The Evolution of Appian Mobile: Then, Now, and Tomorrow

Lauren Papagalos, Product Marketing Manager
July 19, 2021

Enterprise mobile application development is a fundamental capability of the Appian Low-Code Automation Platform. Any application you build with Appian is instantly mobile-ready on all devices, without the additional hourly cost of using developer resources. With the flexibility of Appian Mobile, organizations can focus on creating native apps for a variety of use cases, such as completing field inspections or managing help desk tickets.

For example, Ryder, a transportation and logistics company, reduced its rental transaction times by 50% with Appian Mobile. Before Appian, the company used paper forms to support its truck rental process, resulting in a disjointed and slow customer experience. By developing a native mobile app, Ryder digitized its vehicle inspections, rental contracts, and signature captures, improving the customer experience and establishing a faster and more efficient rental process.

Our dedicated mobile development team is constantly listening to our customers and developing new features to improve our mobile capabilities. Appian Mobile will further improve our offline functionality with the introduction of Dynamic Offline in Appian 21.4, coming in Fall 2021. With Dynamic Offline, mobile app users will be able to use and update their apps in real time, with or without an internet connection.

As we get ready to introduce this latest functionality to Appian mobile, let’s take a look at its evolution over the past few years to see how our enterprise mobile application capabilities have evolved, plus what’s in store for the future.



Offline tasks and actions. 

In 2019, Appian released our first offline mobile features, enabling users to perform tasks or actions while offline through “static” interfaces, which do not change in response to user actions. This feature is especially useful for field employees who need to remain productive while on the road and without an internet connection.

Location capture. 

The location capture feature, released in 2019, captures the user’s physical location on task submission. This feature allows customers to build audit trails and workflows to ensure field employees perform inspections and audits at the expected location. 

AppConfig. 

AppConfig, released in 2019, extends enterprise mobile application development capability through compatibility with 20+ mobile device management (MDM) solutions, which simplifies deployment, configuration, and management of the Appian mobile app.

Push notifications. 

Push notifications, released in 2020, allow designers to customize and send notifications to mobile app users. These notifications are often used to communicate time-sensitive information. Numerous studies show that push notifications are one of the top ways to increase user engagement on mobile. 

Mobile responsive design. 

In 2020, Appian further improved the enterprise mobile application development experience by introducing mobile responsive design, allowing designers to tweak a single interface to render it as desired on varying screen sizes. This requires less maintenance for the designer by eliminating the need to create different interfaces for different devices (e.g., smartphones or tablets). 

Client certificate access. 

With client certificate access, the Appian mobile app can now access Appian servers on networks that require a digital certificate for access, such as the Department of Defense Information Network. Administrators can require certificate-based authentication through a new custom configuration available via AppConfig.

Streamlined user onboarding. 

An improved user onboarding process makes it easier for users to set up and log in to their mobile accounts, improving the user experience. With streamlined user onboarding, the mobile user can open their onboarding link from their email, which automatically prompts them to install the mobile app. The link is remembered through the install process so the user just has to log in, eliminating the need to enter a server address manually. 

Introducing the Dynamic Offline Preview Program

Dynamic Offline. 

Dynamic Offline, coming in Fall 2021, provides mobile app users with the ability to complete tasks and work from anywhere, even without an internet connection. Offline tasks are queued locally and automatically synchronized to the server when reconnected to the network. This will be especially useful for employees on-the-go, like field service workers who are required to complete field inspections and audits while on the road and without an internet connection. 

Dynamic Offline: Modern UI for offline forms. 

With offline-enabled forms in Modern UI, offline customers can access all the Modern UI capabilities and components Appian offers. This creates a consistent experience for online and offline users.

Offline actions in sites.

Offline actions in sites provides the ability to configure offline actions directly on a site page. This way, mobile users can initiate processes in Appian even in the absence of any network connectivity.

We are currently recruiting for customers who would like to participate in our Dynamic Offline Preview Program. The Preview Program allows customers to experiment with pre-release code and provide feedback in a sandboxed demo environment prior to the official Dynamic Offline release. The Dynamic Offline Preview Program will be open to all Appian customers in Appian 21.3 in Summer 2021 before its official release in Appian 21.4 in the Fall of 2021. 

To learn more about the Dynamic Offline Preview Program or to request to participate email offline@appian.com.