New in Appian 22.2: Data Sync WebApis and How This Helps Appian Portals
If you had a chance to meet with the VPS team down in Ft Lauderdale at Appian World in April, then you had a chance to see Appian Portals in action. We ran our booth raffle using an Appian Portal that allowed attendees to easily register for their preferred prize on a mobile-friendly and great-looking user interface built directly on an Appian application, perfect for mobile users.
We tried to show off the full extent of what’s possible with portals with direct writes to a cloud database for data entry, dynamic queries of cloud data to show the popularity of each prize in real-time, and direct integrations with Twilio for sending a text message confirmation upon entry. We also had an SMS-only entry bot, also powered by Twilio, which connected to the same cloud database and provided an offline mobile option to users.
One technical limitation we had, however, was that we couldn’t use Appian Synced Records for database management. We had to build this the “old-fashioned way” so that the cloud-hosted database was queried in real-time any time we needed to read the status of a prize drawing, increasing the completion time. This is because Appian Portals doesn’t support writing records, and requires the use of direct database interactions such as a!writeToDataStoreEntity(). Any data inserted through an Appian Portal Interface Rule would not trigger a data sync on a Record or list of Records, so we had a problem showing the latest entries if we tried to use standard Record behavior.
Appian 22.2 gives us a new feature – WebAPIs for data sync – that will allow us to easily bypass this restriction. Since developers can now easily create a WebAPI to trigger a data sync, we can add just one extra a!save() to our submit button on our Interface that will call this new API after the write to datastore is complete. We’ll have to make a similar change on our Twilio Bot handler, but this is now an easily managed condition with Appian’s Low Code Data management platform.
If you’re interested in seeing this in action, Contact Our Appian Development Team at VPS to learn more.