Have you ever faced the challenge of setting up operational support processes for an Appian production environment? Look no further, I can help you with that!
In a production environment, you want to provide access to the application to normal users only. This will make the application compliant and your security officer happy.
Now we need to find a way for an application support person to intervene if something goes wrong. Thank god we are using Appian and implementing a support process is really simple.
Below, a quick draft of the idea.
During an incident management process, a support person navigates to a specific site in the application and starts a support process, providing the incident ticket number and a description of why he needs elevated access to the application. This request is approved by the application owner and the support person has access to the database and process monitoring for a limited period of time. Once that time is over, the permissions are revoked, and he gets a task to describe what he did and the outcome. The application owner gets a notification about the end of the support process. All these steps are recorded in an audit trail.
Bill of Material
To implement this process, you will need a few ingredients, separate for each application:
- The group “Support Team” for the support team managing any issues in the application. This group does not have access to any data in the application, but only to a separate site dedicated to application support. Make this group a member of the group you send process alerts to.
- The group “Active Supporters” has access to the application, database, and the designer for process monitoring.
- A process model that manages approval, notifications, audit logging and group membership.
- An audit record, used to store alle data relevant for auditing support processes and assignments. Store this in a separate schema or database to limit access and prevent support from trying to modify audit information.
The process follows a simple request & approval pattern.
For the support period, I recommend a delay of 2–4 hours, just long enough to investigate a problem. You can make this configurable in the support request form or in the approval form. The user input task “Complete Support Assignment” is assigned to the support person. This task also has a very short due time of 1 hour, escalations, and an exception to make sure the support person completes it.
This should work great for an individual application. But to support a whole Appian environment, you need a bit more than that. My recommendation is, to build a central application meant to manage other applications. There, you can register applications, including their respective support processes and other relevant information, processes, or interfaces.
Support then has a central spot to monitor apps and take action when necessary.
Application support with Appian can be made really simple. Just use the power of business process automation! Your support team will be grateful.
Keep on rocking Appian!