Appian Overview

Appian is the #3 ranked solution in our list of top Low-Code Development Platforms. It is most often compared to Pega BPM: Appian vs Pega BPM

What is Appian?
With Appian, your organization can rapidly build, deploy, use, and scale problem-solving apps. And with the flexibility of on-premises and cloud portability, you'll always address your unique challenges the way that makes the most sense for you.

Appian is also known as Appian BPM, Appian AnyWhere, Appian Enterprise BPMS.

Appian Buyer's Guide

Download the Appian Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: June 2021

Appian Customers
Hansard Global plc, Punch Taverns, Pirelli, Crawford & Company, EDP Renewables, Queensland Government Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning (, Bank of Tennessee
Appian Video

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ITCS user
BPM Consultant at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Supports back-end workflows but not recommended for the front-end

What is our primary use case?

Appian is basically for workflows and workflow approval. In a banking scenario, suppose as a customer, I apply for a loan. That loan needs approval from a manager. In addition, I will need to provide documents like my Social Security, personal details, company details. There are levels of information that can be maintained in the back-end. If you are the manager you can check that I provided all this information and, based on the criteria, you can approve a loan of 300 or a loan of 400, all within the back-end.

Pros and Cons

  • "Another advantage of this tool is its reports and records. You can maintain dashboards, layouts. If you with a Java solution, it takes six months time. If you use this tool, you can finish in one or one and a half months' time."
  • "There is a version coming out every six months with performance improvements."

    What other advice do I have?

    If you are looking for back-end solutions, this tool is 100 percent a fit. So Appian BPM for the back-end and, if you want a front-end, I don't suggest using Appian BPM. The Appian back-end is only for internal users, not for end-users. For end-users, you can use Java.
    it_user865488
    Project Manager and Technical Leader at Exus
    Real User
    Low-code characteristics lead to fast development cycles

    Pros and Cons

    • "Call Web Service Smart Service - Web service integrations with other systems are super simple and fast to create, supported by low code menus."
    • "Write to Data Store Entity - Saving data in SQL databases is done easily using entities. Entities (CDTs in Appian terminology) define relationships and target schema tables via XSD files."
    • "Even though the company has made great improvements in online documentation, featuring rich material which includes case studies of real-life use cases, the material could definitely be better in quality and coverage of use cases."
    • "A point of improvement would be the SAIL forms. The built-in tool used to generate forms does not have debugging support (to view local variables as they change on live preview, and step-by-step valuation) which is a big drawback for form development. Moreover, the script language used to build SAIL forms does not support inheritance or lambda expressions (functions as arguments of other functions), which makes the code base more verbose."

    What other advice do I have?

    If licensing cost is not a problem, then Appian is definitely a go, either as a stand-alone platform or with the PaaS offering in the Appian Cloud. When it comes to speed of development, system integrations, BMPS workflows, and digitization of manual processes, Appian is possibly the best choice there is.
    Learn what your peers think about Appian. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2021.
    511,607 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    it_user633939
     IT senior consultant
    Consultant
    Defines activity ownership, streamlining productivity; we can also see process bottlenecks

    What is our primary use case?

    We use for this solution for organizing and distribution for supermarkets, for coordinating the disposition of expired goods in the supermarket. It is also used internally, to structure the budget; also for task scheduling and tracking.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The Application Designer is very user friendly. There are also lot of plug-ins that you can use and, for the most part, they are free."
    • "The reporting is not as good as in similar products. They could also improve the dashboards."

    What other advice do I have?

    Be sure to use the product in the correct way and don't ask the product to make up for experience in BPM.
    it_user577641
    Regional Sales Director at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Helps ensure accountability throughout the organization, knowing a task is assigned and completed

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Appian for HR onboarding and a couple other places in the company. In particular we use it for workflows in HR onboarding. Any time that we're hiring new people, we have an application that assigns different tasks for computers, for making sure they're set up on insurance, their emails; all of that stuff is assigned to them prior to starting to work.

    Pros and Cons

    • "What stands out are the speed of the product, the quick, easy development, and visual diagramming."

      What other advice do I have?

      I would give it a nine out 10. I don't think any product is ever perfect, but I think that Appian is one of them that comes closest to that mark. When you consider the capability, what it can do, consider the price, consider the different advantages that it has, I think it's a superior product. It's one that we use. We're very pleased with it. Most customers that I've talked to have been very, very pleased with their selection. I understand that you can go with an off-the-shelf product that's going to get you 70%, maybe 75% of the capability you want. You're going to have to tweak it and do…
      it_user629871
      IT Advisor to Banks at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      We are creating workflows in an agile manner

      What is our primary use case?

      It is mostly for our API, BPM, workflows, web services, and enterprise integration.

      Pros and Cons

      • "The tech support is quite good."
      • "The agile manner that we require to create our workflows. This is probably the most critical part of our solution and the time it takes to start processing the solution."
      • "It needs better integration with our existing application ecosystem."
      • "We would like to see more reduced latency. We would like to make sure that the scale-out factor will be much more as workloads come in."

      What other advice do I have?

      How to integrate with their application ecosystem is probably a priority. Once you get a product like this, it is important to have that integration upfront rather than later on to work on. Otherwise, you will grapple with a very complex application ecosystem for large enterprises. These features must be provided for, understood, and the expectations of the enterprise integration bus, service, or whatever you do should be well covered by the solution, so you do not face problems down the road. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: We make sure it is a recognized and credible…
      AA
      Team leader at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
      Real User
      It ​reduces development time in half making us more efficient

      Pros and Cons

      • "It ​reduces development time in half making us more efficient."
      • "There is no need to worry about vulnerabilities in the system, because Appian built a secure system​."
      • "It would be nice if you could create your own customized apps when the business needed them.​"
      • "​Appian is easy to set up, but JBoss is complex. JBoss is the application server for running Appian."

      What other advice do I have?

      It is more efficient and reduces time. There is no need to worry about vulnerabilities in the system, because Appian built a secure system.
      it_user819858
      Team Lead
      Real User
      SAIL enables creation of complex, responsive UIs, including UI logic and appearance

      Pros and Cons

      • "SAIL (Self-Assembling Interface Layer), a scripting language provided by Appian. It is the equivalent of JS and CSS. It allows creation of complex UIs which are also responsive. With SAIL, we have a single language for both the UI logic and its appearance. UI components can be built as reusable components and used in multiple UI interfaces."
      • "Process Modeling enables creation of business process workflows. You can create complex business workflows in a visual manner, and it is also easy to debug/monitor."
      • "Offline capabilities and responsive capabilities could be better. The mobility features of Appian platform are still evolving."
      • "Native mobile capabilities or hybrid mobile app capabilities are very limited. Things like offline sync, offline storage, access to smartphone device features, etc. are not supported by the Appian platform yet."

      What other advice do I have?

      I would rate it eight out of 10. It certainly is the best for enterprise application development.
      it_user747780
      Vice President - Appian Lead Designer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
      Vendor
      It has proved especially useful for building regulatory applications, which are usually very time-sensitive and have to be delivered very quickly with hard deadlines

      Pros and Cons

      • "Appian is a very low code platform. It's very easy to learn and use."
      • "It has it's own built-in UI components and doesn't provide much flexibility to customize or extend those components."

      What other advice do I have?

      Excellent BPM tool: The best among all the ones I've tried. To get the most out of the product, put the right team in place first. Follow the Appian recommended setup/development/initial rollout best practices and do things right the first time.
      Gregg Lipson
      Senior Business Analyst at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      It has greatly improved efficiency and effectiveness as well as making continuous improvement possible

      Pros and Cons

      • "It has created executable requirements and speeds up the SDLC process greatly."
      • "Form creation and SAIL proprietary language still basically require programming. The claim a BA type can do everything is hogwash."

      What other advice do I have?

      Have 20% of a programmer as a resource, plan the round trip data integration, and get all approvals needed.
      it_user735246
      Senior Software Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      Enables quick development of code resulting in quicker turnaround time for automation

      Pros and Cons

      • "Low code development: Code can be developed pretty quickly which leads to less turnaround time for automation of business processes."
      • "Architecture of product and scalabiility issues."

      What other advice do I have?

      It's good to implement this product for automation.
      Randy Dillon
      Digital Transformation Architect/Consultant at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
      Consultant
      BPM done right is a huge value proposition for almost any company, and with Appian's low code rapid development model, the ROI can be huge.

      Pros and Cons

      • "Rapid development with low-code makes it easier to quickly get apps implemented and the time to break-even and ROI is much faster."
      • "The biggest areas of improvement would be in facilitating team development, DevOps, and integration with typical tools used in enterprise development (Jenkins, Subversion, etc.)"

      What other advice do I have?

      See above under the pricing/licensing advice, but I can't emphasize enough to make sure you get quality resources who really know the product well. They will understand how to best use Appian to drive the huge ROI that should come from a successful implementation. I also recommend that all technical resources, from the Architect/Team Lead down to the most junior, have a business focus along with their technical knowledge. Only by understanding how the business wants to use the technology can they make good on the promise of BPM and Appian
      ITCS user
      Tech Consultant at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
      Consultant
      Best user-focused Business Process Management and Automation

      Valuable Features

      Robust forms builder that allows a developer to build once and the deploy to all browser & native iOS and Android apps automatically.

      Room for Improvement

      The UI of the application has been completely overhauled within the past couple years, but the tools for developing the new interface have not yet been updated.

      Use of Solution

      4 years

      Customer Service and Technical Support

      Customer Service: Excellent. Smaller companies like Appian tend to value customer service as a competitive advantage. Technical Support: Excellent.
      Buyer's Guide
      Download our free Appian Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.