5 Features that Make Low-Code a Joy for Developers in the Appian 22.1 Release

Alex Stark, Sr. Product Marketing Manager – Developer Marketing
March 9, 2022
“Low-code developers are, on average, more satisfied with their jobs and happier with the types of projects they get to work on compared to high-code-only developers.”

There’s a reason for this. Low-code allows developers to visually build impressive UX, create interactive diagrams, and leverage pre-built templates to make their work easier and their lives happier. And with every release of Appian, we bring more features that make low-code a joy for developers.

Read on for our developers’ top 5 highlights from the Appian 22.1 release. 

Low-Code Features for Developers in Appian 22.1

 


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Jump right into the latest release using a free development environment with Appian Community Edition.

Sign-up only requires an email address and grants you access to Community resources, development tutorials, and special access to training for Appian’s differentiating features including Process Mining and Portals (more on that below).

 


Appian 22.1 release highlights.

We’re kicking off our first release of 2022 with some features that will make your life as a developer easier and more joyful. These updates have a special focus on auto-generation and templates so that developers of all experience levels can work smarter and faster than ever before. 
 

1. Auto-generated site-structure diagrams give everyone perspective

    A site-structure diagram that’s interactive and automatically updated with each change? Yes, please.

    Whether you’re deep in the build or coming to the project with fresh eyes, it’s important to understand what you’re working on. Now it’s easier than ever to zoom out and understand the site-structure of an app build at a glance. Appian’s 22.1 release generates a diagram of the site and its pages dynamically in the site object page.

    Interactive diagrams allow you to dive right in. Simply click a node in the diagram to move to the underlying object’s configuration so that you can start work exactly where you need to.

    Now even if you need to pass on a project to another developer, the infrastructure diagrams are built in and accessible so they can get up to speed quickly.
     

    2. Auto-generated record views quickly provide the data that your users need

    With data-centric applications, records are a key design object. They provide key insights into unique views for users, and adding related records provides the exact information a user needs to make decisions fast. Enabling users to make faster decisions makes them happy, which makes developers happy. 

Auto-Generated Record Views in Appian 22.1

And the best part? It’s automatic. With the Record Type Designer, developers can generate the supporting objects for a new record view with an interface pre-populated with fields for the base record or with related records. Appian was already providing a Summary view for record type, but now it has expanded to auto-generate all record views. Record Type Designer offers the following:

  • Available on synced records (any source)
  • Support for 1:M, 1:1, and M:1 relationships
  • Ability to pre-populate object names (and later edit)
  • Provides default test value for the interface 
     

 3. Appian Portals opens the door to public interfaces, data, and documents

"Anonymous Access" has been the top customer use case and partner request for a long time. Portals opens the door, literally, to external users accessing and using Appian-made apps. It allows developers to quickly build and iterate on secure, immersive experiences that improve your ability to serve and delight customers, partners, and citizens.

Do you love playing Wordle? Us, too. That’s why one of our engineers made PORDL, which utilizes Appian’s Portals technology to allow the general public (external users) to log their scores, track leaderboard stats, and play the addictive game more than once a day.

Go ahead, play PORDL now

PORDL - Appian Portals Game

Beyond addictive gaming, there are many use cases for this public-facing capability, including opening cases (complaints, reports, requests), onboarding new accounts / customer / contractor, publishing public records, registering for events, or requesting a quote. 

Appian Portals Publishing and Management

In many cases, these public interfaces will just be a first step for users gaining Appian user accounts; in others, all usage will stay anonymous. It really is customizable to the needs of your app. They can use services provided by the Low-Code Platform, or can independently connect to other services and data using REST APIs.

With sensitive data, privacy and security are paramount. To reduce the risk of accidental public data exposure, Appian Portals have no direct access to data or processes in the platform by default. In order to enable access, low-code developers must explicitly enable it.

With many Portals use cases involving the upload and access of documents, it has also been connected directly to Appian’s native document management services. The same document upload and download components used in internal workflows and applications will be used with Portals processes.

Get training on the power of Portals with your free Appian Community Edition account. 
 

4. Record-level security enables complex requirements through easy-to- manage business rules.

Data security and compliance can be one of the most essential, yet complicated, aspects of building an app. It’s the less-flashy and unsung hero aspect of development that is nonetheless essential in every build.

Record-Level Security takes the guesswork out of user-anchored viewing and security requirements. Typically, controlling who can access which row of data requires technical leads and experts, which adds to slow development time and complicated maintenance with scaling enterprises.

Low-Code Security Rules - Appian 22.1

The 22.1 release allows you to specify who can see specific records in accordance to set security rules with the Record-Level Security feature. These security rules allow you to translate requirements into plain language, which are then easier for a broader team to build and maintain. 

Record-Level Security Features - Appian 22.1

Make sure only the right people have access to data in your apps.

5. New interface patterns & templates save you time and make you look good

Perhaps looks shouldn’t matter, but they do. A beautiful UI can make a huge first impression when someone uses your app. It indicates thoughtful design, professional quality, and aligned tastes. It also usually indicates a lot of time spent designing.

It can be intimidating (and time consuming) to design an app UI from scratch, so we provide new usable interface examples in every release that provide modern experiences while helping out our developers. 

UI for a Multi-Experience Low-Code Platform

Check out the new Dual Picklist pattern, Order Summary template, and Message Inbox template in Interface Designer for inspiration for your next interface.

 


Build your app, feel the joy.

Learn more about the 22.1 release features in the documentation notes.

The free Appian Community Edition is the hub for new and returning Appian developers. Dig into the platform, learn the best practices, and get coached toward certifications that will speed up your projects. Rather than giving you pre-fab models, we empower you with the skills and automations you need to get started quickly while tailoring a project to your specific application needs.

Sign up here for your free account, access to Community resources, and tutorials for trying out the 22.1 release of the Appian Low-Code Platform.