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App Studio

App Studio provides core features for application development, such as case design, data management, and user experience. App Studio is designed for low-code users. Typical users include application developers, front-end developers, data engineers, business analysts, and system architects. Use App Studio to get your applications operating quickly.

application design graphic

App Studio workspace

The App Studio workspace helps you visualize the key factors of the desired business process. As you outline the process, you build relationships between stages of the process, participating personas, communication channels, and data required for process resolution. The visual model built in App Studio helps you plan and manage your development team's workload.

The following image shows an App Studio workspace:

The App Studio workspace.

As a best practice, technical team members such as system architects, build applications in App Studio to reduce potential errors. Only switch to Dev Studio when configuring advanced features that are unavailable in App Studio, such as integration services or database class mappings.

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Support for agile development

App Studio supports agile development best practices to plan and implement the features for your application. Users can quickly build off a business case by developing a working outline of the process to be performed in a Pega Platform™ application.

App Studio also supports real-time UI design as you process the work. For example, a team that is testing the end-user interface of an online shopping application can add new fields and make changes to user controls such as drop-down lists. This ability is helpful for reviews with stakeholders, who can see their suggested feedback implemented in real time.

Tip: Instead of naming items in App Studio as app1, process2, field3, or step5, as a best practice, use business-friendly names, such as Feedback app, Sales process or Send email. When building your application in App Studio, rules are auto-generated in the background with these same names. It is easier to find a rule by name when business-friendly names are used. 

Application profile

The Application profile captures and presents user stories, bugs, and feedback items to support agile development best practices. This collection supports collaboration across technical and business members of the team. For example, you can create a feature to support requests for new training modules in your application. Your team can then map development tasks, such as defining a data table of available courses, to this feature by creating stories and other work items. Features support traceability from objectives to development tasks to implementation, keeping all collaborators informed.

Highlighting the Application profile on the App Studio Overview page.

Modular application design

Pega Platform applications comprise instructions, called rules, that govern application behavior, just as the rules of chess govern the behavior of various pieces. The rules that make up an application are organized into layers for reuse between applications. For example, your company may have several applications that share a common branding. Once you create the look and feel of your application at the organization or framework layer, you can reuse it for each new application that you build.

Application layers

Layers and the rules within them are reusable. Each layer represents a unique application and is built on one or more layers, except for the Pega Platform layer, which includes rules for the Pega Platform itself (PegaRULES). This modular approach to application design reduces development time and improves application quality and maintenance, even for complex applications. For example, each layer can be maintained by a dedicated development team and updated on its own schedule based on business needs. 

The App Studio overview displays an Application layers widget, which provides a visual representation of the rules that make up your application.

Hovering your pointer over a layer title or graphic highlights the rules that the layer contributes to the application, as seen in the following figure:

The Application layers.
Note: The Application Layers widget presents a high-level summary of the contents of your application layers, not a complete inventory of your application. 

The Application layers widget also identifies the Pega Platform application type. Pega Platform offers two out-of-the-box (OOTB) application types:

  • Theme Cosmos - Theme Cosmos uses the Cosmos Rules ruleset to build applications on the traditional, section-based user-interface (UI) architecture. 
  • Constellation - Constellation uses the Cosmos React ruleset to build applications on the new view-based UI architecture. The example and challenge applications in the Low-Code App Builder mission are built on the Constellation architecture.

In the center of the following image, slide the vertical line to compare the Application layers widget for the different application types:

 

Tip: You can also determine the type of application by navigating to Dev Studio, opening the application definition, and reviewing the Build on applications section. For more information on the application definition, see Exploring the application definition.
Note: As of version 8.8, some Pega Academy content, such as missions, modules, and challenges, include a Capabilities tag of either Constellation or Theme Cosmos to identify the built-on application type used for the example and challenge applications. For more information on the application types, see Pega Platform application types. For more information on the Constellation's view-based  architecture, see Constellation architecture. For more information on Theme Cosmos's traditional section-based architecture, see Traditional UI architecture.

 

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