Combine people, technologies, and data into a single workflow with Appian automation. In this release, we've improved many of our powerful, low-code design tools, including enhanced AI-powered document processing, automation of desktop and browser applications, and efficient management of your automated processes.
We are happy to announce that Appian's document extraction services are now out of preview! If your business requires you to keep your document data within Appian, you can do just that using these built-in services. As always, we continue to support automated extraction from a wide range of documents, whether you choose to use Google services or the built-in convenience of Appian.
We want everyone to have access to the power of automation, so we're offering Appian Cloud customers 20,000 pages of document extraction per month included with the platform. This is substantially more than the free offerings of other document extraction vendors.
If your business processes a higher volume of documents, reach out to your account executive to learn about additional pricing options.
Appian's document extraction services are now SOC 2 compliant, allowing Appian Cloud customers to use them while maintaining the high security standards expected of their production sites.
Customers with additional compliance requirements (HIPAA, PCI-DSS) can continue to use Appian extraction by enabling it in the Document Extraction page of the Admin Console.
We've expanded Appian's document extraction services to include checkbox data in PDFs. Now you can quickly and easily extract checkbox information from your documents.
Appian can identify checkboxes (both checked and unchecked) within a document to be processed, as well as the relevant label of the checkbox. The information is extracted and saved—all without ever having to leave Appian.
Tables can come in many shapes and formats. With this release, you'll see more consistent results when extracting data from documents containing adjacent tables and tables with multi-line rows.
The document below contains two tables, but because they are right next to each other they could be detected as one table. Now, Appian more consistently detects each table separately so that you can extract the data you need and ignore data you don't.
Some tables have data that spans multiple lines, which can result in incorrect rows being extracted. Our automated table extraction now looks for these cases and more consistently identifies whether there are multiple rows or one row with multi-line data.
With this release, we've made it easier and faster than ever to experiment with document extraction features using IDP.
IDP 1.7 leverages the latest functions in Appian 21.4, increasing expression rule performance within the IDP application. In addition, we have reduced IDP installation steps by replacing a previous plug-in dependency with newly released Appian functions.
Preview two exciting updates at once: You can launch the task recorder in the new robotic process designer. This release eliminates the step of launching the task recorder from an action. Now, simply click Start Recording in a section or action group to begin capturing your interactions with the web browser. When you're finished, the saved actions appear in the robotic process, where you can make adjustments to the configuration in the simplified robotic process designer.
In this release, we continue to enhance the new robotic process designer's capabilities. You can now use additional actions such as Evaluate expression, Execute robotic subprocess (more on this below), actions with date fields, and all actions in the Image recognition module.
Further, to help you build more sophisticated processes in the new design experience, the actions palette now includes conditional and looping actions.
Each conditional action includes two flows where you can add more actions for the robotic process to complete if that condition is met. For example, the Is element present? action includes flows for both Yes and No, so you can easily build and visualize the possible paths.
Previously, loops were built into robotic processes by iterating through a list using a variable to keep track of its position and when to exit the loop. Now, you can easily configure an action group to repeat based on the number of items in a list, when a condition is True, or a static number of times to repeat.
As your automations grow, you may find that you're building similar actions in the same order for multiple robotic processes. Rather than do this manually each time, you now have the option to call a robotic subprocess. Simply stated, this lets you execute a robotic process within the context of another robotic process.
Robotic subprocesses help you build reusable and modular robotic processes. With this design pattern, you can create these actions once and reference them in multiple robotic processes. This is a huge advantage for actions that can become cumbersome and time-consuming to maintain, such as login actions. Instead, you'll only need to make updates in one place.
You use Appian processes models to orchestrate robotic process executions. A key piece of this orchestration is to build pathways and other controls to help gracefully handle errors that may occur. To help you build more specific logic for error handling, you need the robotic process to return equally specific information.
In this release, the Execute Robotic Process smart service has a new default output that returns the section where the robotic process failed. This information helps you configure specific gateways in the process model for more graceful failure scenarios.
For example, if the robotic process fails at a section where it's supposed to launch a web application, you can configure the process model to retry after a certain period of time. But if the robotic process fails at a section where it's supposed to log in, you can configure the process model to notify a person to verify the credentials are still correct.
Appian RPA's task recorder helps developers of all skill levels build robotic processes quickly by configuring actions automatically. But if you choose to customize the selector that the task recorder picked, the tool is also there to help guide you. In this release, when you edit an action in the task recorder, the corresponding element is highlighted in the browser, allowing you to easily configure the most robust selector possible without ever leaving the task recorder.
This feature makes it easier to ensure you're choosing the right element as you edit recorded actions. You can be confident you're modifying the right selector value when selecting dynamic data or getting multiple elements. The task recorder provides this feedback to you in real time, reducing the need to debug or troubleshoot incorrect selections.
Appian RPA previously provided a Nexus code repository for sites created before September of 2020. Nexus was later deprecated as an RPA code repository with our 7.7 RPA release. With RPA 7.12, Appian RPA no longer supports Nexus as a code repository. Robotic processes using code in Nexus will stop working.
We’re excited to introduce a new look for the robotic process designer! The designer includes drag-and-drop options that help you visualize actions in groups. You won’t have to click to view how each action is configured – they’re listed right there for you. The three default sections (setup, main, and clean up) are also visible, giving you a high-level view of the robotic process. Always visible, the actions palette appears to the left of the designer. Drag and drop an action to a section and configure it inline.
As your robotic processes grow in complexity, we hope you find these improvements make development faster and easier.
Last release, we introduced the task recorder preview to enable you to rapidly build robotic processes simply by interacting with the web browser. To help you stay in your development flow, Appian RPA’s task recorder now lets you create a new robotic process variable as you extract data from a web page. You don’t need to create these variables before you begin recording, or pause recording to return to the console to create them. Add and configure the variables directly in the task recorder, and you’re good to go. Use the variable to store data you extract from the web browser, and elsewhere in your robotic process.
The task recorder is currently available to all RPA customers in preview mode.
The task recorder now recognizes when you're entering usernames or passwords as part of your recording. Whatever value you type will be removed upon saving the recording so that it is never stored in plain text, ensuring security of sensitive information. When you’re finished recording, simply go into the generated action to select the appropriate credential.
The task recorder is currently available to all RPA customers in preview mode.
Even the most experienced developers don't get it right the first time. To help you focus your testing efforts, we've introduced a new debugging tool for Appian RPA, which takes the guesswork out of why your robotic process might not be working as you expect.
Now, you can launch the execution in debugging mode with options that let you isolate actions in the workflow, such as setting breakpoints, skipping actions, and running the execution after a certain point. Debugging execution steps are included in the log, where you can see all of the details of what might be going wrong.
We're making it easier for you to track the value that you're getting out of your entire automation practice, including automations you had in place before adopting RWM.
Cost data is a key metric to help you demonstrate return on investment (ROI) for automations. Earlier versions of RWM only collected this data when someone submitted a New Request in the Automation Planner. Now, you can add all of this data in a simple form and map automation steps to both Appian processes and robotic processes. Save the details, and the automation is added. All of these automations appear in RWM, no matter how they were added, so you can visualize how everything performs month-to-month in both time and cost savings.
Each component of your automation workflow plays a role when it comes to overall efficiency. But before you can optimize, you need data. With this release of RWM, we’ve enhanced the queue reports to provide you with more insights and opportunities for improvement or triage.
You’ll see aggregated data visualizations of high-level trends, as well as key metrics for queue transactions. If you’re interested in more detailed information, each queue item also displays its functional data directly in RWM, so you can get down to the finest details of your queue and take action on the right transaction quickly. Together, this information helps you assess whether your queues are meeting your expectations, enables you to quickly triage those that are underperforming, and empowers you with the right amount of detail to take action when needed.
Low-code development allows you to easily leverage your enterprise data so that you can quickly build beautiful UIs for enterprise-ready applications. This release, we've made it easier for you to manage your enterprise data, and build your applications even faster with new interface components, reporting capabilities, and more.
Appian Records has evolved dramatically over the last few releases. As a result of our continued improvements to data sync, you can access your data faster, and easily transform and relate your enterprise data without using complex SQL.
Now that you can do more with your data, we wanted to make it easier for you to manage your synced data so that you can focus on what matters most: providing new insights to your users.
We know you need consistent access to your enterprise data, so if a sync fails on your record type, you need the flexibility to troubleshoot the error while still allowing your users to access important records and reports. To give you that flexibility, we've added a new feature on the record type that lets you skip failed syncs, and simply use the data from the last successful sync.
Now, application users can continue accessing the data, actions, user filters, and relationships from your record type, even if the sync fails. This gives you the time to explore the cause of an error, and seamlessly resolve sync issues without interrupting your users.
Even if a sync fails and is skipped, you still need to know about the sync failure so that you can troubleshoot and resync your record type with the latest data.
Now, without any additional configuration, record type administrators and system administrators will receive email alerts if a sync fails. These email alerts contain details about the record type, the type of sync failure, and next steps on how you can troubleshoot and resolve the issue.
Not only is it easier to track and troubleshoot your failed syncs, you should also experience fewer failed syncs with new automatic batch retries. This is especially useful when your record type uses a web service as the source, because Appian will only try to resync the subset of your data that failed.
For example, suppose you need to sync 500,000 rows of data in batches of 1,000 from your web service. If a single batch times out, we can now retry that failed batch and, if it succeeds, the sync continues as if nothing happened.
In addition to the new sync improvements that allow you to better manage your synced data, we've also added a new way for you to extend your data.
Last release, we introduced a new custom record field template called Aggregate Related Record Fields. This template allows you to aggregate related data from a one-to-many relationship, and save the calculation as a new field on the base record type.
This release, we've enhanced this template so that you can aggregate and filter related data in your custom record field. For example, with the addition of filters, you can now create different custom record fields to count the number of Open, In Progress, and Closed cases.
Because custom record fields are like any other record field, you can easily display, sort, and filter your reports, interfaces, and queries using these aggregated custom fields.
While you're configuring new custom record fields, you may notice some changes in the record type navigation, where Search is now Search and User Filters, and Views is now Views and Headers. These tabs include new enhancements that allow you to configure your records and record list more efficiently.
The record list allows users to easily explore enterprise data, and to better facilitate that, we've added new configuration options for the record list search.
Now, you can tailor the out-of-the-box search so it's more relevant to your use case. For example, exclude case summaries from your search so users can more easily find their specific case numbers. Once you configure these options on the record type, they are automatically applied to your records-powered grids—no extra configuration needed!
While the record list allows users to explore multiple records, a record view allows users to better understand a single record using interfaces, record actions, and more.
With so many configuration options for your record views added over the last few releases, we've redone the configuration layout so that you can take advantage of them more quickly and efficiently.
Once you've leveraged our new low-code data features, check out our latest improvements to building low-code interfaces! With new selection components, chart enhancements, and interface patterns, you can build even more UIs that your users will love.
We've introduced the Card Choices Component as a visually engaging alternative to radio buttons and checkboxes. This powerful component is quick to configure, as it allows you to render choices as uniformly styled cards from a variety of data sources like record types, queries, or maps.
The card choices component also offers three predefined styling templates, which are perfect for displaying prominent form questions or visually appealing short lists of choices that require selection. With out-of-the-box styling, validations, and dynamically responsive behavior, this robust component makes it easier than ever to create modern and accessible selection UIs.
You can also add a decorative bar to cards in order to draw your users attention. Choose a color and position for the bar to create cards that stand out.
Our new spacing controls reduce the clutter and increase the visual appeal of your spacious forms and dashboards. While you've been able to add space below a layout component with the Margin Below parameter, you can now add space above layouts, too, with the Margin Above parameter. What's more, this spacing flexibility now extends to display components, too.
We're committed to providing interface examples for you to work with every release. Check out the new Tabs (Cards) and Navigation (Lightweight) patterns in Interface Designer for inspiration for your next interface.
While you've been able to sort your charts by an alias, you now also have the option to sort by a record field or related record field that is not referenced in the chart. This new capability to sort by fields that are not referenced in the chart will allow you to more accurately order your chart data.
For example, in a chart that counts the number of cases that have a status of Open, In-Progress, or Closed, sorting by the chart's primary grouping would display the case statuses in alphabetical order. Instead, you can now sort the chart by the
status.Id field, which is not referenced in the chart, to display the case statuses in the logical order of Open, In Progress, and Closed.
Not only can you make your chart sorting more accurate, you can also make your x-axis labels more accurate when displaying time based data. This release, we've added a new chart configuration called Show time intervals with no data that allows you to display dates or times on the x-axis, even if there is no data associated with that time interval.
For example, you can create a line chart that shows the number of support cases submitted each day, even on days when there were no cases submitted, to more accurately show case trends. You can enable this new parameter on bar charts, column charts, or line charts.
Choosing the related record fields to display in your charts, grids, and record types also got faster—3X faster. With our latest improvements to the record type relationship picker, you can quickly find and select your related data to build advanced reports in minutes.
Last release, we added a new, accessible date picker to the date and date and time components. In this release, we're extending it to date range user filters. Now, you can select the month and year from dropdown menus on the date picker without having to type them in.
We've also made user filters more accessible with improved keyboard navigation for all users and new accessibility text that make it easier for screen reader users to filter records.
When you're not building powerful UIs, you're probably creating expression rules to query and access your enterprise data. To more easily manage the data returned from your queries, we've added new functions that simplify your null handling and debugging experience. We've also improved some existing functions to make it easier for you to export your data for easy readability.
The new a!keys() function provides an easy way of accessing the keys of data types like maps, records, CDTs, and dictionaries. This function makes it easy to check which fields are currently present on the data type, or write expressions which take action on each of the fields on the data type.
You can now check for nulls and empty lists with a single function: a!isNullorEmpty(). This means you can handle edge cases in your data without creating an expression rule that combines null and length checks. In addition to a!isNullOrEmpty(), we have also simplified checking if a value is not null or empty with the new function a!isNotNullOrEmpty().
We know it's common to save identifiers of groups in the database when you're dynamically creating them via a process. With the new a!doesGroupExist() function, you can now gracefully handle potential error scenarios when no group exists in Appian for a given identifier.
While writing expressions, it can be easy to accidentally introduce mistakes when using keyword syntax, but time-consuming to debug those errors. With this release, Appian helps you build more confidently by alerting you in real-time if any rule or data type call in an expression contains invalid keyword syntax. As with all design guidance, this warning is available both within expressions and on the Health Dashboard.
The actions toolbar lets you view available domains and functions, create constants in-line, save expressions into new expression rules, and quickly format the expression for readability.
We've added new features that fast-track you right into new apps, communicating app context quickly, generating common objects, and setting object security automatically.
Just as records are more than data, your apps are more than just design objects. There's a lot of information related to a release that needs to be deployed to the people who work with it. To reduce the number of channels used to share that content, use a new option in the application settings menu to add links and documents directly to your application. Simplify how you maintain important business context, then ship that context with the app.
We've added another way to get started faster when creating new apps. If you were following Appian best practices, the first thing you would do in a new app is manually create the groups and folders needed to keep your objects secure and organized. Now when you create a new application, you can enable an option to generate these groups and folders automatically.
With this box checked, Appian generates the following objects:
Not only do we add those groups as the defaults for your new application, we'll also use them in any new objects you create in the application, starting with the application itself.
The convenience of pre-populating object security isn't only available for new applications. In this release, you can now save time by setting default security groups for any application.
Then, whenever you add a new object, Appian automatically uses the groups to set Viewer and Administrator permissions for the object.
Often, the most intuitive way to understand or debug an application as a developer is by testing it out as a user. Now, it's easier than ever to navigate from the site to the objects that power your pages. If you're in the Designers system group for the site environment, there's a new Show Objects button on each site page. Click the button to explore and quickly open the page's underlying objects. Learn more about showing underlying objects on sites.
Last release, we made it easier to follow design best practice by allowing you to set an application prefix, so that you can easily find all the objects related to a single application. This release, we're extending the usefulness of that prefix. Now, you can use that prefix to search more quickly across your list of applications.
The readability of your data is important, which is why many users add formatting to their Excel sheets after exporting their data. To make it easier to read and format your exported data, we've enhanced the Export Data Store Entity to Excel and the Export Process Report to Excel smart services so that you can seamlessly export data into a formatted spreadsheet.
Within these smart services, you can now specify a Starting Cell where the output will begin. Any cells above the Starting Cell will now maintain the formatting from the original spreadsheet, including alignment, font, border, fill, and more.
Once you have your data, interfaces, and queries configured and ready to go, it's time to deploy! This release, we added some new features that will make your deployment process even more seamless.
Keep working while import manages itself in the background! All manual imports now run asynchronously in the same way as direct deployments. Once the import completes, we'll send an email notification so that you can get started using those imported objects or, as always, you can check for the status of your import in the deployments view.
Move modified application configurations to a target environment without asking your developers to pause other in-flight work. You can now export and deploy modifications to application configurations—such as the application prefix, application documentation, and post-deployment process—without deploying the entire application's contents. This feature also enables greater flexibility in deployments when leveraging other new features such as Appian generated objects and application documentation.
In our quest to streamline package preparation, this release we're supporting adding plug-ins to packages during development. In the package view, under the database scripts section we added last release, you'll find a new pane where you can add and review the plug-ins in the package. As with anything in your package, give those plug-ins a final once-over and adjust as needed in compare and deploy.
With our new HTTP request/response logs, troubleshooting integration calls just got easier! By providing System Administrators with access to the raw HTTP requests and responses for integration calls, we've made it simple to reproduce integration calls and understand errors.
This capability is available for integrations that use HTTP or OpenAPI connected systems. Appian developers must configure each integration to enable request and response logging.
This allows DevOps teams to ensure that they only log calls for integrations that:
Review the integration logging guidelines before using this feature.
Before anything gets logged, System Administrators also need to enable HTTP request/response logging for the environment in the Admin Console. This will only log entries for integration objects that have HTTP request/response logging enabled.
Once logging has been enabled at both the environment and integration level, all HTTP requests and responses for that integration will be logged. These logs are located in a new subdirectory that only system administrators can access. A new log is created each day, and each log is deleted after 7 days.
As an added bonus, administrators can now turn integration trace logging on and off themselves, without the need to open a Support Case with Appian.
Now, offline mobile empowers your users to do more, no matter their location. You can now create offline forms with the same dynamic user experience that online users enjoy. Whether you're designing forms that allow offline users to view images, edit grids, or breeze through wizards, you can do it all with the powerful dynamic capabilities of SAIL.
Under the hood, we created a new offline evaluator that can reevaluate forms without being connected to the server. This opens up the power of SAIL functions and components for offline use. It also enables many common design patterns that used to be impossible while offline, including:
Help your users to move quickly through complicated tasks by breaking down long forms into multi-step wizards.
Ensure integrity of the data submitted by your users by making sure it matches requirements you set through real-time input validations.
Reduce cognitive load by making many-choice selections easier than ever with cascading dropdowns.
Cut back on clutter and distractions by showing or hiding content depending on what the user needs at the moment.
Crafting a professional and powerful experience for your offline users has never been easier. You can design forms packed with information and mindful of users' needs. Make your forms comprehensive, by including downloadable documents with details and instructions that provide your users with all of the information that they need to do their jobs with confidence. Simplify the user experience with forms that include pre-existing data so that users can find relevant information and quickly complete tasks with minimal errors.
Appian now supports mobile application management (MAM) on iOS through Microsoft Intune. MAM enables granular control at the application level which allows IT admins to segregate personal and corporate apps. This allows IT admins to retain complete control of corporate apps and data while leaving personal apps and data alone, on both corporate-owned and employee-owned devices.
Learn more about Appian's support for enterprise mobility management.
You can now configure Appian to replicate data stored in the Internal Messaging Service into a separate, backup Appian instance. This can be used, along with disk replication, to achieve low recovery-point failover across geographically separate data centers. It can also protect your data in the case of a major regional disaster, such as a hurricane or earthquake.
Appian for Docker Containers has been replaced with a new implementation using Kubernetes. We are providing a Kubernetes Operator to manage Appian instances in your own non-production cluster using a single configuration.
This is a preview release of Appian on Kubernetes. Look for a production-ready version of Appian on Kubernetes in upcoming releases.
Database users have always been able to view and terminate their own queries in the Appian Cloud database. Now, database administrators can view all SQL queries executed by an Appian application or other database users, and terminate them if necessary.
You've asked, and we've listened. One of our biggest customer requests recently has been support for Amazon Aurora. So we've done just that—Amazon Aurora is now a supported data source in Appian.
When upgraded to 21.4, some Appian Cloud sites will be transitioned to new cloud infrastructure, based on Kubernetes. This transition will be spread over several releases, so not all sites will move with their 21.4 upgrade.
Appian Community Edition sites have been running on this new infrastructure for several releases and now it's time to start bringing the benefits to your sites too.
This is the first of many changes coming over the next several releases aimed at increasing the stability, availability, and scalability of your Appian Cloud sites.
This transition does not require any changes to your applications, however the IP addresses of your Appian Cloud site may change. If you control an external service and restrict access by IP address you should add the new IP address ranges listed on KB-1582.
Appian is committed to meeting accessibility standards. With the release of 21.4, we have added JAWS with Chrome and JAWS with Edge to the list of recommended browser and screen reader combinations. This gives your users more options than ever for navigating your applications with a screen reader.
We're working to improve your experience in Appian on every level, including the aesthetic one. With this release, you'll be seeing new illustrations in our guided experiences, the health check, and other spots throughout the platform. We designed these illustrations to represent the combination of people, technologies, and data that Appian makes possible.
Process start forms and user input tasks can no longer be configured using in-line expressions. To configure new forms, directly select an interface and map inputs to your process variables. Existing expression-backed forms will continue to work as designed.
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