Appian 23.4

The last new version in 2023 again delivers an exciting set of expected features and a few surprises. Check out the details here: Appian 23.4 Release Notes.

In this post, I focus on these 5 changes:

  • Chat with records
  • Translations
  • Site URL Parameters
  • Scroll to Error
  • Parameter Auto-Complete

And I try to share some of my hands-on experience and thoughts on how this new version impacts our daily work.

Chat With Records

This feature is currently only available as a preview. I am talking to Appian to get access to it and will write another post later.


I know Appian since 2010 and the support for internationalization, some call it translation, of apps was almost non-existing. There are two unpleasant approaches we could choose from, a database backed, and a file backed approach. And both are painful.

Then I built my own solution a while ago and posted about it just recently. For me, it was important that translating an app does not add any effort during development. So I made use of a translation web service to automatically translate strings at runtime and store values to the database. To improve performance, I use the text cache plugin. A UI for managing translations, including export and import, makes this a neat approach.

And then …. all my work became worthless …

We now have native support for internationalization in the platform. Translation Sets act as containers for translated strings, and they can easily be managed and deployed. Whenever you need a translation, just create a new translation item.

An application can have any number of Translation Sets, and Translation Sets can be shared between applications. Using an Excel-based export/import mechanism, you can involve translation experts.

Now, as usual for a first version, things are good and usable, but not perfect. Two features are missing. I am in active exchange with Appian on this.

Automatic translation is something the engineering team at Appian has on the list and might, I really try to push them, add this feature in the near future. If this takes longer, I think about a solution using the export/import feature. While automatic translation is far from perfect, it really helps a lot during development.

Then, we require dynamic translations using placeholders. Think of a sentence that includes dynamic data like a name or a date. Trying to translate this by concatenating multiple individual strings does not work as grammar varies between languages. The only way to do this is, by translating the whole sentence, and adding placeholders, replaced later on by the actual values.

This is an example from my solution.

rule!PFX_TLA(text: "Hello [%1], this is your [%2] birthday!", args: {"George", "42nd"}) 

This dynamic translation is crucial and can be a dealbreaker. Keep in mind that e.g., public sector projects in Switzerland must support 4 languages, by law. I have been told that this is on the backlog for version 24.1 or 24.2.

Site URL Parameters

In version 23.3, we got the feature to add parameters to portal URLs. So you can now send a portal URL to a customer and include the ID of the case. The customer clicks the link and directly sees his data. To prevent any tinkering with the URL parameters, they are encrypted by default.

Now we got the same feature for Sites. You can now pass IDs, navigation state, or filter categories when navigating the user to another page in a site. Or include that URL in an email, which then directly points to the right spot.

Scroll to Error

Think of a longer form with a submit button at the end. How annoying it is to click the button, and nothing happening. Just because some field on top is not happy about the entered value.

Appian will now scroll up to the field with the failed validation, so the user can easily see what is wrong. We have been asking for this feature for so many years.

Parameter Auto-Complete

I have been waiting for this feature since the introduction of SAIL interfaces almost 10 years ago. I even had two different custom implementations using text snippet tools.

With the addition of parameter literals, we finally have full auto-completion coverage in the expression editor!


Dear Appian, please listen to us developers! We are the ones who make your customers happy! We deserve a little more attention! Let us not beg for quality-of-life features for decades!

And then, my attribution goes to the product engineering teams for working so hard! On the smaller and more significant changes and enhancements of such a great platform. Thank you so much!

Some major changes are already on the horizon for 2024. I am eagerly awaiting another great year for building digital processes.

Rock the process!

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