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Application development in App Studio

App Studio is Pega's powerful, low-code application development environment. App Studio provides the tools to develop applications in a way that is convenient, collaborative, and understandable for everyone on the project team, from the Citizen Developer with little or no knowledge of any programming language, to the highly technical Lead System Architect (LSA).

Note: At Pega, the term Citizen Developer refers to an individual who works outside of IT, but uses App Studio to configure workflows to automate simple to moderately complex business processes. A Citizen Developer might work either as a sole contributor (a ‘Maker’) – building applications for use by themselves and their immediate workgroup – or as a member of a fusion team that includes Pega Business Architects, System Architects and other IT stakeholders, all building low-code applications as a service to their department. For information on the Pega Citizen Developer role, see Citizen Developer role.

In this topic, you explore the App Studio workspace and the integral role it plays in the development of Pega applications.

Low-code UX

Pega Platform™ is a low-code platform. Low code refers to an application-building development environment that, instead of traditional hand-coded computer programming, uses the following technologies:

  • Graphical user interfaces
  • Visual metaphors
  • Form Configuration

App Studio, as well as the other Pega Studios, harness these technologies to make application development accessible to individuals of all technical knowledge and experience.

Six UX principles for App Studio

App Studio follows six principles for application design and development.

  1. Add value as fast as possible: App Studio is designed to get results while saving time.
  2. Reduce the number of concepts: App Studio uses low-code forms to simplify application development by reducing exposure to the individual rules and classes found in traditional Java-based applications.
  3. Contextualize for user needs: Developing aspects of an application in App Studio is done on a single page and the system automatically creates rule associations on the back end. For example, when a Team is created in App Studio, the Platform creates the underling Work Group and Work Queue and all of the required associations in the background.
  4. Use defaults: Pega presumes that the fastest app creation method is to build on defaults, rather than start from blank values. With every new application and template, Pega apps use the following defaults:
    • Channels
    • Data objects
    • Roles with every new application (and templates).
  5. Provide familiar tools and terminology: Dev Studio uses Pega-only terminology. App Studio uses industry-standard terminology, for example, harness versus page or rule versus object.
  6. Push the boundaries of UX design: Pega believes that you can simplify anything, including highly complex technology such as machine learning and robotic Automations.

The App Studio workspace

The App Studio workspace is the user interface where you and your project team plan, prototype, develop, and visualize your application. 

In the following image, click the + icons to learn more about the App Studio workspace:

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Application development in App Studio

App Studio is an inclusive tool for collaboratively digitizing business processes and building applications. With its robust out-of-the-box feature set, App Studio has introduced a low-code authoring experience that enables a much wider group of users to develop applications. As a best practice, even technical team members, such as System Architects, build applications in App Studio. Tools such as the Developer Assistant and Guardrails reduce potential errors and provide contextual help for both experienced and novice developers.

Application development work is done in Dev Studio only when configuring advanced features that are unavailable in App Studio, such as integration services, complex activities, or database class mappings.

In the following image, click the + icons to learn more about how the application development process is split between App Studio and Dev Studio, as a project matures:

It is important to recognize that App Studio is not intended to be a substitute for Dev Studio. Rather, the two Studios exist together, in support of one another. To use the analogy of a home, Dev Studio is used to lay a strong foundation for the application. Foundations are seldom seen, but every strong home needs one to remain standing. The walls and the roof are built with App Studio. This is the part of the home that everyone sees, is easy to explain, and that the residents live with every day. Dev Studio comes back into play when adding the complex finishing touches that make the home unique - the heating, AC, and wiring, for example.

App Studio is the most powerful tool that you, as a Pega BA, can use to ensure the success of your project. App Studio provides an easy on-ramp for users that are new to developing software applications: it supports collaboration across all your project's stakeholders from Business to IT, and it supports innovation by enabling the rapid prototyping of new application concepts.


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