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App Factory application life cycle

Application life cycle

Having a repeatable, structured software delivery life cycle is critical to fostering scalable, high-quality application projects. Low-code application development projects are no exception. App Factory comes preconfigured with a basic application life cycle. Like any Pega case type, this life cycle is customizable and extensible based on your organization’s standards or preferences. Any changes to this process can be saved in your organizational App Factory layer of the system.

Application request

Out-of-the-box, App Factory comes configured with a request and approval process for new application development projects wherein prospective developers provide information about their potential application. When a prospective developer starts a new request through the Get Started link on the App Factory home page, they are presented with a modal to capture:

  • Application name and description
  • Current work process
  • Technical capability
App Factory Request Default
 

Capturing this information allows governors to:

  • Avoid duplication of work – Based on the description, identify any overlap between this application and existing tools in your ecosystem. Combine efforts where it makes sense.
  • Identify opportunities for reuse  Based on the current work process, identify common integrations and processes that exist in the shared reuse layer, of which the developer wants to take advantage.
  • Set the developer up for success  Based on the use case and the developer’s technical capability, provide the right level of enablement material, and assign the right coach to support the project.

Based on your standards or preferences, you may find the need to collect additional information before reviewing and planning for new application projects. For example:

  • ROI or metric-based KPIs to measure success
  • Predicted usage (such as number of users and case volume)
  • Advanced capabilities required by the application (such as robotic process automation (RPA) and AI)
  • Expected application data model 
  • Expected interfaces and integrations required
  • Personally identifiable information (PII) that may be used as part of workflows 
  • Final form factor (mobile, web, both) of the application

To add information collected upon application request:

  • Log in to your organizational App Factory as an administrator.
  • Navigate to Dev Studio.
  • Create new properties for every data point you need to capture (create drop-down -- data model -- property). Make sure to set the applies to class for these to PegaXF-AppFactory-Work-Application.
  • Open the EnterRequest section in the base App Factory application – this dictates the modal which prospective developers are presented with when requesting a new application.
  • Save As the section into the PegaXF-AppFactory-Work-Application class and your organizational layer’s ruleset (generated automatically during the App Factory installation process).  
  • Once opened, using the controls in the data capture drop-down list, add the input fields you are looking to capture.
  • Configure each of the controls added to refer to the properties created above.
  • When complete, save the section, launch the App Factory user portal, and test by clicking the Get Started button on the top right. 

The updated section captures this newly added information with the Application case created for all new requests allowing governors to review the info when approving and planning for new application development projects.

App Factory Request Customized
 

Immediately upon application request, an application collaboration space is automatically generated to allow for conversation, questions, and knowledge-sharing between the application developer, coaches, and the governance team.

 

Governors' review

Reviewing potential application makers requests to begin new application development projects is critical to avoiding duplication of work, identifying opportunities for reuse, and setting the developer up for success.

App Factory Governors are given the opportunity to complete these reviews in the Governor’s Portal. Governors should be: 

  • Proficient with Pega development and any enterprise-specific implementation details.
  • Familiar with the existing business application landscape.
  • Knowledgeable of enterprise IT standards.
  • Familiar with the Pega developer community within the organization.
  • Up-to-date with the latest enablement and products offered by Pega.

Governor access is granted by inviting users to the role via the People page in the App Studio portal of App Factory (available to admins) or adding the Governor access group to an individual’s operator record.

Governors have the ability to review and open all new application requests from their home screen:

App Factory Governor Home - Review New Requests

Opening the application case for any one of these requests gives the governor additional information on the request — including the description, current work process, technical capability of the requestor, and any other information that is captured as part of the request form. From here, the governor has the ability to take action on the request. By default, governors have an assignment to reject the request or approve while setting up the next steps, including:

  • Coach – Each project is backed by a Coach, an experienced Pega developer who can support the project and maker with knowledge of App Studio, Dev Studio ability, familiarity with the organization’s re-use layer, and knowledge of any enterprise development standards. The coach assignment and level of support needed can vary by project based on the technical aptitude of the maker, app complexity, or criticality.
  • Application Template  Utilize pre-built shared components, integrations, and processes where possible accelerates time-to-value and reduces overhead. To make this easier, App Factory applications are automatically deployed onto a template. The default application template is your shared organizational reuse layer created during App Factory setup, but template layers can be built on top of that and one another to get makers with a wide variety of use cases started quickly.
  • Remote application information – Remote applications run on systems other than the App Factory. These applications may be Pega or non-Pega technology. Providing application information allows the application to be launched from App Factory, increasing discoverability.
  • Notes  Capture relevant information about the application for reference by the team or maker.
App Factory Governor Approval

Additional options may be present on the approval screen if your application has been configured for advanced features.  After reviewing the selections a Governor can click approve on an application request which will kick off automatic provisioning of the application on the template stack it will be built on top and creation of a collaboration space dedicated to the application development project.

Once approved and provisioned, makers have access to App Studio in their development environment, and low-code development can begin!

Application building

Throughout the build stage of application development, approved application makers can utilize Pega App Studio to take advantage of simple yet powerful low-code development capabilities. Enable application makers at your organization with the Low-Code App Builder mission — a one-day crash course on low-code development in App Studio. For continuous learning and support, be sure to share and utilize the suite of enablement tools which the Pega Community has to offer:

  • Training and certifications: Pega Academy offers modular online training and full certification courses for a wide variety of features and topics.
  • Product knowledgebase: Pega Community offers documentation, articles, guides, and release notes for the full suite of Pega’s products.
  • Product forums: Pega Collaboration Center offers a place to discuss, ask questions, and share ideas with a vast community of Pega developers and Pega experts. 
  • Product support: Pega Support Community offers access to self-service and guided product support when issues occur.

As your App Factory grows, you may find the need to curate personalized enablement material for Pega development at your organization. This content typically covers topics such as:

  • Your App Factory’s application life cycle and governance processes.
  • Your organization’s shared reuse layer.
  • Your enterprise development and quality standards and tools.
  • Your App Factory’s support policy and guidance.
If you are having problems with your training, please review the Pega Academy Support FAQs.

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