Appian Release Notes

Discovery

Appian Process Mining helps you gain powerful insights into your business processes that you can quickly turn into actionable improvements using the rest of our platform. In this release, we’re introducing a new structure to streamline your navigation in Process Mining, in addition to a few usability enhancements.

Streamlined navigation with the management hub

We’ve done some fall cleaning and consolidated all of the management pages into one central place to make Process Mining easier to navigate.

Management hub gif

Here you can add, edit, share, and delete logs, process scorecards, target models, dashboards, and saved filters. All of these capabilities are packed into a single, easy-to-use interface while also decluttering the sidebar to help you find what you’re looking for more quickly.

As an added bonus, we’ve also added new guidance on each of the management hub pages to help steer you in the right direction when you’re just getting started.

Seamlessly switch between Process Mining and Mining Prep

Appian Process Mining and Mining Prep modules make a mighty pair, so we've made it more seamless to switch between the two. Now, you can quickly access Process Mining and Mining Prep directly from the navigation menu.

Mining Prep navigation menu

To save you even more time, we'll persist your sign in session whenever you switch between these modules using the navigation menu. Additionally, when you successfully transform and load a transformation project in Mining Prep, the system will now provide a hyperlink to quickly jump to the new discovered model in Process Mining.

With these improvements, you'll notice less friction when navigating between Process Mining and Mining Prep to leverage their full potential together.

Improved reliability with lists

This release also brings additional usability and performance improvements. Now, you'll notice searching and sorting lists throughout Process Mining is more reliable and consistent. We've also added new Search fields on several lists, like those on the Insights page, to simplify finding important data in longer lists.

New lists

As you search and navigate these lists, you'll also experience improved performance whenever you select multiple rows of data.

Process Automation

Process automation combines people, technologies, and data into a streamlined and unified workflow; tackle a variety of business challenges so you can free up your human workforce to focus on more impactful work. In this release, we’re making it easier for you to manage unattended automations using RPA, and modernizing the center of your automation practice: Appian Process Modeler.

Robotic process automation

This release includes the ability to sign into a virtual machine from the RPA console. Now you can start user sessions with basic privileges and keep them online to support your unattended automation use cases..

Allow Appian to sign in to run robotic processes on non-administrative user accounts

Security and scalability are important parts of any automation practice. Robotic processes need to comply with your security requirements and scale effectively to meet demand. If your infrastructure or security requirements require you to run robotic processes using a basic, non-administrative user account, you can now allow Appian to do this for you by signing into your virtual machine (VM) user session directly from the RPA console.

rpa-8.6-sign-in

You don’t have to keep specific VM user sessions open and active anymore just in case a robotic process could start – in this release, you can manually trigger Appian to sign into a VM as any designated user, basic or administrator. When you enable this option, Appian uses designated credentials to sign into your resource and launch the agent as the designated user. Once the resource has been signed in, the agent will be online and you can proceed with executing your robotic processes on that resource as usual.

Process modeling

In 22.2, we transformed the Appian Designer views. Now, the Process Modeler has been modernized, too.

New state-of-the-art style

You’ll find the same powerful and versatile functionality as always, combined with a new state-of-the-art look. You’ll find our modernized process modeler easier on the developer and the eyes, with new badge, node, and smart service icons that are intuitive and beautiful.

Calling all AppMarket developers! Make the most of the new styling by updating the palette and canvas icons for your plug-ins to the new specifications.

Clearer annotations in process model documentation

Process model annotations help developers understand the business context of process models, explain complex logic, and communicate with teammates. This release, we’re helping to make annotations clearer and more helpful by including annotation lines in with your process model documentation.

Expressions and business rules

In addition to RPA and process modeling improvements, we’ve also made it easier and simpler to work with expression rules, interfaces, and business rules.

Rename interfaces and expression rules without breaking your flow

This release, you can rename interfaces and expression rules directly from the object. Just open the object's settings menu, select Properties, and make the change. Then we’ll go ahead and update the interface and expression rule names throughout your application. It’s as simple as that.

Rename and describe rule inputs

Not only can you rename your interfaces and expression rules, we’ve also made it easier to rename and maintain your rule inputs.

This release, you can give your fellow developers context where they need it by adding descriptions to rule inputs in your interfaces, expression rules, integrations, as well as inputs in your decisions.

Need to change the name of your rule input? Easy—just rename it as needed, and we'll take care of updating the rule input references in your expression rules and interfaces. With these enhancements, you can streamline your development process and be confident in its sustainability.

Add and subtract date and time values

When it comes to calculating deadlines or escalations, you need the flexibility to add or subtract any number of days, weeks, or years from a date to ensure you’re scheduling tasks for the proper time. Now, we’re giving you that flexibility with the introduction of two new functions: a!addDateTime() and a!subtractDateTime().

These two functions give you total control over how you calculate your deadlines. Determine the number of years, months, days, hours, minutes, or seconds to add or subtract from a specific start date. If you’ve configured a process calendar, you can even include it in your calculations so you can be confident that your calculations incorporate your working and non-working hours.

Appian Portals

Appian Portals allows you to reach a broader audience and connect external users to the information and processes that you already have in Appian. Starting this release, we’ve streamlined the development process so you can build and deploy your public web apps using the familiar development experience of Appian Designer.

Build sophisticated portals on the platform you love

This release, we’re introducing a more intuitive and powerful design experience for your portals.

With the new portal object in Appian Designer, you get all the existing functionality of the Portals Publishing Manager and more. You can configure your portal, define its contents, preview your branding, manage your publication status, add Google reCAPTCHA, and download your logs—all in one place.

Display documents and external web content with ease

Being able to show documents and document information to your end users is an important part of many Appian workflows. Now, it’s easier to incorporate documents into your portals using the document() function and document viewer component.

But it’s not just documents. You can also use the web content component to seamlessly provide your users with the external content they need without leaving the portal.

Effortlessly set up reCAPTCHA using the Google reCAPTCHA connected system

We're making testing and connecting to reCAPTCHA even easier with the new Google reCAPTCHA connected system. Enabling reCAPTCHA allows you to be confident about who is using your portal.

Structure your portal data with records

Working with data in your portals is also easier. Now, instead of using CDTs and data store entities to connect and reference your enterprise data, you can simply use a record type. This means you can now build more of your applications using records instead of CDTs.

For more information, see Working with Data in Portals. And if you're not sure whether you should use a record type or CDT, see Working with Data in Appian.

Get inspiration for your portals using interface templates

The new Account Setup interface template was designed with portals in mind to help you get started with a portal interface and make creating a portal to onboard your new users a breeze.

Test your portal live, but with a limited audience

Once you’re done building, it’s time to test! Now, we help you limit who can access your in-progress portals by adding a UUID to the web addresses of all portals in your development and testing environments. This approach makes it harder for users to find portals during development, so you can run tests and make incremental changes until you’re ready to introduce your portal to the world.

Seamlessly deploy and publish portals

After you’ve built and tested your portals, you can now easily deploy your portal from one environment to another. That’s right, Appian Portals fits seamlessly into your existing Appian DevOps pipeline! Just include your portal as part of an app or package and deploy as usual.

Conveniently install portals on your mobile devices

Give users effortless access to portals that are frequently used by enabling them to install portals as progressive web apps. Progressive web apps are a simple way to install a web app on a mobile or desktop device for a more seamless experience.

Data Fabric

Appian Data Fabric stitches together data from any system into a single, flexible data model, while keeping your data where it is. This release, you’ll find it’s even faster and easier to access, combine, and take action on your data.

Codeless data modeling

Last release, we introduced codeless data modeling, empowering you to create and update your data structure while configuring your record type. This release, we’re streamlining that process even more and seamlessly integrating adding reference data to your applications.

An important part of creating a lasting and scalable data model is making commonly used static data available for reference throughout your applications. For example, your reference data might include order status values or task priority values. Now, with codeless data modeling, you can easily add and store reference data in related record types. And, we’ll make the database changes for you, no extra steps needed.

While creating or updating a record type, simply select from the Choice List Fields options to define the static values or choices you want to include.

We do the rest of the steps for you. We generate a related record type for your reference data based on the static values you defined. Then, we create a database table for the new related record type (with the static values) and update the database table for the current record type so that it links to the new reference data.

Set your reference data once and use it everywhere your records appear, making standardization a breeze.

Codeless data modeling isn’t just for new developers; we’re dedicated to improving the process for experienced users as well.

As a more experienced user, you probably already have an idea of the relationships you want to create and what common fields you need to add to your data structure. So this release, we’re taking the common fields you’ve manually created in your data structure into consideration.

For example, if you’ve already added a StockId field to your Store record type, Appian will recognize and select that field to enforce the relationship between the Store and Stock record types.

We’ve also made it easier to delete a common field and relationship in a record type. Now, you’ll have the option to delete both in a single flow.

Remember preferences for database script downloading

Appian now remembers your preferences for downloading the generated database scripts, automatically selecting the same option for you next time.

Faster record data

Creating record data for expression rules and interfaces is even faster. This improvement makes creating record data and casting data to a record type up to 90% faster.

Querying your record data using a!queryRecordType() is also up to 20% faster, and records-powered components, like charts and grids, will see even greater performance gains of up to 30%. Together, these improvements allow you to build apps faster with even faster data.

Synced User record type

You now have more flexibility in how you work with your user data when you enable data sync on the User record type.

With data sync enabled, you can take advantage of all the sync-enabled features that accelerate application design:

  • Add relationships to the User record type to seamlessly join your business data together with your user data.
  • Create custom record fields to transform existing fields into the insights you need.
  • Apply record-level security to determine who can see which users.
  • Easily query, filter, and aggregate user data using a!queryRecordType().

We’ll even configure some of these features for you, like an out-of-the-box supervisor relationship and a firstAndLastName custom record field. After you upgrade your Appian environment, you can update your User record type to use data sync with the click of a button.

Create synced record types from Oracle table synonyms

In addition to tables, you can now select Oracle table synonyms as the data source when creating record types with data sync enabled. Your apps can now use data that is only accessible with these synonyms, and the sync-enabled features let you use your enterprise data to build faster, more capable apps.

Generate web APIs to write or delete records using a template

As your applications become widely adopted across your organization, it’s possible that another system will need to make changes to record data. To enable this scenario, we’ve built two new web API templates: Write Records and Delete Records. Using these templates, you can quickly build an endpoint to create, update, or delete records.

Check out this tutorial to learn how to use the Write Records smart service in a web API.

Build complex, real-time custom record fields

Last release, we introduced a more powerful version of custom record fields that evaluate in real time. This release, we've enhanced this feature so you can use more functions and fields in your calculations.

New "Custom Field" functions to build conditional logic

Real-time custom record fields leverage a special set of functions called "Custom Field" functions. And this release, we’ve added two new functions that allow you to define your custom record fields using simplified if-then logic: a!customFieldMatch() and a!customFieldCondition().

Together, these two functions allow you to build that conditional logic using your record data, related record data, and dynamic date functions like today() or now(). See this recipe to see how you can use these functions to return the correct case status based on the specified conditions.

Reference existing custom record fields in your calculations

In addition to more "Custom Field" functions, you can now reference any existing custom record fields in your real-time calculations. This gives you more flexibility creating your calculations, and it expands the types of calculations you can make.

For example, if your record type already has a custom record field that displays year-to-date sales and a custom record field that displays the previous year-to-date sales, you could create a new custom record field that calculates the percent change in sales using these two fields. See this example in action.

Add double the amount of custom record fields

Not only can you create more powerful real-time custom record fields, we’ve doubled the number of total custom record fields you can create on a single record type—from 20 to 40!

Enhanced record type relationship diagram

We know your data model can be large and complex, so we’ve made it easier to examine the model by adding more information about where your data comes from, and letting you expand the diagram so it’s easier to read.

Last release, we added your database icons to the relationship diagram so you could quickly see where your data was coming from. This release, we've made it easier to visualize your entire data model. You'll now see the Appian logo for record types created with the Appian Cloud database, and we've included icons for your web services. These changes help you clearly see the data you're connecting in Appian. If you want to dig deeper, new tooltips give you information about the record type's data source.

Additionally, you can now expand the relationship diagram in a dialog to more easily view your complex relationships. This larger view can be captured as a screenshot or used in presentations to explain the data model to fellow Appian developers or other stakeholders.

Improved object name handling in autosuggest

Improved autosuggest in the expression editor allows you to easily search for objects with names that contain spaces and quickly add those objects to your expressions. Referencing record types and objects in your expressions is faster and simpler than ever.

Enhanced filter and grouping options in the query editor

To give you more power and control in the query editor, you can now use it to add intervals to your groupings and filters on your measures.This means you can now group by year, or get the sum of orders for a given period of time without writing a single line of code.

Customize HTTP headers for OAuth SAML Bearer Assertion flow

Last release, we added the SAML Bearer Assertion Flow as a new authentication type to HTTP connected systems. This release, we’ve enhanced this authentication type by allowing you to send additional HTTP headers to the token request endpoints for APIs that require them.

Support for PostgreSQL versions 13 and 14

You can now build applications with PostgreSQL versions 13 and 14 as the data source. See a list of all supported RDBMS databases.

Low-code interfaces

Now that you're up-to-date on our Data Fabric features, we're excited to show you more ways you can display relevant data to your users.

Build scatter charts

We’re excited to introduce a new records-powered chart: the scatter chart.

Use this chart to examine datasets with a broad range of values and easily draw conclusions. These charts can help your users explain complex results and correlations with less effort.

Preview components and patterns in the interface palette

Develop your interfaces confidently with our new interface component and pattern previews.

This release, pick which component or pattern is right for you before you add it to the interface. Simply hover over a component or pattern in the palette of the interface object to see a snapshot, brief description, and helpful links to the documentation. Quickly design powerful interfaces with more information at your fingertips.

Format charts with more currency options

To improve applications built for global audiences, we’ve added pound, yen, and Swiss franc options to format your measures. With even more currency options, you can easily display accurately labeled monetary trends to your users.

Access charts using keyboard shortcuts and screen readers

We’re committed to making the Appian platform accessible to all users. In this release, we’re making the contents of all chart components available for keyboard navigation, as well as adding improved support for screen readers.

App and object info at your fingertips

We’ve made it even easier to find important information about your applications and objects with more convenient locations for filters, searches, and user information in Appian Designer, as well as a quick and easy way to access your site objects.

Continued refinements to Appian Designer views

As part of our ongoing mission to create a more modern and centralized experience for developers across the platform, we’re steadily refining the views in Appian Designer. Now, it’s even easier to get a holistic perspective on your applications, objects, and environment, and dive right into development.

Filters are now located more conveniently above the grids from within a package, as well as in the Users and Deploy views.

We added user photos to the Recent Applications section of the Applications view to give you quick visibility into application collaborators.

We’ve also streamlined creating a new application, so more experienced users can dive in right away. The first time you open a new application, the recommended objects display in a dialog instead of occupying the whole page. Want to start somewhere else? Just close the dialog to jump into the Explore view.

Speaking of the Explore view, we’ve added a banner that allows you to see the number of objects in your application at a glance and keep the display of core objects up-to-date with the new refresh button.

With Appian Portals now incorporated into Appian Designer, we’ve added portals to the Explore view. Check out the portal preview to see a snapshot of the branding, configurations, and interface for your portal.

In the Application view and Build view, our new fixed position for the toolbar allows you to easily access tools and filters while you scroll through apps or objects.

In the Build view, prepare even faster for a deployment using the new Create Package action in the deployment actions bar.

Speed jump from viewing your site to configuring your site

We know you love that Show Objects button that lets you go directly from the site pages to the objects that power it. Now you can see the top-level site object the same way. Once you’ve clicked Show Objects, simply click Open Site Object in the page header to open the object.

Administration

Each release, we continue to give administrators more control over their system, authentication, and integration settings with improvements to the Appian Admin Console.

Upgraded relational database persistence layer

The relational database persistence layer of the Appian Platform has been upgraded to a newer version of Hibernate, a Java library used to map custom data types (CDTs) to relational database tables. This upgrade keeps the platform up-to-date and introduces new features that may be used to enhance RDBMS support.

If you are a self-managed customer, you will need to check your environments for any unsupported annotations and replace them before you upgrade to this latest version of Appian.

PIEE user authentication

Appian now supports authenticating with the Defense Logistics Agency’s Procurement Integrated Enterprise Environment (PIEE). This makes it easier to incorporate Appian into your organization's ecosystem if you typically rely on PIEE for your identity. To leverage PIEE user authentication, you will need to open a support case.

Understand locale usage

Appian supports a variety of languages to enable users around the world to build enterprise-ready applications. To continue advancing our localization efforts, we’ve added a new locales log that captures the locale settings of the active users in your environment. With this information, you can better understand your own user demographic.

Windows Server 2022

We want to make sure everyone is able to leverage the latest technologies, so for customers interested in using Windows Server 2022, we've certified our platform for use on this operating system.

Appian Cloud

Appian Cloud is an enterprise-grade cloud platform that supports many of the largest businesses, institutions, and agencies in the world. And this release, we’re introducing a new web asset endpoint that will improve performance.

New web asset endpoint with improved performance

When your Appian Cloud environment hosted in commercial regions is upgraded to 22.4, all clients for that environment will begin to retrieve static content resources (also referred to as web assets) from a more performant endpoint. The new web asset endpoint is web-assets.appian-cdn.com.

This new endpoint serves static content such as product images, JavaScript, stylesheets, and other files required to display your Cloud environments in your client's browsers. This endpoint will improve performance by leveraging a secure content delivery network to serve files with lower latency.

Confirm with your network team that the endpoint is allowed on your network to ensure that Appian static content will continue to load correctly after the upgrade.

The new web asset endpoint only applies to environments hosted in commercial regions. Environments in GovCloud (US-East and US-West) will continue to have web assets served from web-assets-gov.appiancloud.com.

Appian Cloud has always supported select AWS managed services, but now we’re giving you more!

We now support connections to your Appian Cloud environment using any supported AWS managed service when you use AWS PrivateLink. This allows you to integrate your Appian applications hosted in Appian Cloud seamlessly with AWS managed services like S3, RDS, or CloudHSM.

This functionality uses a shared responsibility model. Appian Cloud will configure the AWS interface endpoint to connect with your AWS endpoint service, but you’ll be responsible for configuring and securing your endpoint service and any services behind it. For more details, see Accessing Your VPC using AWS PrivateLink.

Connected environments for Private Access Cloud sites

Appian Cloud sites configured for only Private Access (either via VPN or AWS PrivateLink) can now seamlessly leverage Compare and Deploy across connected environments! Without any additional configuration, you can use Compare and Deploy while staying within the Appian Cloud Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

To enable this for your Appian Cloud environments, create a Support Case and specify which of your Appian Cloud environments you would like to opt in to enable the feature.

This feature is not available for Appian Cloud FedRAMP or GovCloud sites.

New Appian Cloud region

Appian Cloud now supports hosting Appian Cloud sites in a new region: Jakarta.

Customers in need of hosting new sites in this region or wish to move their existing sites to the Jakarta region should contact their Account Executive.

This change also benefits customers with sites hosted in other regions. Users located close to Jakarta will benefit from improved communication speeds when accessing Appian Cloud.

For a full view of all available regions and other information, see Appian Cloud Availability.

Enhanced data pipeline: business data replication

Replicate changes from the Appian Cloud database to downstream repositories–data warehouses, data lakes, and reporting databases–using your change data capture (CDC) tool of choice. This feature was delivered in 22.1 to select customers as a new mode of data transfer through Enhanced Data Pipeline. It is now available to all Advanced or Enterprise Support customers running on a supported version in Appian Cloud.

With Business Data Replication, data changes are transmitted incrementally, as they happen, allowing consuming systems to keep in sync in near real time. This eliminates the need to write and execute queries periodically for batch-style synchronization. The traditional mode of operation–now named Enhanced Data Pipeline: Business Data Direct Query–remains available. Use the mode of operation that best fits your needs.

New JDBC Driver for PostgreSQL

This release, Appian Cloud now uses PostgreSql JDBC Driver 42.4.1 for PostgreSQL data sources. To learn more about the new version of JDBC driver, see PostgreSQL’s documentation.

Before upgrading to the latest version of Appian, update any query syntax that is incompatible with the latest version. See PostgreSQL’s documentation for more information.

Resolved general issues

  • AN-208821 - High
    Fixed an issue where record type references that are missing precedents in process model expressions are not found by Inspect on Import.
  • AN-208653 - Medium
    Fixed an issue where related actions that were defined by an expression with a relationship reference were causing an error in a!gridField().
  • AN-173258 - Medium
    Changed the error behavior when using the record picker component and saving into a record type. Instead of displaying a generic System Error, we provide a more helpful validation error specifying the record picker component and value error.
  • AN-206771 - Low
    Updated behavior in the Write Records smart service in which providing a record map with only a primary key value previously failed. Now this attempt will succeed, creating a new record with only a primary key value.
  • AN-210445 - Low
    Updated in-product documentation links for a!queryEntity() so it now points to a valid page.
  • AN-204327 - Low
    Fixed an issue where using the a!match() function did not suggest fv!value for the then and default parameters.
  • AN-204631 - Low
    Fixed an issue where using the a!match() function caused Appian to show an "Improperly scoped variable" warning when attempting to use fv!value for the default parameter.

Evolutions

The following functions, components, or smart services have newer, improved versions in this release. Existing, old versions in your applications will continue to function normally, but will be renamed on upgrade to indicate that they are older versions.

As always, make sure you are using the right version of the docs for your version of Appian. See Function and Component Versions for more information.

a!userRecordListViewItem() and a!userRecordFilterList()

The a!userRecordListViewItem() and a!userRecordFilterList() functions have both been evolved to support the updated User record type, which has data sync enabled.

When you update the User record type, it will automatically update to include the latest version of these two functions. If you have any existing customizations within either of these functions, those customizations will be lost upon update.

Deprecations

The features listed below are deprecated and will be removed in a future release of Appian. Do not begin using deprecated features, and transition away from any prior usage of now deprecated features. Where applicable, supported alternatives are described for each deprecation.

Portal Publishing Manager

Starting with the release, you will no longer be able to publish new portals using the Portal Publishing Manager. Instead, use a portal object. If you already have portals that were created before Appian 22.4, you can still update or delete them using the Portal Publishing Manager.

To migrate existing portals to the new portal object, see the instructions in the playbook.

Supported JPA annotations

The following annotations will be removed from the list of Supported JPA Annotations in a future release:

  • AttributeOverrides
  • IdClass
  • TableGenerator
  • JoinColumns
  • AssociationOverride
  • AssociationOverrides
  • PrimaryKeyJoinColumns
  • Enumerated
  • Temporal

Developers should stop using these annotations moving forward. Please contact Customer Support if you have any questions.

Removals

The feature listed below has been removed from Appian and can no longer be used.

Internet Explorer 11

Support for Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) has been removed. This is in alignment with our policy that Appian does not support browsers that are not supported by their vendors.

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