What's New with Content

Below you'll find a list of updates to our documentation and to our free, online training resources available at Academy Online.

As we continue to release more Appian pre-built solutions, as well as the Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) application, we have made an important update to our documentation that takes into account a unique feature of solutions and IDP. Mainly, that they release new versions at different times from the product.

In order for us to show you the most accurate content, all solutions that have multiple versions now include a solution version dropdown menu that is separate from the product version selection.

You can check out this new feature in our IDP documentation. Use the version dropdown menus to change the product version and IDP version.

new version selection

Allison Gisinger, Senior Information Developer

Interested in becoming an Appian Developer? We recommend signing up for one of our instructor-led courses. You can go to community.appian.com for more information and course schedules.

However, if you prefer a self-paced, online format, you should enroll in the Appian Developer learning path at Academy Online. To help get you started, we’ve recently added a new online “Welcome” course that provides learners with a variety of helpful resources and tools, including a short overview of the learning path with recommended “steps for success.”

A critical aspect of learning Appian is practice building an application, so we’ve also included a new Developer’s Skills Practice guide that provides a series of exercises you can follow along with to build an application. After each course in the path, you should complete associated course exercises.

If you’re an online learner, be sure to take advantage of these great, new resources!

Jim Beckley, Instructional Systems Designer

Over the last few quarters, Appian has introduced a number of product improvements that make managing deployments a lot easier. Now, you can connect your development, test, and production environments and use the Compare and Deploy feature to easily create application deployment packages for new applications or updates to existing applications (a.k.a patches).

To support these product imporovements and your knowledge and skills development, we recently released a new course that teaches you how to configure your connected environments and leverage the Compare and Deploy feature to create, deploy, and manage application deployment packages across environments. You’ll learn how Appian automatically checks for missing objects in your deployment package. You’ll also learn how to interpret and proceed with different statuses for objects that have been previously deployed to your target environment. Lastly, you’ll see how to deploy both database scripts and import customization files alongside your application deployment package.

You can complete this course as part of our Appian Developer learning path or enroll in the course directly.

Kara Peeler, Manager, Training Development

As we all know, data is a huge part of every application. Knowing how to work with relational databases is essential to learning how to use the Appian platform to create scalable, enterprise-worthy applications. We want to help kickstart your knowledge by introducing you to key database terms and concepts that will help you build powerful applications.

Let's hone your database knowledge and skills with Appian's new Database Design Basics course. This course teaches you what a database is and how to use it. You learn about database schema design, relationship types, and how to differentiate between a primary key and a foreign key. You'll also learn how to create entity relationship diagrams (ERDs).

If you’re unfamiliar with database concepts, we recommend taking the Database Design Basics course prior to going through the Appian Developer learning path.

Katie Ward, Instructional Systems Designer

With the release of Appian RPA, we've created a new learning path specifically for developing robotic processes (bots). The knowledge you gain from this learning path, combined with your Java skills, will enable you to build bots to automate your business processes.

In addition to the new Appian RPA content, we are also debuting a new learning medium: .pdf guides. These guides combine text instructions, screen captures, and code snippets to create an useful and comprehensive learning experience. I hope this approach helps you learn how to develop bots efficiently and effectively.

Check out the robotic process automation learning path at academy.appian.com, and please answer the survey at the end. We love your feedback!

Katie Ward, Instructional Systems Designer

Great business applications should be more than just functional! That's the topic of our newest online training course: UX Design and Appian. In this course, you'll learn why UX design is so valuable to your application, how to plan and get feedback on your interface designs, and learn best practices for working with interface layouts and components.

Throughout this course, we'll showcase different designs and interface patterns to expand your knowledge of what's possible in Appian. Click here to get started!

Kara Peeler, Manager, Training Development

Come visit us on Academy Online to engage in your new learning experience. While you're there, check out our welcome video for information about new features, start learning with one of the learning paths, or enroll in the new UX design course.

The new learning system is a fresh, modern portal to everything you need to learn Appian. The new navigation, search, and filtering capabilities make it easier than ever to locate the content you want – when you want it. We also have more quizzes and revamped skills practices to help you gauge your learning and practice your newly acquired skills.

We're excited to roll out this new experience! Email us with any comments or questions: academyonline@appian.com.

Kara Peeler, Manager, Training Development

Have you ever wondered what it takes to improve your application development life cycle? DevOps is the answer! Appian provides a complete DevOps journey that will help you streamline processes, facilitate more efficient best practices, and much more. DevOps with Appian is a new set of documentation that will explain what DevOps is and what benefits you gain from it. Start learning about DevOps today and see for yourself the dramatic improvements in your development life cycle.

Debby Chang, Information Developer II

The new Grid Tutorial walks you through building a grid. Even though this tutorial teaches you all the major elements of the new grid, it still only takes about 15 minutes to complete because of how easy the new grid is.

We also have a new page that explains everything you need to know about Configuring the Read-Only Grid.

Mischa DeNola, Manager, Information Development

From any interface component page, you can find a new section, Related Patterns. Rather than just a handful of links to select patterns, this section displays all relevant patterns that use the component, letting you quickly find the right example to get you going. Check it out on the new Read-Only Grid Component page.

Mischa DeNola, Manager, Information Development

Excited about the new local variable and refresh variable functions? We've got you covered with a lot of new content, and updated examples, so you can start using them right away.

There are two new reference pages for each function that cover the details.

To take advantage of these new functions, learn how to quickly adapt your existing usage from Updating Expressions to Use Local Variables to learn how you can quickly adapt.

New examples for refreshing variables:

Alison Cowley, Senior Product Manager II

Working with data in Appian often starts with creating Custom Data Types (CDTs). This new page will help you understand how CDT relationships work and what factors to consider when designing your CDTs for your Appian application.

Debby Chang, Information Developer II

Many of you have come to rely on the UX Design Guide for best practice suggestions when using specific interface components and layouts. While knowing the rules for choosing button styles or label positions is helpful, the greatest opportunities for improving usability come from looking at the flow of your entire app. How will users complete their tasks from beginning to end? When someone first lands on a given page, how will they make sense of how content is organized? Making visually-appealing UIs is an understandable goal, but the best way to take full advantage of the value Appian provides is ensuring the users of your apps can easily and efficiently do their work.

To help you think about ways to make your users more effective, we've published a new Design Guide topic: Presenting Information Clearly. This page covers the basics of information architecture while showing examples of common do's and don'ts.

Charles Tsui, Director, User Experience

New this month is a tutorial on building a record! Watch the videos, follow along with the written instructions, or do both as you build a record. At the end of the tutorial, you’ll have a fully configured List View and Summary View.

Follow the directions in the tutorial to download the Getting Started application and sample data, or request a free trial site, which comes pre-loaded with the Getting Started app and sample data. Try it out!

Katie Ward, Instructional Systems Designer

To coincide with the new year, we’re introducing a new course on Academy Online: Appian Essentials! In this course, you’ll get an introduction to Appian and see how companies are using Appian to revolutionize their business practices. You’ll answer common questions such as How does Appian display data? and How is work completed in Appian? as well as participate in fun activities designed to enhance your learning!

Katie Ward, Instructional Systems Designer