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Sharing the Wealth...

Malcolm Ross, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy, Appian
December 2, 2008

First.. pardon my absence from the blogging scene for the past month. I've had my hands full with my new daughter, Maddie..

Not to bring up "Joe the Plumber" again, one month after the election, but I'd like to take a minute to highlight how "Sharing the Wealth" among Appian users has benefitted our Appian customers.

At the end of October, Appian went live with Appian ShareBase. Appian ShareBase is a sub-portal on Appian Access (the Appian customer and partner support site) that allows Appian employees, customers and partners to share processes and process components.Appian Access

Appian Access and Appian ShareBase have become the virtual Center of Excellence for Appian customers. Sharing questions, best practices, and guidelines, Appian customers have been able to collaborate directly with other customers, partners and Appian employees on the best way to execute and manage their BPM initiative. Appian ShareBase introduced important new functionality to the Appian Access site, allowing these users to upload processes, and process components they have built in their environments and share them with other users of Appian Enterprise and Appian Anywhere.

Within Appian ShareBase, users can upload process components and services for use in various Appian installations. Appian's unique modularity in application components, such as Portlets, Smart Services, Form Inputs, etc.. allows customers to share and download process services and easily deploy them in their environments.

For example, a process component currently available on the Appian ShareBase is the Content Viewer Channel. This is a new Portlet for the Appian Portal environment that allows a document management folder view to be placed on a dashboard based on a completely dynamic value in a process. Its found use in a variety of Applications built on Appian.

In one example for a Marketing Review process, the folder location of the marketing images to be reviewed changes once they are approved. The portal page that allows a manager to track and lookup the images in process includes the Content Viewer Channel. As the content shifts locations, the portal page is automatically updated to reflect the new location. The same Content Viewer Channel is being used in a Case Management application where document locations also shift often.

These small additions in process and application components can have a huge impact in usability. Each component helps our Appian customers create a more easily navigated and simpler end-user experience.

In addition, Appian has begun developing our library of process templates to help jumpstart customers into certain BPM initiatives. Process templates for incident management, sales and marketing, compliance, purchasing, and others are all in the works and to be shared on Appian ShareBase. As new customers join Appian, they will immediately benefit from this wealth of knowledge building inside the Appian community.

Appian as well as our customers and partners continue to contribute a variety of template processes and process components to share amongst each other. Its a great example how communities are building using BPM Center of Excellence principles and SOA object sharing to build new innovative applications.

As Appian ShareBase expands, I'll be sure to provide updates.


Malcolm Ross