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Search in Designer


Developers need to be able to quickly find objects within Appian Designer. There are a variety of options to enable fast and flexible searching. This article explains how to use the search, filter, and display options across the various designer views.

For quick, design-object search, designers 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, and is not accessible from data stores, process models, or process reports.

Search Applications

When you are viewing the Applications List, your search term(s) will be run against application names, descriptions, and prefixes and return a list of all matching applications.


You can limit your search results to applications based on when they were last updated and/or by who last modified these objects.

Set your date filters in the Last Modified section below the search box. This will limit your results to all Applications that were last updated on or after the From date, and all that were last updated on or before the To date.

Select one or more users in the Last Modified By section. This will limit your results based on who last modified these objects.

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 of filter:

  • Group Types can be found using the Group filter.
  • Communities and Knowledge Centers can be found using the Folder filter.

Search Objects

When you are viewing OBJECTS, your search term(s) will be run against object names and descriptions by default. However, you can change what you would like to search against by using the search menu available next to the search icon.

Search Options

Search UUID or ID

To search on UUID or ID, you can choose the UUID or ID option available inside the search menu. Toggling your search to UUID or ID will run your search term(s) against the UUID or local ID of the object. The UUID of an object remains stable across different environments, whereas the object's local ID may change.

The UUID search option is helpful when trying to troubleshoot missing dependency problems on inspect or import. The local ID is the Appian object identifier that gets stored in process and external database tables. This search option is useful for finding objects like documents, folders, and groups, particularly when debugging.

Search Expressions

To search on expressions, you can choose the Expression option available inside the search menu. Toggling your search to Expression will run your search terms(s) against the expression content of your objects.

In this search mode, the Description column is replaced with an Expression column that displays a snippet of the matching expression (or the first matching expression, if more than one is found in the same object). For example, a search for formLayout_17r1 would return all rules with a!formLayout_17r1( in the Expression column.

Expression Search Result

This search is conducted against the expressions in all design objects within your search set. This may be anything from a gateway expression in a process model, the definition of an expression rule, or the visibility expression of a record view. It's a powerful way to find plug-in functions, look for specific components, or easily hunt down legacy functions so you can take advantage of their improved, modern versions.

Notes About Searching Expressions

  • The search across expressions is case-insensitive, and treats all special characters as a space character. For example, the search terms apply( and apply will return identical results, as will the search terms CRM_getCustomerNames and crm getcustomernames.
  • Given this behavior for special characters, we automatically strip out Appian domains from the beginning of search terms to prevent confusion. Since the search a!applyComponents would be treated as a applyComponents, and therefore return more results than intended, we strip the domain and simply search for applyComponents. You can see the adjusted search term in the blue bar above your results.
  • When a search term is part of a longer word, it will only match if it matches the beginning of that word. For example, the search customer or customerFeedback will find uses of the customerFeedbackForm interface, but the searches feedback or feedbackForm will not, since the name of the rule does not start with those terms.


You can filter your results by object type, last modified date, and/or last modified user(s).

Object Type

Filter your object results by type from the Object Type section under the search box. Simply select the object types to which you'd like your search results limited; selecting more than one object type will include those types in the results. When any object is selected in that list, all unselected objects will be excluded from the search results.

Last Modified Date

Set your date filters in the the Last Modified section below the search box. This will limit your results to all objects that were last modified on or after the From date, and all that were last modified on or before the To date.

Last Modified By

Select one or more users in the Last Modified By section. This will limit your results based on who last modified these objects.

Search Users

When you are viewing USERS, your search string(s) will be run against users' full names, usernames, and emails. Designers who are basic users can edit their own user properties and see read-only details about other users in the results. System Administrators can edit the user properties and view group membership of any user.


System administrators can filter the results by user status and type.

User Status

By default, Active users are displayed. You can change this selection to Inactive to only display deactivated users or to All to view both active and inactive users.

User Type

By default, all user types are displayed. You can change this selection to display only Basic Users or only System Administrators.

Search in Application View

Searching from the application view works the same as searching objects from the Appian Designer view, except the set of searchable objects is limited to those included in the application from which you are performing the search. This is also true when you're inside a folder; any search your perform will only search the objects found within that folder.

When you're viewing a group, knowledge center, folder (excluding the process model folder), the search and filter options are slightly different. The option to search on Expression is hidden when you're viewing a group, since groups don't have expressionable fields. The Object Type filter only contains the type options that are appropriate for the context and groups have an additional filter for Membership Type.

Hierarchical View

Designers can toggle between a flat or hierarchical view of their objects within the Application view or the Objects view. 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. This toggle is located in the upper right-hand corner above the objects list.

See also: Folder and Document Management and Group Management

Open in Github Built: Fri, Nov 10, 2023 (03:42:48 PM)

Search in Designer