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See Activity Class Parameter.


Work that must be done in a process either by the system (unattended) or users (attended). Each activity in a process is represented by a node in the process model. Activities appear as a subcategory of Standard Nodes (including the Script Task, Subprocess, and User Input Task Activities) in the Process Modeler.


Series of tasks linked together to create a wizard through which the user can possibly move forward and backward. Users enable activity-chaining on the flow connector between two tasks and is represented by a chain icon. It should be used when the same user needs to complete a series of tasks. Users move from one task to another using the Next button and, optionally, the Previous button until all activity-chained tasks are completed.

Activity Class

Defines the unit of work for a process model activity. It is the basic building block of all execution in the process engine and represents the activity's properties and functionality. All nodes in the Process Modeler are linked to an activity class, including custom smart services.

Activity Class Parameter (ACP)

Commonly referred to as node inputs, they are containers used to store and input data in an activity class. ACPs are the parameters defined as part of the activity class shipped with Appian, whereas node inputs also refer to any custom node inputs defined by a user. Entering a value in an ACP determines how the activity will execute. The input values can come from a process variable, expression evaluation, constant, or literal value and can be mapped to a process variable.

See also: Node Input

Activity Class Return Variable

Commonly referred to as node outputs, they are the values returned by an activity as defined by its activity class shipped with Appian. Custom node outputs are not considered activity class return variables.

See also: Node Output


Users that act on or are associated with a process. They are defined as variables to be resolved at runtime. For example, the user who starts a process becomes the process initiator (pp!initiator) and inherits any user rights assigned to object role maps within the process. Actors can be referenced in expressions using Actor Functions to return the assigned user and include the following: process initiator, process designer, task assignees, task owner, and task owner's supervisor.


Type of security role given to a user for a specific object. The permissions for an administrator differ for each type of object, but they typically include all possible permissions for the object. This can include the ability to view and modify the object, as well as manage its security settings.


Also known as a process analyst, it is one of two roles you can use to open the Process Modeler. Analysts are responsible for creating the high-level design of a process model. They are not responsible for configuring the process model. An analyst can simulate security models and view process reports but cannot grant permissions to others or create/edit/administer processes.


Freeform text that can be added to the Process Modeler canvas and linked to a flow object as needed. This allows process designers to provide additional information on a process model to all readers of a Business Process Diagram.

Appian Engine Server

See also: Engine Server

Appian Memory Unit (AMU)

A unit of measurement for memory usage across various Appian components and objects, which makes it easier for Designers to compare the memory capacity allocated for things like processes* and expression evaluations.

AMUs are equivalent values across systems, so 1 AMU in your development environment is identical to 1 AMU in your production environment. 1 AMU is roughly equal to 1 KB. This comparison is a general approximation and should not be reliably depended on.

*For processes, AMUs are representative of disk usage. RAM utilization is approximately 2.5 times this value.


Appian object that contains related process models, pages, groups, rules, records, documents, News feeds, reports, and other associated items that make up part of the user experience in Tempo. The application can then be published to Tempo, which lists the objects on their associated tabs based on the role maps for each object.

Grouping process models and their related objects in an application container allows you to export the group of objects into a ZIP archive and import them into other Appian servers. It also brings more organization to the user experience in Tempo as application containers are represented as default filters on certain tabs.

Applications have their own security rights independent of the security rights assigned to the objects they contain. Security rights play an important part in successful deployments.

See also: Deployment Security Guidelines

Application User

Users in the Application User Role have access to Tempo, Sites, and embedded interfaces. They can complete any tasks and start processes they have access to within Tempo, but they do not have access to Appian Designer or the Administration Console.

Approval Task

Tasks that allow an assignee to decide whether a process flow is to continue or stop at a given activity. They can be part of a larger process or the only part of a process. Approval tasks are configured through the User Input Task Activity and can be configured with a read-only form that contains information for the user to view before approving the task and allowing the process flow to continue.


User who is designated with the responsibility of completing a task.

Assignee Pool

A collection of all possible assignees who might be assigned a given task. If a node is set to spawn multiple instances, it can be configured to pull a different user from the assignee pool each time it spawns a new instance, or the pool can be configured to allow users from it to accept each task as it becomes available.


Configuration option for activities set through the Assignment tab of the activity's properties dialog box. It is the means by which a particular user or group is made responsible for completing a task in a process. Activities can either be assigned as a task or ran as an automated activity.

Asynchronous Subprocess

A subprocess activity that does not cause the parent process to wait for subprocess completion. The process flow continues immediately after the child process is launched.


Configuration option for activities that requires a user to perform an action in order to complete the activity. A related configuration option determines which users are assigned to the attended activity.


Set of user rights that can be given to a user for a Knowledge Center/Folder. Authors of a Knowledge Center/Folder can download and upload files.

For feed entries, author also refers to the user/group that entered the message or comment into a feed. The author's name appears next to the feed entry with his/her profile picture.

Automatic Group Membership

One of three membership policies a Group Administrator can configure for a group. Users who can view groups with this policy do not need the Group Administrator's approval to join the group. This membership policy only exists for public groups.


Business Process

Set of procedures that coordinate the activities of a group of users, usually initiated by a particular event. Designers can create a process model to define the set of procedures, so it can be run multiple times, modified with version control, and reported on.

Business Process Management (BPM)

Business Process Management (BPM) is a change management and system implementation methodology to aid the continuous comprehension and management of business processes that interact with people and systems, both within and across organizations. It is a methodology based on the following assumptions — business processes are ever-changing and developing, processes cross-cut each other, and processes must flow between multiple organizations and interested parties.


Cascading Problem

Problem logged in the import log for any item that could not be imported as part of the application because it references an item that failed to import previously. These types of problems do not need to be addressed individually.

Closed Group Membership

One of three membership policies a group administrator can configure for a group. Only group administrators can add members to a group with this policy. For Team and Personal groups, membership policy is always closed.

Collaboration Service

The public Java API for Appian's document management services.


One of two top-level file containers for Document Management. Communities are generally associated with public groups in an organization.

Communities can contain knowledge centers and/or other communities. Adding a knowledge center to a community makes the knowledge center accessible to all users in the community, by default. Only community administrators have the ability to associate knowledge centers they create with a community.

Community Administrator

User responsible for the content of a community portal home page. Community administrators are able to create content for their communities, are responsible for the content other users upload to the community knowledge centers, and approving or rejecting users who apply for access.

A community administrator is different from a knowledge center or folder administrator in that community administrators can create knowledge centers and can feature files in the Appian Document Management channels that are in their community portal home page. A user who is designated an administrator of a community knowledge center is not necessarily a community administrator.

Complex System Data Type

Set of system data types shipped with Appian. They include data types such as Label Value and Data Subset,.System data types only include a single type of data. They have a complex structure with multiple fields.

See also: System Data Type

Complex Data Type

Data type, either system or custom, with a complex data structure.

See also: Custom Data Type and System Data Type

Connected System

An Appian object that represents an external system that is integrated with Appian. They allow you to share base URL and authentication details across multiple integrations.


An arrow between nodes in the Process Modeler which indicates which activity in a process is executed next.


An Appian object that is a single literal value or list of values that allow you to automatically reference a variable in multiple expressions.

Content Service

A Java API developed to support management of all Appian content. These interfaces are used by Appian when managing documents, rules, and constants.


User logged into the system when a new Appian object is created, such as a group creator, knowledge center creator, or process model creator. All creators are given administrator rights over the object by default. If the creator assigns an additional user as an administrator over the object, the rights of the creator can then be removed.

Custom Data Type (CDT)

The metadata format for information you want to use in process applications. Custom data types can be created using the Data Type Designer, imported from an XML Schema Definition Language (.XSD) file, imported from a WSDL file using the Call Web Service Smart Service, or with Java code using a plug-in.

Unlike system data types, custom types can be modified and deleted.


Data Mapping

Association of a variable in a parent process with a variable in a subprocess to allow the processes to pass data back and forth. The mapping is created through the configuration of input and output variables for each process. It also applies to Send and Receive Events to allow you to capture all data within the message and store them in process variables, making the data accessible throughout the process model. This mapping is done by configuring the Message Content for each event.

Data Store

An Appian object that connects Appian to external relational databases in order to store and retrieve application data.

Data Type

An Appian object that classifies the properties of another object. These classifications fall into three groups: primitive system data types, complex system data types, and custom data types (CDTs).


An Appian object that is a grouping of business rules that determine output values based on a set of inputs. They are best used to encapsulate complex, business-specific logic.

Deleted Process Model

A version of a process model no longer accessible for viewing/editing in the Designer Interface because it has been deleted by a user. When a process model is deleted, processes can no longer begin from it, but processes that have already started can continue until completion.

Dependent Rules

Expression rules and constants used in the definition of a rule you're currently editing.


When a product feature or application programming interface is slated for removal in an upcoming release and called out as such in the Release Notes. When this notice is added to product functionality, evaluate and redesign your applications as needed so that they continue to function properly once the functionality is removed.

Designer Interface

The Appian user interface for developing and maintaining composite process applications. The Designer is used by administrators and advanced users responsible for developing the BPM solutions used by the organization.

Designer User Role

Users in the Designer User Role have access to Tempo and the Designer Interface. They can design process models and complete tasks, but they do not have access to the System Administrator Console.

Dialog Box

Window that displays on the screen with options that the user can select. More specifically to Appian, it is the window that displays when users want to configure the properties for a node in the Process Modeler. For example, right-clicking the Script Task Activity and selecting Properties displays the Configure Script Task dialog box.


A dictionary is an ad-hoc data structure created inline in an expression. In contrast, a custom data type is a reusable data structure with a specific name and predefined fields. The query expression functions return dictionaries.

Discussion Forum

Appian object that allows users to engage in discussions within the Portal interface on topics they create. Tempo, however, offers many benefits over Discussion Forums, such as mobile support, modern web browser support, improved search functionality, and greater user control through visibility settings and message targeting. When possible, users should engage in discussions on Tempo, rather than through discussion forums.


An Appian object that is uploaded as a file. Security on the document can be managed at the document level or folder that contains the document.

Document Administrators

System group that gives members the right to administer the Document Management area of the system. These members can perform various administrative functions such as creating, modifying, deactivating, and reactivating departments. They can modify documents, users, and move knowledge centers. Document administrators have control over all aspects of Document Management, whereas community administrators and knowledge center administrators have control over smaller sections of Document Management.

Document Management

The file storage and management features of Appian. It is a fully integrated collaboration solution that provides version control, user-rights management, and document search features. These files are available from the Documents View in the Designer interface and can be used in links, processes, tasks, and API calls.


Edit Process

Act of modifying a process during run-time including the addition, subtraction, or editing of any attribute of a process after it initiates. Edit process can only occur while viewing a process in Edit mode. Users can make changes to the sequence flow or associated forms of an active process.


Type of security role given to a user for a specific object. The permissions for an editor differ for each type of object, but they typically only include the ability to view and modify the object, not manage its security settings.

End User

Users who work with Appian objects (including completing tasks, taking actions, and viewing reports) through Tempo, sites, and embedded interfaces. This compares to administrators, designers, or developers who maintain and create the Appian objects through the Designer interface. End users need to be added to the Application User Role and created as a Basic User.

Engine Server

Real-time in-memory (RAM) databases that also persist all data (database and transaction logs) in a file on disk. These database files use a .kdb file extension.


Common name for the term feed entry.

See also: Feed Entry


Response that occurs when a task is delayed. There are two types of escalation: passive and active. In passive escalation, the process designer designates the amount of time during which a certain task must be completed by and the course of action that triggers in the event that it is not completed in time. Active escalation enables a user with the appropriate permissions to escalate in the event that he/she feels that a task is not being completed quickly enough. Escalation actions may include re-assignment to another assignee so the delay does not continue.


Category of process model nodes that affect the flow of a process. The use of events can allow for communication across different processes, permit processes to communicate effectively with external (third party) applications, delay a process flow until a scheduled time, and/or halt the process flow.

Explicit Non-Viewer

User who is automatically removed from any other roles. A user can be declared an explicit non-viewer for an entire process or for a particular process node. This provides a way to guarantee that certain users or groups of users will not be able to access a process. If a process contains sensitive information, such as confidential financial data, team members who work for other companies that do not belong to the finance department or are known to be indiscreet can be declared explicit non-viewers through the Modify Process Security Smart Service.


Statement evaluated by the rules engine to determine its value. They are similar to a spreadsheet formula, but rather than taking spreadsheet cells as inputs, you can enter variables, Appian functions, rules, or constants to derive a calculated value. Much of the power of Appian expressions come from the rich set of Appian Functions that you can apply to the data entered. Many common spreadsheet functions are available.

A simple example of an expression in Appian combines text together with a variable. The following expression might be used to create a greeting for an email.

"Dear "&pv!Title&" "&pv!Name&"," returns Dear Mr. John Smith,

Expression Editor

Powerful interface tool that allows for the assembling of complex expressions in a simple point and click manner. The Expression Editor can be used to perform any number of operations within a process model, Rules designer, or report. It displays the variables and constants available for expression inputs, as well as the many functions and rules that can be used to transform the data in the desired manner. It also performs basic validation tests on the logic that you enter, such as checking to see that you've closed each open parenthesis.

Any text field in Appian that allows you to enter an expression displays the expression editor button. Such fields also allow you to type the desired expression without using the editor.

Expression Rule

An Appian object that is a statement that evaluates to return a value, much like a spreadsheet function.


Feature Preview

Functionality available in a release that is part of a larger set of functionality that will be available in a future release, but is released now to offer early access to future capabilities. Feature Previews may change without going through the typical deprecation period.


An Appian object that is a channel for delivering content to the News Feed in Tempo or Sites.

Feed Entry

Anything posted to the News feed, either by a user or the system. This includes posts, messages, events, system events, hazards, and comments.


Any document a user uploads to Document Management. By adding files to Appian, you can share them with other users or store them for quick access from any web connection. Files are stored in folders within Knowledge Centers. All users can upload files to their private knowledge center, but uploads to other locations require provisions to their user rights. Files are managed using version control, which keeps a copy of the prior file versions when a new version of the file is uploaded.

Flow Connector

Object in the Process Modeler menu bar that links nodes together into a specific sequence. A process model must have flow connectors that link the Start Event to at least one End Event. Flow connectors are configurable to enable activity chaining and data synchronization between flow objects.

Flow Object

Any object that can be added to the sequence flow of a process model in the Process Modeler, including flow connectors, activities, gateways, and so on. All flow objects are both a notational object and an executable code object.


An Appian object that acts as a storage container for documents.


Option given to all users in the system as a way to let them decide which users they receive feed entry posts from. By following a user, any posts created by that user will show up automatically in your News feed.


User that has opted to have posts created by a specific user show up automatically in his/her News feed.

Users can see whether they're following a specific user by looking at the user card or User Profile page of the user in question. If they are following the user, a button displays in grey with the word "Unfollow" allowing them to unfollow the user.


Mechanism by which a user enters data into a process. The fields in a form can be completed by the assignee while completing the task associated with the node. They are created using interfaces.


Procedure performed based on the arguments passed to it that returns a result as part of an expression. A set of Appian Functions are available for use in expressions throughout the system and are accessible through the Expression Editor. Custom Function Plug-ins can also be created by users and made accessible throughout the system.



Appian object in the Process Modeler used to control the sequence flow of nodes. Appian gateways (except the AND gateway) allow you to test various criteria to determine an outgoing flow or flows and how many token instances can follow each path.


An Appian object that allows you to create a collection of users. Users in a group have security permissions assigned to them in the role maps for each object in your application.

Group Privacy Policy

Setting that determines the viewing policy of a group. Options include low (where all members can see each other) and high (where members cannot see each other). In a high viewing policy, only users or groups that hold Group Administrator or Group Creator rights can view the members. For Personal security settings, the viewing policy is always set to high.

Group Type

Expandable definition of a group. All groups come from a group type definition, which can be expanded to include properties and other attributes. For example, a Sales Team may always have an associated Sales Trainer. A group type called Sales Team could then be created with the Sales Trainer Attribute (with a user data type) listed as required. As a result, new Sales Teams you create would then require that a user be assigned to the Sales Trainer Field.


Hazard Alert

System-generated comment on an event posted in Tempo that highlights a problem with the process in question. Hazard alerts are used to facilitate a coordinated response.


Impacted Rules

Expression rules that use the rule or constant you're currently editing as part of their definition.

Index Value

Number paired with each value stored in a multiple value variable. They allow you to select a value using its paired index number. For example, if you have a multiple process variable called pv!color that contains the values red, orange, and yellow, you can select orange using its paired index value using the following expression: pv!color[2].

In-flight Processing

Former term for modifying a process during run-time including the addition, subtraction, or editing of any attribute of a process after it initiates. Now referred to as Edit Process.


The adoption of a parent object's security settings by another object encapsulated within the parent. For example, by default, a folder inherits its Knowledge Center's security settings. Designers can decide whether or not an object should inherit the security settings of its parent object through the objects properties.


Role assigned to the user who starts a given process.

Input Mapping

The association of a process variable or parameter in a parent process with a process parameter for a link or subprocess. This allows the process parameters/variables used in the parent process to be used in the link and subprocesses. The variables to be mapped are defined in the parent process and the mapping is configured in the link or subprocess.


Common name for the term process instance. Both terms are now referred to simply as process. A process is a single occurrence of the process model.


An Appian object that can be used to call external systems and web services from Appian.


An Appian object that returns one or more components to display on a record view, Tempo report, or process form.

Internal Messaging Service

The Internal Messaging Service is responsible for relaying data between different components of Appian’s architecture. It is implemented using Kafka which is an open source distributed messaging system with publish-subscribe semantics and Zookeeper which coordinates leader election within the Kafka cluster.

Currently the Internal Messaging Service is used as a transaction log for the Engines and the Data Server.



A distributed messaging and persistence layer that is a part of the Internal Messaging Service, used as transaction log for the Appian Engines.

Knowledge Center

The second-level container in Document Management beneath a community or the Personal and Teams container. A knowledge center is a security object for folders and files. To create and modify a knowledge center in a community, a user must be an administrator for the community. Folders are stored in knowledge centers. You must subscribe to a knowledge center to view the folders within it and have the correct security authorization to upload and delete files, check out and version files, or create and delete folders within that knowledge center.

Knowledge Center Administrator

User with all possible permissions to the content of that knowledge center. Administrators can view all content, add new files/folders, delete files/folders, add/remove users, and change user access levels. The first administrator is always the creator of the knowledge center. The creator can then select other users for access. Any user the creator designates for administrator access will have the same permissions for the knowledge center as the creator.


The Appian Connection Manager. This component manages each connection made to the Appian Engines.


Type of feed entry that can be added to the News feed. It provides a way for users to publicly give praise to another user for work he/she has done. Kudos are also visible from a user's User Profile page along with a count of how many he/she has received.



The name assigned to a flow connector between nodes in a process model as well as the name assigned to a field in a form. Both types of labels are optional, but recommended to designate the purpose of a given node or field, respectively.


Object in the Process Modeler used to organize activities and task assignments within a process model. You can add either horizontal or vertical lanes and can assign the lanes to specific users, teams, groups, or departments.

Linked Process

Process initiated during or upon the completion of a parent process and does not stop the flow of the parent process. Also known as an asynchronous subprocess. Linked processes must be configured through the Subprocess Activity.


The name given to a set of system settings that pertain to a specific country or region. These settings include the text labels, descriptions, and messages that appear in your process applications, as well as certain display preferences (such as date and time formatting). The primary system locale is set by the system administrator during installation in the file.

Local ID

Number value by which an Appian object (such as documents, knowledge centers, groups, and users) is referenced on an Appian server. Unlike UUIDs, the local ID may change from one Appian server to another.

Locked Message

Type of message users can add to the News feed that restricts the audience to only those users and groups targeted as the audience when the message was created.

See also: Message



Type of feed entry that users can add to the News feed and target to specific users and/or groups. Only the users and groups targeted can see it or search for it. Groups that can be targeted are limited to those belonging to the Tempo Message Audience Group. Messages can be locked so only the original target audience sees it or unlocked to allow users to add additional users and groups to the message.

See also: Locked Message and Unlocked Message

Multiple Node Instances (MNI)

Process configuration that starts the same process flow object more than once using the same flow token. This behavior is configured on the Other Tab of the activity properties dialog box. MNI can be used to recreate the same task using a looping flow, run the same task repeatedly on a schedule, assign the same task to all members in a group, assign a task for each item in a variable, or update an array.


Nested Function/Rule

Function or rule used as the argument for another function or rule in an expression. For example, in the following expression, the supervisor() function is nested within the user() function:

=user(supervisor(pp!initiator), "firstName")

Nested functions and rules are evaluated in order by argument before the parent function is evaluated.


Object in the Process Modeler that represents a step in a process, such as an activity, event, or gateway. Nodes can be unattended (an automated task) or attended (requiring user interaction).

Node Input

Container used to store data in a process activity. When a user enters data into a form, it is saved in the associated node input. This data is configured through the Data tab of the node's dialog box and typically mapped to a process variable. When creating your form, the interface expression on the Forms tab of the node's dialog box lets you identify the specific node input to store the entered data in. If you want to update a process variable without using a form, create an expression as a node output.

Node Output

Return value generated when an activity in a process completes. They are listed on the Data tab of the activity's dialog box. You can create custom outputs that use rules or expressions to store logical results as process variable values. If a process variable targeted by your output accepts multiple values, only one value can be appended per activity. You cannot create different outputs on the same activity that append values to the same variable.


Message sent to users through a feed entry or email regarding changes to their account, groups, knowledge centers, news feeds, tasks, and process status. Each user can control the frequency and delivery of notifications for a specific notification type by modifying/adding notification rules associated with it.

Formerly known as an alert.



General term for all components that make up the end user experience. It can refer to anything from an entire application to a node within a process to a feed users can subscribe to. Designers and administrators work with Appian objects to create the end user experience.



Section of the Process Modeler that contains all nodes available for use in a process model.

Parent Group

A group that consists of one or more other groups. For example, a Business Development Group might need child groups named Marketing and Sales. If so, the Business Development Group would be selected as a parent group when creating the Marketing and Sales Groups. When you select a group as a parent, the new group's members also become members of the parent group. Only public and restricted groups can be added to a parent group.

Parent Process

Process model that contains a Subprocess Activity. It is configured to start another process model (known as the subprocess) during its own process flow.

Participating View

A view available on the News tab of Tempo that displays only feed entries in which the logged-in user is a part of the feed entry conversation, such as authoring it, commenting on it, or being part of the target audience.

Personal and Teams

Top-level container for documents that allows you to privately store files that are not associated with public groups or communities.


Type of feed entry that can be added to the News feed. A post displays on the News feed of any users that follow the feed entry author as well as any users or groups the author targets with the entry. All users can search for a post.

Preview API

Functionality that will be available as part of the public API in a future release, but is released now to offer early access to future capabilities. Preview APIs may change without going through the typical deprecation period and might not be compatible with the final public API that evolves from them.

Primary Problem

Problem logged in the import log for any item that could not be imported as part of an application and the reason why it failed to import. This type of problems should be addressed individually before attempting to import the application again.

Primitive System Data Type

Set of system data types shipped with Appian. They include data types such as Data and User. Primitive system data types only include a single type of data. They can contain either a single value or multiple values.

See also: System Data Type


Configuration option for a process that indicates its relative importance over other processes. Users can filter tasks by priority in order to complete the high priority items first. Depending on configuration settings, users can also escalate a task by changing its priority.


One instance of a process model. Each can have its own security settings separate from the process model and can be monitored and edited in real time through the Process tab in the Designer Interface.

Process Model

An Appian object that consists of process nodes, flow connectors, user and group assignments, data, and rules created through the Process Modeler.

Process Model Properties

Variables delivered with Appian that reference certain items associated with a process model. Every process model created with the Process Modeler has variables that can be used within rules and functions, such as the creator, name, and version.

Process Modeler

The Process Modeler is a BPMN flowchart and development tool that allows designers to create executable process models through a drag-and-drop interface and standard notation. Designers drag nodes onto the canvas, modify the node's specific configuration options, and connect it to other nodes as part of the intended flow. All process models created through the Process Modeler can be developed, tested, and monitored through the tool.

Process Properties

Variables delivered with Appian that reference certain items associated with a process. Every process started in Appian has variables that can be used within rules and functions, such as the initiator, designer, and deadline.

Process Report

An Appian object that displays process data from process models, processes, and tasks.

Process Tasks

A process activity that is assigned to a user or group of users or completed using system logic. Users complete them through a form.

Process Upgrade

Act of modifying all active processes for a process model to match the most recently published version of that process model. This is different from the Edit Process functionality which only allows you to edit one process instance at a time and requires you to manually find and enter the changes into the process.

Process Variable

Place holder for data associated with a process that can be accessed throughout the lifecycle of the process. It is the means by which data gets transferred between nodes in your process model. For instance, in a process that calculates the interest of a bank account, interest information is stored in process variables. When an email is sent to the user listing her interest, the process variable is used to add this data to the email.

You can also perform different operations on process variables using rules and expressions. Process variables are a data source for generating reports. In an attended task, form data is stored in node inputs that are mapped to process variables. When an activity completes, it may generate return values as node outputs mapped to process variables. At the start of a process, you can use a start form to store data in process variables without using node inputs.

Process Versioning

Means of tracking several editions of a process model. It is designed to prevent the loss of other user's work if there are multiple users editing a process model. Different versions of a process model can be managed within the Process Modeler or Process tab of the Designer Interface. Processes can run on different versions of the same process models. Each version has its own security role map.

Profile Picture

The image uploaded by a user that displays next to their name in Tempo, on their User Profile Page, and on their user card.

Public Security

Security setting that allows objects to have low security restrictions and made accessible to all users. Processes cannot be designated public. Users are only given access to a process if an administrator grants access to that individual or group.

Published Process Model

Version of the process model that has been validated and marked as ready for execution. Only published process models can be added to applications.


Query Rule [Deprecated]

Query created by a user that retrieves data from relational databases and is saved to the system with a user-defined name, description, definition, and central location. Rules can be reused throughout the system by any user with at least Viewer rights to it. They are managed and stored within the Rules and Constants folder in the Designer Interface.

Quick Task

An assigned activity that does not have to be part of a sequential process flow. This activity is initiated on an ad-hoc basis. When added as part of a published application, they appear on the Tasks tab of Tempo for users with permissions to start them.



One of three types of user rights that can be given to a user for a Knowledge Center/Folder. Read-Only users can view and download files, but cannot make any changes to content.


When a task that was assigned to one user is assigned to a different user either manually by the original assignee or automatically through a configuration option for the activity.

Activities must be configured on the Assignment tab to allow for reassignment.


User or group targeted to receive a feed entry message when the message is created.


A group of related data organize and displayed for a single data entity. For example, a record type called Prospectives could include a record for each prospective customer in the system, where the record includes relevant customer information that can be displayed in a view. A record type called Help Desk Tickets could include a record for each ticket created through a technical support action, where the record provides pertinent information about the issue that helps the technical support specialist troubleshoot and resolve the case.

Record View

An interface designed to allow users to view data for a specific record. Users access views by selecting a record from the record list view. An expression configured as part of the record type determines the data that displays for each record. Related actions are also accessed from record views.

Record List View

Displays all of the records for a given record type. Users access record views from this list. Configure views with user filters for the record type and with user access rights to allow or limit the record data that is displayed.

Record Type

An Appian object containing metadata for a given record including the source, record list view, record views, default filters, user filters, and related actions common to all records of the same source.


When a user assigned to a task declines to complete the task. Activities must be configured on the Assignment tab to allow for rejection and to determine the result that occurs upon rejection.


An Appian object that displays data from tasks, records, and other data sources in a single interface in Tempo for end users to view.

Report Context

The process or process model selected as the data source for your process report or the user or a group selected as the data source for your task report.

Role Map

The access control list for each Appian object with managed user rights.


Self-Assembling Interface Layer

The underlying technology that powers Appian Interfaces. Learn more about SAIL

Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)

Industry-standard XML format, which allows secure web domains to exchange user authentication and authorization data. Using SAML, an online service provider (such as Appian Cloud) can contact a separate online identity provider (such as your organization's user authentication system) to authenticate users who are trying to access secure content. Appian Cloud is compatible with SAML v 2.0.

Sequence Flow

Combination of nodes and flow connectors in a process model. The sequence flow allows you to easily design and redesign the flow objects that execute in your process applications. Each sequence flow must have a Start Event and at least one End Event.

Service Manager

A process that sits between the application server and the Appian Engines that coordinates load balancing calls across the engines, engine status monitoring, and checkpointing.

Simple Data Type

Data type, either system or custom, with a simple data structure.

See also: Custom Data Type and System Data Type

Single Sign-On (SSO)

Software process that allows users to sign-in to different sites and applications without having to maintain separate credentials for each one.


An Appian object that is a customizable user interface where an Appian developer can create focused work environments for their user.

Smart Service

Process activity that appears in the Process Modeler along with other standard activities, events, gateways, and rules. These activities allow you to easily configure services for process analytics, communication, feeds, people management, integration, document generation, document management, and process management. You can also create your own reusable code objects that appear as Custom Smart Service Plug-In in the Process Modeler for use by any process designer.

Social Task

Type of task that can be created from the News tab that allows a user to send a task to another user. It provides a way for users to collaborate and assign work in an ad-hoc manner. Social tasks assigned to a user are accessible from their Tasks tab within Tempo for reviewing, commenting on, and closing.


Process model that starts as a result of the Subprocess Activity. It is configured to run within the process flow of another process model known as the parent process.


Permission given to users to view the contents of the related Knowledge Center. Subscribing to a Knowledge Center also makes it possible to monitor new uploads to folders within the KC.

Synchronous Subprocess

A subprocess that keeps the process flow in the parent process waiting. The flow only continues in the parent process once the subprocess is completed.

System Administrator

User type that has access privileges to all tools and capabilities in Appian and can edit user roles. This includes the ability to create new administrators.

System Data Type

Standard data types that ship with Appian. They include primitive data types such as Text and Number, complex data types such as Label Value and Data Subset, and Appian Object types such as Document and People. All system types are pre-defined. Their structure cannot be modified or deleted.

System Groups

Groups delivered with Appian that allow users to administer components of Appian. For example, members of the system group Portal Administrators can perform portal page and content administration. Members of the Document Administrators group can administer the Appian Document Management system component. System groups cannot be deleted.


Task Owner

User assigned to a task.

Task Properties

Variables delivered with Appian that reference certain items associated with a task. Every task started in Appian has variables that can be used within rules and functions, such as the owner, assignees, and deadline.


An interface for feeds, tasks, and actions that combines social collaboration, filtered views, and forms into a single intuitive view.

Tempo Message Audience Group

Custom group added to the Tempo Message Audience Groups parent group that becomes available for users to select when targeting messages in the News feed. They can be either public or restricted.

Users can view which groups that are a part of by clicking the drop-down that appears when creating a feed entry on the News tab of Tempo.

Users must talk to their system administrators about joining restricted Tempo Message Audience Groups.

Tempo Report

Appian object that displays charts and grids based on an expression. It holds the basic properties of the report (name, description, and URL), the expression that determines what interface components display, and the role map that determines its security.


Configuration option for nodes that allows the process designer to schedule tasks absolutely (at a given time) or relative to the completion of another task.



Configuration option for activities that determines a user action is not required to complete the activity. It is completed by the system.

Universally Unique Identifier (UUID)

String of 32 hexadecimal digits assigned to an Appian object when it is created. This internal (hidden) property is not editable or configurable. When migrating, UUIDs are also assigned to existing objects. UUIDs are used when importing an application to determine whether or not (regardless of the object's name or Local ID) a certain Appian object already exists. If an existing object is found, the import process updates the existing object, rather than creating a new one on the target system.

Unlocked Message

Type of message users can add to the News feed that allows the author or target audience to notify additional users and groups of the feed entry after it is created.

See also: Message


Any individual who can access and use any of the Appian interfaces. Users have their own set of permissions.

Also referred to as an end user.

User Card

The pop-up window that displays when you hover over a user display name within Tempo. It displays the user's contact information if you have viewer rights to the user. It also allows a user to follow or unfollow another user in order to see or hide their posts when viewed in Tempo.

User Filters

Filters end users can apply to the record list view to view a subset of the records. For example, on an customer record type, you might create a user filter called Customer Name where the filter options are based on the company including "A to F", "G to M", "N to S", and "T to Z," all of which use the between operator.

User Profile Page

The User Profile page is a page delivered with Appian in Tempo that displays information specific to that user. Logged-in users can only access their own User Profile page or the pages of users they have viewer rights to. Each User Profile page displays an About view that lists feed entries entered by the user that the logged-in user has viewer rights to. It also provides users with the ability to follow the user and see how many followers the user has.

User Profile Visibility

The ability for one user to view another user’s information and interact with the other user while logged into an application, as determined by the Modify User Security Smart Service. If the logged-in user has no rights to view another user, the secure user’s contact information is masked within the system only allowing the logged-in user to see a username.

User Role

Adding a user to one gives the user access to specific interfaces in the system, including Tempo, Designer Interface, and System Administrator Console. There are two types of user roles: Application User Role and Designer Role. Application Users have access to Tempo. Designers have access to Tempo and Designer Interface.

User Type

Assigning a user to one gives the user a set of rights to perform specific actions in the system. There are two security types for user accounts: Basic Users and System Administrators. System Administrator users have administrative rights to all components. Basic Users start out with Viewer rights to top-level objects and interface tabs, but can have different rights put on them for specific objects or modified by System Administrators.



Document management version control that allows you to retain older versions of a file when uploading a file with changes. When a file is checked out and locked for editing by other users, uploading a new version of the file releases the lock.


Type of security role given to a user for a specific object. The permissions for a viewer differ for each type of object, but they typically only include the ability to view the object, not modify it.



An Appian object that provides a way to expose data that is stored inside of Appian or is accessible by Appian to another system. Each Web API is an association between a URL and an expression.

Web Services

Collection of web-protocols that allow different applications to communicate with one another over the web. Appian processes can invoke web services, and publish process models as web services.


See also: Activity-Chain.

Work Time

The time between a worker first accepting a task and completing it.

Working Draft

Process model that is loaded into the process modeler environment and is the only one that can be edited. The working draft is the only draft of the process model and all previous versions are versions of the working draft.



A distributed consensus framework, used to coordinate leadership decisions for the Appian Engines.

Open in Github Built: Thu, Feb 23, 2023 (02:59:22 PM)