Enhanced Data Pipeline for Appian Cloud

Enhanced Data Pipeline is available to customers that are on Premier Support with High Availability. Customers must also be using Appian version 18.3 or higher. Appian customers must purchase Premier Support to use the functionality described below. The functionality described below is not included in the base Appian platform.

Overview

Appian Cloud provides customers with a dedicated RDBMS instance to optionally use as a business data source.

Appian Cloud customers enrolled in Premier Support can connect directly to their business data source and utilize their data management tools such as Extract Transform Load (ETL) processes, business intelligence, data warehousing and reporting.

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Benefits

Enhanced Data Pipeline enables a native endpoint to connect to the business data source on an Appian Cloud instance and to integrate it further with your data processing procedures. Some benefits include:

  • Increased flexibility to access your data. This service allows you to use a MySQL or MariaDB compatible database client (e.g. MySQL Workbench) and analyze data in a more familiar way.
  • Seamless integration with data analysis tools. You can integrate your Appian Cloud business data source to your enterprise reporting processes for unified enterprise analytics (e.g. Tableau, PowerBI).
  • Simplified ETL processes. You can export, transform, and move your data to your existing organization data marts and data warehouses located on your corporate infrastructure.

Setup

Appian Premier Support will create a database user in your business data source with read-only privileges for client authentication purposes. You will then configure your database client tools with these credentials, along with required security connection parameters.

Database traffic between your tools and the business data source will be forwarded over an IPSec VPN tunnel established to your Appian Cloud instance. As an additional security mechanism, connections to your business data source will be encrypted using SSL/TLS to a custom hostname <your-instance>.db.appiancloud.com. To prevent certificate errors in your applications, you may need to install the *.db.appiancloud.com certificate in the appropriate trusted certificate stores for your tools and systems. Installing third-party certificates varies on each tool and platform. Please consult your tool’s documentation on how to connect to an external database using SSL/TLS and how to import a third-party certificate.

Customers who want to leverage this service are advised to test and plan for the additional database load and processing generated by the external queries accordingly. Appian recommends extracting customer's data from the Cloud business data source during periods of low usage. Typically, connecting data analysis tools directly to production transactional databases is not considered a good practice as queries generated by heavily used reporting tools could have performance implications in production instances.

Prerequisites Checklist

Prerequisite Description Organizational Role
Premier Support (including High Availability Order Form This offering is available via Premier Support (including High Availability) Business relationship owner
Upgrade to Appian 18.3 or most recent release Appian Cloud site(s) with this feature enabled should be running version 18.3 or above. Authorized Support Contact
Set up IPSec VPN Tunnel Configure VPN tunnel(s) from your corporate network to your Appian Cloud instance. Network Administrator / Authorized support contact
Set up name resolution Your database tools and any other on-premise systems will connect to your business data source using the FQDN <your-instance>.db.appiancloud.com. This typically requires creating a record in your DNS infrastructure pointing to the private IP address(es) of your Appian Cloud instance(s). DNS/Server administrator

Steps

  1. Open a Support Case requesting setup of external RDBMS access. Provide the instance name(s) you wish to configure with this functionality.
  2. Appian Premier Support will configure your instance to enable external access over the VPN tunnel.
  3. Appian Premier Support will create a user with read-only permissions in your business data source.
  4. Appian Premier Support will schedule a maintenance window and deploy the necessary configurations.
  5. Prior to the agreed maintenance window, Appian Premier Support will communicate the connection parameters to your business data source including port (3306), database name, username and a temporary password.
  6. External access to the business datasource of your instance will be enabled after the maintenance window.
  7. You are required to reset the temporary password using either MySQL Workbench or MySQL CLI. When using these tools, you will be prompted to reset the password upon first login.
    • If you are able to successfully connect with the temporary password generated by Appian Premier Support using a different tool, you will need to execute the query below to reset the password. Make sure to replace <newpassword> with a random value that you generate.
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ALTER USER USER() IDENTIFIED BY '<newpassword>';
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