designer

This release brings more simplicity and visibility to building applications.

Better Queries

Queries are now a lot easier to create and configure. We are providing Designers with a visual design experience for creating and configuring queries, enhanced functions to let you do more with less code, and an enhanced report builder.

Edit Queries Visually

The query editor provides a visual experience for creating queries from an Expression Rule. This feature empowers both new and experienced Designers by providing an easy-to-use visual experience to configure, test, and preview results for your queries from a single editor. Use the toolbar icon in an Expression Rule to launch the editor and query away!

Easy Configuration: Ignore Filters With Empty Values

We've also added an ignoreFiltersWithEmptyValues parameter to a!queryLogicalExpression(). This will allow you to dispense with all the additional conditional logic that is currently needed to remove filters if no value is passed in. Instead, just set this property to true and that work will be done for you.

Extended Capability: Date and Time Aggregations in Report Builder

Now, report builder lets you group Date and Date and Time fields by year, month, and month plus year. This allows you to create time-based reports easily. No database views, no coding!

Compare Versions for Process Models

We're bringing the same fast and easy version comparison to Process Models that you have on Interfaces, Expression Rules, and other objects!

Process Models are super powerful and flexible, with lots of configuration options. Now (with the click of a button!) Designers can compare the latest published version of a Process Model with any previously published version from Appian Designer. This highly requested feature allows you to easily track changes to the most frequently modified configurations and conduct more comprehensive peer reviews as part of your development life cycle.

Interface Design Improvements

Create Interface From Data Type

Most Appian applications require the same fundamental Interfaces: a form to populate data and a display of a record of that data. In this release, we've added a new tool to help you quickly create these common Interfaces. When you open a new Interface, you will see a new Create from Data Type option in the Builders section of the Interface templates. This tool automatically generates an Interface from a CDT of your choice. Not only that, it automatically generates rule inputs as well! For example, you can use the automatically generated readOnly rule input to toggle between a form that accepts inputs and a read-only version to display CDT fields. We hope this tool will greatly accelerate your application building!

Edit Component Labels in the Live View

When designing Interfaces, you can now click directly on the label of a component while on the Edit tab of the live view to edit the text. This enhancement lets you efficiently update component labels in a visual way, without breaking your flow!

New Pages & Forms Interface Templates

We want to help you quickly build Interfaces that provide a good UX to your users. In this release, when you open a new Interface, you will see several new full-page templates for Forms and Pages that showcase various configurations of layouts. You're happy when you can give your users a good experience without sacrificing your efficiency. And Appian is happy when you're happy. Win, win.

Toggle Mobile Orientation in Preview

Now, not only can you preview your Interface on a mobile device, but you can also take into account the different orientations that your user could be holding their device in. Simply use the rotation button that appears on the Preview tab of the live view when previewing your Interface for phone or tablet.

View Process Model Metrics Across Different Environments

With the introduction of the DevOps Infrastructure feature in this release, you can now view important metrics about how the Process Models you've designed are performing on other environments. To make informed updates to your Process Model designs, you need to know how your models are performing with actual production data and real-life usage. Once you have your DevOps Infrastructure set up, you're only two clicks away from viewing the Process Model Metrics from your production environment without having to leave the development environment you work in every day!

Blue Prism Connected System

blue_prism.png

Blue Prism is a leading Robotic Process Automation (RPA) vendor, and Appian makes it easy to integrate and manage software-driven robots in your business processes. This release makes it even easier with a new Connected System for Blue Prism that provides automatic discovery of available Blue Prism processes and their data inputs to make it quick and easy to set up.

Google Service Accounts

The HTTP Connected System now supports Google service accounts. A service account is a special Google account that belongs to your application, not a particular user, allowing that application to call a Google service without having to authorize each user of that application.

Versions for Connected Systems

We're extending the same powerful version behavior you have on integrations to connected systems! With version history, Designers will be able to quickly audit changes to their connected systems. Designers can also experiment with changes and easily roll them back.

Unified Export Button in Applications List

Back in 18.2, we introduced the ability to export patches in bulk, making it faster and easier to deploy changes across a set of related applications.

In this release, we streamlined the options in the Applications list view toolbar so there's a single top-level option for export. After clicking Export, Designers will have the ability to specify whether they want to export the selected applications or the patches within those applications (when patches exist).

Improved Copy-Paste in Expression Editors

This release includes a small but mighty improvement to the copy-paste functionality in all expression editors. Now, when you copy and paste expressions or snippets, it will automatically apply the correct indentation on each line. Unlike the Format button, which prettifies the expression and introduces line breaks, this enhancement only adjusts the indentation. It's so handy, you can even use it to copy and paste the whole expression to clean it up after making a bunch of changes.

Access Sites Anywhere

You can now access the list of Sites from within the Appian Designer environment and the Administration Console so you can quickly get to where you want to be.

Improved Connected System Import Behavior

We've updated the import behavior of URL fields on Connected Systems to be consistent with environment-specific constants. These fields will not be updated on import unless set with an import customization file. This prevents unintentional changes to an environment's value for these fields.

View Recently Modified Missing Precedents First

The objects grid in the Missing Precedents dialog is now sorted on the Last Modified timestamp by default. Since the most recently modified objects are the most relevant and therefore most likely to get added to the application, it's useful to see them first to save you some time!

Developer

This release we've introduced a new way to extend Appian.

Extend Appian with the Integration SDK

We're excited to announce the release of the Integration SDK, which provides new ways for Developers to extend Appian's low-code integration capabilities. Whether you want to make it easy for Designers to connect to back-end data services using the guided experience of connected systems or you want to let users interact with another system directly from an Appian Interface, the Integration SDK provides all the tools, documentation, and examples you'll need to succeed.

Connected System Plug-ins

Enterprise systems are often complex and require a lot of development to connect to. Appian already makes integrating with other systems easy with our low-code approach that lets Designers integrate with other systems without needing to know much about integrations. However, enterprises often have custom systems that require custom development. Extending systems this way can be time consuming and costly both immediately and in maintenance. That's why we wanted to do things differently.

With the Integration SDK, we want to give customers the ability to address their custom integration needs while still being able to leverage the power and facility of the Appian integration features. One of the great features of the Integration SDK is that it's designed so that a third-party Java developer, with minimal knowledge of Appian, can create a Connected System plug-in that you can use in your system.

Component Plug-ins

The Web Content component already lets you embed a web application in an Appian Interface using a URL. But what if you need more control over authentication than URL parameters? What if you want to not just view a web page, but interact with it and have it update the rest of the Interface as well? Component plug-ins use standard web languages like HTML and JavaScript to create fully interactive components that Designers can use in their application Interfaces to integrate with third-party applications.

Administrator

Administrators will enjoy a host of new features that provide greater visibility and stability.

Excessive Memory Circuit Breaker for Expressions

Keeping your system up and running, even when the unexpected happens, is one of our top priorities. In 19.1, we've added a memory circuit breaker for when a system is under heavy load. Appian will identify which expressions are using too much heap space memory and stop their evaluations1 before they can cause real problems. It will also log the relevant information so it's easy for the Designer to find the objects and adjust their designs.

Based on our analysis of actual expression evaluations, the circuit breaker would stop less than 0.01% of expression evaluations, so you don't have to worry about your applications failing needlessly! Only expressions using an excessive amount of memory that threaten the stability of the system will be stopped.

Plug-in Diagnostics

We've added two new logs to help identify plug-ins that may cause system-wide issues and reduce the time spent diagnosing these problems. The Slow Plug-in Functions log will allow proactive identification of plug-ins that take a long time to evaluate or return values that use a large amount of memory since these plug-ins are likely to cause issues in the future. The Plug-in Functions Running During High Heap log will help narrow down plug-ins that may be causing system-wide performance issues by identifying all plug-in functions running when the system uses too much memory.

Improved Support for DevOps Practices

Appian is excited to introduce a new feature that allows you to securely link your environments from the new Infrastructure page in the Administration Console. Connecting your environments here supports DevOps best practices like being able to proactively monitor production process model metrics from your development environment. Appian is building a wide range of DevOps capabilities and over the next few releases you’ll see more features that will optimize your application life cycle.

Easier Mobile Branded Apps

Appian makes it possible to work with the support team to create a custom, branded mobile application. For customers with custom mobile applications, you'll be happy to learn that we just made that process faster and smarter with the release of two, new tools: the Appian Provisioner and the Signing Tool.

The Appian Provisioner automatically assembles much of the information needed by Support into a package you can simply forward along with your custom images and desired configuration. Support takes this data and creates and signs your mobile application for you.

The Signing Tool is for those customers who prefer to keep their signing credentials to themselves. When using the Provisioner, simply answer No to the option to request a signed build. Once Support has finished building the custom mobile application, you can use the signing tool to sign the mobile app yourself.

Learn more about the new tools and process here: Custom Mobile Applications

Appian Cloud

The following apply only to Appian Cloud customers.

Azure Database Integration

Appian Cloud customers have the ability to configure SQL in Microsoft Azure as business data sources for their Appian Cloud sites. See this page to learn more about the supported database configuration options and how to set them up.

Log Streaming Support for Sumo Logic

Appian Cloud’s Log Streaming functionality now allows customers to configure their sites to forward logs from their Appian Cloud site to a Cloud Syslog Source in Sumo Logic. This enables Appian Cloud customers to leverage some of the data analytics capabilities offered by Sumo Logic directly.

New JDBC Driver for Microsoft SQL Server

Appian Cloud now uses Microsoft JDBC Driver 7.0 for SQL Server.

Please review the documentation from Microsoft to learn more about the changes introduced in newer versions of the JDBC driver:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=57175

We recommend reviewing these documents and updating any incompatible query syntax you might be using in your applications. This can be completed before being converted to our latest release to avoid any problems.

New JDBC Driver for Oracle Database

Appian Cloud now uses 18.3 JDBC Driver for Oracle Database.

Please review the documentation from Oracle to learn more about the changes introduced in newer versions of the JDBC driver:

https://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/application-development/jdbc/downloads/jdbc-ucp-183-5013470.html

We recommend reviewing these documents and updating any incompatible query syntax you might be using in your applications. This can be completed before being converted to our latest release to avoid any problems.

Server Administrator

Appian Now Comes with OpenJDK

With support for Oracle's JDK 8 entering the "End of Public Updates" process for commercial users, we took this as an opportunity to simplify things going forward by including a supported version of OpenJDK, so you don't need to worry about this anymore.

If you need to continue using JDK 8 in the meantime, you'll find instructions on how to set it up with Appian 19.1 here.

Support for SQL Server 2017

Microsoft SQL Server 2017 is now a supported RDBMS for use with Appian.

Support for Oracle 18.3

Oracle 18c (18.3) is now a supported RDBMS for use with Appian.

Support for MySQL 8.0

MySQL 8.0 is now a supported RDBMS for use with Appian.

Resolved Issues

This release resolves the issues listed below. To assist you in your update planning, issue severity is listed for each item. The values of high, medium, and low are based on the criteria of system availability, system integrity, and confidentiality. Use this information, along with how you use Appian, to evaluate the applicability of this version to your deployment.

  • AN-122026 - Medium
    When running in the high availability configuration, the service manager is now more resilient to temporary network failures as well as failures on startup and shutdown.
  • AN-113064 - Medium
    The sites navigation menu is now correctly announced by screen readers.
  • AN-116864 - Low
    The Percent column in the Descendant Functions and Query Rules grid of the Performance View now sorts correctly.

Deprecations

The features listed below are deprecated and will be removed in a future release of Appian. Do not begin using deprecated features, and transition away from any prior usage of now deprecated features. Where applicable, supported alternatives are described for each deprecation.

Submit Button Component

The Submit Button component has been deprecated and will be removed in a future release of Appian. You can now configure a Button component to be submittable by setting the submit parameter to true.

HTTP File Upload Smart Service

HTTP File Upload Smart Service has been deprecated and will be removed in a future release of Appian. Use an Integration object to send binary documents to external systems instead. For more information, see Integration Content Types.

Query Rules

The Query Rule object has been deprecated and will be removed in a future release of Appian. You can create queries using the Query Editor or a!queryEntity() instead. With Query Rules being deprecated, the ability to create new Query Rules has been removed. Existing Query Rules will continue to work normally.

Removals

The following features have been removed from Appian and are no longer available for use. If you are using any of these features, you must move away from their use before updating to this version.

Ability to Create New Query Rule Objects

The ability to create a new Query Rule has been removed. Existing Query Rules will continue to work normally. This ability was removed because the Query Rule object has been deprecated.

  1. Plug-in functions that use excessive memory can't be stopped in this way. 

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