Nowadays citizen development approach are more and more common not only when working on small apps but also when building enterprise-scale applications. To support citizen developers and business stakeholders interested in understanding how processes implemented in Pega work, App Studio shall further support users with additional information and visualization techniques.
Generally, when working in App Studio on a case design the difficulty is to picture how a complex process works by looking on two-dimensional life cycle diagram without going under the hood of rules configuration. This could be further broken in two topics:
App Studio is a great tool to start with but over the time when case design grows it is becoming too complex for non-technical personnel to understand it
In many places when a rule has complex configuration user is immediately asked to go to Dev Studio having no information presented in App Studio about in regards to rule configuration or purpose
Adding more context for the first limitation. When starting prototyping of application App Studio performs very well. The issue starts when developers (or citizens developers) adding technical steps to the lifecycle e.g setting some supporting properties, initializing data, cleaning etc. Not always it is possible to hide those elements from case lifecycle and if they are left visible on case lifecycle they diminish readability of business process – as those elements often don’t represent business-related entity.
A proposed solution for this limitation is to add switch on case lifecycle diagram in App Studio being able to show full case design with all the components or hide technical components leaving only business related ones. Of course there is a need to have some flag basing on which filtering will be done. Proposal is to use Relevant Record mechanism for that.
A proposed solution for the second limitation is to allow App Studio users to see specifications attached to rules. Attached images spec1, spec2 and spec3 show how I customized Step Panel in case lifecycle to display business description of given step from specification attached to it:
Spec1 – specification attached to entire flow. In ootb Pega, for flows systems show pyDescription but I believe for citizen developers it shall possible to attach specification being business-oriented while pyDescription of a property holding technical description of a rule
Spec2 - specification attached to activity (utility)
Spec3- specification attached to assignment in a flow
Having such functionality would allow business users to read description of a given process step when not all of the business and functional complexity can be depicted in case Lifecyle diagram. That would allow for understating even complex processes without a need to switch to Dev Studio.
Additionally, it would be great for App Studio to have a dedicated landing page displaying all specifications.