Low-Code Appian Update Addresses Enterprise Mobility
Appian last week updated its low-code app development platform, with enterprise mobility one of the key areas of focus.
Enterprise mobile apps can now be built on Appian with "no-code" tooling, while also sporting improved offline capabilities, for examples.
The offline capabilities are related to the expansion of Appian's SAIL (Self-Assembling Interface Layer) framework, which helps developers intelligently generate interfaces from a data model.
"This release allows application designers to make these interfaces available offline on mobile devices with a single click," Appian said in a news release last week. "Appian's enhanced offline mobile capabilities are now available for tasks and securely cache data, images and content for offline processing for field service work. Once back 'online,' these tasks are queued locally and seamlessly submitted to the server, eliminating confusion and time lags in the process."
The Appian update also sees "low-code" functionality becoming more "no-code"-like. One way this is done is via the integration of third-party systems and data through the company's new Integration Software Development Kit (SDK), which makes it easier for partners to create no-code integration plug-ins. "Using this new framework, Appian RPA [robotics process automation] with Blue Prism now features no-code integration to easily incorporate a digital workforce of robots into Appian," the company said.
The SAIL framework expansion also enhances the no-code approach. "This accelerates the creation of user interfaces in Appian with a true no-code experience that automatically builds interfaces directly from customer data," the company said. Application designers can then immediately use that interface or apply it as the starting point for user interface refinement."
The aforementioned RPA is another area of functionality boosted in the update, according to Appian. "Organizations want to spend less time configuring and integrating data so they can accelerate delivery of applications that enhance customer experience and improve operational performance," said exec Malcolm Ross. "Our new release is a milestone that firmly brings integration and RPA into the world of low-code/no-code development and expands Appian's mission to simplify the creation of powerful applications."
The low-code and no-code development arena has exploded in past years as vendors seek to offer simplified tooling to enable "citizen developers" or "business users" to address an increasing demand for enterprise applications while professional, trained coders are expensive and hard to find. The tools feature techniques such as model-driven and template-oriented development, wizards, drag-and-drop composability and so on.
David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.