Application View

Overview

This page describes how you can build and manage an individual application and its related objects in the application view in Appian Designer.

The majority of your work building the application will take place in the application view.

In this view, you can:

To open the application view, click the name of the application in the applications list.

app-view-

To return to the applications list, click the design icon next to the application name, as highlighted in the image above.

When you first view an application, the ALL OBJECTS tab of the OBJECTS view is active by default. This tab lists all objects associated with the individual application.

Like the Objects view of all objects in your environment, the ALL OBJECTS list in an application consists of four columns and, by default, is sorted by most recently modified:

  • Object Type Icon: A quick visual indicator of each object's type.
  • Name: The name of the object as a hyperlink to open the object.
  • Description: The user-defined description of the object. The display truncates descriptions longer than 96 characters. Hover over the description to see the entire description as a tooltip.
  • -Last Modified: The default sort field of the grid. Shows developers who last modified the object and when.

app-view-header-navigate-views

In the header bar (highlighted above), you can navigate from the OBJECTS view to the following views:

  • The MONITORING view includes the health dashboard, which gives you an overview of your application's overall health, and other tabs that give you insights into process models, process activity, record response times, and record sync statuses in your application.
  • The DEPLOYMENTS view displays all incoming or outgoing deployments associated with the application.

To return to the objects view of the application, click OBJECTS in the header bar.

app-view-package-picker

In any tab of the OBJECTS view of your application, you can also use the package picker (highlighted above) to limit the list to components of an individual package. For example, the ALL OBJECTS tab will list all the objects in the selected package, and the PLUG-INS tab will list all plug-ins referenced by objects in the package.

Configure application-level settings

Open the settings menu to view and configure application properties, security, documentation, and actions. This menu also allows you to analyze your application for missing precedents, view a summary of the overall security of objects in your application, and centrally manage test cases for expression rules in your application.

app-view-header-settings-menu

To configure a post-deployment process for the application, go to the Deployments view.

Application properties

The table below describes application properties.

Property Description Can Be Edited
Name The name of the application. Follow the recommended naming standard when creating this name. The maximum length of the name is 255 characters. When the application is published, this name is visible to users in Tempo in the Actions tab and from the user profile menu under Settings > News. Yes
Prefix The short, unique prefix recommended for use in all object names related to the application. Follow the recommended naming standard when creating this name. For more information, see Creating Applications. Yes
Description The maximum length of the description is 2,000 characters. Application descriptions are not visible to users in Tempo. Yes
Users Group The group that Appian pre-populates with Viewer permissions when you create new objects in this application. Learn more about default security groups.

If you change this property after creating objects in an application, you cannot bulk update existing role maps with the new group. You must manually configure the role map for each existing object.
Yes
Administrators Group The group that Appian pre-populates with Administrator permissions when you create new objects in this application. Learn more about default security groups.

If you change this property after creating objects in an application, you cannot bulk update existing role maps with the new group. You must manually configure the role map for each existing object.
Yes
UUID The unique universal identifier (UUID) of the application. This value is generated by the system. No
ID The ID of the application. This value is generated by the system. No
Created The date on which the application was created. No
Last Modified The date on which the application was last modified. Updating the objects associated with an application does not change this timestamp, though adding or removing objects does. No

Users must have at least Viewer permissions to a published application in order to view its feeds and actions.

Application security determines which users can view and interact with the application and its contents.

If Appian generates groups during application creation, the default security groups pre-populate the application role map with Viewer and Administrator permissions.

If Appian does not generate groups during application creation, you are automatically assigned Administrator permissions for any application you create. System administrators can always access an application, regardless of application-level permissions.

See Editing Object Security to modify an application's security.

The following table outlines the actions that can be completed for each permission level in an application's security role map:

Actions Administrator Editor Viewer Deny
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
Create packages Yes Yes Yes No
Edit package details Yes Yes Yes* No
View package contents Yes Yes Yes No
Update package contents Yes Yes Yes* No
Delete packages Yes Yes Yes* No
Export a package Yes Yes Yes No
Import a package Yes Yes No 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
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

*Only applicable to packages created by the user

Application documentation

As you're developing an application, you naturally create documentation that supports the application. For example, you might document the application's architecture and design, the project's requirements, and development best practices. This documentation lets your teams:

  • Quickly ramp up on ongoing development.
  • Troubleshoot an application that's new to them.
  • Hand off the application to other teams for support and maintenance.

In Appian, the Application Documentation feature gives your teams a central place to access this documentation in the application itself. The Application Documentation dialog allows you to upload documents to your application or store links to external documents. You can add a maximum of 10 total documents or links.

Security to the Application Documentation dialog matches the application's security. Users with Viewer permissions to the application can view the documentation list and download documents. Users with Editor or Administrator permissions to the application can view and edit the documentation list, and download documents.

application_documentation_dialog

When you upload a document to Application Documentation, Appian stores it as a document object. You can modify this document, and refer to it in your applications in the same way as you can with all document objects. Similarly, the document's security will be inherited from its parent folder. You can manage your newly uploaded document directly from within the Application Documentation dialog, or from the application view.

You can include application documentation in any package you deploy to a new environment. If you do, document objects defined as application documentation will be included in the missing precedents analysis for the package. Learn how to include application documentation in your package.

Add a document to Application Documentation

In the Application Documentation dialog, you can add existing document objects as documentation, or you can create new document objects, then add them as documentation.

To add a document to Application Documentation:

  1. Create a Knowledge Center folder and Document folder, if these folders do not already exist in your application.

    If Appian generated groups and folders during application creation, you can skip this step and use the generated Document folder named prefix Application Documentation to store your application documentation.

  2. In the settings menu , select Application Documentation.
  3. In the Application Documentation dialog, click ADD DOCUMENTATION.
  4. Keep the default selection, Document.
  5. Add an existing document:
    • Click Browse Documents to view the list of available documents.
    • Browse to and select a document object.
    • Click ADD to add the new document object as documentation.
    • Click OK. Appian adds the document to the top of the documentation list.
  6. Add a new document:
    • Click Upload Document .
    • In the Create Document dialog, click UPLOAD and select a file, or drag and drop a file into the Drop file here box. You can upload files in the formats specified in the File Upload properties in the Administration Console. As with other document objects, the file cannot be larger than 1 GB in size or larger than your disk quota.

      If you select the wrong file, you can remove that file by hovering over it, then clicking the X that appears.

    • For Name, enter a document name that follows the recommended naming standard. This name appears in the documentation list and the application view.
    • For Description, enter a brief description of the document. This description appears in the application view.
    • For Save In, select a document folder to store the document.
    • Click CREATE DOCUMENT.
    • Click ADD. Appian adds the document to the top of the documentation list.
  7. Click CLOSE to exit the dialog.

In addition to documents, you can also add relevant links in the Application Documentation dialog. For example, if your application work is being tracked in JIRA, you could include a link to the JIRA board so application builders can see new and completed work.

To add a link to Application Documentation:

  1. In the settings menu , select Application Documentation.
  2. In the Application Documentation dialog, click ADD DOCUMENTATION.
  3. Select Link.
  4. For Name, enter a short name for the document link you're adding.
  5. For URL, enter the URL where users can access the document. This URL must be unique within application's documentation list.

    When selecting a documentation link, keep in mind any permissions or access issues that might block future users when the application is deployed to new environments.

  6. Click ADD. Appian adds the new link to the top of the documentation list.
  7. Click CLOSE to exit the dialog.

Update a document in Application Documentation

To update a document in Application Documentation:

  1. In the Application Documentation dialog, click New Version for the document you want to update.
  2. In the Upload New Version dialog, upload a new version of the document, or drag and drop a file into the Drop file here box.
  3. Change the Name or Description properties for the the document.
  4. Click UPLOAD.

To update a link in Application Documentation:

  1. In the Application Documentation dialog, click Edit Link for the link you want to update.
  2. In the Edit Link dialog, change the Name or URL properties for the link.
  3. Click SAVE.

Manage your documentation list

To manage your documentation list in the Application Documentation dialog:

  • To reorder the list, click the up and down arrows.
  • To remove a document or link from Application Documentation, click the X for the document or link.

Removing a document from the documentation list doesn't remove the document object from the application or delete the object itself. You must remove the document from the documentation list, then remove or delete the object from the application.

Application actions

Application actions allow you to expose process models in end user interfaces. You can use application actions in Tempo, or as a page in a site. To create application actions, the application must be published and users must have at least View access to the application.

You can also create record actions to expose process models to users in your reports, interfaces, and records. This allows you to add multiple actions on a single interface, and allows users to start actions from the context of their data. Learn how easy it is to create a record action.

Missing precedents

A precedent is any object that a design object or application configuration relies on to function properly. For deployment to another environment to be successful, all object or configuration precedents 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.

Missing Precedents

When in a package view, the option to check for missing precedents in the settings menu will automatically be limited to missing precedents of your package.

Not all missing precedents need to be added to the application or package. 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:

  1. Below the grid, click Hide missing precedents in selected applications.

    If none of the missing precedents in the list are associated with any other application, this link is not present.

    A list of applications displays. This list includes all the applications to which one or more of the missing precedents belong.

  2. To hide all missing precedents associated with a application, select the box for that application. Missing Precedents Filter
  3. Click Save current filter selection to save the current filters to the application. Any developer viewing the application sees the same filters, and they are exported and imported with the application. Application filters saved here never cause export or import errors.

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.

Exceptions

The following items are not identified as missing precedents during a scan of your application. Make sure to add these manually.

Security summary

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. Learn more about the Security Summary.

Manage test cases

From the application view, you can manage your test cases by clicking the Settings > 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. Learn more about test case management.

Add objects to the application

To build your application, you can add objects in any of the following ways:

Create objects

Objects created from the context of an application are automatically added to that application. If you add an object in the package view of the application, the object is automatically added to the package, too.

Design objects can be created by system administrators or users in the Designer role, with the following exceptions:

  • Data stores, groups, and record types can only be created by system administrators.
  • To create process models, users must be system administrators, or be in both the Designer role and the Process Model Creators group.

New objects have the following default security:

  • If the object type supports security inheritance, the new object inherits security. For objects that don't inherit security, Appian prompts you to set security during creation.
  • For object types that do not inherit security:
    • If default security groups are configured for the application, those default security groups are assigned Viewer and Administrator permissions for the new object.
    • If default security groups are not configued for the application, the creating user is added to the role map with Administrator permissions. However, the creating user is not added to the role map if that user is a system administrator.

To create a new design object:

  1. In the application toolbar, click NEW: app-view-new-menu
  2. Select the object type from the dropdown list.

Newly-created objects may not immediately be visible if the current filter settings for the objects list would hide the objects.

Duplicate objects

Developers with Viewer permissions to this object can duplicate it. There are two ways to duplicate an object with a designer:

  1. From any view within an application's context, you can select the object you wish to duplicate and use the toolbar option to launch the duplication dialog. The duplicated object will be added to the application you're working in. This capability is only available for single object selections from the grid.
  2. If you are in the designer for an object you want to duplicate then you can select Duplicate from the object's Settings menu. From there, you can specify the target application for the new object.

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.

Add existing objects

Objects can exist in multiple applications, so adding objects this way does not remove them from other applications.

To add existing objects, go to the ALL OBJECTS tab, then click ADD EXISTING.

You have three options when adding objects this way:

  • Application Contents: Allows you to select another application which will add all objects associated with that application to this application.
  • Folder Contents: Allows you to select a folder which will add all objects within that folder to this application (including subfolders and their objects).
  • Existing Objects: Allows you to choose which objects to add to this application. You can choose multiple objects of each type. Selecting folders this way does NOT add the contents of the folder, only the folder object itself.

Import a package

When you import a package, you add all the objects from the package to the current application. If the package contains objects already present in the current environment, the imported version overwrites the existing version. Learn how to import a package.

Manage objects in the application

This section describes actions you can take to manage objects in an application.

Search for objects

app-view-designer-search

To search for objects, use the Designer Search.

You can search for objects by name, description, UUID, and ID, as well as search within expressions in those objects. You can also filter search results by criteria including object type, last modified date, and last modified user(s).

In the application view, you can also perform the following searches:

  • Use the search icon next to the navigation menu to search for objects in your application.
  • Use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+Space) to search for objects across your environment. This quick design object search does not work for documents or groups, and is not accessible from data stores, process models, or process reports.

Change list format

app-view-hierarchy-toggle

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.

Preview an interface

A preview icon interface-preview displays next to the name of any interface object. Hover over this icon to view a preview of the interface.

Remove objects from the application

Removing an object from the application removes the relationship between the object and the application. 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.

To remove objects from the application:

  1. In the ALL OBJECTS or UNREFERENCED OBJECTS tab, select one or more objects from the grid.
  2. Click REMOVE FROM APP in the application toolbar.

Delete objects

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.

dependency_scan_on_single_delete

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.

Only system administrators can delete data types, group types, and non-empty folders. Deleting a folder deletes all of its contents, too.

To delete one or more objects:

  1. In the ALL OBJECTS or UNREFERENCED OBJECTS tab, select one or more objects from the grid.
  2. In the application toolbar, click DELETE.
  3. Continue as appropriate:
    • If Appian identifies dependents for the single object you're deleting, click CANCEL, remove references to the object, then attempt to delete the object again.
    • If no dependencies are identified for the single object or if you're deleting multiple objects, click DELETE to confirm the deletion.

Configure object security

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.

View object relationships

To understand how a design object is related to other objects, select an object in the application view, then click DEPENDENTS or PRECEDENTS in the application toolbar.

Learn how to interpret and navigate the lists of dependents and precedents.

View referenced plug-ins

Plug-ins are maintained at the environment level, rather than the application level, so that you can use them in multiple applications in your environment.

To use a plug-in in an individual application, add references from objects in your application to the plug-in.

To view plug-ins referenced by objects in an application, go to the PLUG-INS tab of the application view.

In that tab, you can also:

  • Filter the list by plug-in module using the controls in the left panel.
  • Limit the list to plug-ins referenced by objects in an individual package using the package picker.
  • View the objects that reference an individual plug-in by selecting the plug-in in the grid, then clicking DEPENDENTS.
  • Add a referenced plug-in to a package.

Appian categorizes an object as unreferenced if the object is present in the application, but no other objects in the application reference that object.

To view unreferenced objects in an application:

  1. In the application view, go to the UNREFERENCED OBJECTS tab. The grid displays all unreferenced objects.
  2. In the left panel, search by name or description and apply filters to find objects.

Prepare objects for deployment

app-view-header-package-actions

In the applications view, you can prepare your objects for deployment by adding the objects and plug-ins referenced by those objects to a deployment package.

In addition, you can:

Add an object or plug-in to a package

The steps described in this section apply to both the application view and the package view. In the application view, the default All Application Objects option is selected in the dropdown menu.

In addition to the functionality described in this section, the package view also offers an option for adding objects to a package in bulk and a Plug-ins pane in the sidebar that you can use to add plug-ins. Learn more about the package view.

To add objects to a package:

  1. In the ALL OBJECTS or UNREFERENCED OBJECTS tab, select one or more objects from the grid.
  2. Click ADD TO PACKAGE.
  3. Select the destination package:
    • To select an existing package, select the package from the dropdown list.
    • To select a new package:
  4. Click ADD.

To add referenced plug-ins to a package:

  1. Determine whether the right versions of the referenced plug-ins are present in the target environment. If the plug-ins are missing in the target environment or aren't the right version, continue to the next step.
  2. In the PLUG-INS tab, select one or more plug-ins from the grid.
  3. Click ADD TO PACKAGE.
  4. Select the destination package:
    • To select an existing package, select the package from the dropdown list.
    • To select a new package:
  5. Click ADD. Appian adds the selected plug-ins to the package.
  6. (Optional) Verify that the objects referencing the plug-ins you added are present in the package. To do this, in the PLUG-INS tab, go to the package view. If the plug-ins list is empty, you still need to add the objects that reference the plug-ins to the package.

More

The More actions 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.

More Actions Menu

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
Connected System No Yes No No1 No No
Constant No Yes No Yes No No
Data Store No No No No1 No No
Data Type No No No No No No
Decision No Yes No Yes No No
Document Yes Yes Yes No2 Yes No
Document Folder Yes No No No2 Yes No
Expression Rule No Yes No Yes No No
Feed No No No No1 No No
Group Yes No No No2 No No
Group Type Yes No No No2 No No
Integration No Yes No Yes No No
Interface No Yes No Yes No No
Knowledge Center Yes No No No2 Yes No
Process Model No Yes No No1 No Yes
Process Model Folder Yes No No No2 No No
Process Report Yes Yes No No2 Yes No
Rule Folder Yes No No No2 No No
Record Type No No No No1 No No
Report No No No No1 No No
Site No No No No1 No No
Web API No Yes No No1 No No
  1. Object can be renamed when editing it.  2 3 4 5 6 7 8

  2. Object can be renamed from the Properties dialog.  2 3 4 5 6 7 8

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