This page covers what you can do from the application view of Appian Designer.
The default view in the Appian Designer is a list of all applications in the environment. From here, you can create or import new applications, modify applications, or drill into a single application to work on the objects associated with it.
Refer to the annotated screenshot above when reading about each of the features listed below:
You can click on any application to see its contents.
Within an application, you will only see the objects associated with this application. You also have a monitoring view that only shows processes for process models in this application.
While applications may seem like containers or folders, it's important to understand that the application is more of an association. The application itself contains its metadata about that application, and shows all objects that have been associated with it. Creating an object from within an application will automatically associate it with that application.
For quick object search, developers can click the search icon next to the Navigation Menu in Appian Designer, or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl-Space). The quick design object search does not work for documents or groups.
For more advanced search, developers should use the Designer Search. Developers can search for objects by name, description, UUID, and ID, as well as search within expressions in those objects.
In addition to searching for objects, developers can also filter objects by their type, last modified date, and/or by the last modified user(s). Both the search and the filters are applied at the same time.
The date filters take the user's time zone into account, so users in different time zones may see different objects when filtering on the same dates.
Some less-common object types are combined into one type filter: Group Types can be found using the Group filter, and Communities and Knowledge Centers can be found using the Folder filter.
Newly created objects are added to the application immediately, but may not immediately be visible if the current filter settings would hide it.
The header bar shows the context of the window and offers more actions and settings.
B. The left pane shows controls and filters that set the context for what appears in the main grid.
C. The main grid shows a list of objects or applications, filtered by the controls in the left nav. The toolbar above the grid has options and controls that apply to the current selection in the grid.
Browsing folders within Appian Designer is similar but has key differences. For more details, see folder contents and properties.
Developers can toggle between a flat or hierarchical view of their application objects. By default, the view is flat and displays all objects. Switching to the hierarchical view will display only the top-level objects and hide the rest, so that you can more easily navigate folder hierarchies.
These application-level configurations can be accessed from the Settings menu.
The table below describes application properties.
|Name||The maximum length of the name is 255 characters. The names of published application are visible to users in Tempo in the Actions tab and from the avatar menu under Settings > News.|
|Description||The maximum length of the description is 2000 characters. Application descriptions are not visible to users in Tempo.|
|Last Modified||Consists of a user name and timestamp that is updated whenever the application is updated. Updating the objects associated with an application does not change this timestamp, though adding or removing objects does.|
|Published||Determines whether the application's feeds and actions are visible in Tempo. A published application's name is visible in Tempo when it has feeds or actions.|
|Actions||A list of process models that this application exposes in Tempo for users to start from the Actions tab.|
Users must have at least Viewer permissions to a published application in order to view its feeds and actions.
Application security determines which groups and users can view, and interact with the application and its contents. By default, only the application creator and system administrators have access to the application.
The following table outlines the actions that can be completed for each permission level in an application's security role map:
|See application feeds or actions in Tempo||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Export the application||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|View and filter missing precedents||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|View application properties and contents||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Update filters in missing precedents||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Update application properties and contents||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Update application properties and contents via import||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Import a package||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|View application security||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Update application security||Yes||No||No||No|
|Update application security via import||Yes||No||No||No|
|Delete the application||Yes||No||No||No|
Actions are a configuration on an application that expose process models in end user interfaces. For process models to appear to a user, the application must also be published and that user must have view access to the application.
When choosing a process model to make an action, you can choose any published model in the system. That model is added to your application.
A precedent is any object that an object relies on to function properly. For deployment to another environment to be successful, all precedents of application objects must either be exported with the application, or already be present on the target environment.
The missing precedents dialog allows you to scan the application for referenced objects that are used by the application, but not associated with the application. An initial scan is performed when the dialog is first opened. From the list of missing precedents, developers can add objects to the application, and run another scan. The Referenced By column in the grid displays the object or objects that require each of the missing precedents, so that developers can tell why the missing precedent appears on the list.
Not all missing precedents need to be added to the application. Objects in related applications are deployed with those applications, and do not need to be added even though they are precedents of objects in this application. To narrow the list to only precedents that need to be added, use the filter options below the grid:
Only save a filter option when the corresponding application will be kept up to date in all environments. For example, any missing precedents from your Common Objects Application should not be added to this application, as the Common Objects Application is intended as a library that other applications can use. Saving that application as a missing precedents filter ensures that you do not accidentally add its objects to your applications.
Selecting all the applications in the list shows only missing precedents that are in no applications. These should always be added to your application, or moved to another application. Setting up these filters correctly allows a developer to confidently add all remaining missing precedents to the application.
The following items are not identified as missing precedents during a scan of your application. Make sure to add these manually.
The Security Summary allows you to view the security of all objects within an application in a single place. It also allows you to edit the security of objects in bulk. To learn more about the Security Summary, see this page.
From the application view, you can manage your test cases by clicking the Settings menu > Manage Test Cases. The Manage Test Cases dialog allows you to view the overall health of unit tests for all expression rules within your application. You can check for which rules do not have test coverage and run the test cases and review results for any number of expression rules in one place. To learn more about test case management, see this page.
From the application view you can populate your app by adding objects to it.
The NEW button allows you to create a new design object of the selected type. Objects created from the context of an application are automatically added to that application.
New objects (including new applications) created in Appian Designer have the following default security:
Design objects can be created by users of type System Administrator or users in the Designer role, with the following exceptions:
The ADD EXISTING button allows you to existing objects to this application. Since objects can exist in multiple applications, adding objects this way does not remove them from other applications.
You have three options when adding objects this way:
Select an object to discover related options and settings.
Developers with Viewer permissions to this object can duplicate it. There are two ways to duplicate an object with a designer:
Once you select the Duplicate option, you will see the following dialog:
NOTE: You can only duplicate the most recent version of an object. If you have unsaved changes and attempt to duplicate the object from within the designer, the most recent saved version of the object will be duplicated without the unsaved changes. A banner appears when there are unsaved changes to remind you before duplicating.
Duplication from within an object is available for interfaces, expression rules, integrations, and decisions. Constants, in addition to the previously mentioned object types, can be duplicated from the toolbar button from anywhere within an application's context.
For constant duplication, the duplication dialog will appear similar to the edit dialog for the constant being duplicated. Simply alter the name and value fields as desired and create. The duplicated object will be added to the current application.
This option will add the selected object to a package. A package is a collection of application objects, exported and imported from inside the application to modify it directly. Packages are used to enhance existing business solutions without creating new applications, and may include bug fixes, enhancements, or new application objects. Once you have selected your objects you will be able to specify their target package.
To create, export, or import a package in your application, see Application Packages.
Developers with Administrator permissions to an object can edit its security from the Application view. It is a best practice to use only groups to configure security. To edit the security of multiple objects at once, use the Security Summary.
To understand how a design object is related to other objects, select an object in the Application view and select the Dependents or Precedents toolbar option.
For details about how to interpret and navigate the lists of dependents and precedents, see: Trace Relationships
This removes the relationship between the object and the application which means the object will no longer show up in this application's view. The object is not deleted, and can still be found from the objects view of the system. Objects may belong to multiple applications, or none at all.
Basic users can delete one object at a time, while system administrators have the option to delete in bulk. When a single object is selected for deletion, the system automatically runs a dependency scan to determine if the object is still in use. To avoid errors in dependent objects, remove all references to the selected object before continuing with a deletion.
During bulk deletion, we recommend reviewing the dependents of each object before deleting them.
Deleted objects are removed from the system and cannot be restored. Appian does not support the deletion of system objects.
Note: Only system administrators can delete data types, group types, and non-empty folders. When a folder is deleted, all of its contents will also be deleted.
The More menu includes additional actions that you'll probably use less often than the other toolbar actions. It is available from the application view, the objects view of Appian Designer, and within any group or folder.
The More menu displays actions that are relevant for all objects that are available within the view. Additionally, any actions that aren't available for the selected object are disabled. The table below describes which actions are available for each object:
|Design Object||Properties||Versions||New Version||Rename||Download||View Documentation|
|Process Model Folder||Yes||No||No||No2||No||No|
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