Appian World 2015 was the best Appian World to date. As I just wrote that sentence, I chuckled to myself, because I utter that statement each and every year, right around this time! It is always great catching-up with clients, colleagues, and our partner, Appian over dinners, cocktails and events; while discussing anything and everything BPM-related – including the newest Appian 7.9 release; it’s features and functionality.
With the unveiling of Appian 7.9, Appian again raised the bar. This time with the new feature entitled “Configurable Web APIs”.
Designers may now configure URLs that return the result of an expression, allowing them to expose Appian data to external systems over a web API. So add that to your integration repertoire! Brett began his “Integration” breakout session with a slide entitled “Why Integrate with Appian” Let’s look at his top seven reasons to integrate with Appian 7.9.
Why Integrate with Appian?
- Lots of Legacy Systems
- Data Trapped in Silos
- No Single System of Record
- Unify Data into a Comprehensive Record View
- Interactions Between Systems as Part of the Business Process
- Leave Underlying Systems Intact
- Surface the Right Information to the Right People
Brett’s “Why Integrate with Appian”, aligns perfectly with use cases from our years of Appian experience and production-released Appian solutions across our vast array of clients – including the leading financial and pharmaceutical organizations around the world.
Many of our clients are striving to bring together data from across many systems and applications in a unified platform. Being able to provide data rich context to the entities of the business, whether that’s; orders, customers, office location, inventory. and so forth. By leveraging Appian as the framework that can connect and display the data – the right information to the right time – from across the enterprise has made the argument extremely compelling for custom applications built in Appian for some time. Now that has just gotten even easier and more powerful with Appian 7.9.
In fact, at Princeton Blue we have intimate knowledge and extensive experience in integrating our clients’ internal systems, thereby providing the data necessary to support BPM and process automation projects. We recommend the use of REST (Representation State Transfer) and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) Web service integration patterns due to their relatively low costs of implementation. We also offer BPM professionals with expertise in integrating common ERP systems, such as SAP and Oracle, as well as detailed knowledge of Java — the technology on which most of the Appian platform is built. Finally, we have resources that are experts with cloud computing, ensuring we have the comprehensive expertise required to integrate your Appian BPM solutions with the rest of your enterprise systems, whether they are on-premise or in the cloud.
If you’re new to Appian, let’s review the common integration methods that come right out of the box!
Integrating with Appian 7.9 made Easy.
Web APIs **NEW in Appian 7.9**
Web APIs provide a way to expose data that is stored inside of Appian or accessible by Appian to another system. Each Web API is an association between a URL and an expression. When a client makes an HTTP request to the given URL, the associated expression is executed and the result is returned to the client. This means that any data that is available inside an expression can be exposed to an external system via a Web API.
Appian Forum Link (for additional information):
Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)
Appian 7.9 provides “The Call Web Service Smart Service” allows you to integrate data from web services within your process and automatically create a custom data type with it. This allows for more flexible mapping of web service inputs and outputs. The error messages returned by this activity may help diagnosis problems you could encounter during process design and execution. Appian Forum Link (for additional information): https://forum.appian.com/suite/help/7.9/Call_Web_Service_Smart_Service.html
eMail – Starting a Process Using Email
Routing email messages to process models is supported and it is possible to start new process instances using an email trigger sent to a specific process model, and passing in Email data. Important Note: Data transferred using email to an Appian process is not encrypted. Exchanging unencrypted sensitive or confidential data is not recommended. Application-level security is the responsibility of each customer.
Appian Forum Link (for additional information): https://forum.appian.com/suite/help/7.9/Sending_an_Email_Message_to_a_Process.html
Java Messaging Service (JMS)
Appian supports the Java Messaging Service (JMS) for sending and receiving events. JMS is an enterprise messaging standard that is supported by EJB2 (and later) application servers, including all application servers supported by Appian.
Appian Forum Link (for additional information): https://forum.appian.com/suite/help/7.9/Working_with_the_Java_Messaging_Service.html
REpresentational State Transfer (REST)
Appian provides “The HTTP Query” smart service, which allows you to make HTTP requests, suitable for consuming the REST API of an external system. It can perform DELETE, GET, HEAD, OPTIONS, POST, PUT, and TRACE operations and so can be used for both reading data from an external system as well as writing to an external system.
Appian Forum Link (for additional information): https://forum.appian.com/suite/help/7.9/HTTP_Query_Smart_Service.html
Other Integration Modules and/or Examples w/ Appian (not all inclusive)
- Microsoft Dynamics
Continuing the Conversation!
Rely on our vast Appian integration expertise to help the automation of your unique business processes as we partner to build robust BPM-driven custom Appian applications with SOA principles. Princeton Blue is the leading provider of business transformation solutions delivered thru strategy consulting and technical implementation of BPM and Rules platforms. With an exclusive focus in this discipline since we started in 2006 and with 150+ successful projects under our belt, we bring the deepest BPM and Rules expertise to help your organization provide a better customer experience with a leaner and more transparent set of underlying business processes. More details at www.princetonblue.com. Follow Princeton Blue on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & Google+ to get focused BPM-specific updates.