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App Studio development

Business units increasingly look to control their application development efforts, and citizen developers are crucial in advancing this effort. Citizen developers are business professionals who are empowered to build and design real enterprise applications and fast-track go-to-market solutions. As application leaders, the lead system architects (LSAs) must help define, guide, and optimize citizen development to maximize mutual benefits for business and IT. With the low-code development environment of Pega Platform™, enterprises can use App Studio to bring business and IT together in real-time through visual models and an agile methodology to build apps rapidly.

According to Gartner, a citizen developer is an employee who creates application features for their own needs or the use of other users by using tools that are not actively forbidden by IT or business units. For a citizen development program to be successful, IT must sanction and support the tools.

Citizen developers can confidently build on features that LSAs make available through reusability patterns.

App Studio includes contextual help and tours for self-learning, enabling business experts and citizen developers to directly capture their objectives and quickly configure applications in Pega Platform.

Roles and responsibilities

Pega-certified employees act as coaches for teams of business experts and other citizen developers to facilitate application development. 

The whos' who in application development

Citizen developer Business professionals, product owners, product managers, business operations and business analysts
Professional developer Front-end developers, software engineers, app developers, software developers and line-of-business developers
Enterprise IT Enterprise architects, corporate IT leaders, database administrators, security and network engineers

Roles and responsibilities of application team

Role Responsibilities
Lead System Architect (LSA / Application Architect) 

Design applications to be maintainable in App Studio as much as possible. This includes defining components, leveraging templates, and promoting other forms of reuse.

An LSA should be aware always of what can and cannot be edited in App Studio.

Lead Business Architect (LBA)

Lead life cycle analysis reports.

Coach citizen developers how to use App Studio.

Citizen Developer Leverage low-code features made available by App Studio.

App Studio supports real-time UI with predefined design templates. Any person involved in a business process can contribute to application planning and developing the approach that helps achieve the best effects while providing IT solutions for business.

Lead system architect responsibilities

Some of the more critical LSA responsibilities that are necessary to support citizen development contributions across different categories using App Studio include:

Application design:

  • Using App Studio and defining the skeleton data objects that the application needs.
  • Using Dev Studio to revise directed inheritance.
  • Ensuring quality and extensibility of the data models.
  • Decoupling the case layer from:
    • The location of the systems of record.
    • The form that the systems of record take.
    • The way that the systems of record persist the data.

Enabling complex business rules to be used by the citizen developers:

  • Creating reusable components and marking those components as relevant records wherever possible so that they are discoverable in App Studio.
  • Performing complex positioning of rules and placeholders for the rules in specific rulesets by using Dev Studio, which empowers the delivery team to pick up the relevant versions from App Studio where possible.

Enabling branch development:

  • Enabling branch development so that citizen developers can use it.
  • Conducting branch reviews.

User Interface:

  • Creating user interface templates for selection in App Studio when configuring a view for a process step.

Guardrail and best practices:

  • Ensuring that the application is designed and implemented according to organization guardrails and best practices set by the Center of Excellence (COE)/LSA team.
  • Ensuring that the creation of application rules occurs in the correct layer and that the developers receive the required or correct access.

App Studio features and benefits

Common tasks that can be accomplished with App Studio: 

  • Application packaging.
  • Application switching.
  • Add case type.
  • Case participant configuration.
  • Stage configuration and updates (such as stage validation, add optional process, optional actions, and alternate stages).
  • Data type and data model viewing.
  • Configure fields as primary fields in a data model to autogenerate consistent views for case creation, edit and detail views. Adding or updating primary fields in the data model will automatically update views.
  • Data model definition by uploading a .csv or .xlsx file.
  • Explicitly define default data pages to enable consistent referencing of data objects and case types.
  • View configuration.
  • Application styling.
  • Personas and user creation.
  • Creating channel interfaces creation.
  • Persona-based portal configuration by using a simple, model-driven approach.
  • Page creation and modification (UI Pages) for use in menus to simplify navigation. With pages, landing pages can be created immediately.
  • Citizen developers can edit application names, URLs, descriptions, and business objectives directly in App Studio to provide more context about an application.
  • App Studio user management provides enhanced security configuration features at a persona level that can be configured on case types, data objects, and configuration sets.
Feature Security configurations available
Case types Open, Run reports, Modify, View audit history
Data objects Run reports, Modify, Delete
Configuration sets Open, Modify, Delete
  • Users of an application can change application settings at run time by creating configuration settings. As a result, users can adjust an application to their business needs in a no-code way. As configuration sets minimize the need for rule overrides and custom rule changes, it is easier to maintain and upgrade. Configuration settings are grouped into configuration sets for better organization of resources. Configuration sets consist of configurations that define how different elements in an application work. In the background, by adding a configuration, you create a property that the application references. At run time, users can change the value of the property in a no-code way to provide flexible application behavior.  Configuration settings are data instances of the Data-Configuration-Setting class.
    For relevant training materials, see Configuration sets
  • Citizen developers can author decision tables that define conditions that include multiple elements and result in different outcomes.
  • To gather data from users of your application, you can now prepare questionnaires in a low-code and user-friendly way in App Studio without switching to Dev Studio.

Benefits of App Studio

App Studio accelerates your project by ensuring guardrail compliance, transparency, and visibility. You can also use the App Studio environment for enablement, collaboration, and innovation:

Enablement Collaboration Innovation
  • Easy on-ramp for new users
  • Contextual help
  • Guided self learning
  • Samples introduce application constructs
  • Easily capture application intent
  • Build out high level case structure and process
  • Seamlessly move between App Studio and Dev Studio for full configuration access
  • Rapidly build out new application concepts
  • Leverage enterprise assets (Org structure, data, etc.)
  • Full UX / Design / Mobile support

Check your knowledge with the following interaction:

Low-code application development techniques

Commit to leverage low-code application development (making use of App Studio):

Effective use of templates and engaging collaborators with different skills and roles saves time and increases work efficiency.

Create Microjourneys for customer success

Help customers reach a successful resolution in their business processes by applying the Pega Express™ methodology while working on implementation projects through journeys and Microjourneys™. When the focus is on one journey at a time, you reach results more rapidly.

Adopt feature-driven development

Develop capabilities in the context of a feature to maintain functional requirements and project status directly in your application. Associate features with elements of an application that needs to be developed.

Reuse build-on capabilities

Reuse the functionality that you inherit from built-on applications so that you can focus your development efforts on unique features and capabilities.

Design applications for reuse and extension

Save time and speed up your application development process by designing your applications for reuse and extension. When you create reusable elements, such as rules and classes, you can implement them again in future projects to make your work more efficient.

Engage and communicate with stakeholders and team members

Communication is a crucial part of developing applications. Pega Platform supports the uninterrupted exchange of information for development team members and users who process cases in your application. Enhance collaboration with shareable documents, spaces that gather professionally connected users, and messages that users can post in a Pulse gadget. Built-in social tools allow for agile and consistent cross-functional communication.

App Studio-compliant application

On the App Studio Compliance: User Interface landing page, you can identify UI elements in an application that may present maintenance or upgrade issues. By analyzing the reports on this landing page, the developer can learn how to more efficiently render process-heavy components and save development time during future updates. To know more details, refer to App Studio Compliance landing page.

Design-time behavior in App Studio

While creating an application in App Studio, be aware of a few differences with Dev Studio. At design time, when you first configure them in Dev Studio and then switch to App Studio, some features have limited options.

Feature Behavior in App Studio Recommended action
Skins that are not associated with a standard theme. No theme is selected when users view the Theme tab in the Settings dialog box. Update the skin form or change the skin identified on the Application form in Dev Studio.
Delegated items All delegated items are displayed in the Configuration tab, but you can edit only data types. Modify delegated items other than data types in the Configuration tab in the Case Manager portal.
Advanced goal or deadline options, including escalation actions, for a case type or stage. The goal and deadline settings are not available in the settings for a case type. Update the Service Level Agreement form in Dev Studio.

The table does not contain an exhaustive list of differences. For more information, Design-time limitations in App Studio

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