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Pega Platform application types

Pega Platform™ provides you several options to create new applications. You can build on an existing application, which allows you to save development time by reusing key elements, such as case types or data types. You can build a new application without a built-on application by selecting Build from scratch from the New Application wizard.

Build from scratch tile
Note: You can access the New Application wizard from Dev Studio by clicking Application menu > New Application.

When creating a completely new application, the New Application wizard lets you choose from three out-of-the-box (OOTB) options. In the following image, click the + icons to learn more about the application options: Theme Cosmos, Theme UI-Kit, and Cosmos React.

When building a new application with the Cosmos design system, which option you choose depends upon your business needs and overall complexity. For example, if you are building a new low-code application from the beginning and want to take advantage of the most updated UI and functionality, you might choose to build a Cosmos React application. However, if your business requires localization across multiple languages, you would choose to build a Theme Cosmos application, which provides this capability.

Cosmos React​​​​​​​

This option provides a Cosmos-based design system for use in a ReactJS-based run-time architecture. From the process perspective, when you select Cosmos React from the New Application wizard, the updated framework allows most of your development work to occur in the low-code App Studio environment of Pega Platform by using OOTB tools and components.

The Cosmos experience simplifies your development work with streamlined interactions and a modern interface. For example, in a medical claim upgrade case, navigating on a single screen expedites the user's workflow. By minimizing screen-to-screen navigation, users avoid the disorienting jump to a new screen in the middle of a process. Additionally, the Cosmos experience allows you to preview items, such as cases, in the same screen.

Pega case with Cosmos design system

The Cosmos React single-page web approach allow users to use standard web interactions like the browser's back button and an unlimited number of browser tabs. Consistent list pages and object pages make the application more intuitive for developers and end users. Also, collaboration tools are built into every item, enabling contextual communication across your organization. 

The Cosmos React design gives you:

  • Improved data visibility
  • Enhanced case processing
  • Customizable columns
  • Focus on relevant data
  • The ability to instantly modify values and perform quick actions on table rows

Cosmos builds upon Pega's previous generations of design, the Pega UI-Kit. Both Cosmos and UI-Kit focus on production applications and improve the application user experience. The Cosmos React design system goes further than UI-Kit, providing developers with a complete collection of modern, interlocked components. Cosmos can render in four distinct technologies:

  • Classic Pega UI
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Custom production applications 

Cosmos design is recommended for new applications to build a highly efficient and robust system.

Note: Performance-wise Cosmos React runs two to three times faster than Cosmos Rules due to fewer transferred resources (Javascript and CSS).

Theme Cosmos with section-based UI

This option builds your application on Cosmos rules, such as the application template Theme-Cosmos 3.01, a non-React version of Cosmos. For example, in the GoGoRoad application, the application definition uses the Theme-Cosmos 3.01 built-on application.

theme Cosmos built on application

Cosmos rules introduce significant improvements to the user experience. The chief enhancements include:

  • A new case preview panel
  • Flexible screen space management
  • An improved search experience
  • The ability to open and work with several independent sessions of your web application 
  • Increased efficiency when working with multiple cases

When you select Theme Cosmos from the New Application wizard, you get significant developer productivity gains. In addition to built-in styling, most functionality is provided through design templates. With the Cosmos rules model, developers map data into template regions, toggle desired features on or off, and brand the application with App Studio.

You can launch your Cosmos application in any way you want. Whether you start at the home page, follow a link, or use bookmarks, new tabs or windows no longer refresh one another. As a result, you can reference and cross-check multiple work items at a time without sacrificing one context for another or losing current work.

Note: For more information on Cosmos React UI in comparison to Theme Cosmos with section-based UI, see the article Understanding UI Capabilities in Pega 8.6.

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